Shelley M. Dziedzic
Many years ago Warps & Wefts published the story of Eliza Darling Borden who threw her young children down the cellar cistern at #96 Second Street. The two youngest, Holder and Eliza Ann drowned. Maria, the oldest child managed to survive a terrible fate while her mother used a straight razor to end her own life.
Eliza was married to the brother of Abraham Borden, Andrew’s father, whose name was Lawdwick Borden. For years his name has seen any number of spellings but Lawdwick seems to be the correct one as it appears in numerous records, including the city directories. Lawdwick would have been Lizzie Borden’s great-uncle.
Lawdwick worked for a good part of life in a planing mill, not surprising as his brother Cook Borden owned a lumber business. He was born March 14, 1812 to Richard and Martha “Patty” Borden. Lawdwick married Maria “Mary Jane” Briggs on September 8, 1833 in Dartmouth. The marriage ended tragically with Maria’s death on January 5, 1838 . After only five years of marriage and the deaths of their two infants, Maria (born and died in 1834) and Matthew (born and died in 1836) . Mrs. Maria Borden is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.
Lawdwick found himself a young widower. But not for long.
His second wife, Eliza Darling (1811-1848) is the woman from whom all the interest stems. We know about her because of Lizzie Borden’s trial. The topic of her horrific suicide by straight razor after casting her children in the cistern on May 10, 1848 arose as the defense was looking at Lizzie’s possible mental competency, citing the sad tale of Eliza Borden, who may have suffered what today is termed postpartum depression. It was soon pointed out that Eliza, Lizzie’s great-aunt, was only a Borden by marriage – not a blood relation.
Fall River Daily Evening News May 17, 1848
Son Holder S. Borden 1847-1848
Daughter Eliza Ann 1846-1848
Maria Borden (1844-1909) was spared and went on to marry twice and have children of her own in the city of Fall River, as was reported during the time of Lizzie’s trial. Maria first married Samuel Bond Hinckley (1832-1918). Sam was from Machias, Maine and the couple were wed on October 2, 1866. It appears the couple did not have children and that there was a divorce involved as Captain Samuel Bond Hinckley is buried in Riverside, California with his second wife, Julia and had attained the rank of Captain.
Maria Borden Hinkley’s second husband was John B. Chace. They were married on November 27, 1873 in Somerset, MA. It was the first marriage for John B. Chase.
The couple had two children, Lawdwick Chase who died on March 2, 1875 from severe lung congestion and Emma Lou Chase. The 1880 census shows Maria and John with daughter Emma Lou living in the Lawdwick Borden house at #96 Second Street. By that time, Andrew, Abby, Lizzie and Emma had been living next door at #92 for eight years.
Maria Borden Hinckley Chase died at her home at 517 Middle Street on June 17, 1909. Here is her obituary from the Fall River Herald, June 18, 1909.
Maria’s daughter Emma Lou would marry Harry F. Goulding at her father’s home in April of 1912. Her mother did not live to see her daughter and only surviving child’s wedding. Their son, Borden Chase Goulding born on September 27, 1914 became a design engineer for Rolling Mills and lived in Worcester MA.
So what became of Lizzie’s great-uncle Lawdwick? Why he married twice more after the tragedy with wife #2. His third wife was another Eliza – Eliza Tripp!
After her death, Lawdwick married yet again. Wife #4 was Ruhama Crocker who outlasted Lawdwick who died on October 6, 1874. Ruhama died in June of 1879.
Fall River Daily Evening News, June 18, 1879.
Lawdwick Borden left his nephew Jerome C. Borden as trustee of his estate- inherited by his daughter Maria Borden Hinckley Chase.
So who is buried where? Lawdwick with wife Eliza wife 2 and Eliza wife 3 and the two children who drowned (Eliza Ann and Holder) as well as his two children by Maria Briggs, (Matthew and Maria) are in the Borden plot in Oak Grove Cemetery. First wife Maria Briggs “Mary Jane” Borden is buried in the Oak Grove plot ,
wife #4, is buried in South Attleboro, Maria Borden Chase and her husband John B. Chase are in Oak Grove Cemetery and Maria’s first husband Sam Hinckley is in Riverside, California.
It’s an interesting family story, especially now that the Lawdwick Borden house is in the news over the controversy concerning the coffee shop. Alice Russell would live in that house as well as Dr. and Mrs. Michael Kelly- all connected to Lizzie Borden!