With appropriate ceremonies and before hundreds of residents of Butte County, together with representative people from many part of the state, the granite monument and bronze tablet erected to commemorate General and Mrs. Bidwell and the pioneers of the state was unveiled Friday afternoon by Mrs. Lily Bidwell Collins and Miss Anne Ellicott Kennedy, direct descendents of Chico’s two most outstanding pioneers.
Mrs. Collins and Miss Kennedy were close relatives, but not direct descendents of the Bidwells, who had no children of their own. Lily Bidwell was the daughter of Thomas Bidwell, John’s brother, and his wife, America. After his brother’s death the General took financial responsibility for Lily’s upbringing and education.
Annie Ellicott Kennedy was the daughter of Joseph Kennedy and his wife Winifred Moon. Joseph was the son of Annie’s brother and thus Annie’s nephew. Born in 1907, Annie’s grand-niece would have been 18 at the dedication.
It was a gala day in Chico’s history. Chico schools were dismissed and the children came to attend the the exercises in a group, supervised by their teachers. There were speeches by the mayor and other notables, and music by the Chico High School band and the college chorale. Guests of honor on the platform included “Mrs. Amanda Wilson, one of Chico’s native Indians, who was a close friend of Mrs. Bidwell” and Mr. C. C. Forbes, who was instrumental in obtaining the marker.
Be sure to come on Saturday, November 29 to find out what is in the time capsule. My thanks to Ranger Kirk Coon for giving me a photocopy of the newspaper article.