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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


M. H. BORDWELL has had an interested and helpful part in practically the entire history of the thriving little City of Upland, going there when the scattered settlements were still known as North Ontario. Throughout this period he has been identified with the commercial side of the fruit industry.  

Mr. Bordwell was born in Calhoun County, Michigan, October 6, 1849, son of David B. and Martha B. Bordwell, who were natives of New York State. Of their three sons H. W. and L. C. are now deceased. M. H. Bordwell grew up on his father's farm, and secured a common school education. In the intervals of his schooling he worked in the fields and about the home, and that made up the routine of his life until he was twenty-one. After about a year he was employed in an agricultural implement business at Marshall, Michigan. In 1880 he moved west to Madison County, Nebraska. In Nebraska Mr. Bordwell had some more extensive relations with business affairs, buying and shipping livestock and at times was a participant in several mercantile ventures. He lived in that state ten years, and early in 1890 came to California. For a time he and his family resided at Riverside, but soon joined the colony at Upland.  

Mr. Bordwell and Mr. Fawsett formed a partnership to buy and dry green fruit, and developed an extensive business as dealers and shippers of dried fruit out of this district. Eventually their business was sold to a newly organized corporation, the Ontario Packing Company, of which Mr. Bordwell was one of the founders and in which he has been a director from the banning. He is still buyer for his district. This company has branches throughout Southern California, with main offices in Los Angeles. Mr. Bordwell was also one of the early members of the Magnolia Mutual Building & Loan Association at Upland, was a director, and the nineteenth annual report names him as secretary and treasurer, the position he has filled for a number of years. He is a director in the Citizens Savings Bank, a life-long republican and a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Bordwell is a plain, unpretentious business man, and yet his associates recognize him as one of the colony's steadily helpful and loyal members, always ready to do his part in advancing the best interests of the community.  

On November 29, 1876, he married Miss Judith J. Aldrich, also a native of Calhoun County, Michigan. Their only son is Reid B. Bordwell, who was born June 29, 1882, at Madison, Nebraska. He received most of his education in Upland, where he attended the high school, also took a business course in the Chaffey College at Ontario, and is an accountant by profession. Though not subject to the draft at the time and with a wife and child he volunteered July 1, 1918, at Los Angeles, and was assigned to Battery A, Fourth Regiment, Field Artillery. He received his honorable discharge December 20, 1918. In 1907 he married Beatrice Cerry, a native of London, Canada. They have one daughter Judith Louise Bordwell born June 11, 1908.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011