Enos Border, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Enos Border is known as a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from at least one tax list, a business record, and at least one surviving example of his work.

1822: According to his tombstone, Enos Border was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania on August 28, 1822. A website indicates his parents were (the gunsmith) John Border and Mary Polly (Ellis) Border. (Mary was John Border's second wife.) The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" describes Enos' father as Johannes Border, a son of of the blacksmith Gebalt Border.

Here is an outline of how I currently understand the members of the Border family who were gunsmiths in Bedford County (including Rebecca Border's husband John Amos):

1842-1843: The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book reports that Enos Border appears on the tax rolls of Bedford Township as a gunsmith and single freeman in 1842 and 1843.

1843-1844: The 1953 edition of the book "American Gun Makers" puts Enos Border in the borough and township of Bedford in about 1843. According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Enos Border is identified as a gunsmith on the tax roll of Bedford Township in 1843. The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts Enos Border in Napier Township during 1843 to 1844, and says he was taxed $1.00 as a single gunsmith.

Circa 1849: The 1850 census suggests that Enos and Eliza Border had a daughter named Margaret R. who was born circa 1849.

1849-1850: The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book reports that Enos Border appears on the tax rolls of Napier Township as a single freeman in 1849 and 1850.

1850: In a page of the 1850 federal census of Napier Township that was taken on August 29, 1850, Enos Border appears as a 26-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer with a valuation of $800.00. In his household were 26-year-old Eliza A. Border, 1-year-old Margaret R. Border, and 24-year-old laborer John Mickle, all born in Pennsylvania.

1850: The following composite image from the 1850 agricultural census describes the farm of Enos Border:

1850-1865: The 1860 census suggests that Enos and Eliza Border had a daughter named Catherine who was born circa 1850. A tombstone at the Old Victor Pioneer Cemetery in Victor, Poweshiek County, Iowa is inscribed "Lavinia C. Daughter of Enos & Eliza A. Border died October 19, 1865..." The age at death is given, but I couldn't read it because of cracking. A website indicates that Enos' daughter Lavinia Catherine Border was born in 1850.

1852-1853: The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book reports that Enos Border appears on the tax rolls of Davidsonville in Somerset County in 1852 and 1853. Click here to see an excerpt from a 1918 book that (in my opinion) shows that Enos' brothers Samuel and Daniel were also living in the environs of Davidsonville circa 1853.

1853: The 1860 census suggests that Enos and Eliza Border had a son named William who was born circa 1852. William Albert Border is buried in the Ohio Cemetery in Iowa County, Iowa where his tombstone states "Wm. Albert Border 1853--1923". A website indicates that William Albert Border was a son of Enos Border.

1855: The 1860 census suggests that Enos and Eliza Border had a child, possibly named Emily (the name is hard to read) who was born circa 1855.

1858: the 1860 census suggests that Enos and Eliza Border had a daughter named Ellen who was born circa 1859. Ellen S. Bell is buried in the Ohio Cemetery in Iowa County, Iowa where her tombstone states "Ellen S. Bell Aug. 21, 1858 Oct. 20, 1909". A website indicates that Ellen Sarah (Border) Bell was a daughter of Enos Border.

1860: The following excerpt is from the 1860 census of Hartford Township, Iowa County, Iowa, and suggests that Samuel and Enos Border were living near one another.

1862: Joseph Manuel Border is buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, where his tombstone includes the statement, "Joseph Manuel border 1862-1913". A website indicates that Joseph Manuel Border was a son of Enos Border.

1864: Enos Border's first wife Eliza is buried at the Old Victor Pioneer Cemetery in Victor, Iowa, where her tombstone states, "Eliza A. Wife of Enos Border Dyed Aug. 30, 1864 Aged 42 ys. 11 ms. 5ds." A website indicates that her maiden name was Horn, her middle name was Anne, and she was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1866: A website indicates that Enos Border married Mary Jane Maxon in 1866.

1867: Laura Larne (Border) Norton is buried in the Victor Memorial Cemetery in Victor, Iowa County, Iowa, where her tombstone includes the statement, "Laura L. Norton 1867 1936". A website indicates that Laura Larne (Border) Norton was a daughter of Enos Border.

1871: Anna R. Simpson is buried at the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Denver County, Colorado, where her tombstone includes the statement "Anna R. Simpson 1871--1935". A website indicates that Anna R. Simpson was a daughter of Enos Border.

1874: A website indicates that Enos Border's daughter Florence E. (Border) Hinder was born in 1874 and is buried at the Ladora Cemetery in Iowa County, Iowa.

1876: Frederick E. Border is buried in the Woodland Memorial Park in Barry County, Michigan, where his tombstone includes the statement, "Border Fred E. 1876--1962" A website indicates that this individual was a son of Enos Border.

1882: The remains of Lee Scott Border are at the north building of Cypress View Mausoleum and Crematory in San Diego County, California. A website indicates that this individual was a son of Enos Border and was born in 1882.

1884: Herbert Elmer Border, Sr. is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Lohrville, Calhoun County, Iowa, where his tombstone includes the statement, "Border ... Herbert 1884--1967". A website indicates that this individual was a son of Enos Border.

1888: Enos Border is buried at the Victor Memorial Cemetery (41.72732901 , -92.28954034) in Victor, Iowa. The tombstone states, "Enos Border born in Bedford Co Penn Aug 28 1822 died Oct 17 1888". This is the same cemetery where his brother the Bedford County gunsmith Samuel Border is buried.

1935: Enos Border's second wife Mary Jane, who died February 1, 1935 at age 88, is also buried at the Victor Memorial Cemetery.

Work Product

  • A double barrel swivel-type percussion rifle made by Enos Border and signed "E.B." on one of the barrels was sold by Morphy Auctions in 2012 for $3,540.00. One of the 36-inch long octagon barrels has a .40 caliber rifled bore, and the other has a .38 caliber smooth bore. The curly maple buttstock has a number of silver inlays and a four-piece engraved brass patch box with a symmetric finial. The back-action lock has a Bedford County style percussion hammer.
  • The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" reports that Enos Border made two stocks for Daniel Border, charging $4.50 for one and $4.00 for the other.

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