Samuel Border, Bedford and Somerset County gunsmith

1814: According to his tombstone, Samuel Border was born in 1814. According to the relevant memorials on findagrave.com, his father was (the gunsmith) John Border.

1825-1861: According to A. Merwyn Carey's 1953 book "American Firearms Makers" Samuel Border was working as a gunsmith in Somerset County in the 1825 to 1861 timeframe and made flintlock rifles early on, and then later made percussion rifles. The 1825 date isn't compatible with an 1814 birth date, and being in Somerset in the 1825 to 1861 timeframe conflicts with the 1841 Bedford County tax record referenced below.

1840-1842: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" reports that Samuel Border was William Border's brother and puts Samuel Border in the borough of Bedford from 1840 to 1842.

1840-1842: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts Samuel Border in the borough of Bedford from 1840 to 1842, and indicates that his property was valued at $600.00 in 1841.

1841: The 1953 edition of Gluckman's "American Gun Makers" puts Samuel Border in Bedford County about 1841 and indicates that he later moved to Somerset County.

1841: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Samuel Border is identified as a gunsmith on the tax roll of Bedford Borough, Bedford County in 1841.

1843-1853: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Samuel Border is identified as a gunsmith on the tax rolls of Conemaugh Township, Somerset County in the years 1843, 1845, 1850, and 1853.

1843-1856: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" puts Samuel Border in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County from 1843 to 1856, and then in Victor, Iowa.

1850: A sheet from the 1850 census of Conemaugh Township that was filled out on August 29, 1850 lists Samuel Border as a 35-year-old Pennsylvania-born gunsmith. Also living in his household were 28-year-old Elisabeth Border, 7-year-old Mary Border, 5-year-old William Border, 2-year old George Border, and 1-year-old Amanda Border, all born in Pennsylvania.

1865: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" mistakenly reports that Samuel Border died in 1865.

1886: Samuel Border is buried in the Victor Memorial Cemetery (41.7275000, -92.2895000) in Victor, Iowa County, Iowa, along with his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Ann Eliza. Their shared tombstone states "Samuel 1814-1886 Eliza 1822-1887 Ann Eliza 1851-1873 Border" This is the same cemetery where his brother the Bedford County gunsmith Enos Border is buried.

In his book "The Bedford County Rifle and its Makers", Calvin Hetrick ranked Samuel Border as a gunsmith with superior capability and said that Samuel Border moved to Davidsonville in Somerset County after making rifles in Bedford County for awhile, and then eventually moved west.

Here's what Vaughn E. Whisker wrote about the gunsmith Samuel Border in an article titled "Co. Had 30 Gunmakers-Gunsmiths" in the November 1971 issue of the "Laurel Messenger":

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