a Pecan Shell
Borden, Jr is one of the few people to have
a Texas county named after him, as well as two separate towns. Gail,
County is in West Texas while Borden,
Texas is in SE Texas in Colorado
County – just West of Columbus.
Gail was chosen to be the county seat in 1891. It is said there was
a “land boom” in 1903, although it’s hard to tell today. When new
settlers bought land here, they were identified by blue ribbons on
their shirt sleeves. Older settlers wore red ribbons. During this
tense period (known as the Ribbon War or The War of Ribbons) bloodshed
was avoided although there were a lot of dirty looks and hurt feelings.
The population peaked in 1910 with 700 residents but by 1920 it had
lost 100 of those. The onset of the Great Depression lowered that
population even more and by the mid 1930s, it was down to just 250.
The 1980 census counted less than 900 people in the entire county
with 189 of them living in Gail and the 1990 population count was
202. The 2000 census was 189 and in 2010, the county held 641 people
while Gail housed 231 of those.
Attractions / Landmarks
created in 1876, was organized in 1891, the same year the town of
Gail was established as county seat. The next year, J.I. and L.E.
Wilborn gave land for the courthouse square and three churches, and
dedicated Block 18 of the townsite for a burial ground. The cemetery
had been used as early as March 1891 for the burial of Fetnah Alexander.
At least nine unmarked graves exist, some of which may be earlier.
In January 1901, J.I. Wilborn officially deeded the tract to trustees
for the county-operated cemetery.
Buried here are many county officials, including Sid Reeder and his
wife, Iva, who both served as county sheriff. Others interred here
include veterans of military conflicts dating to the Civil War, three
of the original cemetery trustees, and John Henry Smoot, a stonemason
who built the foundation and vault for the courthouse, and carved
many of the cemetery's early grave markers.
The Borden County Cemetery Association and Commissioners Court maintain
the burial ground, and family members and others donate time and funds
to preserve this tie to their local and family history.
Historic Texas Cemetery - 2003
of Gail Borden
Photo of Portrait courtesy Karen Ross
|I have a portrait
of Gail Borden.
Metal sign on the frame:
Gail Borden 1801-1874
Founder The Borden Company
The portrait is signed by C. Verne. Klenitworth
This portrait hung in the Tampa, Florida, Borden Dairy plant for many
many years, till the plant closed in 1990. I rescued it from the dumpster
and it has been hanging on my wall. I also have a book “The Borden
Company, Private Code, from July 3rd, 1925. The book is number 403.
This book was to tell Plant mangers what words to use in a telegram,
instead of using the exact words. I also have a plaque with the silhouette
of Gail Borden and 1857 and “I tried and failed. I tried again and
again and succeeded.” Gail Borden
- Karen Ross, December 25, 2004
669 - According to the Texas Travel Guide
"FM669 north toward Post ascends the Texas High Plains. ... The
road climbs the abrupt edge through panoramas of steep cliffs and
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