William R. "Billy" Border, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Page 9 of the 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties" briefly mentions Billy Border, a son of the gunsmith Daniel B. Border . The book mentions that Vaughn Whisker once visited Billy's shop, which was in the borough of Bedford on Juliana Street, and there saw an excellent Bedford-style long rifle Billy had recently made. The book also mentions a lock plate with a rat-tail the author attributed to Billy because it was marked with the initials "BB". The book also tells the story of Billy experienced financial difficulty and pawned an excellent Bedford County-style rifle to long-rifle afficiando "Judge" Davidson. Davidson eventually claimed ownership of the rifle after Billy borrowed additional money from him.

1869: According to his tombstone, W.R. Border ("Billy") was born on July 18, 1869.

1897-1900: Ruth E. Border's tombstone at the Bedford Cemetery, which she shares with Daniel Border's son John, states: "Ruth E. daughter of W.R. & C. Border Born: Nov. 7, 1897 Died: May 21, 1900".

1915: The April 23, 1915 and May 7, 1915 issues of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper contain an item that states "Billy Border wants everybody to know that he has opened a repair shop in the Fisher House Building, South Richard Street. Send Billy a postcard and he will call for your work."

The following image from the 1912 Sanborn map of Bedford shows the location of the Fisher House:

1937: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" states that reportedly, in 1937, Billy Border resided in Derry, Pennsylvania.

1937: Billy Border is buried with his wife in the Bedford Cemetery (40.0265694, -78.5025024) in the town of Bedford, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The shared tombstone states, "W. R. Border born: July 18, 1869 died: Nov. 1, 1937 C. E. Border wife of W. R. Border born: Nov. 19, 1874 died: Nov. 4, 1964".

1937: An obituary of William Border in the November 3, 1937 issue of the "Altoona Mirror" newspaper indicates that:

  • He married Carrie Emma Imler on January 21, 1897, and was survived by her.
  • He was a member of the P.O.S. Of A. (Patriotic Sons of America)
  • He had unusual mechanical ability.
  • For many years he was associated with his goldsmith father Daniel Border.
  • He was survived by a daughter Ethel (registered nurse), a daughter Margarerite (Chambersburg teacher), and sons Edgar and William R. Jr. (living at home).

    1964: The November 5, 1964 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper carries an obituary of Mrs. Carrie Border that indicates:

  • She is the widow of the William Border who died on November 1, 1937.
  • Her parents were Levi and Elizabeth (Earnest) Imler, and she was born in Bedford County on November 19, 1874.
  • She was 88 years old when she died on November 4, 1964 at the Homewood Church Home in Carlisle.
  • Children surviving her were Mrs. Ethel Hay of Hollidaysburg; Mrs. Marguerite Cook of Chambersburg, Edgar Border Harrisburg, and William Border of Bedford.
  • She was also survived by a sister Mrs. Perry Martin of Bedford, and a sister Mrs. Charles Moore of Bedford Rural Delivery Route 1.
  • She was buried in the Bedford Cemetery.

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