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Lizzie Borden

Quiet Finale

The end came for Lizzie Borden on Wednesday evening, June 1, 1927.

“Miss Lizzie Andrew Borden, nationally known as the defendant in the famous Lizzie Borden murder trial of 1893, died at 8:30 last evening at her home, 306 French street, Fall River. Death was due to heart disease, her physician, Dr. Annie Campbell Macrae, stated this morning. She had been in poor health for some years. She was 68. A sister, Miss Emma Borden, is next of kin, and was joint heir with Miss Borden to their father’s estate, estimated in 1893 to be worth about $350,000. It is assumed that it has increased in value since. There is no record that this estate was ever divided. According to last reports, Miss Emma Borden has been making her home in New Hampshire. She formerly resided in Providence, after breaking with her younger sister.” (Kent, p. 330)

The aftermath was kept quiet, with little information provided to the general public.

“An open grave in the family plot of Andrew J. Borden in Oak Grove cemetery, Fall River, this afternoon revealed the hitherto carefully guarded fact that Lizzie A. Borden is to be buried there, beside her mother, and the father and stepmother whom she was accused of having brutally murdered. The body of Miss Borden, who was declared not guilty of the murder by a jury in 1893, but never cleared of the suspicion that rested upon her, was being made ready for burial this afternoon behind the locked doors of her home. That much the presence of an undertaker’s automobile outside disclosed. But when the funeral was to take place not even the cemetery authorities knew. The only near relative of Miss Borden, her elder sister, Emma, is confined to her bed at her home somewhere in New Hampshire and is too ill to come to the funeral. Nurses who knew Miss (Lizzie) Borden as a patient at Truesdale hospital two years ago mentioned to their friends, it is said, that she was a woman of decided opinions and will, more masculine in appearance and ways than feminine.” (Kent, pp. 333-334)

The funeral for Lizzie was much in keeping with her final years.

“The funeral of Miss Borden took place at her late home, 306 French street, services having been conducted by Rev. Edmund J. Cleveland, rector of the Church of the Ascension. The body of the central figure in the most mysterious tragedies in the history of Massachusetts was laid beside those of her father and stepmother, Andrew J. and Abbie D. Borden, slain in their home on Second street the morning of Aug. 4, 1892. Only relatives and a few intimate friends of Miss Borden attended the services and followed the body to the cemetery. The grave had been prepared and all was in readiness for burial last Friday, but almost at the last minute word was received that the funeral would not take place until Saturday. The hour of the services at the house was made known only to the immediate family and a few friends, who were asked to be present. At the service, Mrs. Alfred G. Turner sang “My Ain Countrie.” The bearers were Ernest Perry, Miss Borden’s chauffeur; Fred Coggeshall, coachman for Miss Borden for many years; Norman Hall, another former employee, and Edson Robinson. The floral tributes were numerous.” (Kent, p. 336)

Her final burial spot was located with the rest of the Borden family.

“The Borden burial lot in Oak Grove cemetery is on a grassy knoll, only a short distance from the Prospect street entrance to the cemetery. The lot and its modest stone monument is in keeping with the appearance of good taste in everything that has concerned Miss Borden in all the years she was chosen to continue to make her home in Fall River. There are much more elaborate burial places in Oak Grove cemetery, but none is kept in more perfect order. The Borden monument is a stone of brownish shade with four smooth faces. The inscription on the side facing to the northwest records that this is the burial place of Andrew Jackson Borden, his two wives and a child who died young. The inscription on this reads:

     Andrew Jackson Borden (1822-1892)

     His Wife, Sarah Anthony Borden (1823-1863)

     Abby Durfee Borden (1828-1892)

On the face toward the west in the inscription:

     Children of Andrew J. and Sarah A. Borden

     Alice Esther (1856-1858)

There is ample room below this inscription for the names of the two other children of Andrew J. and Sarah Anthony Borden. Smaller markers on the lot show that Mr. Borden lies between his two wives, with the little child buried beside her mother.” (Kent, p. 336)

Lizzie Borden Headstone

It was in this burial plot that Lizzie was interred with her headstone containing her name “Lizbeth.” Ten days after her death, Emma Borden would follow her sister to the grave, dying after an apparent fall in her home. The two sisters were separated at the end of their lives, together after their deaths.

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