WATERS, Edith Alice Scott
WATERS, Edith Alice Scott (1873-1935) was born February 12, 1873. She was adopted by the widowed Mirantha “Minnie” Scott when she was two and a half years old, two years after the death of Minnie's husband, James Scott. Edith took the last name Waters at age 7 when Minnie married Captain William Waters on March 1, 1880. Edith Scott Waters lived on San Miguel Island from 1888 until four years after her mother's death on January 17, 1890. She was sixteen when her mother died. After Edith left San Miguel Island, she married three times, and was variously known as Edith Walker, Edith Basford, and Edith Burritt, in addition to her stage name, Inez Dean.
Edith left San Miguel Island in 1894 seeking a life on the stage, and on June 30, 1894 she married John MacKay Walker in the city of Oakland. Shortly thereafter she gave birth to a daughter, Dorothy, was abandoned by her husband, and divorced in August of 1895. Edith placed Dorothy up for adoption and returned to her life in the theatre. In 1899 Edith sued Captain Waters for the $5000 legacy her mother left to her, and eventually settled with Captain Waters for $2000. In turn, Captain Waters cut Edith out of his will, leaving her but $1 to show that he recognized her.
Later when Waters died in 1917 at the age of 79, leaving his estate to his 92 year old bachelor brother, Edith contested the terms of the will, and claimed that she had been held captive on San Miguel Island by Captain Waters. She testified that he forced her to live on San Miguel Island after her mother’s death so that “she could be watched.” She claimed she “lived a life of hard toil, lacking in every comfort, devoid of affection from the Captain,” and that she was not the “headstrong, willful girl, rebelling at every precaution taken to protect her.” Edith escaped from the island with a guano collector, Bob Ord. The jury ruled in favor of Edith.
In the meantime, her little daughter Dorothy, had been adopted by millionaire miner, Nicholas Creede. Creede died unexpectedly of a morphine overdose on July 12, 1897, leaving three-year-old Dorothy a very wealthy little heiress. Edith went to court and asserted a maternal claim to her daughter, and eventually she prevailed.
- Edith Alice Scott Waters (1875-1935) = John Mackay Walker (c. 1874- )
- 1. Dorothy [Creede] (1895-1918)=[16 Nov. 1916] William Lloyd Ritchie (1878-1943)[SS#700-10-5943]
- 1. Edith Romer Ritchie (1917-1974) [SS#550-30-0904]
- Edith Alice Scott = Harold Roberts Basford (1873-1954) [SS#557-01-2308]
- 2. Bruce C. Basford (c. 1897-2/24/1920) dies in Alameda County [B.A., Class of 1919, Berkeley]
- 3. Garth X. Basford (6/25/1898-1971) [SS#565-09-7103] = Bertha
- 4. Hugh Pasmore Basford (8/24/1902-1978) [SS#559-07-3885] Merced County
- Edith Alice Scott = Lawrence H. Burritt
- 5. Roland L. Burritt (1909-1980) [SS#555-01-8382] AZ
Edith Alice Scott Waters Walker Basford Burritt died in British Columbia in 1935.
» Creede, Dorothy
In the News~
January 17, 1890 Minnie Waters dies in Santa Barbara.
July 19, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, Miss Waters, Mr. and Mrs. Moody of the Boston Globe and one or two others leave today on the Liberty for a visit to San Miguel Island.”
December 24, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters has bought out the interest of William Schilling in San Miguel Island, and is now the sole owner of that property.”
February 11, 1891 [SBI]: “Captain Waters and daughter, Miss Edith, arrived from San Miguel Island last evening on the Liberty, all safe and well. They remained on the boat and landed this morning.”
June 14, 1891 [SBMP]: “Lost Overboard. The sloop Liberty arrived last evening from San Miguel Island, and brought word of an accident, which occurred on the outward trip. The sloop left Santa Barbara one June 3rd, with Captain and Miss Waters...”
February 11, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters and Miss Edith Waters have left by steamer for Gaviota, from which place they sail in the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island.”
February 11, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters and Miss Edith Waters have left by steamer for Gaviota, from which place they sail in the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island.”
July 23, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters and a party of young ladies leave here Monday for Gaviota where they will take passage on the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island. The party will consist of the Misses Gertrude and Minnie Jordan, Miss Annie Cruces, Miss Bessie Gaskill, Miss Ada Gaty and Master Redding Bennett. Captain Waters’ daughter is now stopping on the island and the young ladies go to visit her.”
December 5, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island yesterday morning. Miss Edith, daughter of Captain Waters, was a passenger, she having been at the island all the past summer.”
1894 Edith Scott Waters escapes from San Miguel Island aboard Roncador, Captain Robert C. Ord.
June 24, 1894 [SFCall]: “This week at the Orpheum. The new people for the present week include... Miss Inez Dean, the society contralto, who will make her debut tomorrow evening. This lady is of old California stock, and as a native daughter can boast of a deep contralto, well cultivated, melodious and pure. She will render popular English and Spanish ballads. Miss Dean possesses the natural advantages of an imposing stage presence and prepossessing appearance, which, combined with a rare voice, cannot fail to gain for her many admirers...”
June 26, 1894 [SFCall]: “New faces and a new programme are in order at the Orpheum music hall. Miss Inez Dean made a most satisfactory debut last evening as a cantatrice. She boasts a fine contralto.”
June 30, 1894 Edith Scott Waters marries John Mackay Walker in the city of Oakland.
December 15, 1894 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara, Dec. 14.—Papers have been received in the Superior Court here in the case of Edith Alice Walker vs. William G. Waters et al., transferred from the Superior Court of San Luis Obispo county. The complaint in the case alleges that the plaintiff is the adopted daughter of William G. Waters and Marantha Waters; that she is more than 21 years of age, and married; that Mrs. Waters in her last will and testament bequeathed the sum of $5000 to the plaintiff, leaving it with defendant Waters in trust, as executor. The defendant has never segregated $500 for her use and during the past two years has refused to give her any part of the same, and has denied that such trust was made to him by Mrs. Waters.The plaintiff alleges also that the defendant has, to the best of her information and belief, lost all the property and estate received by him from her mother except certain lands in the county of San Luis Obispo, and that he is heavily indebted to various persons and is insolvent. She further alleges that on the 23rd day of July, 1891, he mortgaged the lands above mentioned to secure payment on is promissory note for $4000 to the San Francisco Savings Union, Henry C. Campbell and Thaddeus B. Kent. The plaintiff prays for a judgment against this property for the sum of $5000 and attorney's fees of $500-. The defendants in their answer allege that the mortgage mentioned in the complaint is a first lien on the lands and the plaintiff has no claim on the same.”
February 23, 1895 ~ Dorothy Talbot Hill Walker is born to Edith Scott Waters Walker and John Mackay Walker.
June 7, 1895 [SBDI]: “Superior Court. Honorable W. B. Cope, Judge. In the case of Edith Alica Walker vs. William G. Waters et al; the motion of plaintiff for order of the court requiring the defendant to pay a certain sum to plaintiff now renders its decision and orders that said motion be denied. The plaintiff is given 30 days to file bill of exception.”
June 8, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, June 7. Edith Walker loses a point in the suit against her father. The case of Edith Alice Walker vs. William G. Waters et al. Came up in the Superior Court today on a motion for an order of the court to compel the payment of a certain sum. The plaintiff’s motion was denied. This is the first decision in the sensational suit brought by Captain Waters’ adopted daughter to enforce the payment of a certain sum conditionally bequeathed to her by the late Mrs. Waters.”
July 6, 1895 [LAT]: “San Francisco. Edith Waters Walker, 20 years old, the adopted daughter of a millionaire, a successful actress, once a prisoner on San Miguel Island and finally the wife of the impoverished son of a man who was John W. Mackay’s partner in the bonanza days, has commenced two suits that will disclose a strange story of vicissitude. She is suing her husband for a divorce, and her stepfather, Captain Waters of Santa Barbara, for $5000, which she alleges was left by her mother for her use. Mrs. Walker was left an orphan at an early age, and was adopted by Mrs. Scott, a wealthy woman of this city. Mrs. Scott married Captain Waters, who owned San Miguel Island, one of the Santa Barbara chain. The island was used as a cattle ranch, and Captain Waters, with his wife and Edith, lived there. Mrs. Waters died, leaving property valued at $500,000 and $5,000 in cash to her husband, the money to be used at his discretion for Edith’s education. After her mother’s death, the girl lived on the island, being the only woman there with the exception of an Indian squaw. There she says she herded cattle until she grew weary of life on the island, which had become a prison to her. One day she persuaded the captain [Robert Ord] of a sealing schooner that called at the island to take her away, and she sailed for San Diego. She came to San Francisco and went on the stage, where she made a success. While here she met John MacKay Walker, son of John B. Walker, who several years ago was a Bonanza millionaire. She married young Walker, who earned money as a car conductor while she acted. Finally she went to South America with a dramatic company, where they were burned out and lost all their dramatic effects. She returned to San Francisco, and now wishes to cultivate her voice. She will give up the stage and devote herself to the care of her three-year-old baby. She has sued her husband, who is in Los Angeles, for a divorce, and she has brought suit for the $5000, which she says her mother left her.”
July 6, 1895 [LAH]: Levanted in a rowboat. How a young girl escaped from San Miguel Island. Would go on the stage. Married to the son of a former wealthy man. Mrs. Edith Waters Walker is her name and she brings suit for divorce — What her husband says. Information has been received in this city to the effect that Mrs. Edith Waters Walker had commenced suit for divorce against her husband, John MacKay Walker, who is residing in Los Angeles. Additional interest was lent to the case from the fact that the husband is a son of Joshua M. Walker, a former partner of John W. Mackay, the bonanza king. Mr. walker is connected with a gas saving apparatus company and resides on South Spring Street, where he was seen last evening regarding the action taken by his wife. He is 22 years of age, stands over 6 feet in height, has dark hair, blue eyes and very pleasing manners. “I am not in the least surprised at my wife bringing this suit,“ he said, after reading the dispatch from San Francisco. “It is what I have expected. I have not as yet received notification of the action, so of course am unacquainted with any of the charges on which she bases her complaint. If the grounds are at all reasonable I shall make no defense, but will allow her to get the decree. Should the complaint contain anything that is wrong I will of course contest it. In fact, it would have been but a matter of short time before I would have brought suit for divorce against her and the reason I have delayed thus far is because I knew it would have been postponed. Her lawyer, Roger Johnson of San Francisco, is engaged on her other suit for $5000 against her step-father, Captain Waters of Santa Barbara, and a continuance until that one is disposed of would have been asked had I brought suit.“ “What are the grounds on which you proposed to base your action?" was asked. “Well, I cannot speak of their nature at present. While there were several different ones it was a succession of events. I did not know but my wife's complaint is based on incompatibility of temper,“ he added, “for I know that we began to disagree shortly after the honeymoon. I married my wife in San Francisco last May . We had known each other about six weeks. Two weeks before our marriage she had made her debut at the Orpheum, where she sang. As she wanted to further cultivate her voice and follow the stage as a professional and also to help out with expenses she continued on the boards after the marriage ceremony. I was employed in the power house of the San Francisco and San Mateo motor railway. Sometime after her engagement at the Orpheum she went to Portland and sang in the Anheuser saloon. In October  I left San Francisco and came to Los Angeles. She came down during the same month and appeared here with the Benson Dramatic Company, which played at the Grand Opera House. Her stage name was Ynez Dean. After this she went on the road with another company organized by Dr. Stoessel, who got into trouble with Benson. They toured about Southern Califoria, visiting all of the principal stands, and finally went to Ensenada, Lower California, where the company broke up. She returned to Los Angeles and lived with me from the first part of last December  until February . Yes, it was during this time that we agreed to disagree. She went to San Francisco two months ago [May 1895]. Her child is about 4 month old [Dorothy Talbot Hill Walker born February 23, 1895], and I am quite willing that she should have it, if such is her desire. During all of her stage career she has never risen above mediocrity and has appeared only with indifferent companies. It is untrue that her stepfather is very wealthy. He is well-to-do, but is not worth $500,000 as claimed. He owns San Miguel Island. She was early left an orphan and adopted by Mrs. Scott, who afterwards married Captain Waters. My wife lived on the island at various times during a number of years. She claimed to me that she was kept a prisoner there, but I afterwards ascertained this was wrong. She had all the comforts of a home and frequently visited the mainland. As to whether or not she entertained company at her island home, I cannot say. The statement that she used to herd cattle is ridiculous, as is the one that she was the only woman, besides a squaw on the island. A housekeeper was there, and my wife was given all of the comfort for which any one could reasonably ask. She finally got tired of life there and determined to get away. The opportunity presented itself one day when she persuaded a man in a row boat to take her over to Santa Barbara. In reality she ran away from the island and went to San Francisco, as she wanted to go on the stage. It was while she was living in the north that we were married. The suit for $5000 against Captain Waters is for money claimed to have been entrusted to him for her by her mother. It was brought last July.”
July 7, 1895 [SBMP]: “Information has been received in this city to the effect that Mrs. Edith Waters Walker has commenced suit for a divorce against her husband, John M. Walker who is residing in Los Angeles… Her lawyer, Roger Johnson of San Francisco, is engaged on her other suit for $5000 against her step-father, Captain Waters…”
July 24, 1895 [LAT]: Edith Waters’ baby. She left it here in charge of an aged friend. The fact has just leaked out that Mrs. John M. Walker, whose stage name is Edith Waters, gave birth to a child in the County Hospital, while stranded here about four months ago. After she was able to travel again, she left her baby in charge of Mrs. M. S. Chisholm of No. 809 South Spring Street and went to San Francisco. Mrs. Chisholm, although a poor woman, has the baby on her hands and is caring for it the beast she can, neither of the parents having as yet done anything for the little one—the mother perhaps because she is too poor, and the father because he doesn’t want to. Young Walker separated from his wife before the child was born. He was employed until recently by the Los Angeles Gas Saving Association, and is thought to have gone hence to San Bernardino. The romantic history of Mrs. Walker (Edith Waters) has of late occupied considerable space in the daily papers. She is the step-daughter of Captain Waters, proprietor of San Miguel Island who, because the lonely life she had to lead after the death of her foster mother, surreptitiously left the island on a sealing schooner and went on the stage in San Francisco, where she married John Mackay Walker, the son of an ex-millionaire who was formerly John W. Mackay’s boon companion. Young Walker had nothing but love to give his wife, and this soon waned, so she has been compelled to stick to the stage and hoe her own row. The baby’s father has never been to see it, and probably never will. Mrs. Walker has written Mrs. Chisholm to try to get some young married couple to adopt the infant, which is a girl and not very well at present. Mrs. Walker appeared as ‘Inez Dean’ in the Tar and Tartar in this city last November.”
July 24, 1895 [LAH]: “An abandoned baby girl. A child of the Walkers is offered for adoption. The following letter was received by The Herald yesterday:
- Gentlemen — There is an infant, five months old, blue eyes, blonde, a very beautiful girl, for adoption. The lady who has it has been taxed to the very uttermost; has been unselfish and self-sacrificing in her care of it and has no means. Will you charitably advertise it and send any reliable people to see it at 809 South Spring Street? The Herald is ever on the side of deserving people. This lady is badly in need and is deserving. All particulars can be ascertained by calling at 809 South Spring.
It referred to the infant daughter of John Mackay Walker and his wife, formerly Miss Edith Waters (Inez Dean), whose sensational separation was telegraphed abroad recently. A kindly lady, Mrs. M. S. Chisholm, is caring for the child. The father has deserted it and is said to be in far New York, and the mother lies ill at 118 Sutter Street, San Francisco. Mrs. Chisholm is a gentlewoman in reduced circumstances and feels her position keenly in being unable to so much as care for the little baby girl, who she loves as though it were her own child.”
July 24, 1895 [SFCall]: “A Los Angeles waif, actress Lillian Waters' baby left to the care of strangers. Kept from the orphan asylum by the charity of a poor woman. Los Angeles, Cal., July 23 — The three months old babe of Lillian Waters, the actress, lies ill in a poorly furnished room on South Spring Street, and but for the care of an old lady would occupy a cot in the Orphan Asylum. Neither the father not the mother of the child has contributed anything to its support and both seem to have completely deserted it. The father is John Mackay Walker, the son of John W. Mackay's old partner, at one time a millionaire. Young Walker was employed here for some time in the gas company's office, but left some weeks ago for San Bernardino, and his resent whereabouts is unknown. His marriage with Miss Waters proved a failure, and shortly before the baby was born he deserted her. Mrs. Chisholm, who is caring for the child, is very poor and cannot take proper care of it and is looking around for some couple to adopt it.”
July 26, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “William G. Waters, defendant in the case of Edith Alice Walker vs. William G. Waters, et al., is given until August 1 to file an amended answer to the plaintiff’s supplementary complaint.”
August 18, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “In the case of Edith Alice Walker vs. William G. Waters, the court has denied the motion of the plaintiff requiring the defendant to furnish an itemized account of all monies paid out as trustee of plaintiff.”
September 6, 1895 baby Dorothy Walker is legally adopted by Nicholas Creede.
September 7, 1895 [SDU]: “Los Angeles, Sept. 6,— Dorothy Talbot Hill Walker, the 6-months-old child of Edith Scott, the actress, and John M. Walker, was today adopted by N. C. Crede, the Colorado millionaire. The child was born at the Sisters' Hospital in this city, after the desertion of the mother by her husband.”
September 7, 1895 [LAT]: “Baby Walker, the daughter of Edith Scott Waters has become Edith Dorothy Creede. The change of name was effected by order of Judge Van Dyke yesterday, he sitting in chambers at the time. The proper petition of N. C. Creede and wife was presented, accompanied by the written consent of the mother of the little one, and the necessary decree of adoption was thereupon rendered. Dorothy Talbot Hitt Walker thereby became Edith Dorothy Creede. Edith Scott Waters, the mother of the adopted baby, was herself adopted when quite young by a Mrs. Scott of San Francisco. Mrs. Scott, it will be remembered, married a Captain Waters, who was the owner of San Miguel Island and was an extensive sheep-raiser. The young woman whose name had changed with that of her adopted mother in time went to San Francisco, where she was trained for the stage. She afterward married John Walker, a son of Mr. Walker, who had been a warm friend of J. W. Mackay. John Walker was a streetcar conductor. In course of time the Walkers came to Los Angeles, where he found employment. Matters between the young couple did not move as smoothly as they might, and in time the two were divorced. The little girl whose name was by a decree of the court changed yesterday, was born about six months ago, her mother being in the County Hospital at the time. The baby for a time was cared for by a woman who had befriended the mother after her divorce. This woman became unable to care for the little one any longer, and, this fact becoming public, the attention of the Creedes was attracted to it.”
October 6, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “In the case of Edith Alice Walker, the actress, against her stepfather, Captain William G. Waters, to receive a certain sum which she alleges to be in his possession in trust for her, the court today granted her motion to strike out certain portions of the amended answer to the supplemental complaint. The defendant was given leave to file an amended answer and cross complaint to the supplemental complaint.”
October 11, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Edith A. Walker’s foster-father, W. G. Waters of Los Angeles, has filed his answer to the suit begun by her to compel him to pay over $5000 left her in trust. Mrs. Walker described herself in the complaint as married, age 22. This, Waters says, he has no knowledge of, and he, therefore, denies it. But that is a mere technical denial, for everyone knows who reads the papers that she is the wife of John Mackay Walker, godson of ‘Bonanza’ Mackay, and son of Mackay’s old and unfortunate partner, Walker. The marriage has been unhappy, and they are parted, but she is Mrs. Walker all the same. She is the girl whose romantic adventures as a young pet of society in Southern California, prior to her foster mother’s death, as a shepherdess on a lonely Pacific island thereafter, as a young wife and mother, and as an actress have taken up considerable space in the newspapers. In her suit against Waters she alleged that Waters and his wife had legally adopted her in 1887 as their daughter, and that subsequently Mrs. Waters made a will, giving Waters $5000 in trust for the adopted daughter, to be paid by him under such conditions, and in such manner as he should see fit. Mrs. Waters died in 1890, and in her complaint, Mrs. Walker charged that trustee Waters was insolvent and had sold all the estate or otherwise alienated it, and unless restrained her legacy would be entirely lost. She said Waters had declared that he would never pay her a cent, and she affirmed that he was bitterly hostile to her and would not even see her. In his answer Waters says Mrs. Walker consented to every step taken in the settlement of the estate, and he denies her allegations. He says her husband has failed to provide for her suitably, and he declares that personally he is not insolvent any more than she is, as she has said she is in absolute need. He charges that she has made an illegal agreement with her lawyer, and he concludes by asking that the suit be dismissed, as similar actions are now pending between the parties in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.”
February 1, 1896 [LAT]: “Millionaire Creede is living contentedly in Los Angeles… The tiniest, but not the least important, member of Col. Creede’s household is the baby of Edith Waters Walker, which the Creedes have adopted. It is a beautiful child, and Col. and Mrs. Creede fairly worship it. Having no children of their own, the little one receives all the care and attention that would be bestowed on their own offspring, had they been blessed with any….”
March 15, 1896 [SFCall]: “A very delightful entertainment will be given at the Hotel St. Nicholas next Tuesday evening, March 17, when Mr. John T. Wenyon of London will give a dramatic recital. He will be assisted by Miss Helen Marshall Anderson, pianist, Edith Scott Waters and Mr. George McBride.”
March 15, 1896 [SFCall]: “John T. Wenyon of London, assisted by Miss Helen Marshall Anderson. Miss Florence Weyman, Miss Edith Scott Waters and George McBride, will give a dramatic recital at the St. Nicolas Hotel Tuesday evening. Mr. Wenyon is said to be a reader of unusual merit, who pleases all American as well as English audiences. The singers are all well known in local circles.”
March 17, 1896 [LAT]: “The case of Edith Alice Walker against Captain William G. Waters et al., which has been pending in the Superior Court of Santa Barbara for some time, was dismissed this morning on motion of plaintiff's counsel. The reason for dismissing this case as given by Grant Jackson is that as there is a case upon the same proposition pending in San Francisco it was thought unnecessary to further maintain the one here.”
April 12, 1896 [SFCall]: “Miss Edith Scott Waters and Miss Florence Wyman will be given a benefit concert in Maple Hall, Palace Hotel, on Thursday night. The following performers will assist: Alfred Wilkie, tenor; Bernard Mollenhauer, violinist; Fred Maurer, accompanist; the Euterpe Quartet and H. B. Pasmore's chorus.”
January 8, 1897 [LAT]: “…About four years ago, Edith Waters, the adopted daughter of Captain Waters, the wealthy sheep raiser who lives on San Miguel Island, tired of the lonely life to which she was condemned and ran away from home with the help of a fisherman. From Santa Barbara she went to San Francisco, where she appeared on the stage at one of the variety theaters. While engaged at the Tivoli, she married a worthless actor named Walker, whom she was obliged to support out of her earnings. Later the pair came to Los Angeles and played at the Burbank. While here Walker deserted his wife, leaving her in a delicate condition and unable to support herself. She was so reduced in circumstances that she was obliged to go to the County Hospital, where she gave birth to a daughter, who was given her mother’s name, Edith Walker. In order to support herself and child, Mrs. Walker returned to the stage in San Francisco, leaving her baby in the care of a widow, on Spring Street, with the promise that she would forward regular remittances for the child’s benefit. When the mother, for some cause, failed to provide for her child, it was found necessary to make some other arrangement for its care. Mr. Creede, heard of the case, and having no children of his own, was so taken with the beauty of the abandoned infant, that he resolved to legally adopt it. As a result, it was taken into the Creede household where it has received every conceivable care and attention.”
January 9, 1897 [DMN]: “Los Angeles, Cal. January 8. W. C. Creede, the millionaire miner, after whom the town of Creede, Colorado is named, and his wife have separated. A stipulation drawn up and signed several days ago by which Mrs. Creede accepted $20,000 cash in hand and surrendered all further claim upon her husband, at the same time voluntarily withdrawing from his home in this city.”
May 14, 1897 [SFCall]: “Grand Choral Concert by the Stanford University and Apollo choral societies, Metropolitan Temple, Saturday, May 15, 8 P.M., Tickets 50 cents; Reserved seats $1. Seats may be reserved at Sherman, Clay & Co's, May 14 and 15. Vocalists — Mrs. Frank Wratten, Mrs. Edith Scott Basford, Mr. W. S. Edgerton, Mr. Herbert K. Medley. Instrumentalists — Otto Hedix, Nat Landsberger. Accompanists — H. J. Stewart, Fred Maurer, piano.”
July 12, 1897 Nicholas Creede dies.
July 13, 1897 [LAT]: “N. C. Creede dead. The famous miner ends his unhappy life. Nagged beyond endurance. Return of his wife to plague him after separation. Nicholas C. Creede, discoverer of the wonderful Colorado mining camp which is known today from end to end of the world by his name, died last night from an overdose of morphine. It may have been that it was accident, for he was accustomed to use the drug for neuralgia, but there is a possibility that, unhappy in spite of his wealth, in spite of his love for his tiny adopted daughter, in spite of his beautiful home and everything which should have made him contented, he meant to put an end to his ill-health and to escape from the wife from whom he had been separated for so many months past, but who had returned to Los Angeles and commenced again to make life a burden for him. Creede made a fortune from his Colorado mining ventures, and then sold all his mines and came to California to spend the remaining years of his life in peace. For four years past he has lived in the old Northam place on the corner of Sixth and Pearl streets in a handsome mansion surrounded by gardens, which are among the most beautiful in this city. Yesterday the retired miner seemed anxious and depressed. The wife to whom he had paid $20,000 for a promise that she would never trouble him again, had returned to Los Angeles again, and was trying desperately to see him. At dusk yesterday the gardener, Frank L. Maas, walked by the summer house, which stands in a little wood of palm trees back of the house. He noticed his master sitting in a rustic chair, with his head leaning back, apparently asleep. Something struck him as wrong, and he went to the house to summon Creede’s brother-in-law, W. M. Phifer… Creede leaves three brothers: a lawyer, Jerome L. Creede of Manitou, Colorado; a farmer, McConnell Creede of Forney, Texas; and a lawyer, Judge J. W. Creede of Leon, Decatur county, Iowa. His sister, Mrs. W. M. Phifer, is now in Manitou, and the only member of his family now here is his brother-in-law, Mr. Phifer… Domestic unhappiness. On January 4, 1897 Mr. and Mrs. Creede found further companionship unbearable, and they quietly agreed to dissolve further relationship at once… Creede never met his wife since her return, but he knew that she was here and he sought to avoid her by every subterfuge. He avoided in every way meeting the woman whom he had rewarded to abandon him… No children were born to them, but they adopted a beautiful little girl, and to this child he became devotedly attached…”
July 16, 1897 [LAT]: “Creede left a will. Little Dorothy will inherit bulk of the estate. Mother wants her child. Will fight Mrs. Creede’s claim to custody of the little girl to the bitter end. Story of Edith Waters. The remains of C. W. Creede, who died so suddenly from an overdose of morphine, were quietly deposited in Rosedale Cemetery Wednesday afternoon… Creede bequeathed the bulk of his property to little Dorothy, his adopted daughter… Little Dorothy’s own mother, once Mrs. Edith Waters Walker, but now Mrs. H. R. Basford…”
July 17, 1897 [SFCall]: “Graduated from field seminary where she was a noted singer. New the little child, born in the poorhouse, is heir to the Creede millions. Oakland office, San Francisco Call, 908 Broadway, July 16. Little Edith Dorothy Creede, whose mother was forced to allow her to be adopted two years ago, and who is now heir to a vast estate, is the daughter of an Oakland boy. The doings of her father and mother created great interest here some time ago, and after their marriage they stayed at the Galindo Hotel. Little Edith's [“Dorothy”] father was John Mackay Walker, son of the builder of the famous Walker mansion that was torn down a few months ago. Edith's mother was of a romantic nature, and as Edith Waters she created some notoriety in Santa Barbara County by running away from the island of San Miguel because it was too lonely for her. She was living there with her stepfather, who owned the island, and she took advantage of a passing schooner to leave her place of exile and go to the mainland. Edith Waters was a very popular singer while at Field Seminary in this City, and early in life decided to study for the stage. She had a beautiful voice and it was after a few months of work at the Orpheum that she met the son of the Oakland millionaire. John Walker proposed marriage and his offer was accepted, and they did not waste any time over preliminaries before getting married. Trouble quickly followed. Walker had been brought up luxuriously and could not realize the fact that he was a poor man who had to earn a living, and so while in Oakland Mrs. Walker did some work as a typewriter, while her husband amused himself playing tennis. This did not last long, and before her child was born, three years ago, Mrs. Walker moved to Los Angeles, and little Edith [“Dorothy”] first saw the light of day in the County Infirmary. For some months the young mother did her best to support it. She went on the stage, but still she found it hard to support them both, and when an offer was made to her to adopt her child, which she had left in Los Angeles with a charitable lady, she felt constrained to accept. She agreed to let Nicholas Creede adopt the little girl, and now he has died and his will bequeathed all his estate to the child. Mrs. Walker got a divorce about a year ago and married a successful young business man of San Francisco [Harold Roberts Basford], and is now living there. As Creede was separated from his wife it is not unlikely that Little Edith's [“Dorothy”] mother will apply for the custody of her child.”
July 28, 1897 [LAH]: “The Baby Heiress of millionaire Creede to be represented by special counsel. Another complication was added to the Creed will case yesterday when Mrs. Basford, the mother of Baby Dorothy, filed a petition in the court asking that counsel be appointed to watch and guard the interests of the little heiress and especially recommending to the court one or both of her own attorneys. Her petition was as follows: Edith Scott Basford represents and shows to the court: “That she is the mother of Edith Dorothy Creede; that the said Edith Dorothy Creede, the child of your petitioner, was duly adopted by N. C. Creede by a proceeding regularly had in this court; that the said adoption was by the said Creede and not joint adoption of the said N. C. Creede and his wife; that N. C. Creede is dead; that he is alleged to have left a will which has been filed for probate in this court; that letters of administration have also been applied for in the estate by the widow of the said N. C. Creede; that controversies are likely to arise concerning the appointment of an administrator and the probate of the said will; that by the terms of the said will the said Edith Dorothy Creede is the residuary legatee; that the said Edith Dorothy is a minor, only about 2-1/2 years old; that the said alleged will purports to have appointed one William Phifer the guardian of the person and estate of the said Edith Dorothy without bonds, but your petitioner never gave any consent to such appointment, and besides the said William Pfifer is a witness to the said will, and there will doubtless be controversies concerning the due execution of the will, and your petitioner believes that it is fit and proper that some attorney should be appointed as the attorney of the said minor, to appear for her in these proceedings and that such appearance should be made in order that such attorneys may have notice of the proceedings hereafter taken, that they may protect the interests of the said minor; that your petitioner is not advised concerning the validity of the said will, but believes that the value of the estate which would be taken under it, or, in case it were not admitted to probate, the value of the estate which would be taken by the said minor would be very considerable, and amount to more than $100,000, though your petitioner is not informed as to the exact value of said interest. “Your petitioner further shows that she has filed a petition in this court for the appointment of herself as guardian of the person and estate of the said infant; that she has employed Messrs. Roger Johnson of San Francisco, and J.S. Chapman of Los Angeles as her attorneys to represent her in the matter of the said application for said guardianship and believes that they would be proper persons to be appointed attorneys for the said minor in the said estate and she therefore asks that they be appointed as attorneys to represent the said minor. The matter came before Judge Allen and he acquiesced to the prayer of the petitioner and appointed J. S. Chapman as counsel to watch the interests of the minor. The amount of interest and speculation that the affairs of the deceased millionaire is causing around the court house is really remarkable. No one save, presumably, the parties directly concerned quite understand the relation, in a legal sense, existing between the mother of little Dorothy, the child herself and the fortune left to her by Creede. In cases of adoption the parents of a minor make voluntary transfer of their child claims upon their offspring and the child from thence on stands in the same relation to the people who have adopted it as if they had actually been born to them. If that is so, then, at first glance, Mrs. Basford would have no standing in court, for while little Dorothy is her daughter by birth, she was legally the daughter of old man Creede, and is now occupying the position of heiress to the bulk of his estate by virtue of that fact. In such event it might be expected that her person and estate would be guardian by the next of kin, or whoever stood closest to the deceased. If the widow should successfully make the fight she has inaugurated over the will, then she would be the natural guardian of little Dorothy; but right there a point of vantage is afforded Mrs. Basford, for she claims that Dorothy was adopted by Creede without the consent of his wife. In such case it would be quite natural that the court should hand the guardianship of the child back to its natural mother if she is able to care for it. The latter consideration does not cut much figure in this case, however, for the court will certainly make an allowance from the child’s estate, after the smoke of battle has cleared away, for her sustenance in life that the fortune left her will enable her to fill in the future. ”
July 28, 1897 [LAT]: “Mrs. Edith Scott Basford, the natural mother of Edith Dorothy Creede, the two-and-a-half-year-old heiress, filed a petition in the matter of the estate of Nicholas Creede yesterday asking that her attorney, Roger Johnson, Esq., of San Francisco, and John S. Chapman, Esq. of this city, be appointed by the court as legal counsel for her little daughter. The petitions stated that Dorothy had been adopted by the old miner himself, and that the adoption was not ordered jointly between Creede and his wife. The petition referred to Dorothy as the residuary-legalee by the terms of the will filed for probate, and stated her interest in the deceased’s estate at more than $100,000. In regard to Dorothy’s present whereabouts, the petition reads as follows: The alleged will purports to have appointed one William Pfifer the guardian of the person and estate of Edith Dorothy Creede, without bond, but Mrs. Basford never gave any consent to such appointment, and, besides, Pfifer is a witness to the will. There will be doubtless controversies concerning the due execution of the will, and it is therefore necessary that attorneys be appointed to protect Dorothy’s interests. The petition was heard by Judge Allen in Department Six of the Superior Court yesterday, and appointment ordered as prayed for.”
June 25, 1898 Edith Scott Waters Walker Basford gives birth to Garth X. Basford (1898-1981).
August 10, 1898 [LAT]: “Baby Dolly’s guardian. The court holds that the mother’s right revived. Mrs. Basford appointed guardian of Edith Dorothy… Little Edith Dorothy Creede is to return to the care and custody of her mother, Mrs. Basford, and the heart-burnings over the guardianship of the child are, for the present at all events, held in abeyance… When Mrs. Basford took her seat upon the witness stand yesterday, there was nothing in her appearance or manner to indicate that her previous life had been a checkered one, and one that the world would call romantic. Left an orphan at an early age, she was adopted by a lady in San Francisco, who afterward became the wife of Captain Waters, the owner of San Miguel Island, off the Santa Barbara Coast. Her mother by adoption finally died at Santa Barbara, and upon returning to the island the life was too dull and monotonous to the young girl, who had while at school in Oakland shown some talent. She longed to spread her wings and see the world, and with this end in view she took her departure from San Miguel on the first good opportunity that offered. She made her debut on the stage in San Francisco as Inez, in ‘The Tar and Tartar,’ and met with some success. A few months later she met John Mackay Walker, and the two were married at San Rafael in June 1894… Their life was not happy, and just before Edith Dorothy was born the husband deserted his wife, and was reported to be living in San Bernardino. The young wife was in a most unhappy situation when Mrs. M. S. Chisholm, a lady who had seen much better days, and was teaching languages as a means of livelihood, came to the rescue. She herself was poor, but she had known both Mr. and Mrs. Walker since childhood, and she did what she could to aid the deserted young wife, who was soon to become a mother. Edith Dorothy Creede, the three and a half-year old babe, for whose possession so many persons have been desirous, was born at the County Hospital. Through those troubled days Mrs. Chisholm nursed the young wife back to health and strength. So as soon as it could be moved, Mrs. Chisholm took the baby to her humble rooms, and the mother, after her discharge from the hospital saw the baby a few times and then left for San Francisco. She desired that Mrs. Chisholm fine some one, if she could, that would adopt the infant, and ere not long the eccentric old mining man, Nicholas C. Creede, adopted the little one and Mrs. Walker surrendered all right to her baby. Since then the child’s mother has remarried and became Mrs. Basford. She stated to the court yesterday that she had been married nearly three years and has two children as a result of the present union. Her husband is outdoor superintendent of some company, and while not earning a large salary, earns enough to sustain a modest flat on Turk Street… Mrs. Basford was then appointed guardian of Edith Dorothy Creede with a bond fixed at $1000.”
November 15, 1898 [LAT/SF]: “Mrs. Edith Alice Basford has made accusation of fraud against her foster father, Captain William G. Waters, a wealthy rancher who has large holdings on San Miguel Island in the Santa Barbara channel. Mrs. Basford avers that more than twenty-two years ago she was adopted by Mrs. Marantha Scott, who subsequently married Captain Waters; she says that after the marriage, in 1887, Captain and Mrs. Waters both adopted her in legal form. When Mrs. Waters died, she is alleged to have left a trust fund of $5000 for the present Mrs. Basford, which she charges has been encumbered by claims made by Waters, who, however, denies the allegations. The case is on trial before Judge Sewall.”
January 26, 1899 [LAT]: “San Miguel Island lands in controversy again. ‘Cap’ Waters and attorney Conroy carry a dispute into the courts. Dorothy Creede’s mother appears in background. There is at present being contested before Judge Trask a somewhat dry-as-dust case, wherein Attorney Jeremiah F. Conroy is seeking to recover from William Waters the sum of $6606. The entire amount is, in an indirect way, a claim for professional services, and would present little interest were it not for the fact that Edith Alice Walker Basford, the mother of Dorothy Creede, cuts some small figure in the case: that the defendant is the Captain Waters who was monarch of San Miguel Island… hostilities have been on the point of breaking out more than once… After Edith Alice Walker had been adopted by Captain and Mrs. Waters, they both became exceedingly fond of her, and when Mrs. Waters died, she left $5000 in trust to her adopted child…”
January 27, 1899 [LAT]: “The island contest. The trial of the suit brought by Attorney Conroy against Captain Waters of San Miguel Island fame, promises to be a long-drawn-out contest. Already the plaintiff has been upon the witness stand for three days and his examination has not yet been concluded… Conroy applied an epithet to Waters and the latter retorted in kind. And a lively spat was terminated by the intervention of Waters’ friends.”
May 25, 1899 [SFCall]: “Los Angeles, May 24. Fortune found for little Dorothy. John T. Jones, the attorney handling the property of the late N. C. Creede, has returned from a trip East. He visited Denver to clear certain business details left by Creede in that city in a rather chaotic condition. Major Jones sought out the First National Bank of that city, where he presented Creede’s bankbooks to have the account of the dead miner straightened. No one believed Creede had a penny left in the Denver bank, no record of any deposit in that institution having been found among his effects, but upon checking upon Creede’s deposit he was found to have a balance in the bank of $19,003.80. Major Jones received word from Denver yesterday that the money had been turned over to the Creede estate. If Major Jones can bring it about, little Dorothy Creede will come in for another windfall in the form of stock in the celebrated Amethyst mine at Creede, Colorado, valued at $1,150,000. This property is claimed as Creede’s share, and unless the claim is allowed suit will be brought to recover it. Major Jones said today that unless the owners of the mine—D. H. Moffatt, W. S. Cheeseman, L. Campbell and E. T. Smith, all of Denver—made a satisfactory compromise, the case would be taken into the courts. The necessary legal documents are now being drawn. It is Major Jones’ opinion that the case probably will be settled out of court. Dorothy Creede, who was adopted by the dead miner a short time before he died, is now with her mother, Mrs. Basford, at San Francisco.”
June 13, 1899 [SFCall]: “Denver, June 12. A suit was filed in the United States Circuit Court by John T. Jones of Los Angeles, Cal., administrator of the estate of the late Nicolas C. Creede, founder of the Colorado mining camp which bears his name, against David H. Moffatt, Walter S. Cheeseman, Sylvester T. Smith and L. E. Campbell, all prominent mining men, and the Amethyst Mining Company, of which they are sole stockholders, to recover a third interest in the mine, alleged to be worth over $5,000,000, and an accounting of its operation since 1894. In the bill it is charged that the defendants conspired to induce Creede, who is said to have been mentally unbalanced, to give them his stock free of charge. The beneficiary of the suit is Dorothy Creede, the adopted daughter of the dead miner, about four years of age.”
July 13, 1900 [SFCall]: “Los Angeles, July 12. Mrs. [Nancy] Louisa Creede, widow of Nicholas Creede, the mining millionaire of Colorado, who died here several years ago, today petitioned the courts here for an order on the administrator for a family allowance of $250 per month. This is an attempt to open the old case wherein she was denied a portion of the large estate on account of an agreement to separate, by the terms of which she was given $20,000 cash.”
October 16, 1900 [LAT]: “Governor Gage appeared in Judge Shaw’s department of the Superior Court yesterday in connection with affairs of the late N. C. Creede. Mrs. Nancy [Louisa] Creede, alleged wife of the deceased, has for a long time past had a motion before the court for a family allowance, and her attorney, Frank Finlayson, Esq., is asking that a commission issue for the taking of her deposition in Mississippi to obtain testimony in support of such a motion. Creede was a miner, who suddenly struck it rich in New Mexico. His mines are worth mints of money. The estate has long been involved in litigation. The motion to allow the deposition will be taken up this morning. Governor Gage is one of counsel for his private secretary, W. J. Foley, Esq., who represents the absent heirs. It is contended by the heirs that Mrs. Creede, in having accepted from her husband a cash settlement prior to his death, abandoned her claim to his handsome estate. The principal heir is little Edith Dorothy Creede, an adopted daughter.”
October 17, 1900 [LAT]: “Another turn was taken yesterday in the much-litigated estate of the millionaire suicide, N. C. Creede, when Superior Court Judge Shaw ordered a commission to issue for the taking of the deposition of Mrs. Louise N. Creede, surviving widow, who is now living in Mississippi. This deposition is being taken at the insistence of Mrs. Creede’s attorney, Frank Finlayson, Esq., to support her motion long pending in the courts for a family allowance of $300 a month and the use of the Creede residence in this city. Formal objections to the motion to take the deposition were filed by John T. Jones, special administrator of the estate; Dorothy Creede, adopted daughter of the deceased, and the other heirs. Governor Gage appears in the matter as one of the consul for the special administrator. The objections were on the grounds that there was no action pending on behalf of Mrs. Creede in which her testimony might be taken under the laws of California, and that she has no interest whatever n the estate by reason of a final cash settlement with her husband prior to his death, whereby she is alleged to have abandoned all claim upon his estate. These objections were over-ruled.”
December 4, 1900 [LAT]: “There is talk of compromise and abandonment of Dorothy Creede’s contest of the will of her late foster father, “Nick” Creede, the miner who died in July 1895, leaving an estate of millions to Dorothy, provided she shall live a spotless life until she is 25 years old. The contest was inaugurated to get immediate possession.”
January 5, 1901 [SFCall]: “Los Angeles, January 4. A compromise has been affected in the famous Creede will contest. By its terms little Edith Dorothy Creede, the adopted daughter of the late millionaire, will receive a large part of her inheritance immediately, without waiting until she is 25 years of age, as provided in the will.” [Dorothy Creede dies at age 23.]
January 9, 1901 [LAT]: “San Francisco, January 8. Roger Johnson, as guardian of Edith Dorothy Creede’s estate, has been granted authority by Superior Judge Trout to enter into an agreement with the other legatees named in N. C. Creede’s will for the settlement of the dispute over the estate. The terms of the proposed compromise have already been published.”
January 15, 1901 [TD]: “
May 20, 1901 [LAT]: “Denver, May 19. In the United States Circuit Court yesterday, little Dorothy Creede, heir to the estate of the discoverer of the amethyst mine, won a victory in the fight against David Moffatt, S. T. Smith, Walter Cheeseman, and Major L .E Campbell, to recover a one-third interest in the mine which her foster-father signed away in 1894. J. Warner Mills, attorney for John T. Jones, executor of the Creede estate, had moved to have struck out the supplemental answer of the defendants, and this motion was granted. This brings the case to trial on its merits. This answer, filed last June, set up that the action was founded upon an illegal agreement between the plaintiff and J. Warner Mills, counsel. Records of the Superior Court of California were shown which approved the agreement between the executor and Mills by which the latter agreed to assume al costs in the suit of judgment were rendered adversely. Mills showed this action was taken only to protect the estate in California.”
October 25, 1901 [SFCall]: “Builders’ Contracts. Edith Dorothy Creede (minor) (owner) by Roger Johnson, (guardian), with Ben O. Johnson (contractor), architect A. W. Smith—all work for a two-story basement and attic frame residence on E line of Pierce Street, 100 N of Haight, N 35, E 125, S 25, W 100, S 10, W 25; $4497.”
May 15, 1902 [SFCall]: “The estate of the late [?] Edith Dorothy Creede has been appraised at $53,017.30. It consists of real estate in Los Angeles, worth $35,000; improved property in this city, worth $8590; personal property valued at $958.50; and $8558.80 cash.”
8/24/1902 Edith Scott Waters Walker Basford gives birth to Hugh Pasmore Basford (1902-1978).
November 16, 1902 [LAT]: “Roger Johnson, guardian of estate of Edith Dorothy Creede, a minor, has sold to P. A. Stanton, a lot on the southwest corner of Sixth and Figueroa streets, about 680 x 150 feet, with a fourteen-room three-story frame dwelling; consideration named, $36,250. Mr. Stanton has sold to Mrs. A. J. de Sepulveda 328 x 150 feet, southwest corner Sixth and Figueroa streets, with dwelling above described; consideration named $24,000. He has also sold to T. J. Douglas and C. Q. Stanton the remainder of the lot, being 352 x 150 feet, southeast corner Sixth and Loomis streets, unimproved; consideration named $15,000.”
April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
December 2, 1906 [LAT]: “Millions at stake, heiress disappears. Romance of little Dorothy Creede, who went from County Hospital as adopted daughter of rich miner fighting for fortune… Nicholas Creede has long been dead. The baby girl, Dorothy Edith Creede, has grown to be a sprightly girl of 13 years. And now, just as she is going into her teens, is to take place the contest that has been dragging through the courts for years, and which, if successful, will mean that Dorothy Creede will receive half of the $3,000,000, out of which it is claimed Creede was defrauded… Creede owned one-third of the mining town named after him… His life was lonely, however, for his wife and he separated. One day, however, a new element entered into it, for he found and adopted a wee girl baby who first saw the light in the County Hospital, but who quickly became the pet and plaything of the solitary old man, living amid all that wealth could obtain… But back of the child lies another story… Mrs. Walker signed away her rights to little Dorothy Edith; the child was adopted by the retired mining magnate. Three years later the old man died of morphine poisoning… Then began the litigation inseparable from a large estate. Creede’s widow endeavored to break the will, and failing in this sought to obtain possession of the child. The young mother, too, who had relinquished all claim, went into court claiming that with the death of the foster father her natural rights revived. And her claim was allowed and the young mother—then only 24—recovered possession of little Dorothy and was made guardian of the little one’s person and estate… Since then the mother and child have made their home in San Francisco… Just when it is essential that little Dorothy Edith Creede and her mother be on hand, they have apparently disappeared from all knowledge of their friends here…”
Aug. 14, 1909 Edith Scott Waters Walker Basford Burritt goves birth to Roland Lord Burritt (1909-1980).
November 13, 1916 [Samohi]: “Miss Creede, daughter of Mrs. Scott-Burritt, weds in Santa Monica. On Saturday, November 11, at high noon, Miss Dorothy Creede, daughter of Mrs. Edith Scott-Burritt, was married to Mr. William Lord Ritchie of Sausalito in the Santa Monica Episcopal Church. This news is of great interest to Samohi readers because both Miss Creede and Mrs. Scott-Burritt have identified themselves with dramatic work at Santa Monica High School. Before the marriage, Miss Creede was the guest of honor at a luncheon given by Miss Arlene Jones, ’14, and Miss Lucille Jones, ’17, at their home, 2417 Fourth Street. Mrs. Scott-Burritt will remain on Ocean Park this winter. Her play, “Black Sheep,” recently produced, has been pronounced a great success. Percy Taber, ’17, took a prominent part in the production.”
May 11, 1917 [SBDN]: “The bulk of the $50,000 estate of Captain William G. Waters is left to his brother, John A. Waters of Boston, under the terms of the will filed for probate yesterday by Attorney W. G. Griffith for the Santa Barbara Trust Company. Substantial bequests are made to the son, C. D. Waters, and to Mrs. C. D. Waters, Mrs. M. A. Cummings of this city and Lucy A. Fletcher of Los Angeles. John A. Waters, the principal beneficiary, is 92 years of age. He is in Santa Barbara in connection with the settlement of the estate. Mrs. Edith S. Burritt, an adopted daughter residing at Santa Monica, is bequeathed $1.”
September 1, 1917 Dorothy’s daughter, Edith Romer Ritchie, is born (1917-1974) [#SS550-30-0904].
October 2, 1917 [SBMP]: “This morning at 10:00 o'clock a jury of good and lawful men sitting in the Superior Court, there will be held a hearing on the petition for admitting the will of Captain William G. Waters, deceased, to probate, also the protest which has been filed against this action.”
October 3, 1917 [SBMP]: “Edith Scott Burritt, plaintiff and contestant in the matter of admitting the will of William G. Waters, deceased, to probate, was on the witness stand in Judge Crow's court at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon when court adjourned, and was relating her experiences and the treatment accorded her while for thirteen months she was employed by Captain Waters on San Miguel Island, doing cooking and housework for him.”
May 10, 1918 [LAT/SB]: “In an effort to break the will of the late Captain W. G. Waters, who left his $50,000 estate to his brother, John A. Waters, 92, of Boston, Mrs. Edith Burritt of Santa Monica, adopted daughter of the deceased, told an exciting story from the witness stand today of her escape from San Miguel Island in an open boat, mastered by Bob Ord, now a mining man of Mexico. She was a girl of 16 then, and had lived for four years on the desolate island, where her adopted father raised sheep and cattle. These years were punctuated by happy days when the girl visited the mainland, but they were few and far between. A wild sea was running when Bob Ord assisted the child into the small boat, and the hours of battling against the storm before the mainland was reached, though thrilling, had no terror for the frail girl. Dead in the sea was a better condition than alive on a desolate, windswept island. During the day many old-time sheep shearers, fishermen and water-front men testified to corroborate the contestant, as to island conditions and to the treatment of the girl by her adopted father. The testimony of the day was unusual its recital of the days of 1887 and of that period, the contestant seeking to show that Captain Waters was insane on the one subject of the adopted daughter and his son, Charles Waters. To the son he left the interest on $5000, and he stipulated in the will that if his brother John, or his sister Mrs. Maria Curtis, died before him that his wealth should go to building a soldiers’ monument here, and to the Cottage and St. Francis hospitals.”
May 14, 1918 [LAT/SB]: “Waters’s will declared void. The will of Captain W. G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, was broken tonight by a jury in the Superior Court. The jury returned a verdict holding that the time the will was drawn by the testator the latter was of unsound mind so far as his children—Mrs. Edith Scott Burritt of Santa Monica and Charles D. Waters of this city—were concerned. The verdict was reached on the second ballot and within ten minutes after Judge John L. Hudner gave he case to the jury. Immediately after the jury was discharged the jurors crowded about Mrs. Burritt, the contestant, and shook her hand. John A. Waters, 93, brother, to whom Waters left his $75,000 estate, also congratulated Mrs. Burritt. John Waters had come from Boston to defend the will, but stated that he really did not wish his dead brother’s estate. He himself is worth over $250,000. When Captain W. G. Waters, who died here last year, wrote into his will that his daughter, Edith Scott Waters-Burritt of Santa Monica, should inherit but $1 from his estate, laid the foundation for probably the most spectacular will contest the Santa Barbara courts have ever known. All the unusual incidents of Mrs. Burritt’s unusual girlhood were brought out in bold relief in the testimony. Four years spent on lonely San Miguel Island, thirty miles off the Santa Barbara coast, she termed as four years of prison. Her escape across the channel in a boat mastered by Bob Ord, now a Mexican mining man, was one of the most thrilling chapters. Captain Waters was divorced from his first wife in Boston forty years ago and, coming West, married a wealthy Mrs. Scott of San Francisco. With her wealth San Miguel Island, one of the Santa Barbara’ group, was bought, and there Captain Waters waxed rich, raising sheep, cattle and hogs. Mrs. Scott’s daughter, Edith, was adopted by him, and when the mother died her education in music, art and drama was brought to a close. ‘When we arrived at the island after mother’s death I was told that was to be my home.’ The captain took me into the kitchen. ‘There’s the stove, there’s the sink, there’s the utensils. Get us something to eat,’ he said. ‘I had never cooked in my life before, but I did the best I could. There was an old Mexican who taught me how to make bread. God bless his dear memory. He was so kind to a motherless, friendless girl.’ The witness paused, and then reverted to her mother’s funeral. ‘I asked the captain for money with which to buy suitable mourning. He told me to use my mother’s black skirt and I made a dress to wear at her funeral.’ The spectators leaned forward and one woman sobbed, while R. H. Cross, one of her lawyers, laid the emphasis on the statement with: ‘So you wore your mother’s dress to her funeral.’ On the island, for a time, was a woman companion, but she left and the girl found no means of companionship except with the sheep and cattle. Alone she would rove along the rocky island shore searching for shells. The herders would do what they could for her when the captain was not about. ‘Captain Waters would not let me continue my schooling for fear I might meet a boy; my music lessons had to be given up because my teacher had a young son, and I was dragged home from a church concert where I was to sing because the captain found that I had been placed near a man, a singer. He seemed insane on the subject of boys and me, and for that reason I was taken to the island.’ The girl had appealed to fishermen who occasionally stopped on the island to take her to the mainland, but for fear of the captain they refused. Then Bob Ord, hunting sea otters, established a camp on the east end of San Miguel, and when the girl appeared one night in his camp with the wild request for aid in escaping, he was so struck with her pathetic attitude that he volunteered. That morning, before light, he set out with the fleeing captive, and an angry ride, at times lulled by a dead calm, featured the escape. When Charles D. Waters was 13, he first saw his father after separation since infancy. Five years later, at Captain Waters’s insistence, the son came to Santa Barbara from St. Paul, Minnesota, to learn the cattle business on San Miguel Island. Suddenly, testified the son, his father’s affection for him fled, and they parted. The old ties were never wholly repaired.”
October 26, 1918 Dorothy Walker Creede Ritchie dies.
November 2, 1918 [SN]: “The death of Mrs. Edith Dorothy Ritchie, wife of Will Ritchie, in San Francisco on last Saturday morning was a severe shock to the community and a still harder blow to her beloved husband. Her health since the birth of her daughter, Edith Romer Ritchie, a few months ago, has not been the best, and she was in St. Francis Hospital suffering with bronchitis, which subsequently developed into the dread Spanish influenza. Everything possible was done to help her, but her time had come. The funeral services were held here on Monday afternoon, and the remains were cremated in Mt. Olivet cemetery. The deceased was a native of California, aged 23 years, and was the daughter of Mrs. Edith Scott Burritt and sister of Bruce C. and G. S. Basford and Roland Burritt. She has been a resident of Sausalito for many years and has many warm friends and acquaintances who extend their sympathy to her beloved husband and family in their hour of sorrow.”
November 23, 1918 [SN]: “The will of Dorothy Ritchie [Creede] was admitted to probate in the Superior court of this county yesterday. The will is dated January 5, 1918, and is witnessed by Mrs. E. A. Campbell and Mrs. Frances Hideout of Sausalito. The Anglo-California Trust Co. of San Francisco are executors of the estate. She bequeaths her jewelry, clothing, furniture and other personal effects to her mother with the wish that she save some of it for her daughter. One dollar is left to her husband, William Lloyd Ritchie, the balance for her mother and daughter's support. She leaves him nothing more on account of his ability to provide for himself. The property consisting of valuable improved warehouse property on Bluxome street. San Francisco, was left in trust for her child and her mother. Two-thirds of the income goes to the child and one-third to the mother. The child to receive the property on reaching the age of twenty-five years. The mother to receive the property should the child die before reaching twenty-five without having any children. Her two half brothers, Garth Basford and Roland Basford [Burritt], get the estate in the event that the child, Edith Romer Ritchie, dies before reaching twenty-five years, her grandmother, Mrs. Burritt and children, if any of Edith Romer Ritchie's children are dead. The property is said to bring in a monthly income of $250.”
October 19, 1974 [IJ]: “Funeral was held today for Edith R. Ritchie, life long Sausalito resident and former stenographer for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Miss Ritchie, 57, died Wednesday at a local hospital after a long illness. She was born in San Francisco but grew up and lived the rest of her life in Sausalito. Her father was an engineer on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad. Miss Ritchie resided at the family home, 76 Cazneau Avenue. She worked 15 years for Southern Pacific. She leaves no immediate family.” [Daughter of Dorothy Creede; granddaughter of Edith Scott Waters Walker Basford Burritt].