A 1983 affidavit from Bidwell heir Anne Ellicot Kennedy Anderson protested the inclusion of the park when the reversionary clause was removed from deeds to lands owned by Annie Bidwell. Our thanks go to Jean B. Roth for bringing this document to light in her book A Commitment to Remember.

State of California County of Butte

I strongly protest any effort to change the provisions of the Deed Mrs. Bidwell gave to the Park, at which time she made the statement: “I have chosen to secure this park to you during my life rather than by will, knowing how often wills are broken.”

 

I, Anne Ellicot Kennedy Anderson, being duly sworn, depose and say:

That I am the niece of Annie Ellicot Kennedy Bidwell, who gave the park known as Bidwell Park with certain stipulations through a deed to the City of Chico, California. Among those stipulations to which the city solemnly agreed, was one which stated no alcoholic beverages could ever be sold there, and that violation would cause the park to revert to the heirs.

Thereafter the title companies complained that because the same reversionary clause was in deeds to private property, that they were unable to give clear title to such properties, and asked that the clause be removed.

Thereafter I entered into an agreement to permit this clause to be cancelled to allow clear title to be given to such private property as the title companies claimed was necessary.

Because Mrs. Bidwell’s estate did not have sufficient funds to pay two heirs named Reidel the $1500 bequeathed to them, I was willing to accept $1500 in payment from the title company to remove the reversionary clause and pay off these two heirs.

However, when the description of the property in question was included in the deed to cancel the clause, which deed was dated September 20, 1934, it did not specifically describe the private properties in question, but included the phrase “All real property situate in the County of Butte, State of California, and elsewhere in California.” This was probably done to avoid a detailed description of the many parcels, but it was never my intent to include Bidwell Park which was city owned and not private property.

I strongly protest any effort to change the provisions of the Deed Mrs. Bidwell gave to the Park, at which time she made the statement: “I have chosen to secure this park to you during my life rather than by will, knowing how often wills are broken.”

[signed and notarized]
Subscribed and sworn before me this 28 day of March, 1983.
Notary Public in and for the County of San Diego, Stale of California.