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Borthwick, William
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Borthwick, William
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 469-470


William Borthwick, Jr., undertaker and embalmer, is recognized as one of the leading business men of Barry, where he has been located in the conduct of his present enterprise for seven years. He is a native son of the county, his birth having occurred in Kinderhook on the 22d of May, 1872, his parents being William and Martha (Likes) Borthwick. The father was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1832, and was a son of James and Mary (Dilmon) Borthwick, both of whom were natives of England. In the year 1857 William Borthwick arrived in Pike county, settling in Barry township, where he has since made his home, giving his time and attention to farming. He owns one hundred and twenty acres of land which he has placed under a high state of cultivation, the fields giving promise of golden harvests. He was married in 1859 to Miss Martha Likes, who was born in this county in 1840 and died in 1873, leaving seven children, Mary, Isabelle, Emma, Minerva, Barbara, James and William. In his political affiliation the father is a democrat and has been called to the office of justice of the peace. Fraternally he is connected with the Masonic lodge while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist church.

William Borthwick of this review was educated in the common schools and when fourteen years of age started out upon his business career. Leaving home, he went to Quincy, where he was employed for a few months and then made his way southward, where he remained for a year. Retracing his steps as far as Kentucky, he there engaged in the undertaking business for six years. He has visited the best undertaking school of the country and is splendidly qualified for the work which now claims his attention. Returning to Barry in 1895 he was for two years employed at the Blair hotel and afterward went to New York and Hartford, Connecticut, spending a short time in both places. Subsequently he came again to Barry, where in October, 1897, he established an undertaking business, which he has since followed. He was in partnership with James Smith but afterward purchased his interest and admitted Mr. Hazen to a partnership but eventually became sole proprietor and is now conducting the business alone. He has five hearses, four in Barry and one at Hull Station. In this town he has two white hearses and two black ones. He keeps the best outfit in Pike county, carries a large line of fine caskets and is doing an excellent business, being represented by an agent at New Canton, Eldara, Hull and Kinderhook.

In May 1897, Mr. Borthwick was united in marriage to Miss Ida Smith, of Barry, a daughter of George W. and Alta C. (Blair) Smith. Her father was born in Belmont county, Ohio, February 8, 1851, and was a son of James and Sarah Smith, who became residents of Barry. He removed with his parents to Pike county in 1856, when but five years of age and was educated in this city. In 1874 he was joined in wedlock to Miss Alta C. Blair, a daughter of Samuel Blair, and unto them were born two children.

Mr. and Mrs. Borthwick have two sons, Mendell and Harold. Mr. Borthwick owns a fine six-room cottage standing on two lots in an attractive residence portion of Barry. He is a socialist and has been an earnest student of the signs of the times, keeping in touch with the most modern thought. Both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist church and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias lodge and the Modern Woodmen camp. In the spring of 1905 he was elected city attorney of Barry and has been honored with other local offices, having served as city clerk for two years, as city treasurer for two years and as justice of the peace for four years. In the discharge of his official duties he has ever been found prompt, capable and reliable, and his record as a business man, official and private citizen is commendable and worthy of emulation.

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