Bassett Family Association - , Modern Founder (originally founded in 1897)

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Splinters From The Tree September 2012

(1) Welcome
(2) Bertram Martin Basset Hardware of Donald, Australia
(3) Sgt. Alfred Maurice "Satch" Bassett
(4) Bassett National Bank of El Paso, Texas
(5) Francis Bassett and Bassett's Dry Goods of Wheeling, West Virginia
(6) Henry Bassett, Chemist and grandson Anthony Hastings Bassett of England
(7) James Madison Bassett of California
(8) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(9) DNA project update

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Section 1 - Welcome

I have included some information on a new family line from South  Africa under the DNA section of the newsletter. (Section 9). If you can help identify any more information for this family, please let me know.

Work continues on getting my research material entered into the Bassett website. More than 3,000 new family members were added this month.

The following trees were added to the Bassett website database since the last newsletter:

 13B,  Richard William Bassett of Georgia (2505 individuals)
 96B.  William Bassett of England & Massachusetts (57 individuals)
 97B. James Bassett of Oakland, California (172 individuals)
 98B. James Bailey Bassett of England & Australia (68 individuals)
 99B. Abraham Bassett of Canada & Vermont (168 individuals)
240B. Edward Bassett of Waterperry, Oxford, England (26 individuals)
241B. William Bassett of St. Stephen, Cornwall, England (168 individuals)
242B. Mary F. Bassette of Worcester, Massachusetts (15 individuals)
243B. Eligah Bassett of Whitchurch, York County, Canada (147 individuals)
244B. Thomas Bassett of Kilkenny, Ireland (8 individuals)
246B. Moses Bassett of Massachusetts (15 individuals)
247B. Bassetts of Redwick, Monmouth, Wales (21 individuals)
248B. Bassetts of Ashover, Derby, England (105 individuals)
249B. Bassett of Lewes & Chailey, Sussex, England (142 individuals)
251B. William Bassett of Calstock, Cornwall & Ohio (215 individuals)
252B. John Bassett of South Tawton, Devon, England (51 individuals)
253B. Bassetts of Nottingham, England & Canada (24 individuals)
254B. Bassetts of Timsbury, England (204 individuals)
255B. William H. Bassett of Tennessee (45 individuals)
256B. Alexander Bassett of London, England (318 individuals)
257B. Joseph Bassett of Mawnan, Cornwall, England (11 individuals)
258B. Henry Bassett of Chailey, Sussex, England (46 individuals)
259B. Benjamin Bassett of New Bedford, Massachusetts (14 individuals)

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Section 2 - Featured Bassett: Betram Martin Basset Hardware of Donald, Australia

Bertram Martin Bassett descends from the #229B Bassets of Illogan, Cornwall as follows:

Thomas Basset and wife Charity Hocking
John Basset (b. 1795) and wife Grace Wallis
John Basset (b. 1821) and wife Caroline Rowe
William Rowe Basset (b. 1847) and wife Harriet Hancock
Bertram Martin Basset (b. 1884)

Bertram Martin Basset store, Donald,
Bertram Martin Basset store, Donald, Australia
Museum Victoria, MM 17880 Collection, MCKAY

The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Thursday, 25 August 1938

        BASSET – In loving memory of Belle beloved wife of Bertram M. Basset and devoted mother of Marj and Twen who passed away at Camberwell August 25 1937. A memory sweet and precious.

        BASSET – In loving memory of our dear sister-in-law Belle (Mrs. B.M. Basset) called home on the 25th August 1937

Resting where no shadows fall
In perfect peace she awaits us all

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Section 3- Featured Bassett: Alfred Maurice Bassett

Alfred Maurice Bassett descends from #295B Britton Bassett of North Carolina & Indiana as follows:

Britton Bassett (b. 1784)
Zachariah Bassett (b. 1810) and wife Elizabeth
Miles Bassett (b. 1836) and wife Elizabeth Gammons
Miles A. Bassett (b. 1877) and wife Agnes
Marrita Bassett (b. 1904)
Alfred Maurice "Satch" Bassett (b. 1924)

Sgt. Alfred Maurice "Satch" Bassett
Sgt. Alfred Maurice "Satch" Bassett

The Courier Times, New Castle, Henry County, Indiana, January 30, 2011
Alfred Maurice Bassett

A legendary and long-time resident of New Castle, Alfred Maurice Bassett went home to be with his heavenly father on Jan. 30, 2011, after an extended illness. He had been a resident of The Waters Nursing Home in Muncie for the past five years where he received excellent care.

Fondly known as "Satch," Mr. Bassett was born on Oct. 28, 1924, in Greensboro, Ind. He was the son of Marrita Bassett. Since his mother passed away at an early age, Mr. Bassett was raised by his grandparents, Miles and Agnes Bassett. He spent part of his early childhood in Spiceland, Ind., where he attended Spiceland Elementary School and after moving to New Castle attended Weir School.

He confessed to Christ at an early age and was a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church where he served as a deacon and steward. He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the New Castle American Legion and the New Castle Mr. & Mrs. Club. He worked as a barber and at Firestone, Bob's Wrecker Service, Jack Joyner & Sons Construction, Chrysler, and Fred's Paving.

He joined the U.S. Army in the early 1940s and served in Europe during World War II. After serving four years of active service, he later spent an additional 28 years in the Indiana National Guard where he achieved the rank of 1st sergeant. He received many military honors including the prestigious Purple Heart and five bronze stars. He also received a coveted Army Retirement Saber Sword from the officers and men of A-Troop, 1-238 Calvary. He was recognized by the Indiana National Guard at many annual summer camps at Camp Grayling, Mich., as the drill-cadence sergeant for the entire battalion. A true American patriot, he cherished being the cadence sergeant for the annual New Castle Memorial Day Parade; he performed this duty for 20 years. He was also the first drill team sergeant in Muncie.

He was united in marriage to the late Twila Louise Modlin in 1945. This union brought them 10 children. A devoted father and grandfather, Mr. Bassett valued family. He especially loved being around his children and grandchildren and created an atmosphere of love and fairness for all the people he met. He was known for opening his door to anyone who was in need and generous with whatever he had. With a natural twinkle in his eyes, one of Mr. Bassett's favorite activities was dressing up as Santa Claus during Christmas for little children. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, cooking, photography and entertaining. Because he wanted others to enjoy the outdoors as much as he did, he loved sharing his outdoors skills and experiences with others.

Mr. Bassett was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, wife (Twila), and two daughters (Madeline and Benita Merida) and two sons (Alfred Jr. and Tracy).

He is survived by four daughters, Retta Wearren, Muncie, Charlestine Coates (Tony), Muncie, Mary "Mitzie" Bassett (Milton), Kokomo, Jennifer Cottman of Carmel; and two sons, Frederick Bassett of New Castle and Jeffrey Bassett (Sherrie) of Richmond. He is also survived by one aunt, Emma Bassett, Indianapolis. He also leaves 16 grandchildren, Christopher Vargas, Frederick Bassett Jr., Katrina Bassett, India Bassett, William Bassett, Preston Allen Jr., Truannette Allen, Twila Allen, Shyritta Wells, Ceemila Wells, Tony Gates, Travis Bassett, Chelsea Cottman, Terrance Cottman, Josh Williams and Micaile Bassett. In addition, he had 43 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, cousins and a multitude of friends.

A viewing for Mr. Bassett will be on Friday, Feb. 4, from 4-8 p.m. at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 1801 Shopp Ave., New Castle. A celebration of his life service will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the church.

Military honors will be conducted by a contingency from U.S. Army, Indiana Army National Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion.

Arrangements are being handled by Macer-Hall Funeral Home & Cremation Services in New Castle. Online condolences may be made at www.macerhall.com. Macer-Hall Funeral Directors Sam Hall, Gary Hall, and Mike Ragan are honored to conduct the services.

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Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Bassett National Bank of El Paso, Texas

O.T. Bassett and his son were first featured in the following newsletter.


Since that time, I have identified the family that Charles Nebeker Bassett belongs to as follows:

William Bassett of Plymouth and wife Elizabeth
William Bassett (b. 1624) and wife Mary Rainsford
William Bassett (b. 1656) and wife Rachel Williston
William Bassett (b. 1684) and wife Abigail Bourne
William Bassett (b. 1711) and wife Lydia Smith
Stephen Bassett (b. 1743) and wife Thankful Handy
Perez Bassett (b. 1774) and wife Lydia Snow
Abner S. Bassett (b. 1810) and wife Betsey
Oscar Thomas Bassett (b. 1847) and wife Myrtle Alma Nebeker
Charles Nebeker Bassett

Bassett National Bank of El Paso was founded by the Bassett family of El Paso, Texas
                                            The above item was purchased on ebay.
 Bassett National Bank of El Paso was founded by the Bassett family of El Paso, Texas

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Section 5 - Featured Bassett: Francis Bassett and Bassett's Dry Goods of Wheeling, West Virginia
Francis Bassett is the #27B Francis Bassett family from my records.  Francis and his wife Jane and two children, Martha and Francis W., arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in December of 1824.

They ran the Bassett's Dry Goods store in Wheeling, West Virginia for many years. Francis Bassett was from Ireland.

Easton Star, Easton, Maryland, July 21, 1846

        Mr. Francis Bassett, an aged and respectable citizen of Wheeling, was drowned in the Ohio last week while bathing.

Bassett's Dry Goods Trading Token from the 1860's

Washington Reporter, Washington, Pennsylvania
Bassett's Dry Goods Trading Token from the 1860's
Washington Reporter, Washington, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, July 19, 1854

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Section 6 - Featured Bassett: Henry Bassett, Chemist and grandson Anthony Hastings Bassett of England, Chemist

Anthony Hastings Bassett descends from #473B Henry Bassett of England as follows:

Henry Bassett (b. 1860) and wife Maria
Henry Bassett (b. 1837) and wife Kate Colchester
Henry Bassett (b. 1882) and wife Violet Muriel Fleming
Anthony Hastings Bassett

Royal College of Chemistry
Henry Bassett, F.I.C
Born 1837; Died August 30th, 1920

Henry Bassett, who died on August 30th, 1920, at the age of eighty-three, had been a Fellow of the Society since 1864, and many of our older Fellows, besides those who enjoyed his friendship, will remember him as a once-constant attendant at its meetings and as a member of its Council, on which he served for two full periods, 1870-1837, and 1890-1893.
        He received his early chemical training from Hofmann in the old College of Chemistry, whence he went to Oxford for a time as assistant to Sir Benjamin Brodie. He returned to London and established himself in a little laboratory (which he called “The Den”) in the Polygon, Somers Town, migrating afterwards to Euston Grove (remembered as “Den No. 2”), where he worked and experimented for several years. A good portrait of him by Houghton, painted in the Euston Grove “Den” and exhibited at the Royal Academy, survives as a memento of this period. Subsequently he joined the late F.A. Manning, well remembered as a specialist in matters relating to anthracene, in whose laboratory he spent a large part of his life. In 1893 he re-established himself in independent analytical and consulting practice in St. Andrew’s Hill (his “Den No. 3”), where he continued to work at anthracene, but also largely concerned himself with investigations relating to non-ferrous alloys, as well as with miscellaneous consultative work, in which he was engaged almost up to the time of his death.
        Bassett contributed in his earlier years several papers of interest to the Transactions of the Society. The first of these was on “Tetrabasic Carbonate of Ethyl” (1864). In 1865 he contributed a “note on the Action of Chloropicrin and Chloroform on Potassium Acetate”; in 1866, a paper on “A Cyanogen Derivative of March Gas”, in 1867, a paper on “Julin’s Chloride of Carbon”; and, in 1872, a paper on “Eulyte and Dyalyte.” As far as the Transactions are concerned he was then silent until 1890, when he contributed a paper on the “Interaction of Iodine, Water, and Potassium Chlorate.” The Abstracts of our Journal give summaries of various other papers chronicling experimental investigations published in the Chemical News, including “Reactions of Tin with Sulphuric Acid” (1886), “Preparation of Tricholoromethyl-Sulphuric Cholirde” (1886), “Analysis of Anthracene” (1895), and “Reduction of Chromic Acid by Acetic Acid and its effect on Anthracene Testing” (1889); and also of a paper (1892) on the “Tabular Expression of the Periodic Law.”
        Bassett was fond of artistic society and a lover of music, being for many years an active member of the Royal Amateur Orchestral Society, in which he played the trumpet – an instrument in the construction of which he interested himself to the extent of devising improvements therein.
        He was married in 1879 to Mary Kate Colchester, who happily survives him, and left two daughters and one son, Dr. Henry Bassett, who is Professor of Chemistry at University College, Reading.

St. Columbas Parish Church, Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland
St. Columbas Parish Church, Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland. The copyright on this image is owned by Kenneth Allen and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.
The copyright on this image is owned by Kenneth Allen and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

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Section 7 - Featured Bassett: James Madison Bassett of California

James Madison Bassett descends from William Bassett of Plymouth as follows:

William Bassett of Plymouth and wife Elizabeth
William Bassett (b. 1624) and wife Mary Rainsford
William Bassett (b. 1656) and wife Rachel Williston
William Bassett (b. 1684) and wife Abigail Bourne
William Bassett (b. 1711) and wife Lydia Smith
Rufus Bassett (b. 1757) and wife Jedidah Handy
Nymphas Bassett (b. 1785) and wife Thankful Ann Bruce
Bernard Handy Bassett (b. 1808) and wife Hannah Elizabeth Wilson
James Madison Bassett

First is a copy of his obituary from the San Francisco Call followed by an autobiography published in the Yreka Journal.

James Madison Bassett

San Francisco Call, Volume 93, Number 146, April 25, 1903
Author Of The “OLD PARD” Letters Passes To His Rest
James M. Bassett, Whose Journalistic Warfare Against C.P. Huntington
Brought Him Prominently Before the Public, Dies of Heart Disease.

James M. Bassett, famous in California as the “Old Pard” of Huntington letter fame, a pioneer journalist of the old school, a former City Councilman of Oakland and the erstwhile confidential secretary of the late Leland Stanford, is dead.

This sturdy through picturesque character in the Golden State’s history passed away at 6 o’clock yesterday morning at his residence, 728 Eighth street, Oakland, heart disease, following a severe illness from bronchitis, being the cause of death.

It was his journalistic warfare against the late Collis P. Huntington that brought "Old Pard" Bassett into more than local prominence. After Leland Stanford had been deposed by the Huntington interests as president of the Southern Pacific Railroad Bassett, who had been Stanford's confidential man, went out with his chief, to whom he had been closely attached. Footloose and free from all of his railroad connections and bitter over the defeat of Stanford, the former private secretary declared war upon Huntington and began a remarkable campaign against the man who had gained control of the great railroad properties.

Bassett opened his attack with the publication of a series of letters signed "Old Pard" that appeared in the San Francisco Daily Report. For months he almost daily launched a screed, revealing the very inmost secrets of railroad operations, with which he had a most intimate knowledge.
For fifteen years through various public mediums "Old Pard" hammered Huntington, and for much of the agitation, State and national, that the railroad president had to meet Bassett was alone responsible. He carried his warfare into the halls of Congress, and even after Huntington settled the Central Pacific debt continued his literary fusillade.

Born at Shelbyville, Ind., in 1830, the departed journalist grew to manhood on the frontier. At the age of 21 years, after learning the printer's trade, he crossed the plains, arriving in California in 1851, and mined for a time on the Feather River. His first newspaper venture was on the old Yreka Journal. In the gold fields Bassett was a companion of Joaquin Miller, and Bret Harte was a compositor for him on the old Golden Era.

Mr. Bassett was a member of the Sacramento Bee staff under the elder McClatchy. Subsequently he edited the Los Angeles Herald for seven years. He founded the Golden Era in San Francisco, and his work on that journal attracted Stanford's attention. Before entering the service of the railroad president the veteran journalist had served in editorial capacities on the San Francisco Chronicle and the Post. In 1877 he moved to Oakland, and there gained repute with John L. Davie as the organizer of the Davie Ferry and Transportation Company, in opposition to the Southern Pacific Company's creek route.

Davie and Bassett cut fares on that line to 5 cents; the bigger company met the cut, and to this day has maintained that rate between Oakland and San Francisco on the creek route. The Davie Company finally dissolved.
Prior to that time Bassett, Davie, J. M. Dameron and others organized a fight against the Oakland Water Front Company for possession of lands at the foot of Harrison Street. Shotgun guards and riflemen lent a picturesque side to the contest, which dragged through the courts, where the cases still hang.

Out of all this Davie was elected Mayor and Bassett City Councilman of Oakland in 1895. Two years later Bassett was defeated for re-election. The aged pioneer was twice married. His surviving wife was Miss Caroline Hazeltine of Los Angeles. The children are Bernard Bassett, an artist on the Sunset Magazine, and William, Kathleen and Dorothy, students at the Oakland public schools. Mr. Bassett was a member of Alcatraz Lodge No. 244, F. and A. M.

The funeral services will be held this afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Bassett residence. The Rev. Charles R. Brown, pastor of the First Congregational Church will officiate.

The Yreka Journal, Wednesday, January 29, 1908
In Early Days
Posthumous Letter of Pioneer Relates Story of Interest
Saw More Gold in Yreka than He Thought was in the World

        I was born November 9, 1830, at the town of Shelbyville, Shelby county, Indiana. My mother was born in Kentucky and my father was born on the shore of Lake Champlain, New York.
        From birth until about 16 years of age I did not do much of note except to have regular old ague with shakes and fever every third day. In 1846 the Bassett family of seven moved to Illinois and settled on a farm, near Quincy, Adams county. I farmed some on my own account and traveled up and down the Mississippi river between Quincy and St. Louis, quite as much as was good for me. Went to school in winters – perhaps two or three months each year for four or five years. My schooling was not extensive. Never saw the inside of a high school or college as a student.
        In 1850 started for California. Went as far as west side of the state of Missouri, when company collapsed and went back home. Started again in April, 1851. Worked my way by driving three yoke of oxen and a wagon from Pike county, Illinois, to Fort Hall, Idaho. From there I drove a band of horses to the foot of Mount Hood in Cascade mountains. At Mount Hood stopped and picked up abandoned cattle that had fed up and rested. Drove seventeen head of cattle and two horses into the Willamette valley. One horse was never claimed. I retained it and from the money received from owners of the cattle saved, bought a mule, and in company with three other fellows, started about the 1st of November for California, each having two animals, one packed, the other to ride. From the point where Eugene City is now located we dodged Indians. In Roque River valley we found the bodies of two white men who had been killed by Indians.
        We reached Yreka on the evening of December 15, 1851. I visited the gambling tents that night and saw more gold dust than I had before believed there was in the world. I mined on the Yreka Flats and down near Hawkinsville until about April, 1852. That spring the creek diggings fever raged violently. There were five of us fellows as partners. Ben Miller and I went Cottonwood and the other three to Deadwood. All were to share in what either party found. Miller and I found plenty of gold, but it was on the plateaus above the water; and the idea of conveying water where you wanted it, by means of ditches and flumes, had not yet occurred to the miners. Three days later we returned to Yreka and found one of the partners waiting for us. We all went to Deadwood where the other three partners had taken up five claims of fifty yards each on the mouth of Deadwood creek. The ground was rich, but the gold was on or near the bedrock. We fooled around making expenses and no more for about a year. Then the boys began to wary, and one and then another left for better prospects. By and by the four left, and then I owned the entire claim.
        I spent the starvation winter of ’52-53 on Deadwood. The snow was seven feet on a dead level, and 40 to 50 feet in gulches and on hill sides. For two months there was nothing to eat except the starving wild animals – deer, wolves, bear and “beef straight”. We balanced course salt scraped from empty pork kegs with gold dust at $192 per Troy pound, and were glad to get it. Towards spring D.D. Colton and some others worked a few mule loads of flour over the Siskiyou mountains from Rogue River valley. I paid him a dollar per pound for a 50-pound sack of flour, and packed it on my back from Yreka to Deadwood, 12 miles. Among the first stuff that came in over Scott mountain was a back load of tobacco, brought in by a young Irishmen named Mike Brown. I paid him $12 for a plug of heavy wet navy, plug weighing one-third of a pound. He sold his entire pack at the same price per one-third pound.
        Through the fall and winter of ’52-53, I succeeded in draining the bedrock, but in doing so I had nearly reached the upper end of the claim. In a few weeks I took out about $3,000, enough to pay my debts and buy a horse, rifle and revolver.
        By this time it was April, ’53, and the Indians of Rogue River valley had concluded to scalp the few hundred men, women and children who had settled there. There was a call for volunteers, and two companies went over from Yreka. I cleaned up my arms, mounted my horse and started for the4 scene of carnage. The second night I reached the camp, where Ashland now is, and joined one of the Yreka companies which was commanded by Capt. Jake Rhodes. The greater number of this company came from Humbug creek, and as I remember called themselves “the Humbug Volunteers.” In a day or two we were mustered into the United States service under Lieutenant Alden, the only man in the field who held a commission in the U.S. army. Alden had been stationed at Fort Jones, Scott Valley, in the command of the regulars. Although a good fellow, neither Lieutenant Alden nor his regulars, knew any more about fighting Indians then a heathen Chinee knows about the Christian religion, so it was decided to turn over the command of all the men – a total of 800 – to Gen. Joe Lane. We did a good deal of fighting. Old Joe, Chief of the Rogue River Indians, had about 3,000 warriors who were well armed and always ready to fight us man to man. They frequently made it lively for us. We did a good deal of skirmish fighting and occasionally had a pitched battled. The fighting lasted several months. Toward fall, or late in the summer, we had an all-day battle on the headwaters of the creek then known as “Jump Off Joe.” I believe it is now called Evans creek. In the evening the Indians gave up the fight, and after a long talk with Gen. Lane, Old Joe agreed to come to our camp near Table Rock with his warriors the following Saturday and surrender their arms, which they did and there has never been an Indian disturbance in the Rogue River valley from that day to this. In the last battle Lieut. Alden was severely wounded and five of the regulars killed in making a fool charge on a party of Indians hidden behind rocks. Lane advised Alden not to make the charge, but he did, with disastrous result.
        After the Indians surrendered their arms and promised to be “good Injins,” we were mustered out of the service and returned to Yreka. I went out and mined awhile on Greenhorn. Then Capt. Charles McDermitt and I started a pack train running from Red Bluff to Yreka. Once McDermitt went down to Napa valley and shipped a quantity of wheat which was landed at what was then called the Big Bend of the Sacramento river. The town of Colusa stands there now. I met McDermitt and the landing with the pack train and we loaded our mules with the wheat. It was the first seed wheat taken into Scott and Shasta valleys.
        When Siskiyou county was a youngster, Charlie McDermitt was elected Sheriff and Hiram G. Ferris county clerk. I was deputy in Ferris’ office for awhile. McDermitt did not care for the sheriff’s office, and at my insistence he made D.D. Colton undersheriff and left the whole business in his charge. In time the office became valuable and Colton figured to succeed McDermitt, which he did.
        In the mean time, I had drifted back to Deadwood where I was elected constable, having under my jurisdiction a territory equal to a small state. When Sam Fair was sheriff, I was deputy sheriff with all the western part of the county to look after. We had lively times. Money was plenty and the boys played high. I had to look after Fred Patterson, Jimmy Smith, Jack Heenan, the “Bencicia Boy,” and dozens of others, Heenan never game me any trouble. He was a gentleman if he was a pugilist. I was on good terms with all the “boys”. Arrested Patterson several times, but we were always friends.
        McDermitt and I had packed up to Yreka from Red Bluff a Washington printing press and some type and other printing material. It belonged to Caleb Thornbury and Bill Slade, and with it they printed in Siskiyou county. I became connected with the Herald, wrote articles, swept the office floor, set type and inked forms. In 1855 Colton, Tyson and others, purchased the Herald and changed the name to Yreka Union. In 1857 Sam Fair, sheriff, and Ira Mayfield, a printer, owned a printing outfit which printed the Siskiyou Chronicle. It did not amount to much, as Ira preferred to blow a horn in a theater band than run a newspaper. I, Clay Fowler, and a printer named Dumas, leased Mayfield’s material and commenced publication of the Yreka Weekly Journal. I was good property from the start. In a few months I bought Fowler and Dumas out and became sole owner. By the end of the presidential campaign of 1860 I had cleaned up $8,000. I had the patronage of the Lincoln, Breckenridge and Bell parties. The Union, the real democratic organ, had the support of the Douglas end of the democracy. In the spring of 1861 Mayfield came back from a horn-blowing expedition to Portland, Oregon, and demanded his press and material, and I turned it over to him. He ran the paper for awhile and then sold out to Robert Nixon, who had been editor and proprietor of the Journal from 1861 up to [August 15, 1907 when it was passed into new hands. The Journal is now in its fifty-fourth volume] now, and is by far the best newspaper in the northern part of the state.
        In the early spring of 1861, I went home to the old place in Illinois and was in New York when Sumpter fell. I was married in New York and returned to Yreka late in the month of May of that year.
        Cyrus A. Thomas, who had been telegraph operator at Yreka for years, wanted to leave for Panama. I took up the business, learned to operate, and soon made chief operator and manager. In about four years Supt. Gamble appointed me division superintendent of the line between Yreka and Portland. About ’67 or ’68 I went to Sacramento and built the double line of telegraph for the Central Pacific railroad, from summit of the Sierras to Sacramento thence to Stockton, to San Jose, and on to San Francisco. Then I was appointed division superintendent of the telegraph line from San Francisco via San Jose, Gilroy, Visalia, Bakersfield to Los Angeles.
        Somewhere along here, I was editorial writer on John Nugent’s San Francisco Daily Herald and on the Stockton Republican, and evening daily, democratic paper, as chief editor, for two years and a half. Then returned to San Francisco on invitation of Henry George and wrote with him on the Post. Later was managing editor, under Charles de Young, on the Chronicle. Frank Pixley was chief editorial writer, and when I would reject one of his articles he would swear it was the best thing the ever wrote. Left the Chronicle in 1872 and accepted a position as editor-in-chief and general manager of the Los Angeles Daily Herald. Made it valuable property and a good paper.
        My wife was thrown from a buggy in the summer of 1857, and died within a week of her injuries. Soon after my loss, I returned to San Francisco. Edited a democratic paper in Oakland during the campaign of 1876 for Laura DeForce Gordon. I find on release of files that I published a literary paper in November and December of 1877, called “The Portico.” The name was dug out of the rubbish of ancient Greece or Rome or Japan or Africa by my friend Hawley who was a literary make-up of a good deal of force. “The Portico” was short lived as I bought the Golden Era and merged the new venture into it. Ran the Golden Era more than a year, then sold, and the purchaser moved it to San Diego. I married again November 5, 1877. After selling the Golden Era, Mr. Everett, now proprietor of Wood and Grain, a trade publication, issued in San Francisco, and myself, started the Wine and Tobacco journal in San Francisco. I edited it and Everett, who was a first class solicitor, did the business which was good. Not long after we got underway, I, in a nominal way, became a member of the Southern Pacific railroad law department, but in reality the confidential of President Stanford. I was also the companies’ general inspector, but this was only known to Stanford, Huntington, Chas. Crocker and General Manager A.N. Towne. A general inspector of a railroad could not be of much value if all the employees knew his business.
        There is little that I can say of my fourteen years in the employ of the president of the railroad company. I was not really a railroad employee. Stanford was my employer and under his direction I worked, yet I did a great deal of work for Huntington and Crocker, mostly for Huntington. My duties were private and confidential. I traveled much, visited every city with a population of 75,000 or over in the Unites States, and saw large portions of Canada and Mexico. Wrote much that only Governor Stanford saw and read. Did a large amount of private and confidential business for Huntington who expressed a high degree of confidence in my ability and integrity. For him, I bought railroads and secured rights-of-way which he said no one else could reach. Governor Stanford, who was a man of fine literary ability, often said I could write more in fewer words than anyone he ever read after.
        I have made Oakland my home since 1877. In 1895 I was elected councilman at large of the city and served the term of two years. I am the attorney-in-fact of some English stockholders of the Central Pacific railroad, and now have and action in the United States circuit court to prevent the absorption of the Central by the Southern Pacific company of Kentucky, of which under the conditions of their charter are responsible for but $1,000,000.
        I am a mining expert a do a good deal in that line. I have for some time been a man of great expectations and am like Micawber waiting for something to turn up. I am nearly 72 years of age and whether something will turn up in the line of my great expectations, before I am turned down, is the unsolved and perhaps unsolvable problem that gives me much concern.
J.M. Bassett

The above article by a Siskiyou Pioneer now deceased was sent us by a friend of his, knowing it would be read with much interest by the men who knew Bassett when a young man among them, fifty years ago.

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Section 8 - New family lines combined or added since the last newslettert

        The following family lines have been combined/eliminated since the last newsletter.

245B.   Samuel Bassett into the 256B Bassetts of Bethnal Green, Middlesex County, London
419B.   Charles Morse Bassett into the William Bassett of Plymouth Family
        The following family lines have been added since the last newsletter.

 419B. John Bassett of Aveton Gifford, Devon, England

* * * * *

Section 9 - DNA project update

A grandson of Reginald Kenneth Bassett of Cape Town, South Africa has taken part in our DNA testing project.  Results for this kit (#230939) are shown below. It shows a close match to the Bassetts of Staffordshire and Randwick, Gloucestershire.

We are looking for help in tracing this Reginald Kenneth Bassett. He was born 31 Jul 1919 in Cape Town, and died 27 Jul 1983 in Cape Town.

He may be a descendant of Benjamin Bassett who arrived in Carlisle's Party from Staffordshire on 20 Apr 1820 at Table Bay. This Benjamin was aged 39 years of age on 20 Apr 1820. He had a son named James Bassett, born about 1808.

Any help identifying this Benjamin Bassett, his parents or children, or parents and siblings of Reginald Kenneth Bassett is appreciated.


Donations of any amount can be made to the Bassett DNA project by clicking on the link below. Any funds donated will be used to fund select Bassett DNA tests that will further our project as a whole and benefit all Bassetts worldwide.


This is just a reminder that the DNA portion of the Bassett Family Association can be found at:


A current spreadsheet of results can be found at:


If you don't have Excel and can't open the spreadsheet above, you can now see the DNA test results at the following website.


Jeffrey Bassett
520 Salceda Drive
Mundelein, IL 60060 USA
email address link in header above