The Borden Legacy - Focus

Many people know the name Carnegie because of their local public libraries, supported by the money of Andrew Carnegie. In Indiana, the name Lilly, for example, is connected with numerous buildings, projects, and charitable causes.

Carnegie, the Lilly family, and many others in the state and nation are easily recognized as philanthropists in the traditional sense. William W. Borden was also a philanthropist.

The small town of New Providence owed him much. One author has indicated that Borden's "personality is indelibly impressed upon the town, its institutions and the people" (Wilson, p. 7). The testimony of former students throughout this issue provides a measure of his influence.

The legacy of Borden, however, reached beyond his town. After his death, his scientific collections were given to the Smithsonian Institution and to Chicago's Field Museum. Parts of his collections went to several Indiana institutions.

The philanthropy of the people of Borden has preserved his memory through the restored Borden Museum, which now serves the town as a community center. Large and small contributions and volunteer efforts-including those of the Borden Institute Historical Society-have made this monument possible.

This issue opens with a discussion of Borden and education on page 3. Some influential youthful experiences are covered on pages 4 and 5.

On pages 6 and 7, we introduce his contributions to geology. On pages 8 and 9, we focus on his pivotal two years in Leadville, Colorado.

His important Borden Institute is highlighted on pages 10 and 11. The Borden Museum is the focus on pages 12 and 13.

"Behind the Scenes" on page 14 again focuses on philanthropy as volunteerism while pointing out an important primary source. Page 15 lists research resources.