Bassett Family Association Database

Woodson William (Bill) Bassett, Jr.

Male 1926 - 2006  (79 years)

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  • Name Woodson William (Bill) Bassett 
    Suffix Jr. 
    Born 7 Nov 1926  Okmulgee, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID 276DD4875D10FE4DB643A4605C03E9F1DD6C 
    Died 10 Jan 2006  Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Woodson William Bassett graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1949 with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. Marynm Shaw graduated from Northwestern State College in Natchitoches, Louisiana, with a Bachelor of Science degree.

      The Northwest Arkansas Times
      January 13, 2006
      Woodson W. Bassett
      Woodson W. Bassett Jr., 79, of Fayetteville died January 10, 2006, at his home, surrounded by his family. He was born November 7, 1926 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, to Woodson W. Bassett Sr. and Bee Knerr Bassett.
      Known to all as "Bill" he grew up and lived most of his life in his beloved Fayetteville, where he raised his family and practiced law for 43 years.
      He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Betty Williams. He is survived by his loving wife and soul mate of 55 years, Marynm Shaw Bassett, whom he married on December 16, 1950. He is also survived by one daughter, Beverly Bassett Schaffer and her husband, Archie Schaffer III of Fayetteville; two sons, Woody Bassett of Fayetteville and Tod Bassett and his wife, Mary Sugg Bassett also of Fayetteville; two grandchildren, Eliot Shaw Schaffer and Corbett Clayton Bassett ; two sisters, Dorothy B. Edwards of Mountain Home, Arkansas, and Trixie Bassett Finn of Dermott, Arkansas; one brother-in-law, John N. Shaw and his wife, Marion of DeRidder, Louisiana; and five nephews and three nieces.
      He received his education in the Fayetteville public schools and later at the University of Arkansas, where he graduated from the School of Law in 1949. After 13 years of work in the insurance field, he embarked on a legal career and began practicing law in 1962 when he joined the firm of Dickson, Putman, Millwee and Davis, which in later years became known as Putman, Davis, Bassett, Cox and Wright. In October of 1981, he joined his two sons to establish and build the Bassett Law Firm, where he was senior partner, mentor and leader until his death. He was greatly admired and respected by all those with whom he worked at the law firm.
      He set a fine example for other lawyers and was a teacher and an inspiration to many young lawyers over the years. He was widely recognized as an extraordinary trial lawyer, as evidenced by his induction into the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was at his best in the courtroom. His life, both personal and professional, was marked by much success and many accomplishments, but at his request, they will not be recited. To use his words, "It will suffice to say I grew up hard but married well, fathered three good children, and with little natural talent, worked very hard and ethically to succeed as a lawyer. I lived the best way I knew how and had a good and long life. My wife, Marynm, and my three children are my epitaph, making it important that I lived at all."
      A memorial service will be held at Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 2 p.m. under the direction of Moore's Chapel. Memorials may be made to Washington Regional Hospice, 34 W. Colt Square Drive, Suite 1, Fayetteville, Arkasas 72703; Fayetteville Public Library Foundation, 401 W. Mountain St., Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701; Humane Society of the Ozarks, 413 N. College Ave., Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701.

      Shilo Museum 1989
      Article by Marynm Shaw Bassett
      Woodson W. Bassett, Sr.
      Woodson William Bassett, Sr., was born April 24, 1880 in Iantha, Missouri. On January 23, 1919, he married Bertha (Bee) Irene Knerr, born August 19, 1893 in Allerton, Iowa, the daughter of George Frederick and Ida Corbett Knerr of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
      Woodson and Bee had four children - Betty Jane, born January 8, 1920, Dorothy Sue born February 20, 1921, Trixie Bee born October 30, 1922 and Woodson William, Jr., born November 7, 1926. The family moved to Fayetteville in 1936.
      Woodson's ancesters originated in Virginia and migrated to Kentucky. His grandfather, Thomas Bassett, moved westward to Clay County, Illinois in the mid 1800's. He was a veteran of the Mexican War. When he returned from the war, he became a wagon master, guiding settlers and herding cattle to California. His first trip out and back took two years. He attempted a second trip by boat to establish a homestead for this family. He sailed from New York around the "Big Horn" to the Isthmus of Panama where he "took a fever" and died. Thomas was married to Nancy Ann Smith. They had three children - John Wesley, a teacher, Sarah Ann and Nathaniel.
      Nathaniel "Than" Bassett was born March 18, 1854 in Clay County, Illinois. He married Elma Jane Williams, born in 1858. They went even farther west to Iantha, Missouri. They had three children: William Oscar, Woodson William and a daughter, Irkle Bell. Jane died when her youngest child was but two years of age. "Than" then married Ann Nance. They had one son, James D. (Jim) Bassett. A measles epidemic in 1901 caused the death of Irkle Bell. She was only seventeen. "Than" homesteaded a two-hundred acre farm in Haines Grove, Missouri. Editor of the Lamar Democrat often referred to him as the democratic leader of Barton County - a political avocation, all three of his sons and one great-grandson would inherit. Both Woodson and Oscar served as Clerks of Barton County, and Jim spent a major portion of his life as elected sheriff of Barton County. Oscar moved to Okmulgee, Oklahoma where he was elected to two terms as County Commissioner. He was joined there in the early 1900s by Woodson and they became successful, even quite wealthy, in the independent oil and gas leasing business. However, the 1929 market crash and ensuing depression swept their fortunes away and forced them to emotionally and economically restructure their lives. Oscar died of "a heart ailment" in 1934 and his family moved to California. In 1935, Jim witnessed the bizarre death of his nineteen year-old son, Maurice, who was a passenger in a monoplane which crashed near his father's office on the downtown square of Lamar, Missouri.
      Family tragedies, economic depression and the pressing need to provide for and educatte their children, were all factors which motivated Woodson and Bee to move their family to Fayetteville in 1936. They could be near Bee's family and near a state university. All their children would eventually attend the University of Arkansas.
      Woodson opened an office on the Fayetteville square and sold insurance and real estate and made appraisals for the Home Loan Bank. When their youngest child entered the University of Arkansas, Bee became an assistant to the registrar there, handling all World War II student veteran's affairs.
      Woodson died December 6, 1964 and Bee, on September 7, 1971. Both are buried at Fairview Memorial Gardens, Fayetteville, Arkansas.
      The only remaining males in the Bassett geneological lineage of Thomas, Nathaniel and Woodson W. Bassett, Sr. are Woodson W. (Bill) Bassett Jr. and his two sons.
      Bill is the senior member of the Bassett Law Firm, 221 North College Avenue, Fayetteville, Arkansas. On December 16, 1950, he married Marynm Shaw of Homer, Louisiana. They have three children: Woodson William (Woody) Bassett, III, born November 3, 1951 in Monroe, Louisiana; Beverly Marynm Bassett, born May 29, 1953 and Tod Corbett Bassett, born September 8, 1955 - both in Fayetteville, Arkansas. All are attorneys. Woody and Tod are members of the Bassett Law Firm. Woody is charman of the Washington County Democratic Party. Tod is married to the former Mary Helen Sugg of Fayetteville. Beverly was a member of the Mitchell Law Firm of Little Rock, Arkansas until her appointment by Governor Bill Clinton as the Securities Commissioner for the State of Arkansas - first woman to hold this position in Arkansas. She is married to Archie Schaffer III of Little Rock and they have one daughter, Eliot Shaw Schaffer, born June 11, 1987.
    Person ID I2757  2B Thomas Bassett of Virginia
    Last Modified 25 Aug 2013 

    Father Woodson William Bassett, Sr.,   b. 4 Dec 1880, Pixley Township, Clay County, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Dec 1964, Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Mother Bertha (Bee) Irene Knerr,   b. 19 Aug 1893, Allerton, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Sep 1971  (Age 78 years) 
    Married 23 Jan 1919  Allerton, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F642  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Marynm Shaw,   b. 23 Mar 1929, Homer, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Mar 2017, Fayetteville, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 16/26 Dec 1950  Homer, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Living
    +2. Living
    +3. Living
    Family ID F965  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart