Bassett Family Association Database

William Walker Bassett

Male 1915 - 1961  (46 years)

Personal Information    |    PDF

  • Name William Walker Bassett 
    Nickname Bill 
    Born 21 Mar 1915  Calmar, Fremont Twp., Winneshiek, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    AFN K4KV-3Q3 
    Physical Description 6'2", 210 lbs. Blond hair. 
    _UID 6C5CC24E2AFC8945A4F8DE357D1EFA90A040 
    Died 20 Dec 1961  Placerville, El Dorado, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Cause: Heart attack 
    Buried 23 Dec 1961  Grass Valley, Nevada, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • SOURCES:
      1. [Letter from Guy W. Bassett to his son William, dated March 20th, 1948, and reproduced here much as it was typed.]
      Letterhead: Guy W. Bassett & Stella F. Bassett, Graduate Masseur. Bassett's Steam Baths, Steam and Medicated Vapor Baths, Swedish Massage. 6108 1/2 So. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles 44, Calif. Phone: THornwall 3672.
      Dear William;
      Just a few lines, for a glimpse at a period in our life that happened before your Memory, as we sit here at home tonight our conversation drifted back to the Year of 1915 and the story runs something like this.
      While Agent at Bassett, Iowa, a small town only about 12 miles from the Minnesota line, popular for the little Brown church in the Dell which was located about 8 miles away., We decided to make application for Telegraph and ticket job at Calmar just few miles to the east. Calmar a town of Aproximately four thousand Population, and Division point the CM St.P Ry, Lines running 5 different ways, and located about ten miles distance is Decorah Iowa, known as the coldest point in the state of Iowa.
      Calmar was located in furtile farming district and very important in the raising of Potatoes as well as other crops.
      On moving to Calmar, we located House, house plan on back of letter located in N.E. part of town about six blocks from Depot, and about 4 Blocks from shopping district, our Family consisted only of one Daughter Maxine, three years of age.
      As this stage I was 24 Yrs old and Mother 21., I worked at the depot from 5 pm till 3 Am, My salary was 62.50 per month /// very good in those days., for hobby, I operated a print shop in an up-stairs room of our house, and solicited about town, and printed calling cards for the Ladies , Business cards for the Men, and some statements for stores, however My printing press was too small for any large work, but considerable was realized for this work.
      During the period of Residence here we were visited by Grandpa walker whose name was Milton J.Walker and who at that time was in Lumber business in Sask., and Alberta Canada. later We were visited by Grandmother Walker, this being in march of 1915, when one night the 20th of march 1915 the snow was 3 feet deep ,having shoveled it off the sidewalk in front of House it was piled high like walking through a tunnel., I made my way as usual, and all was well until about 2 Am the 21st I answered the Phone ,and Mother Walker was requesting I call a Doctor ,and come Home ,that I did and found that the Stork had been Soaring aloft and was expected in for landing at our house and at about 3 Am ,the Egg arrived it was a 9 plus Baby Boy.
      The best remembered Neighbor was a Mrs Luzum, A bohemian Lady just accross the street south who was nice old lady and very good cook who enjoyed bringing Mother something that she had cooked in the Bohemian way.
      The first train ride was from Calmar down to Bloomfield to Visit Grandma Walker.
      Dad and Mother

      2. Iowa Births and Christenings, 1830-1950 for William Walker Bassett
      Name: William Walker Bassett, Gender: ,Baptism/Christening Date: ,Baptism/Christening Place: ,Birth Date: ,Birthplace: Fremont Twp., Winneshiek Co., Iowa, United States. Father's Name: Guy Wm Bassett, Father's Birthplace: ,Father's Age:, Mother's Name: Estella Faye Walker, Mother's Birthplace: ,Mother's Age: .
      FamilySearch Indexing Project (Batch) Number: I10146-0 System Origin: Iowa-EASy Source Film Number: 1477418 Reference Number: v 5 p 15

      1. Calif. Death Index:
      BASSETT, WILLIAM W, Social Security #: 526120041, Sex: MALE, Birth Date: 21 Mar 1915, Birthplace: IOWA, Death Date: 20 Dec 1961, Death Place: EL DORADO Mother's Maiden Name: WALKER [Died at his store, The Farmer's Market, Placeville, CA.]
      2. Social Security Death Index:
      BASSETT, WILLIAM W; born 03/21/1915, mother's maiden name: WALKER, Married, died in EL DORADO <> died 12/20/1961 SSN 526-12-0041 Age 46 yrs
      SSN 526-12-0041, issued at Arizona.

      William Walker Bassett , Birth:Mar. 21, 1915, Calmar, Winneshiek County, Iowa, USA
      Death: Dec. 20, 1961, Placerville, El Dorado County, California, USA
      Son of Guy Wm Bassett and Estella F. Walker. Served in the US Navy in WWII. Father of Capt. William E. Bassett (USAF), Ronald L. Bassett and Guy E. Bassett. A butcher, owned meat departments in Busy Bee Market, Hills Flat - Grass Valley, Colfax Market - Colfax, and Farmers Market in Placerville CA. Lived in Peardale CA. Pall bearers: Fred "Dutch" Naumann, James "Scotty" Corbett, Harri Bianchi, Jack Bratt, L. McCurny.
      Burial: Greenwood Memorial Cemetery Grass Valley Nevada County California, USA Plot: Lawn section, block 9, grave 28 (Record added by: R. L. Bassett <>

      1930 US Census
      Bassett, Guy W., age 40, born IA, parents born IA, railroad ticket agent.
      - William W, Son, 15, IA
      Paso Robles City, San Luis Obispo, Ca., 605 20th Street. Page 38, sheet 16A, ED 40-16, taken on 14 April 1930.

      1. WWII Military Service, Offical US Navy Personnel Record:
      Bureau of Naval Personnel, Notice of separation from the U.S. Naval Service, NAVPERS-553, with official raised seal of the National Archives and Records Administration.
      Bassett, WM. W. File # 633-23-01. Rank & Classification: SC1c, V-6.
      Honorable separation. Home of record: 221 Loma Place, Los Angeles, CA
      Was registered with the selective service, Santa Monica & W. Los Angeles, Calif.
      Home address at time of entry into service: 806 1/2 W. Ardmore Ave, Los Angeles, Calif.
      Last Employer: Von's Market-- Los Angeles, Calif, from April 1939 to April 1942. Main civilian occupation: Butcher (Ret. Tr.). Preference for additional training: Poultry Raising (Trade School)
      Education: 8 years gram.; 3 High School; No college or degrees. No vocational or trade courses, or off duty educational courses completed.
      - Separated at: PSC NOB TI San Pedro, Calif. on 2 Oct 1945.
      - Enlisted 26 May 1942, served 3 years 4 months 7 days. Entered service at Los Angeles Calif.
      - Ratings held: SC3c, SC2c, SC1c. Served in Sea Service World War II
      - Service history: NTS San Diego, Calif; NAS Moffett Field, Calif; USS Vestal (AR-4 / YAC-26); R/B Seattle, Wash.; R.B Auckland, N.Z. -- USS Presque Isle.(APB 44); USS Rutland (APA 192 & LST 678).
      [Note: Was on board the Rutland on 23 November 1944; on the Presque Isle on 10 July 1945, dates per special menues with his name listed. No record of service on Taupata YAG-26 is shown]
      - Kind of insurance: N. Effective month of allotment discontinuance: 10/45; Month next premium due 11/45; Amount of premium due each month: $6.90. Total payment upon discharge: $81.98. Travel allowance: $1.15. Initial muster out pay: $100. No certificates held, no service schools completed.
      - NAVPERS-60T form: Bassett, William Walker; service number: 633-23-01; Rate SC1c, V6, USNR.; Date reported aboard: 25 Sept 1945. Present Ship or Station: USN PSC, T.I., San Pedro, Calif. Ship or Station Received From: USS Presque Isle (APB-44).
      10-2-45 [2 Oct 1945] Discharged this date with HONORABLE DISCHARGE by reason of EE (expired enlistment). AUTHORITY: Alnav 252- of 9/9/45. Is eligible on point system. Issued Certificate No. C-664230. (Signed: G.H.N Lussier, Lt (jg) USN, Records Officer.) [Record received by request in July 2004]

      2. USS Vestal (AR-4) was a collier (or coal ship), later refitted as a fleet repair ship. The Vestal served between 1909 and 1946 in both World Wars I and II and received two battle stars for her World War II service. This may have been a short assignment after basic training, perhaps awaiting orders.

      3. NOTE: "Bill was one of the first crew members of the USS Rutland (APA 192) and is a "Plank Owner". Ship made a shakedown cruise to Astoria, Oregon. He was on board on 23 Nov 1944. He was rememberd as being tall, had lots of hair and liked to talk." (Information provided by shipmate David Francis Duncan, Aug 2004. E-mail: Other contact: USS Rutland APA-192: Bill Oliver (918) 343-9524. May have taken part in landing of 5th Division, USMC, on Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

      4. Taupata YAG-26.
      Self-propelled Wooden-hulled Miscellaneous Auxiliary Service Craft: Built in 1930 as Taupata at G.T. Niccol, Auckland, N.Z. for Anchor Shipping & Foundry Co., Nelson, N.Z. Acquired by the US Navy, 10 November 1942, from the government of New Zealand Commissioned USS Taupata (YAG-26), 10 November 1942 During World War II USS Taupata was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign; Consolidation of Solomon Islands Consolidation of southern Solomons, April 1943. USS Taupata also served as an auxiliary service craft at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard until early 1944 Decommissioned, 24 April 1944, and returned to Anchor Shipping & Foundry Co., Nelson, N.Z. Specifications: Displacement 268 t. Length 117' 6" Beam 26' 2" Draft 6' 8" Speed unknown, Complement unknown, Armament unknown Propulsion: twin 8-cylinder Fairbanks Morse Diesel engines,two propellers, 140shp
      5. The USS Presque Isle was commissioned in 1943 as LST 678 and was later converted to an APB 44. It was in Northern Virginia in July 1944. They saw action in Iwo Jima and Okinawa. They were preparing for the invasion of Japan when the A-bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945. They were then directed to take part in the occupation of Japan and in September were the first US vessel to arrive in the port of Aomori. Ship operated in the vicinity of Wakayama and Nagoya, Japan in October 1945. (Bassett was sent home prior to this date) They later were sent to Hokkaido to help occupy that island. In December, they were directed to Yokohama where they stayed until February of 1946, at which time they sailed for Pearl Harbor. APB 44 was sent to Eniwetok for participation in the atom bomb tests.
      The Presque Isle was part of the amphibious assault on Iwo Jima from February 20, 1945 through March 3, 1945. It then was part of the amphibious assault on Okinawa from April 1, 1945 through July 8, 1945. Bassett was on board on 10 July 1945, per his name in a menu to mark the first anniversary of the ship. Took part in "Operation Crossroads"
      Blanche Bayer Bassett remembers that he was sent on shore at Guadalcanal to set up a combat kitchen to feed Marines. They had set up a code for his letters from the Pacific so she would know where he was. The letters were not saved after the war.

      3. Dates of service on the USS Taupata YAG-26, are unknown, but his photo album shows he attended the wedding of Captain Dossey (in New Zealand?) on 20 October 1943, and photo of the boat notes it was "at 105 Mt. Eden. Auckland N.Z. June 17]

      4. Occupation: Left Phoenix High School, AZ, at age 16 [that would have been in 1931 - but is shown in the 1933 edition of the school annual] , became a master meat cutter. Prior to WWII worked in the Farmer's Market, Los Angeles, CA., and owned several butcher shops including the Busy Bee Market in Grass Valley, the Colfax Market in Colfax CA., Farmer's Market in Placerville, and for a short time a store in Orangevale. Owned a home in Peardale, 5 miles east of Grass Valley CA. Learned he had a heart condition a year prior to his death, but insisted on working hard and died at the Placerville store while unloading frozen meat just prior to Christmas.
      4-5 Feb, 1954: Moved into cottage in Peardale, 5 miles east of Grass Valley, CA. Cottage had been owned by Clifford Phau. Bill and "Dottie" had lived in San Jose CA prior to moving to Grass Valley to work in the Hills Flat Purity Market as the butcher.
      Employed to run the meat counter at the Purity Market, Hills Flat, Grass Valley, CA. On 10 Oct 1960 went into pardnership with Harald "Pete" Peterson and Jerry Ray and bought the store, re-named it The Busy Bee Market. Later bought the Colfax Market meat counter, pardner with Granville F. "Marty" Martin for a short time. [CA Death Index: MARTIN GRANVILLE FRANKLIN, born 19/Feb/1914 Male, born Alabama, died Orange Co CA. on 05/Feb/1978, 63 years of age.<> 562-03-0948]
      Also bought a meat department in a market in Orangevale, and in the Farmers Market, Clifton & Warren St., Placerville. He died at the Placerville store while unloading frozen turkeys for the Christmas season. He had been informed he had a heart problem the year before and his nitro pills were in the cash register in the store. Another employee said he dropped the case, and headed for the counter, but passed out before he could get to the pills. He was DOA at the hospital.
      4. Attended Phoenix Union High School, shown in 1933 school annual as part of the boy's organization, but no other photo.
    Person ID I2  7B William Bassett of Cross Plains, Indiana
    Last Modified 7 Oct 2011 

    Father Guy William Bassett,   b. 15 Jan 1891, Bloomfield, Davis, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jun 1955, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Mother Estella Fay Walker,   b. 4 Feb 1894, Moulton, Washington Twp, Appanoose, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Apr 1965, Banning, Riverside, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 24 Jul 1911  Bloomfield, Davis, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Certification of Marriage issued by the Dept. of Health, State of Iowa.
      for: Guy W. Bassett & Estella Fay Walker, married in Bloomfield, Davis County Iowa, on July 24, 1911.
      Groom born at Bloomfield, Davis Co., age 22 Next; Bride born Appanoose Co., Iowa, age 18 Next.
      Date Filed: August 8, 1912
      Groom & Bride's place of residence: Bloomfield, Iowa.
      Groom's Occupation: Telegraph Operator
      Color: White
      No. of Groom's Marriage: 1st
      Father's Name: Wm Bassett
      Mother's Maiden Name: Priscilla H. Puffer.
      Bride: color, White
      No. of Bride's Marriage: 1st
      Father's Name: Milton Jennings Walker
      Mother's Maiden Name: Mary Alice Bowling
    Family ID F5  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Blanche Franciska Bayer 
    Divorced Yes, date unknown 
    +1. Ronald Lynn Bassett,   b. 15 Aug 1945, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID F2  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Mildred Helen Johnson,   b. 17 Oct 1915, Prescott, Yavapai, Arizona, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Mar 1987, , ,Arizona, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 1 Jan 1935  , , Arizona, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Divorced Yes, date unknown 
    • Note (Nov 1995) from Virginia Clow, sister of Mildred, included two photos of Bill & Mildred's wedding on New Year's Day 1935. She states that they were moving to San Francisco, and that he was working in a meat market in a grocery store in Phoenix. She said that when she was 14 that she visited them (summer of 1935) and it was Bob's birthday (brother of Bill).
      Group photos (2) show William & Estella Bassett, Bob, Max, Betty Bassett.
    +1. Capt. William Edward Bassett,   b. 7 Oct 1935, Wilmar, Los Angeles, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 May 2002, Phoenix, Maracopa, Arizona, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
    Family ID F3  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Dorothy Margaret Bauer,   b. 27 Feb 1921, Little Falls, Morrison, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Sep 1999, Los Gatos, Santa Clara, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Married 3 May 1950  Las Vegas, Nv Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Guy Ervin Bassett
    Family ID F4  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart