There was almost a killing. There could have been a duel. For certain bad blood flowed in 1874, and today it sheds light on one of Madera’s most highly regarded pioneers, Dr. Joseph Borden, if not the entire community, which was named after him.
The flare-up took place just four miles south of Madera in the tiny store, which was attached to the train depot at Borden.
Judge Richard L. Dixon, the proprietor of a ranch called “Refuge,” had just stepped into the store. For a moment there was only one other customer, young Rhodes Borden, whom Dixon ignored.
In a moment or two, however, the climate changed. In came Dr. Joseph Borden, father of Rhodes. As he passed Dixon, he snarled, “Get out of my way you land thief.” ...