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Madera Biographies: BORDEN


A Brief Borden Family History

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    Joseph Borden, rancher, near the town of Borden, was born in Carteret County, North Carolina, in 1830, where the family had resided for generations. His father, Benjamin Borden, was a native of North Carolina, but moved to Green County, Alabama, in 1833, where he had extensive plantations of 3,000 acres. Joseph Borden was educated at the high school, which was superintended by Prof. Henry Tutwiler, one of the great educators of that country, and he graduated there from in 1840. He was married in Greene County in February, 1851, to Miss Francis S. Gray, and they then settled upon a plantation of 600 acres, where he followed the growing of cotton, which he continued until the spring of 1868, when labor became unreliable, and he came to California to prospect, and being so well pleased with the country, he returned to Alabama, sold his plantation, and in the fall of 1868 started with his family for California on a steamer by the Isthmus of Panama. He then settled upon his present ranch of 320 acres, under the homestead and pre-emption laws, and was one of the original Alabama settlers who were among the earliest settlers in that part of the valley. Borden was named after us uncle, Dr. Joseph Borden. Mr. Borden planted twenty acres of vines in 1883, but all were destroyed by grasshoppers. He then put in 100 acres of alfalfa, and has followed stock and grain farming up to 1891, when he planted forty acres of Muscat and Sultana vines, and he will improve from year to year until the entire ranch is set. The early settlers endured great hardships from dry years, little knowledge of farming and the loss of crops; but as irrigation was developed the prospects brightened, and his ever-abiding faith in the country is being fully realized. Mr. and Mrs. Borden have nine children, three of whom are at home and the balance are scattered about California in various occupations. Mr. Borden has never had political aspirations, but has devoted his time to his family and ranch interests.

Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern, California, (Chicago: Lewis, 1892), pages 791-2.

1850 U.S. Census, Greene County, Alabama

Page 252:
Borden, Benjamin         age 47     farmer     $7,000     NC
Borden, Marsha V.         42                        $2,000     VA
Borden, Joseph               20         student                    NC
Borden, Thomas V.         17         student                    NC
Borden, Harriet M.          12                                        AL
Borden, William H             4                                        AL
Borden, Mary C.               2                                        AL
Gray, John N.                  19         student    $1,500     AL (in same household)
Gray, Francis S.               17                        $1,500     AL
Gray, Mary S.                  15                        $1,500     AL


Page 323:
Borden, Joseph                 20         student                    AL
Gray, Simion R. G.            14                                        AL


Also in Greene County:
David W. Borden, 47, NC, and family, page 256.
Thomas R. Borden, 50, NC, and family, page 255.
William H. Borden, 50, NC, and family, page 256.

Last update: October 30, 2008
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