Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mary Ellen Bamford (1857-1946): American author and prohibitionist

Gravestone of Mary Ellen Bamford (photo by Michael Colbruno)
Mary Ellen Bamford was an American author and prohibitionist.

Bamford was the daughter of Doctor William Bamford and Cornelia Elizabeth Rand, her parents were pioneer settlers. Her father was one of the first physicians in Oakland (what was then called Brooklyn).She lived at the Bamford family home for most of her life.

Mary was educated in public schools in Oakland and served as a substitute librarian at the Oakland Library from 1906-1939. However, writing remained her main vocation and she authored 21 books, including Marie's story. A tale of the days of Louis XIV, Miss Millie's Trying, A Piece of Kitty Hunter's Life, Thoughts of My Dumb Neighbors and Ti: A Story of San Francisco's Chinatown.

Mary Ellen Bamford's "Up and Down the Brooks"

Bamford was an committed prohibitionist and was also secretary of the regional Woman's Baptist Foreign Missionary Society and active at the 23rd Avenue Baptist  Church. She supplied books to a number of publishers including the American Baptist Publication Society. Bamford also wrote for Sunday schools of several denominations

In contrast to most Americans at the time, Bamford was sympathetic to Chinese and other Asians attempting to enter the United States. She was the author of Angel Island: the Ellis Island of the West, which was published by Woman's American Home Baptist Mission Society in 1917.

SOURCES: Oakland Tribune, Wikipedia,

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