Mrs. Mamie Clifford
[By Glen Villa Jr., Last Revised July 31, 2011]

Mrs. Mamie Clifford is most likely, Mamie Bidstroupe. Mamie Bidstroupe was born on May 26, 1885 to Martha Jameson and William Bidstroupe. Martha Jameson was a daughter of Mandy Winn and Jess Jameson, also was sister to Andy and Allen Jameson. It isn’t clear which Clifford male Mamie married.

Mamie’s parents, Martha Jamison as it is spelled on the marriage certificate and H. W. Bidstrup married on March 11, 1885 in El Dorado County.

According to the 1900 Census, Mamie was residing with her mother Martha Rey in the Mountain Township of Eldorado County.

According to the 1900 Census, Mamie was born in May of 1885. Mamie was married for one year and was living in polygamy.

In 1905-1906, CE Kelsey identifies Mrs. Mamie Clifford living in Buena Vista of Amador County without land.

Mamie Bidstroupe was sentenced 2 years in San Quentin for Grand Larceny in Sacramento County. She entered San Quentin on March 10, 1909 and was discharged on February 10, 1910. Photographs of Mamie are available at the California State Archives, San Quentin Inmate photographs.

In 1928, Mamie Bidstroupe was residing with her brother Seymour Rey and her mother Martha Lemay in ?(check 1928 bia app 7446 Seymour Rey in archive box).

Mamie Bidstroupe or Mamie Ray died on December 7, 1937 at the Sacramento Hospital. Cause of death was injured in fight concussion of brain. Mamie was born May 26, 1885 in El Dorado County. Her father was William Bidstroupe from Denmark and her mother was Martha E. Jameson from Eldorado. Burial occurred in Auburn on December 9, 1937. Mamie’s residence at the time of death was Rt 1 Box 142 Newcastle, Ca.

Articles Concerning Mamie Clifford

Sacramento Union
January 22, 1935
Auburn Indians Need Food For Winter Months
Condition of Remnants Of Tribe Is Described As Precarious
Auburn (Placer Co.), Jan. 22—The problem of obtaining sufficient food during the Winter months has forced the Indians on the Auburn reservation, two miles southwest of this city, to return to the primitive practice of grinding acorns with the old-fashioned stones used before the white man came to the Pacific Coast.

The acorns are placed in holes in large rocks and are ground with smaller stones until a meal is formed, from which soup and other palatable dishes can be made. 

Plight is Problem

The plight of the Indians has been a problem for Probation Officer L. J. Kinney of Placer County who recently asked Congressman Harry L. Englebright to obtain federal aid for the Auburn group, if possible.

Kinney also thinks the state should come to the assistance of the Indians and points to the fact many Mexicans are obtaining relief, while the native born Indians struggle for food.

Recommends Another Site

Kinney said the Auburn reservation is not suited for farming.  he recommends a place with better housing facilities, more fertile land for the growing of garden crops and an adequate water supply.

Typical of the aged Indian at this reservation is Mrs. Martha Le May, just recovering from an attack of pneumonia.  She is a member of one of ten families, numbering thirty-eight Indians.

Red Cross Unable To Help
She said the Red Cross has declared itself unable to supply food this year for Indians on the reservation and has referred them to the probation officer for county aid. 

She claims the Indians on the reservation suffer from improper diet and housing.  The houses for the most part are shacks built of odd boards and scrap tin. Most have dirt floors and are lined with old paste board cartons.

Received Some Roofing.

For Housing improvement the Indians recently obtained some paper roofing through the John Collier committee on Indian affairs at Washington.  She claims this is the only aid extended in several years.

Eighteen-year-old Agnes Rey is a member of a family of nine living at the reservation.  Her father chops wood when he can obtain work, and a brother has part time employment.  She states if it were not for the acorns it would be impossible for the family so subsist.

Visitor Is Appalled

Miss Violet Moman, an unemployed elementary school teacher from Oklahoma and a graduate of an Indian school in that state, who came to the reservation to care for an aunt who is ill, said she is shocked at the conditions on the Auburn reservation.  She said lack of a balanced diet has resulted in a serious physical condition among the residents of the reservation.

Miss Moman said the chief wants at present are a water supply for gardens; better quarters in which to live; enough employment to earn money to purchase wholesome food and an increase in the $6 a month allowance given the aged Indians for food.

Thirty-eight Indians residing on the reservation two miles southwest of Auburn are declared to be in a precarious condition because of poor housing conditions, general poverty and lack of food and comforts.  The Red Cross has failed them, the county probation officer is in a quandary as to how he can supply them with food and in the meanwhile the Indians, young as well as aged, have turned to the ways of their fathers and are grinding acorns in primitive fashion to make meal to stave off starvation.

The pictures are scenes on the reservation.  Top left, Miss Agnes Rey 18, left, and Miss Violet Moman, 22, are shown grinding the acorns in a hole in a rock with a stone pestle.  Upper right, Mrs. Martha Le May, aged Indian, recovering from a month’s illness with pneumonia is shown being given a bowl of acorn broth by her daughter, Mrs. Mamie Bidstroupe.  Lower right, the exterior of a typical shack in which the Indians are forced to live.  An Indian boy is shown wheeling a load of firewood.

The Sacramento Bee
December 8, 1937
Beaten Woman Dies; Man is Held
District Attorney Otis D. Babcock was to question today Tonnice Johnson, 52, a Negro of Louie’s Auto Camp on North Twelfth Street, concerning the beating of an Indian woman Saturday which resulted in her death last night in the Sacramento Hospital.

Knew Woman
Deputy Sheriffs Harry Knoll and Joe Lyons said Johnson admitted being with the woman, Mamie Bistrope, 52, of Newcastle, Sacramento County, prior to the fatal beating. He is in the county jail.

The woman was arrested Saturday in a shed near the city incinerator on the complaint of George Wright, special officer at the city dump.

At the hall of justice she told the officers she had been criminally assaulted by several Negroes, but refused to name them or to identify herself. When she complained of her injuries she was taken to the Sacramento Hospital.

Four are Questioned
Last night the sheriff’s office questioned four other Negroes, besides Johnson, all of Louie’s Auto Camp. They are Charles Jefferson, 37, and his wife, Mary, 40; A.K. Denvner, 61, and Walter Hightower, 48. They are to be questioned also by the district attorney.

Knoll reported the investigation revealed the woman was attacked by at least one man, and that she had repulsed another.

She is survived by her mother, Mrs. Martha E. LeMay of Newcastle.

The body is at the James R. Garlick Funeral Home.

Sacramento Union
December 9, 1937
Death Suspect Still Hunted
Negro Wanted in Fatal Beating of Woman
Sheriff’s deputies continued to hold Tonnice Johnson, a Negro, last night and launched a search for another Negro believed to be implicated in the death of Mamie Bistrope, Indian of Newcastle.

An autopsy performed yesterday by Dr. C. H. McDonnell, county surgeon, established that the woman died from a brain hemorrhage and internal injuries, Deputy Coroner Louis McGinnis reported.

Deputy Sheriffs Harry Knoll and Joe Lyons said the beating which caused her death occurred in Johnson’s cabin at Louie’s camp ground on North B street and that the hunted Negro, a man known only as “Red” was believed to have been present. No formal charge was filed against Johnson yesterday. Mrs. Bistrope’s body will be taken to Auburn today for burial, direction of James R. Garlick mortuary. She died in Sacramento hospital at noon Monday and was believed to have been beaten the night of December 3 to 4.

Photographs of Mamie Clifford

Mamie Bidestroupe (Sacramento Union, January 22, 1935)