“In 1860, Colonel Richard Borden was deemed the richest man in town, worth $375,000, (the equivalent of $8,122,011 in 2006). His wife was head of Central Congregational Church sewing circle.” -Spinner Magazine
Just pause and think about that fact for a moment (which most people won’t get). It’s the year Lizzie is born, 1860. Andrew is still living on Ferry Street in one half of that double house his father owns. His own sister and her husband live there too, And he has this relative…this uncle of his own father. The man who persuaded his paternal grandmother to give up her water rights and that mill…the man who influenced the court – the man who got her to settle for much less. Consider that Andrew, at age 38, living next to his father, HAD to know the story and was keenly aware. So keenly aware he had already vowed he would not be a poor relation as his father was. So keenly aware he was already well on his path of accumulating money.
Andrew was only 2 years old when his grandfather, Richard, died, but he must have smarted in his early years growing up, reading, seeing, hearing about all his wealthier relatives and how some of them got that way. Bitter? I think so. . Determined. You bet.
Young Andrew Borden fell in love with Sarah Anthony Morse of Swansea and they married on Christmas Day, 1845. Before he began to make money in his later partnership with William Almy, Andrew worked as a carpenter. At the age of 23, he helped Southard Miller build the Charles Trafton House located at 92 Second Street. Twenty seven years later, in 1872, Andrew would buy that house for $10,000 and move in with his two daughters and second wife, Abby.
And Emma surely knew and if Andrew didn’t pass the knowledge on to her then Emma did. But they knew. They knew what it meant to be a Borden and that they should have been a RICH Borden. And then to know they WERE rich but didn’t LIVE rich. Lizzie bitter? You bet. Yeah, that Colonel Richard Borden…he was something all right, and yet he is written in the annals of Fall River history as a glorified kingpin of its mercantile growth and prominence.
Oh yes, how Andrew must have smarted. And THAT attribute WAS passed on to his youngest daughter.