Lizzie Borden In Her New Home

Did you watch the Lizzie Borden miniseries? I certainly did, and loved every second of it.

The article below was published in a newspaper in 1899 and describes how no one wanted dear Lizzie around.

Lizzie Borden Today

She Is Now Living In A Costly New Residence

How the Central Figure in the Famous Fall River Trial Is Living It Down

From Homestead to a More Fashionable Quarter

Outside of the busy little manufacturing city of Fall River, Mass., there are few people who know anything of the recent life and present circumstances of Lizzie Borden, whose famous trial and subsequent acquittal, on the charge of murdering her father and mother, six years ago, will not soon be forgotten. So great, indeed, was the interest aroused in the case at the time, that probably few newspapers in the United States are not in more of less frequent receipt of inquiries as to her present circumstances, and as to what steps the Fall River authorities have since taken toward clearing up the great murder mystery.

A series of such inquiries, coupled with a rumor that this Miss Borden had gone to Europe and intended opening a select boarding school for young ladies next season, has led a reporter to Fall River, who communicates the result of his visit as follows:

Lizzie Borden, he says, was not in Europe, nor is it true that she intends “opening a select boarding school for young ladies next season.” It is true that she may have plans in view for occupying her time teaching a few private pupils, but there is no ground for saying that she is going to open a boarding school. She is more likely to found a library or give the town an observatory fitted out with a good telescope of modest dimensions, but strong magnifying powers; or perhaps she may give the County Gaol an adequate reading room, thus enabling the inmates to endure the maddening monotony of prison life. I called on Miss Borden and found her the same quiet and exceedingly modest young lady that she was during the uneventful years preceding the fearful tragedy. She has grown a little stouter in figure, a little more reserved in manner, a little more uncommunicative in her associations with people, and besides she now wears glasses, which lend just a hint of exclusiveness to her demeanor, but after all she is the same, well bred, pleasing appearing young lady who was welcomed all her life by the best families of fall River.

Those thrilling scenes of ’92-3 are of the past. All that remain of the fated Borden family are the two sisters — Lizzie Borden, aged 37 years, and Emma L. Borden, 42 years old. They are inseparable companions.

Lizzie is much the younger in appearance and manner. She is a plump, large statured young woman, with a large head, and fair, full face, with heavy light brown hair, and a well developed almost noble brow. She now lives “on the Hill,” in the fashionable part of the city, overlooking the bay and river. The neighborhood was not congenial to Miss Borden, many of whose young friends lived on the Hill high above the dust and roar of trucks and traffic.

After the trial Miss Borden, who is said to have inherited the business instincts of her prudent father, took up her home a mile away to the north where the imposing architecture of handsome villas crowns the heights of the fashionable district. Finding herself possessed of her father’s fortune of $350,000 — that is, she and her sister — it was easy to buy a comfortable home amid quiet elegant surroundings.

Miss Borden declines to discuss any feature of her life or affairs except with her attorney, banker and business agent. But those who have been intimate with herself and family long years speak in this strain:

“Since she was tried for her life and acquitted, she has lived very quietly, and seen very few of her old friends and acquaintances. One of the first things she did was to buy a house in the aristocratic part of the town. She complained when living with her family down in the manufacturing district of a lack of conveniences. She wanted her father to live in more style, but he was a plain old fashioned man, the  Russell Sage of Fall River, who knew the value of a dollar to the hundredth part of a cent, and he did not care to indulge in what he called the extravagances of modern life. With her new house she bought a pair of horses and a carriage, engaged a coachman, and now she drives out every day in style. going shopping, occasionally doing a little visiting, making calls on her banker, attorney or agent, as business may require, but otherwise she is seldom seen, for she makes very few social calls, and I doubt if she often attends church — at least in Fall River.

“The two sisters are jointly taxed on property assessed at $219,650. This does not include mill or bank stocks. The sisters paid $3,909.77 taxes for 1898. The property is in the heart of the business district, where values are high. As above stated, the total value of their property is $350,000 — a comfortable sum of more than a quarter of a million dollars.”

Yet with all this wealth, there surroundings of culture and refinement, the girl must carry a burden calculated to break down the strongest nature. Her acquittal and innocence do not prevent the cold indifference of a majority of the town. For a guiltless woman of gentle breeding, a Christian by profession and association, to endure the studied silence, the averted gaze, the steady shrinking away of those who were once friends and had red blood in their veins, requires the nerve of battlefield heroes.

It has long been a subject of wonder that Lizzie Borden has remained in Fall River to live down the inevitable connection of her name with the most terrible crime of the century. When the law declared her innocent, it is asked, would she not have been more than justified in shaking the dust of Fall River from her feet forever, and going elsewhere for happiness and a home? What would any honest, outraged victim feel after vindication but indignation and contempt for a community that has persistently and remorsely sought to prove her guilty?

And again it is asked, is she thought it best to remain and live down criticism, why, in the full consciousness of her innocence, did she not instantly begin a search for the murderer of her father?

Lizzie Borden had a fortune, and the best detective skill in the country with all the power of the law, was at her command.

In 1892 a noted funeral was held in this town of Fall River. In the coffin were the remains of father and stepmother, hacked to pieces with an ax. The solemnity of that fearful day still hangs like a pall over all belonging to the unfortunate Borden family. Mr. Andrew J. Borden, the father of Lizzie, was numbered among the wealthy and influential men of the city. Besides owning valuable farms and real estate in town, he was president of the Union Savings bank, a director of the Merchants’ Manufacturing Company, of a safe deposit company, of the Troy Cotton and Woolen Manufactory and other money making enterprises, besides a large and prosperous undertaking concern in Fall River. Just before his assassination he had built one of the finest business blocks in the city. The Bordens came from one of the oldest and most representative New England families, and a noted trait for 200 years of all bearing the name has been fearlessness and unbending will when pursued or pursuing. When once embarked in a scheme or enterprise when once determined to carry out a purpose, they never yield. This trait, it is declared, is possessed in an eminent degree by Lizzie Borden.

Source: The Philipsburg Mail. August 25, 1899.