Biography of Henry Borrowdale
Chittenden County, VT Biographies





BORROWDALE, HENRY. The subject of this sketch was born on the 24th of December, 1813, in Warbethwait, Cumberland county, England. His father, John Borrowdale, a farmer, was born in Cumberland county September 10, 1778, and died in Canada February 22, 1849. His wife, the mother of Henry Borrowdale, was Ann Thompson, and was born in the town of Borrowdale, which probably derived its name from this family, in Westmoreland county, England, May 2, 1777, and died in 186o. They had nine children, Hannah, Elizabeth, John, Ann, Margaret, Henry, Jane, Mary, and Sarah, who were born in the order named. In 1823 John Borrowdale brought his family to Odelltowm, seignory of Lacole, D. C., P. Q., where he and his wife both died.

Henry Borrowdale received in his native country such education as he could obtain in the common schools, and came to America with his parents. At the age of fifteen years he left home for St. Albans, Vermont, and there entered upon a four years' apprenticeship to the cabinet making trade, after completing which he returned to the home of his father in Canada and passed several months. He then passed a year in Montreal as a journeyman cabinet maker, but was driven out by the cholera panic of 1834, when he again passed some time with his father. Thence he repaired successively to St. Albans, Vt., two years, Burlington one year, Plattsburgh, N. Y., until 1845, Hopkinton, N. Y., one year, about a year in several places in Illinois, chiefly Fox River, then a short time in Canada, and again in Plattsburgh, after which he returned to the residence of his father in Canada. During all these years he was working at his trade as a journeyman until after his first year in Plattsburgh, and then independently. He remained with the family of his father until just before the death of his mother, in the spring of 1860. In March of that year he came to the farm in Jericho which he now owns and occupies, and which was originally settled by his father in law, Jonas Marsh, a worthy pioneer in the settlement of the town. Since that time he has remained on this place, improving and enlarging the premises. The farm originally contained 176 acres, which he has made by gradual accessions 213. He has for a number of years made a specialty of dairying, and has been practically president of the Mill Brook Cheese Factory, which has been in operation since 1874, taking milk from 400 or 500 cows annually. He generally keeps about twenty cows in addition to other stock.

Mr. Borrowdale is a liberal minded member of the Republican party, and in antebellum times was an uncompromising opponent of slavery. Being unobtrusive in manners, and without political ambition, he has remained out of office as much as convenient, serving occasionally as lister, appriser, etc. He has for many years been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for a long time before coming to Jericho was the class leader in one society. There being no Methodist Church near his present residence, and because of a troublesome defect in his hearing, he has not of late been a very frequent attendant at service.

Henry Borrowdale was first married in 1840 to Mary J. Reed, of Plattsburgh, N. Y. At her death she left one child, Clela Elizabeth, who died at Odelltown at the age of thirteen years. On the 26th of January, 1859, he was united in marriage with Orpha, daughter of Jonas Marsh, who is now living with him. Their only child is an adopted daughter, Effie, who has lived with them since she was two years of age.

Jonas Marsh was born in Bath, N. H., on the 9th of August, 1783, and was the son of James Marsh, the first settler in Waterbury, Vt. Upon the death of his father in 1793 he came to Jericho with two brothers, and entered into possession of the farm upon which Mr. Borrowdale now lives, not far from 1860. In 1806 he married Peggy Whitten, of Jericho, and a native of Cummington, Mass., and with her became the father of five children, Lucien, Emeline, Laura, Orpha, and Catharine, of whom Orpha, (Mrs. Borrowdale) was the fourth, and is the only surviving child.

From:
History of Chittenden County, Vermont
Edited by: W. S. Rann
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, New York. 1886


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