JOSEPH SHIPP BORDWELL
and fidelity to trust have ever been salient traits in the career of Joseph
Shipp Bordwell, whose life record is the story of an orderly progression that
has brought him to the position of Auditor of the Southern Sierras Power
Company at Riverside. He was born in Marshall, Michigan,
August 20, 1878, the son of Herbert Wilson Bordwell and Mary Ann Amelia (known
to her intimates as Minnie) Shipp.
Minnie Shipp was born in Emmitt, Michigan, the sixth child of Joseph Shipp and Elizabeth
(Saunders) Shipp, natives of Bristol, England, who came to America
soon after their marriage, March 13, 1842, in the parish church of St.
Philip and Jacob in the city of Bristol, England. They lived a long and honored life in Calhoun County, Michigan,
Joseph Shipp dying August 28, 1887, aged 71, and his widow January 1, 1913,
Bordwell side, Joseph Shipp Bordwell is descended from a long line of American
patriots, beginning with Robert Bardwell who came from London,
England, 1670 to Boston, Massachusetts,
and married Mary Gull, daughter of William Gull and Elizabeth (Smith) Gull of
Hatfield, Massachusetts. Through their fourth child Samuel, born 1685,
who married Martha Allen; their son Samuel, born 1715, who married Anna
Severance; their son Reuben, born 1754, who married Susannah Wilson; their son
Medad, born 1791, who married Myra Crosby, a granddaughter of Martin Severance;
their son David Brainard, born 1823, who married Martha B. Reid, and their son
Herbert Wilson Bordwell, who married Minnie Shipp, 1875, the subject of this
biography is descended.
Martha Bordwell were natives of New
York State. Medad Bordwell and family migrated with
several other families to Michigan,
1834, from Madison County, New York.
They chartered a canal boat on the Erie Canal and towed it to Buffalo with their own
horses. From Buffalo
to Detroit they came by water and Medad
Bordwell, the only one of the group who settled in Eckford,
Michigan, there bought a yoke of oxen and
completed the journey, which required eight days from Detroit
to Eckford, Calhoun County,
Michigan. Their first house was built of logs, later
being replaced with a large frame home.
Bordwell, born in 1853 in Michigan, was
associate with his father, David, and brother, Melville H. Bordwell, in the
implement business, and soon after the latter moved to Madison, Nebraska, H. W.
and his family came to California in 1887, locating in Palmdale, adjoining the
village of Palm Springs; and as superintendent of the Palm Valley Land and
Water Company had charge of planting one hundred and sixty acres to oranges and
of building a narrow gauge railroad from Seven Palms station on the Southern
Pacific Railroad, the Seven Palms station then being located near the southern
end of the large sand dune through which the present highway passes. The line of the old right of way for this
railroad, long since dismantled and abandoned, can be plainly seen ending near
the present “Smoke Tree Ranch” on the Palm Springs
highway. As part of this development the
stone ditch, which brought water from near Whitewater Point, was built,
remnants of which are still to be seen.
Owing to controversy over water rights, the whole project was abandoned
and the Bordwell family moved to Riverside in
1889, having sacrificed everything to premature vision of the present Palm Springs.
Bordwell married, 2nd, Mary L. Mead in 1884, following the death of
his first wife in 1881, and by the second marriage had Edward Mead Bordwell,
born 1886, now residing in Long Beach,
California, and Laura, born 1892,
who died in 1914.
While in Riverside, Mr. H. W. Bordwell was active in the upbuilding
was a dealer in real estate, served as City Trustee when the first street paving and first street
lighting were consummated in 1894, and later operated the Bordwell Hotel, now
the Reynolds Hotel. His later years were
spent in Cuba
in the development of citrus properties, where he died in 1918. His widow survived him and died in Riverside at the home of
J. S. Bordwell, May 14, 1928.
Shipp Bordwell was then (1889) about ten years of age and his educational
advantages where those afforded by the grammar and high schools of Riverside. As a clerk he entered the service of the
Southern Pacific Railroad, 1895, where he spent three years; thence to Los Angeles with the Union Pacific; and thence to Kingman, Arizona, office
of the Arizona
and Utah Railroad in 1900. From there he
went to Naco, Arizona,
as a clerk for the Green Consolidated Copper Company, which was then building
its railroad to Cananea, a promising copper camp in Sonora, Mexico. In 1901 he went to Cananea as a stenographer
and clerk and steadily rose to the position of auditor. In 1911, he, with his wife and son, went to Hayden, Arizona,
where two years were spent, one with Ray Consolidated Copper Company and one
with the American Smelting and Refining Company. In 1913 he returned to Riverside with his family and has since been
associated with The Southern Sierras Power Company, in which company he was
promoted to Chief Clerk in 1914 and, proving his worth, was made Assistant
Auditor and in 1930 he was made Auditor of this large corporation and its subsidiaries. He was already Vice President and
superintendent of their vast acreage and farming properties in Inyo and Mono Counties. His auditing Department is one of the best
managed departments of the business and by reason of his systematic, efficient
work, he has thoroughly justified the confidence reposed in him.
In 1903 Mr.
Bordwell was married to Miss Anna Alden Rice, a daughter of Chas. T. And Emma
J. (Noland) Rice of Riverside, and they have one son, Dr. Alden Shipp Bordwell,
a practicing Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon in Riverside, who married, 1931, Miss Eva
S. Bordwell is Regent of the Rubidoux Chapter, Daughters of the American
Revolution; a member of various clubs and societies; past worthy matron of
Ungave Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star; a member of Mayflower Descendants
through descent from Francis Cooke and other lines; and the Alden Kindred of
California and the Alden Kindred of America through descent from John Alden.
Mr. Bordwell has connection with Riverside Lodge, No. 635, F. & A. M.; and
is past master of the York Rite Cananea Masonic Lodge in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, and past district deputy
grand master of the northern district of Mexico. During his term as Master of that lodge he
secured the permission of the Grand Lodge of Mexico to institute an Eastern
Star Chapter in Cananea, the only one in Mexico which was instituted under
the jurisdiction of the Grand Chapter of Arizona. Mr. Bordwell is also a member of the
Riverside Loge No. 643, B. P. O. E., and of the Lions Club.
To the best
of his ability he has fulfilled life’s duties and obligations and his highly
esteemed in the city which has been his home for so many years and to which he
is deeply attached.
By: Michele Y. Larsen on July 24, 2012.
Source: California of the South
Vol. V, by John
Steven McGroarty, Pages 237-240, Clarke Publ.,
Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 Michele Y. Larsen.
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