Newsletter February 2005
Contents of this Newsletter:
Section 1 - Welcome
Many people that have collected or owned model trains in the United States, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand have probably heard of Bassett-Lowke. You can read more about Absalom Bassett and his boys below.
Anyone having traveled through El Paso, Texas in the United States has probably
seen either the Bassett Tower or the Bassett Mall, both named after the Oscar
T. Bassett family. Little is known about his ancestors.
And lastly, for anyone that has any genealogy research, you will probably recognize the cabinets featured in the last article.
I have a new challenge for Bassetts and Bassett researchers living in Australia. Has anyone heard of a Bassett Bicycle Company or know what happened to the two eldest sons of Absalom Bassett? They were Harry H. and Thomas A. Bassett. In 1891, they were living in Melbourne, Australia. I would be most grateful if anyone can find any information on either of these two boys or a possible bicycle company they may have started. You can read more about them in the article on Absalom Bassett below.
I stumbled across the following website while surfing the web, and for those living in the United States, I would recommend that you check it out, especially if you have moved lately or a member of your family has recently passed away. In just an hour of searching, I found property listed for six or more Bassetts that receive this newsletter!
Section 2 - Featured Bassett: Absalom Bassett and sons
#299B Thomas Bassett of Stroud, Gloucester, England Absalom Bassett
299B. Absalom Bassett
Absalom Bassett, son of Thomas Bassett, was born about 1828 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England. He died 13 May 1891, aged 62 years. He married Tryphena (White) Lowke on 15 Oct 1854. She died 8 Dec 1890, aged 64 years.. At the time of his marriage, Absalom was a bachelor boiler maker, son of Thomas Bassett, a gardener from Gloucestershire.
Tryphena (White) Lowke, daughter of Thomas White, a shoemaker, Mill Lane, Northampton, was born in 1826. She married Joseph Lowke, a tobacconist, son of John Lowke, a maltster, on 25 Dec 1849 in St. Peter's, Northampton, England. Joseph Lowke died before 14 Feb 1850. They had a son named Joseph Tom Lowke, born 19 Sep 1850. Sometime after the death of her first husband, she became a housekeeper for Absalom Bassett. They later married. Absalom and family moved to No. 18 Kingswell Street where he started an engineering business in 1859.
Harry and Thomas Bassett, the two oldest sons of Absalom, became interested in the cycling trade and went abroad to Australia. In his Will, Absalom had the following: "to each of my sons Harry White Birdsall Bassett and Tom Absalom Bassett, now residing at Melbourne Australia, the sum of 50 pounds".
1871 British Census of 10 Kingswell, Northampton, Northampton
1881 British Census of 18 Kingswell St., Northampton All Sts., Northampton
1891 British Census of 19 Kingswell St., All Saints, Northampton
Children of Tryphena by 1st husband.
+ 299B1. Joseph Tom Lowke - born 19 Sep 1850, died 1 Aug 1926, married
Children of Absalom and Tryphena.
299B2. Harry H. Bassett - born Jun 1855 in Northampton, England.
299B3. Thomas A. Bassett - born 1857 in Northampton, England.
299B4. Frederick George Bassett - born Apr 1866 in Northampton, England.
299B1. Joseph Tom Lowke, son of Tryphena Bassett
Joseph Tom Lowke, son of Tryphena (White) Lowke Bassett, was born 19 Sep 1850 in Northampton, Northampton, England. He died 1 Aug 1926. He married Eliza Goodman on 10 Oct 1874. Eliza was born 15 Jul 1849. She died 4 Jun 1922.
1881 British Census of 13 Kingswell St., Northampton All Sts, Northampton
1891 British Census of 13 Kingswell St., All Saint, Northampton
1901 13 Kingswell St., Northampton, Northampton
299B11. Frank Bassett-Lowke - born 1875, died 1874, aged 3 months.
+ 299B12. Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke - born 27 Dec 1877 in
From left to right: Absalom Bassett, Tryphena Bassett, Wenman
W. J. Bassett-Lowke, the founder of the famous firm of model makers, of Northampton and High Holborn, died on October 21, 1953 at the age of 76.
Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke was born in 1877 at Northampton. Engineering was in his blood. His grandfather established the engineering and boiler-making business of Bassett and Sons in Northampton in 1859. His father was also an engineer and it was while he was apprenticed to his father's works of J.T. Lowke and Sons that the firm of Bassett-Lowke took shape. Frustrated by the diffuculties of getting well-designed components to meet his model-making needs, he decided to produce them for himself and for others faced with the same problem.
In this he was helped by his father and by his friend, H.F.R. Franklin. They advertised in the Model Engineer, then just established. A mail order business sprang up and the firm of Bassett-Lowke was born. The first of the famous catalogues was issued in 1899. Since then his models of railways, ships, and engineering equipment, many of them exquisite replicas of their prototypes, have become world famous.
Bassett-Lowke was a director and one of the founders of the Northampton Repertory Theatre, and since his election as a member of the Northampton Town Council in 1930 he played a prominent part in municipal activities. He retired from the council in 1952, after having been an alderman for seven years.
Section 3 - Feature Bassett: Oscar T. Bassett, prominent bank in El Paso, Texas
Very little is known about the family of Oscar T. Bassett. From a family letter written during the 1930's, we find that Charles N. Bassett is a cousin to a grandson of Hiram Harrison Bassett. Below is a possible line for Oscar, but his connection is not quite known.
John Bassett and wife Margery
Arizona Republican Newspaper
Mr. O.T. Bassett, an old resident of El Paso, died suddenly at his home in that city on Tuesday morning. Deceased had lived there for eighteen years past and became possessed of considerable means through excellent business methods. He had properties and banking interests in Oklahoma, Los Angeles and El Paso. Mr. Bassett was well known in this territory.
Oscar T. Bassett, an orphan boy from Vermont enlisted at age 14 in the Union Army but was sent home because of his age. At some point in time Oscar T. Bassett settled in Clinton, Indiana. He married Myrtle Nebeker (Dutch ancestry) who was the first women graduate of the University of Indiana and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She died in 1882 of tuberculosis. O.T. Bassett arrived in El Paso, Texas on 12 Feb 1880, where he later became a stockholder and director of the First National Bank of El Paso, later known as the State National Bank. He was also in the lumber business and was a large landholder.
The NEW HANDBOOK of TEXAS, Volume 1, 1996
Bassett, Oscar T. (1850-1898). Oscar T. (O.T.) Bassett, businessman and financier, was born in Vermont in 1850 and orphaned early. With little formal education, he drifted in and out of the army before settling in Clinton, Indiana, where he was a contractor and lumber dealer. He married Myrtle Nebeker and in 1879 moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where he started a lumber business. With Charles R. Morehead, he traveled by stagecoach to El Paso in 1880 to buy real estate for the Texas and Pacific Railway and to investigate some Arizona mines. On February 15 of that year he wrote in his diary: "Plenty of room here for a big city, which it will be in time after the railroads come." Bassett returned to Indiana in time for the birth of his son. His wife died soon thereafter, and Bassett returned to El Paso. On the way he stopped in St. Louis to arrange financing for El Paso's first bank. The State National Bank was organized with Morehead as president, Joseph Magoffin, son of El Paso's foremost pioneer James Magoffin, as vice president, and Bassett a major stockholder. In 1991 the bank, called MBank El Paso, had been in continuous operation for ninety years. Bassett also opened a lumber business, for which he took orders until the first train arrived from the Pacific Coast with a supply of California redwood. His business expanded rapidly from Texas to California; he maintained headquarters in El Paso, where he acquired considerable land. He was named president of the first El Paso school board in December 1882, and the first classrooms were opened on March 5, 1883. Bassett also served as city councilman. He died in his office above a lumberyard on January 3, 1898.
His son, who had been left with relatives in Indiana, came to El Paso to carry on his father's business and became an officer of the bank. In 1921 he became the bank's president. A downtown building and a shopping center carry the Bassett name.
81B1. Charles Nebeker Bassett, son of Oscar T. Bassett
Charles Nebeker Bassett, son of Oscar T. and Mrytle Alma (Nebeker) Bassett,
was born 8 Oct 1880 in El Paso, Texas. He died in 1944. Buried in the Evergreen
Cemetery in El Paso, Texas is the following:
1910 Federal Census of El Paso, El Paso County, Texas (29 Apr 1910)
1930 Federal Census of El Paso, El Paso County, Texas (10 Apr 1930)
81B1. Myra Hathaway Bassett - born about 1919 in Texas, married Hal Daugherty and had Flory Daugherty Ellis, Barbara Daugherty Tomicki and Hal Daugherty, Jr.
81B2. Barbara Giles Bassett - born about 1921 in Texas, married Mr. McGovern and had Giles McGovern Weisenberger.
81B3. Elizabeth A. Bassett - born about 1923 in Texas, married Charles B. Hammond.
The Historical Encyclopedia of Texas (includes picture)
C.N. Bassett, was a widely known figure in banking circles of El Paso and the great Southwest for a number of years and was President of the State National Bank of El Paso, oldest bank in this city and which was established in 1881. Mr. Bassett began his connection with this pioneer banking house in 1908 and was President of the institution from 1922 to 1944. Mr. Bassett was also extensively interested in cattle and sheep ranching and owned a large ranch in Otero County, New Mexico.
C.N. Bassett was born in Indiana, a son of the late Oscar Thomas Bassett, a pioneer business man who came to El Paso from East Texas in 1880 and engaged in the lumber business until his death in 1898. Mr. Bassett was educated in the schools of Indiana and graduated from Wabash College with the class of 1900. He continued to operate the O.T. Bassett and Company lumber business for some years following his father's death. The elder Bassett came originally from Vermont and spent some time in California a few years prior to his death.
Mr. Bassett was married July 14, 1915, at Decatur, Illinois, to Myra Giles Powers, the daughter of Theron A. Powers and Hathoway Jones Powers of Decatur. Mr. and Mrs. Bassett became the parents of three daughters; Myra Hathaway, now the wife of H.M. Daughterty, the Vice President of the State National Bank; Barbara Giles, now Mrs. Thomas Birmingham of Baltimore, Md.; and Betty Avery, now Mrs. Charles B. Hammond of El Paso.
In 1929 Mr. Bassett built the Bassett Tower as a memorial to his father. He engaged actively in civic affairs and was a member of a number of local organizations and the Texas Bankers Assn., and the American Bankers Assn. Mr. Bassett was a thirty second degree Mason and member of El Maida Temple Shrine of El Paso. He passed away June 10, 1944 at Santa Monica, California. Mrs. Bassett has always taken a prominent part in civic and social activities of El Paso and resides at 717 Blocker Street.
To read more about Oscar T. Bassett and his adventures, click on the following link.
Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Russ Bassett Multi-Media Storage Cabinets
Russell Lucas Bassett descends from the #25B George W. Bassett of LaGrange County, Indiana as follows:
#25B George W. Bassett and wife Samantha Fairchild Lucas Bassett and wife Christina Wycoff George Lucas Bassett and wife Sylvia Mae Eshelman Russell Lucas Bassett (1912-1999)
For anyone doing genealogy research, you have probably noticed the filing cabinets found at virtually all genealogy libraries. They have a small RUSS BASSETT logo on the cabinet. Through DNA testing, we know that #25B George W. Bassett descends from the Bassetts of Wales, but the parents of George W. Bassett have not yet been found.
For more information on this company, check out their web site.
RUSSELL BASSETT, LAKE SAN MARCOS, CALIF. (Kendallville, Ind.)
Russell Lucas Bassett, 86 formerly of Kendallville, died April 22, (1999). He was born Nov. 22, 1912, to George and Sylvia Bassett and was raised in South Milford. He moved to Whittier, Calif. where he was founder of Russ Bassett Co. and previous owner of Bassett Business Interiors. In 1983, he and his wife retired in Lake San Marcos, Calif.
Mr. Bassett had worked for International Harvester in Fort Wayne and other businesses in California. His company, now known as Russ Bassett, is the world's leading provider of media filing systems.
He attended Central Michigan University and graduated from Peabody Collete of Vanderbilt University.
Surviving are his wife of 59 years; a son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Katalin Bassett; a daughter and son-in-law, Emilie and Jeff Mason; a daughter-in-law, Linda Bassett; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson. He was preceded in death by a son, Edward Bassett, in 1994, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's Disease.
No services were held. Preferred memorials are to the Bassett Memorial Library, P.O. Box 2008, Wawana, Calif. 95389, or to the donor's favorite educational institution.
Section 5 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
The following family lines have been combined/eliminated since the last newsletter.
305B. Eugene Bassett of NY and MN with #167B Lee Bassett of Maine.
The following family lines have been added since the last newsletter.
115B. Joseph Bassett of Muskegon, Muskegon County, MI (b. 1855 Canada)
Section 5 - DNA project update.
Results are back for the #274B Bassetts of Pulaski, Virginia family line. They match the #91B family of James Bassett of NC and are most likley a descendant of James.
General Fund Scholarship total as of 02/20/05 = $240.00
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 website can be found at:
A current spreadsheet of results can be found at:
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