The Borel Family of San Mateo

The Borel Family is deeply entrenched in San Mateo’s history.  Alfred Borel came to California from Switzerland in 1855 with money to invest in California prosperity. He operated as a commission banker and bought and sold anything that would turn a profit for his Swiss investors.

Alfred’s brother Antoine came in 1861 until his death in 1915.  Antoine operated a private bank where money deposited was invested on behalf of the clients.  He later became the director of Bank of California. Antoine was also a director of the Spring Valley Water Company and he ran the California Street Railroad.

“Antoine had married a local girl Grace Canitrot and they had five daughters and two sons. One son, Alfred, died at the age of 4. Three of their daughters married. Alice married Aylett Cotton, who later became a judge. Sophie married John M. Lewis. Grace met and married Louis Bovet in Switzerland , although they came to live on the family property in San Mateo. Guadalupe and Chonita remained single. The remaining son Antoine A. Borel married Mardie McMahon. After both Alice and John Lewis died, Sophie married Aylett Cotton, her former brother-in-law.”

In 1980, Miller Ream, along with Borel’s great grandsons Hal and Ron Fick, formed The Borel Bank.  The headquarters are still on the grounds of the former Borel Estate in San Mateo.  Other family enterprises include Borel Place Associates and The Borel Estate Company.

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