Borden was a well-known miner in the Thunder Mountain region. He was also well known as a packer, carrying the heaviest backpacks of mail between Warrens and Thunder Mountain. And he was well known as a moonshiner. In his youth he was an ordained minister. Did you notice anything about sheep in all those well-knowns? Why he was called “Sheepherder Bill” is a minor mystery.
It was bad news, again, in July of 1905. It seems that Borden and a man named Barnum were curious about whether or not a piece of fuse was still good. One of them lit it and, yes, it was good. The burning fuse was tossed unartfully away, landing on a box of dynamite. The resulting explosion killed Barnum, and badly injured Borden. The first reports of the incident listed, “Sheepherder Bill, rock blown into side; probably fatal.”
The second report, a couple of days later, credited Mrs. Carl Brown with saving his life.
The best news I found about Borden in early papers was a story in the Statesman in 1907 when he was said to have found a “rich gold find mysteriously near Meadows.”
The bad news held off for a number of years, but the final report was of Sheepherder Bill’s death by a second explosion. His homemade still had blown up inside his cabin in 1932. He had perished in the resulting fire.