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Biographies ~ Batich, Ethel Aldridge Smith (1891 - 1981)
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Ethel Josephine Aldridge was born on a ranch near Whitmore. She was the first child of Minnie Elizabeth and Jefferson Davis Aldridge. Her uncle, Dave Boyer escorted her to and from the one room school at Whitmore where her teacher was Miss Edna Behrens (Eaton).

About 1896, the family moved back to the origjnal Aldridge ranch at the confluence of Snow and Bear Creeks. Minnie named the ranch Bonnie Craigs because of the tall cliffs across the meadow.

In 1909, Charlie Otis Smith was working for the Shasta Power Company at their powerhouse on Snow Creek. He created quite a sensation when he drove to his meals at the Aldridge ranch in his Stanley Steamer. Ethel and Charlie were married in 1910. The couple had a boy and a girl:

  • Beryl X. b. March 13, 1911 (Retired Sergeant Major California)
  • Bonita b. February 15, 1914 (Two-term President of Shasta Historica1 Society Redding Museum Volunteer)

Ethel and Charlie moved to several different Pacific Gas and Electric Company construction sites, dams, and power houses, for several years but their marriage ended in 1922.

Ethel moved to Redding; she worked in a beauty parlor in the time of spit curls, bobbed hair and marcels. In 1924, she married Walter Edwards but this marriage ended in divorce in 1929. Ethel went to Oakland where she worked days in a laundry so she could attend school at night to become a dental assistant.

From 1936 to 1945, she lived with her son Beryl on a ranch on Tule Creek near Hayfork in Trinity County; this ranch was sold when Beryl enlisted in the Army. After a brief stay in Redding she moved to Eureka to be near her daughter Callie; she worked as a dental assistant. In 1947, she married Johnnie Batich.

In 1954, she moved to Redding to be near her daughter, Callie. For the next twelve years she was active in the Shasta Historica1 Society serving as a Board Member for six years.

In 1966, to be with her son, Beryl, she moved to Santa Barbara. She died in Santa Barbara in 1981 and her ashes are buried in the Ogburn-Inwood Cemetery.

Her grand-daughter, Carole Ann Scott had three daughters. Michelle, Sharon, and Yvette; her grand-son, Dale Aldridge Turner had four Children, Kevin, Lisa, Dawn, and Jeff. The seven great-great-grand-children born after Ethel's death were the twelfth generation born in America.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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