Tag Archives: Camelia Whittredge

Branch Rickey, James W. Bashford, Whittredge connection


In 2004, I wrote two fairly long articles for Notable Sports Figures, published by Gale, a reference book publisher based in Michigan.

The reference work focused on, included, articles about sports figures who had an impact on society or culture larger than just sports. My two articles were on Branch Rickey and Leo (“The Lip”)” Durocher.

The article on Branch Rickey included the following paragraphs:

In March 1901, Rickey enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) in Delaware, Ohio, a Methodist school. He had not been expected to go to college and had to talk his father into letting him attend. Rickey played on the OWU football and baseball teams in his freshman year. To help pay school costs, he also played baseball during summer vacation for a local semipro team, earning $25 a game. When he returned to school, Rickey found to his surprise that playing for money had caused him to lose his athletic eligibility. The president of OWU, Dr. James W. Bashford, gave Rickey a way to get back his eligibility by suggesting that he sign a paper denying the charges that he had played for money, but Rickey said he could not do so and attest to something that was false.

In the spring of 1903, the OWU baseball coach resigned and Bashford, who had been impressed by Rickey’s honesty and character in the loss of eligibility incident, asked Rickey, who was in his sophomore year, to take over as the school’s baseball coach. During his first season, Rickey witnessed a couple of notable instances of overt racism against the only black player on the OWU team, first baseman Charles Thomas. These incidents made an “indelible” impression on him.

The incident with Charles Thomas, the black first baseman on the OWU team, is recounted in biographies of Branch Rickey and in Paul Aron’s book, Did Babe Ruth Call His Shot? and Other Unsolved Mysteries of Baseball.

The first paragraph above of mine mentions James W. Bashford, president of Ohio Wesleyan University. Branch Rickey was, throughout his life, a devout Methodist.

It is an established fact that the family of our mother, Elinor Handy Smith (1918-1973), in Danvers, Mass. were Congregationalists. The roots of our father, Alan W. Smith’s 1917-1989), religious ancestry were Methodist.

On November 11, 1877, James Flint Whittredge, salesman, and Camelia Anna Moulton were married at the Harrison Square Methodist Episcopal Church on Parkman Street in Boston by Rev. James W. Bashford, the one and same person who became the president of Ohio Wesleyan University and who is mentioned above in connection with Branch Rickey’s student days there.

James F. Whittredge (1856-1938) and Camelia Moulton Whittredge (18580-1920) were the parents of Esther Whittredge Smith (1886-1970), the mother of our father Alan W. Smith. James F. Whittredge, was, therefore, the grandfather, on our paternal grandmother’s side, of our father, Alan W. Smith.


— Roger W. Smith

   December 2015

Origins of the Moulton family in Maine


Posted below as a downloadable Word document is an article about the Moulton ancestry of my paternal grandmother, Esther Moulton (Whittredge) Smith (1886-1970). The Moultons were an early Maine family.


— posted by Roger Whittredge Smith

   November 2015



William B. Moulton (1811-1894), Sarah Neal (Chase) Moulton (1815-1881) and family, Dorchester, MA




Posted above as a downloadable Word document is an article about the Moulton ancestry of my maternal grandmother Esther Moulton (Whittredge) Smith (1886-1970). She was the daughter of James Flint Whittredge (1856-1938) and Camelia Anna (Moulton) Whittredge (1858-1920).

The article briefly discusses my grandmother’s parents, Camelia and James, and Camelia’s parents, William B. Moulton (1811-1894) and Sarah Neal (Chase) Moulton (1815-1881) of Dorchester, Mass.

— Roger Whittredge Smith

   November 2015