Editor’s note: This article is based on “Dr. Joseph Borden: Madera Pioneer,” researched and written by Gwynn Harris and her fifth grade class at Sierra View School (Chawanakee School District).
When the folks in charge of the California High Speed Rail began to talk of starting the project at Borden, folks all over the state began to ask, “Where is Borden?” The answer came swiftly; it was a tiny, 19th century town about four miles south of Madera.
Not long after that, some people wanted to now how it got its name, and that answer came just as quickly. Leland Stanford named it in 1872 after Dr. Joseph Borden. When the governor made an inspection of the area that year, the good doctor showed him such fine hospitality that Stanford decreed the place would henceforth be known as Borden.
Well, not long after that, the question arose, “Who was Dr. Borden?” and that answer came from a Madera cemetery.
Out in the middle of Arbor Vitae stands a dignified old tombstone. Visitors to this beautifully kept cemetery are reminded that at this spot lie the remains of Dr. Joseph Borden, who was born in Carteret County, N.C., on June 5, 1806, and departed this life on April 9, 1875...