It started almost even before Lizzie Borden’s Trial was over. First there was the newspaper contest to name your “favorite” and win a trip to the Chicago World’s Fair. Lizzie won for “favorite school teacher” but she modestly (and rightfully) declined the honor and suggested they skip on down to the next.
On July 8, 1893, the Fall River Globe related an article in the New Bedford Journal about the “Lizzie Borden Club” wherein a delegate from the Brockton chapter of the Emma Borden club came to present them with a hatchet. The paper referred to the members as “freaks and lunatics”. Initiation to the club was quite a hoot – read about it below.
Then on August 21, 1893 the Fall River Herald reported – with obvious disdain – about the “very poor taste” of the young men – a group of “wheelmen”, aka bicycle riders whose club made signs and wore pins of axes in a rather transparent reference to the Borden case. The reporter cited that men who have the good reputation of Fall River at hand would be glad to have the wheelmens shenanigans “buried forever beyond human recollection.” (Yeah, how’s that working out?)
Wonder if these clubs ever wrote Lizzie inviting her to be a guest speaker at one of their meetings or annual conventions? Most certainly she would have declined.