Gail Borden


Died aged 72

Gail Borden Jr. (November 9, 1801 – January 11, 1874) was a native New Yorker who settled in Texas in 1829 (then still Mexico), where he worked as a land surveyor, newspaper publisher, and inventor. He created a process in 1853 to make sweetened condensed milk. Earlier, Borden helped plan the cities of Houston and Galveston in 1836. Borden's process for making sweetened condensed milk enabled the dairy product to be transported and stored without refrigeration, and for longer periods than fresh milk. After returning to the New York area to market another product, he set up factories for condensed milk in Connecticut, and later in New York and Illinois. Demand by the Union Army was high during the American Civil War. His New York Condensed Milk Company changed its name to Borden Dairy Co. after his death.

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Commemorated on 8 plaques

Texas Historical Marker #00182

Gail Borden, Jr.. Site of the home 1837-1851, of Gail Borden, Jr. pioneer surveyor, newspaper editor and inventor of a process for condensing milk, which he discovered while living here in 1840. Born November 9, 1801. Died September 2, 1874. #182

?, Galveston, TX, United States where they lived (1837-1851)

Texas Historical Marker #00458

Gail Borden. Site of the beef canning plant and residence, built in 1872, by Gail Borden (1801-1874), pioneer surveyor, newspaper editor and inventor of the process of condensing milk, who operated this plant until his death. Demolished in 1885. #458

?, Borden, TX, United States where they lived

Texas Historical Marker #00974

Colorado County, City of Columbus. Site of projected capitol of Stephen F. Austin's colony, 1823. First settlement at this point shown on Stephen F. Austin's map of 1835 as Montezuma. The municipality of Colorado was created by the provisional government of Texas January 11, 1836 and the town of Columbus ordered laid out as the seat of government. On March 17, 1836 the county of Colorado was created; in 1837, it was organized. Columbus, the county seat, was incorporated June 5, 1837. As railroad terminal, from 1869 to 1873, Columbus was an important trading center for a large territory to the west. In memory of: The pioneer families of Burnam, Gilleland, Cummins, Fisher DeWees, Kuykendall and Tumlinson. J. W. E. Wallace and his company who defended Gonzales October 2, 1835. William D. Lacey, Will Menefee signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Leander Beason, John P. Borden, David Cole, Stephen T. Foley, George W. Gardner, S. Joseph Garwood, Basil G. Ijams, Dr. James D. Jennings, Alfred Kelso, Amos D. Kenyon, Daniel Miller, James Nelson, Mitchell Putnam, Dempsey Pace, William Pace, Washington H. Secrest, Maxwell Steel, Robert Stevenson, Spencer B. Townsend, William Waters, Leroy Wilkinson; San Jacinto veterans who lived in this county prior to or after the Texas Revolution. Col. John C. Upton, Major John S. Shropshire, Major J. S. West, Capt. P. J. Oakes, Capt. James D. Roberdeau, Capt. R. V. Cook; Confederate officers. The following citizens of distinction have resided in Colorado County: Jones Rivers, jurist; Dr. Lawrence Washington, Gail Borden, Matthew Stanley Quay, Senator for Pennsylvania; Chas. Nagel, cabinet minister under Taft; Wells Thompson, Lieutenant Governor of Texas; George McCormick, State Attorney General and co-writer of the present State Constitution; Geo. W. Smith, member of Supreme Court of Texas. #974

?, Columbus, TX, United States where they was

Texas Historical Marker #01009

Community of Egypt. One of most historic towns in county. Named following the drouth of 1827, when pioneers of Stephen F. Austin's colony came to this fertile region to obtain corn. They called it "Goin down into Egypt for corn", after biblical passage. Noted patriots were among earliest settlers: Eli Mercer, one of first sugar producers in Texas; and W. J. E. Heard, leader of citizen soldiers. Others were dairy king Gail Borden; William Menefee, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence; and Maj. Andrew Northington, stagecoach operator and surveyor. #1009

FM 102, Egypt, TX, United States where they was

Texas Historical Marker #07456

Galveston Chamber of Commerce. One of the oldest Chambers of Commerce in Texas. Informally organized, spring 1838, during Republic of Texas, by a small group of Galveston's original civic leaders. Formally chartered February 3, 1845. Among founders were men who had, or soon would have, statewide fame: John K. Allen (founder of Houston), Gail Borden (dairy king), Michel B. Menard (a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence), Samuel May Williams (colonizing contractor), and Thomas F. McKinney (versatile businessman). These men assisted city in establishing a local government and helped Galveston City Co. sell lots for homes and businesses. They aided in organizing Galveston County and instituting mail connections with nearby Brazoria and Harris counties. Waterborne commerce -- basis of island's economy -- was promoted by the group, which also aided growth and prosperity by encouraging settlers to work and reside here. Over the years this voluntary organization of business leaders has played a role in development of the port, the University of Texas Medical branch, tourist industry, causeways, Maritime Academy, and Galveston Community College, as well as fostering the advance of the city's industry and commerce. #7456

2106 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX, United States where they was

Texas Historical Marker #09929

Avenue L Missionary Baptist Church. One of the oldest black congregations in Texas, this church grew from the slave membership of the First Baptist Church of Galveston, organized in 1840 by the Rev. James Huckins. By the early 1850s the blacks were worshiping in a separate building. In 1855 land for use by the fellowship, then known as the African Baptist Church, was purchased from Galveston City Company by First Baptist trustees Gail Borden, Jr., James Huckins, and John S. Sydnor. Following the Civil War, the property was formally deeded to the congregation, reorganized under the leadership of the Rev. I. S. Campbell as the First Regular Missionary Baptist Church. About 1903, during the pastorate of the Rev. P. A. Shelton, the present name was adopted. Prominent pastors here have included the Rev. H. M. Williams, 1904-33, moderator of the Lincoln District Baptist Association; the Rev. g. L. Prince, 1934-56, later president of the National Baptist Convention and of Mary Allen College in Crockett, Texas; and the Rev. R. E. McKeen, 1957-78, who also served as moderator of the Lincoln District Association. Since the 1840s, members of the Avenue L Missionary Baptist Church have played a significant role in the religious and civic development of Galveston. #9929

2612 Avenue L, Galveston, TX, United States where they worshipped

Texas Historical Marker #10724

Old Market Square. Platted 1836 by surveyors Gail Borden, Jr., and Moses Lapham as "Congress Square." It was intention of city fathers Augustus C. and John K. Allen to have permanent Capitol of Republic of Texas located here. However, this was never realized and almost immediately it became center of commerce for the flourishing city. Residents, farmers, peddlers and Indians all crowded here daily with wagon loads of goods to trade. Soon merchants were vying for permanent sites for stores. One early observer noted "reason for its popularity was that the municipal government was conducted in Kesler's Arcade, a saloon only a half block away." In 1840 Houston's first municipal market house was built here. Before it was completed, city officials voted to enlarge it and include a city hall also. For 30 years building served dual role-- the market overflowing till it reached the streets. Many items, including household and farm goods, were sold here. It was here that Houston Independent Light Guard mobilized after Texas decided to invade Mexico, 1842. Several municipal buildings occupied the site following original market-city hall. However, the seat of city government was eventually moved to a new location and this became a park. #10724

?, Houston, TX, United States where they surveyed

Texas Historical Marker #11888

First Baptist Church of Galveston. The Rev. James Huckins, a visiting Baptist missionary agent, met with nine charter members in the home of Thomas Borden to organize a Baptist church in Galveston on January 30, 1840. Borden's brother Gail Borden, Jr., and sister-in-law Penelope Borden were baptized a few days later at the beach. James Huckins became the new church's first pastor. Only recently freed from the Mexican law requiring Texas immigrants to embrace Catholicism, many Galvestonians regarded the formation of new Protestant churches as cause for celebration. A log cabin sanctuary was erected on this site in 1847. At that time, the membership included many slaves. In 1855, several white businessmen purchased a lot for the black members to establish their own church, and Avenue L. Baptist Church was born. The property was formally deeded to Avenue L. Baptist Church after the Civil War. After serving fourteen years as deacon of First Baptist Church, Gail Borden, Jr., returned to his native New York. As a result of experiments begun while he was in Galveston, Borden obtained a patent for condensed milk in 1858. The congregation's second building, erected in 1883, featured seven steeples. It was destroyed in the 1900 storm, and the original log cabin sanctuary was crushed by the falling church building. A replacement building was constructed with heavy mortar walls and a dome, and was dedicated in 1905. It served for sixty years before being replaced by the fourth church structure. The First Baptist Church of Galveston celebrated its sesquicentennial in 1990. By the end of the 20th century the complex had expanded to cover an entire city block. (1998) #11888

822 Tremont (23rd St.), Galveston, TX, United States where they worshipped