Bassett Family Association Database

Wilber Fisk Bassett

Male 1829 - 1901  (71 years)

Personal Information    |    PDF

  • Name Wilber Fisk Bassett 
    Born 24 Oct 1829  Washington, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID EB37EDF32F73044E84E21B2C053C9A77F580 
    Died 4 Feb 1901  Wilbur, Washington Territory Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Wilbur Fisk Bassett
      1829 - 1901
      The subject of this sketch, father of H.S. Bassett, was born in Washington, Connecticut, October 24, 1829; died at the home of his son at Wilbur, Washington, February 4th, 1901, in his 72nd year. He and two sisters were left orphans when he reached the age of 13 years. He received a good common school education and then learned the carpenter and joiners' trade, after which he served an apprenticeship of three years at ship carpentering. Being possessed of the natural American instinct for pioneering, he turned his face to the Pacific early in life, having traversed the continent twice by water, around Cape Horn and three times via Isthmus of Panama by boat and by rail. Much of his life in the west was devoted to mining and he ammassed a total, at different times, of $10,000 to $12,000, but it was all dissipated in a continued search for the hidden treasure. After several years of western life he determined to settle down to the quiet life of the older states, and in pursuance of that resolve, returned to Washington City, where an uncle, then in Congress, promised to obtain for him, a goverment situation. On December 31st, 1867, he married Adelia Lenora Lewis, bought a farm eight miles from Washington City in Fairfax county, Virginia and there he sojourned one year, but the appointment failing him, he once more became restless with the western fever, and came to Portland, Oregon, where he worked at his trade during the summer. He then returned to his Virginia home, sold his farm and brought his family to the Pacific coast. He soon drifted north to Spokane, which was then little more than an Indian village. There, in the employ of Downing and Scranton, he "framed" the timbers for the first sawmill built at the Falls. Early in the spring of 1871 he located a claim on land midway between Medical Lake and Cheney in what was then known as the "Four Lakes" country. To three of these lakes, Mr. Bassett gave the names of Granite, Silver and Clear Lakes.
      In those pioneer days, all who lived within fifteen miles were near neighbors, and Walla Walla, over 100 miles away, was the base of supplies. There he lived until 1887, and during the time of his residence on the farm, the Northern Pacific Railway was built, passing only four and one-half miles away, and he saw settlements spring up as if by magic.
      After the death of his wife in 1887, he sold his farm and taking his daughter, Bertha, then a little girl, he went to Grangeville, Idaho, and from that time on, the greater part of his life was spent in the mountains of Idaho, where he lived the life of a prospector, though his relatives believe that during his latter years he sojourned among the mountains more to be nearer the heart of nature than for any hope of uncovering Earth's riches. This love of nature's dwelling places is set forth in the following verses, selected from many which he penned during the days of his solitary life:

      I love the woods, the shady wood,
      Where nature in her moods,
      Takes me within her sympathy,
      And shares with me her goods.

      The pheasant, grouse and mountain trout,
      She spares me for my fare - -
      The fragrance of the evergreen
      With balmy mountain air.

      When troubles vex and cares abound,
      And when my soul needs rest,
      I know the mountain air, for me,
      Is ever yet the best.

      With water pure, from mountain snows
      To quench my parching thirst - -
      With living green, the landscape o'er,
      Upon my sigh doth burst.

      With all these objects in my view,
      Companions while awake,
      My thoughts, they drift from worldly cares,
      And other courses take.

      And if a Paradise on Earth,
      Dame Nature makes for man,
      I know of none that will compare
      With this in life's short span.

      With every year, as years repeat,
      These longings come again,
      To go within the mountain range -
      To leave the sunburnt plain.

      Birds, in their wisdom, every spring,
      Flee from the frost and snow,
      To lands of the incoming spring;
      Why should not mortals go?

      Many are the interesting and thrilling tales he could relate, of his experiences in the wilds of Montana and Idaho. Early in the winter he began a series of articles in a reminiscent strain, which grew more interesting from week to week, but which were cut short by the old prospector's illness.
      Mr. Bassett led an industrious, blameless life, and a host of old friends in western Spokane county will be filled with sorrow by news of his death. Mother Earth has been his closest friend and she, at last, affords him his first and only perfect rest.
      Surviving him are one son and two daughters, Herman S. Bassett and Bertha R. Bassett, Wilbur, Washington; and Mrs. James O. Taylor (Jennie Josephine), Tacoma, Washington.
      Reprint from the Wilbur Register of an early February date in 1901.

      1880 Federal Census of District 1, Spokane County, Washington
      Wilber Bassette - 50 - M - CT-CT-CT - Head - Farmer
      Adelia - 28 - F - CT-CT-CT - Wife - House Keeper
      Herman S. - 10 - M - VA-CT-CT - Son - At Home
      Wesley - 6 - M - WT-CT-CT - Son - At Home
      Jennie J. - 4 - F - WT-CT-CT - Daughter - At Home
      Ida M. - 1 - F - WT-CT-CT - Daughter - At Home
      (WT - Washington Territory)
    Person ID I1363  1B John Bassett of Connecticut
    Last Modified 23 Dec 2012 

    Father John Bassett,   b. 6 Oct 1792,   d. 21 Nov 1845, Woodbury, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Mother Maria Lewis 
    Married 5 Jan 1828 
    Family ID F278  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Adelia Lenora Lewis,   b. 4 Sep 1851,   d. 1887  (Age 35 years) 
    Married 31 Dec 1867 
    +1. Herman Sherman Bassett,   b. 27 Oct 1869, Fairfax County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Apr 1965, Washington Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 95 years)
     2. Minnie Maria Bassett,   b. 2 Jan 1872, Spokane, Washington Territory Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Wesley Bassett,   b. Abt 1874, Washington Territory Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Jennie Josephine Bassett,   b. Abt 1876, Washington Territory Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Ida M. (Bertha?) Bassett,   b. Abt 1879, Washington Territory Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2023 
    Family ID F527  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart