Case Personalities,  Fall River,  Maplecroft,  Potpourri

Lizzie’s Spurned Friend


Alice Russell, the former Borden neighbor and close family friend who testified about Lizzie burning a dress in the kitchen woodstove the day after the funeral services for Andrew and Abby Borden, lived very close to French Street and Maplecroft years after the acquittal. Miss Alice Russell, who was a bookkeeper, clerk and sewing teacher over the course of her employed years in the city, moved into the house above, #18 Hillside, with her mother in 1909 and continued to reside  in the two-family home until 1929.  

Hillside is perhaps two blocks from French Street and Lizzie’s Maplecroft home. Lizzie and her sister Emma moved into Maplecroft in September of 1893, the autumn after Lizzie’s acquittal. Lizzie resided there until her death in 1927.  Older sister Emma left Maplecroft and her sister for reasons not entirely known in 1905, and is rumored never to have been in her sister’s physical presence again.

Alice Russell earned Lizzie’s contempt after giving the damaging testimony about the burnt dress, and was no longer one of Lizzie’s intimate friends forever afterward.  With the two ladies living in such proximity, there must have been some awkward moments as they passed on the street over that eighteen year period.

Alice Russell spent her days from 1930 until she died in 1941 at the Home for the Aged, now The Adams House, on Highland Avenue.  She is buried in Beech Grove Cemetery in nearby Westport.


Adams House today on Highland Avenue