Bassett Family Association Database

Dr. Wilson T. Bassett[1]

Male 1821 - Abt 1900  (79 years)

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  • Name Wilson T. Bassett 
    Title Dr. 
    Born 2 Feb 1821  New Lisbon, Otsego County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died Abt 24 Feb 1900  Cooperstown, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 1850 Federal Census of Laurens, Otsego County, New York
      Wilson F. Bassett 29 M New York Physician & Surgeon 1500
      Mary A. 25 F New York
      Benjamin C. 4 M New York
      Emeline E. 2 F New York
      Harriet H. 1/12 F New York

      1860 Federal Census of Laurens, Otsego County, New York
      Wilson T. Bassett 39 M New York Doctor 2000 1000
      Mary A. 35 F New York House Keeper
      Loriston B. 14 M New York
      Emeline E. 12 F New York
      Hortense H. 10 F New York
      Mary 4 F New York
      Wilson T. 1 M New York

      1870 Federal Census of Otsego, Otsego County, New York (16 Jul 1870)
      W.T. Bassett 49 M New York Physician 4000 3500
      Mary A. 45 F New York Physician
      Living with Deborah Carr (Inn Keeper)

      1880 Federal Census of Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York
      Wilson T. Bassett 59 M NY EN EN Head Physician
      Mary A. 54 F NY NY NY Wife Physician
      Hortense H. 29 F NY NY NY Daughter At home
      Mary I. 23 F NY NY NY Daughter At home

      Schenevus Free Press/Davenport Standard
      Wilson T. Bassett of Cooperstown, 79 yrs. Doc. for 56 yrs. SFP 2-14-190

      Christ Church, Cooperstown, New York 1810-1960, A Parish Histo
      by George E. DeMille, Canon of Albany, 1960

      p. 35. "For years, Dr. Wilson T. Bassett was both a warden of Christ
      Church, and a practising physician. And so, in a day when women physicians
      were a rarity, was his wife. Their daughter, Mary Imogene Bassett, became a
      physician likewise, and a very good one indeed. Realizing the difficulties
      under which the country physician labored - his lack of facilities for testing
      and research, she acquainted Mr. Edward Severin Clark with the need for a well
      equipped hospital in Cooperstown. He had already, in 1909, built the Otsego
      Hotel, not as a commercial speculation, but as means of developing Cooperstown
      as a summer resort of a superior class. Through his generosity, the hospital
      was opened for the use of the physicians in this area. In 1917, World War I
      being then at its height, it was offered to the government as a convalescent
      hospital for army aviation officers. Opened to the public in 1922, the sudden
      death of Dr. Mary Imogene Bassett, who had served as chief of staff, gave it a
      temporary setback. In 1927 it was reopened, and gradually developed into
      something very different from the average small town hospital. It became a
      research and teaching center, affiliated with the College of Physicians and
      Surgeons of Columbia University, with clinics renowned over a wide area. It is
      today a model institution attracting patients from all over the United States.
      It has brought into Cooperstown a steady flow of highly skilled professional
      men, some transients, some remaining who have leavened the life of community
      and parish".

      Biographical Review, Otsego County, New York (189

      Wilson T. Bassett, M.D., a prominent physician of Cooperstown, N.Y.,
      was born at New Lisbon, Otsego Co., N.Y., February 2, 1821. His father,
      Benjamin Bassett, was born in Yorkshire, England, and resided there unt
      1815, when with his wife and two infant sons, he sailed for the United States.
      The voyage was made in a sailing vessel, steamships not having then begun to
      cross the sea. The voyage was a very stormy one and occupied three months and
      two days. When within a few days' sail of New York a terrible storm came upon
      them and nearly wrecked their vessel, and for six weeks afterward they were
      tossed about upon the ruthless ocean, during which time they were put upon a
      short allowance of food, and lost what property they had on board, before it
      was possible for them to land. They at length landed in New York. They were of
      an honest, industrious and intelligent class of English people, and were
      unaccustomed to such rough ways as they found in this new country and to the
      hardships that awaited them here; they were disappointed, too, in not
      receiving the assistance which they thought they had a right to expect from
      friends already here, and for these reasons their struggle for existence was a
      very hard one. Mr. Bassett was compelled to rely entirely upon his own
      resources. He was a veterinary surgeon, and would doubtless have succeeded
      well, but a few years after landing in this country, he became blind fr
      sickness brought on by exposure, and died in 1824, leaving the burden of the
      care and support of the family solely in the hands of his widow. She was a
      woman of superior intelligence and executive ability, and managed her affairs
      so successfully that she became in time well situated in life, and lived to
      the advanced age of seventy-eight years, dying in Otsego County. Her maiden
      name was Elizabeth Hewitt. She reared one son, Samuel F. Jones, by a former
      marriage. By her second husband, Benjamin Bassett, she had three sons, viz.:
      John, a farmer residing at Garrattsville, Otsego County; William, a retired
      physician, who practiced many years at Binghamton, N.Y.; and Wilson T., the
      subject of this sketch, the only one born in the United State
      Wilson T. Bassett in inherited a sound constitution, and was naturally
      of a studious disposition. His early habits were carefully watched and formed
      by his mother, who had a very comprehensive and accurate understanding of the
      meaning of the word discipline. His early educational advantages were somewhat
      limited, consisting of only four months school in the year from the time he
      was eight until he was sixteen years old, but he made the most of the
      opportunities he did have, as is evident from the fact that when he w
      little past sixteen years old he taught a term of school, continuing to teach
      four successive winters. The intervening summers he spent in study, part of
      the time under the private instruction of Rev. Joh Hughes, a fine scholar, and
      a portion of the time in the Clinton Classical Institute, then one of the best
      academies in the State. In his youthful days books and newspapers were
      comparatively scarce, and having a strong desire to acquire knowledge, he read
      everything that came to his hand. One of these books was "Combe's Constitution
      of Man," which he studied with great care, and which may have been the means
      of turning his attention to the study of medicine. He also acquired a good
      English education and a fair knowledge of mathematics and Latin, at the same
      time mixing in a good deal of anatomy and physiology on his own account. When
      nineteen years old he began the study of medicine regularly in the office of
      Dr. G.W.P. Wheeler, of Garrattsville, and at the age of twenty-one took his
      course of lectures at the Albany Medical College, paying his expenses with
      money he had saved from his earnings. He continued in attendance at this
      college for the two succeeding winters, and graduated from the institution in
      1844. Almost immediately after graduating he began practice in Mount Vision,
      Otsego County, but as for the first three or four years he had but litt
      practice, he had ample time for further study, which he faithfully improved.
      When thirty years of age Dr. Bassett had acquired a large practice,
      but as there was no practitioner in that locality who could be relied upon in
      severe and complicated cases, he realized the necessity of a more thorough
      knowledge of his profession. Accordingly, in the fall of 1858 he left h
      practice and his family and spent five months in New York City, attendi
      lectures, hospitals, and the clinics of such physicians and surgeons as
      Carnochan, Wood, Peaslee and Barker, and worked from four to six hours daily
      in the dissecting room during the entire five months. Upon returning to the
      field of his labors he entered upon a much larger practice than before, and
      performed some surgery and held much consultation. He thus continued hard at
      work until the fall of 1863, when he returned to New York City, and during the
      fall of that year and the succeeding winter he attended the hospitals a
      lectures, and took a special course in surgery with Dr. Frank H. Hamilton,
      working in the dissecting room as before. Returning home in the spring, he
      continued his practice through the summer, and in the fall of 1864 went into
      the office of Dr. March, assisting him in this operations, and being under his
      private instruction altogether for six months, attending lectures on anatomy
      and also working in the dissecting room. He subsequently had a very lar
      increase in his surgical and consultation work. I the fall of 1868 and the
      following winter he attended lectures at Harvard Medical College, and took a
      special course on the eye with Professor Williams, and also attended the
      surgical lectures of Professors Bigelow and Cheever.
      From this brief outline of Dr. Bassett's history it will appear that
      his opportunities for becoming a thoroughly learned and skillful physician and
      surgeon were of the best, and that his determination to be well qualified was
      of the strongest. These facts being generally recognized, it is not remarkable
      that his practice should be very large and that he should be brought in
      contact with more critical cases than usually fall the lot of the physician
      outside of the largest cities. He has been called in consultation at times to
      distances of fifty miles from home, and frequently to lesser distances. He has
      performed numerous difficult surgical operations, as in hernia, in amputation
      at the shoulder and hip joint, and in lithotomy.
      During the Civil War Dr. Bassett manifested his patriotism by treating
      all returning soldiers, and the families of these soldiers while they were
      absent in the field, free of charge, and these services were very widely and
      very gratefully accepted. In the spring of 1869 he removed to Cooperstown,
      that place being more central and affording him a wider field for practice.
      Since living there his practice has been very large, and has embraced many
      difficult cases of surgery. He has had the medical charge of the Orphan Asylum
      at Cooperstown, for which he has made no charge. Dr. Bassett is a member of
      the Otsego County Medical Society, and is also a prominent member of the State
      Medical Society. He has been on the witness stand a great many times as expert
      in murder trials when insanity has been set up as a defense. In such cases he
      has invariably been the despair of the lawyers in cross examinations. He is
      one of the most affable of men, and this fact has frequently led lawyers into
      the mistake of thinking they could browbeat or confuse him, but the result has
      always been that the lawyers themselves have been confused. The Doctor is the
      most accomplished witness that has ever been placed on the stand in Otsego
      County. He has no political aspirations, but he has served as County Coroner
      and has represented the town on the County Board of Supervisors, with much
      credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of all concerne
      April 12, 1845, Dr. Bassett married Mary Augusta Ostrander, a daughter
      of William and Harriet Ostrander, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this
      volume. Dr. Bassett has four children living, viz: Liston B., engaged in
      business in Norwich, N.Y.; Emma, wife of Melville Keyes, an attorney at
      Oneonta; Hortense, who is an invalid, and M. Imogene, a graduate of the
      Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, which she attended
      four years. She then took a post graduate course at the Polyclinic College of
      Philadelphia, and was for a time instructor in nervous diseases in that
      institution. She was also assistant to Dr. Charles K. Mills. Since the death
      of her mother she has returned to her home and now has quite an extensi
      practice, quickly taking up the practice her mother had acquire
      It gives great pleasure to the publishers of this work to be able to
      present in this volume a portrait of Dr. Bassett, who for so many years had
      been one of the most prominent and successful of the physicians of Otse
    Person ID I29  95 B Slawston,Leicestershire
    Last Modified 24 Jun 2009 

    Father Benjamin Bassett,   b. Abt 1766,   d. 20 Jun 1825, Otsego County, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 59 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Hewitt Jones,   b. Abt 1778,   d. 17 Oct 1856, Otsego County, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years) 
    Married 4 Jun 1811  Hanover Square, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F4  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Augusta Ostrander,   b. Abt 1821,   d. Abt 1893  (Age ~ 72 years) 
    Married 12 Apr 1845 
    +1. Liston B. Bassett,   b. Abt 1846, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 1921  (Age ~ 75 years)
    +2. Emeline Elizabeth Bassett,   b. 1 Jan 1848, Mt. Vision, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Nov 1935, Longmont, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     3. Harriet H. Bassett,   b. 1850, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Deceased
     4. Dr. Mary Imogene Bassett,   b. Abt 1856, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 21 Oct 1922, Cooperstown, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 66 years)
     5. Wilson T. Bassett,   b. Abt 1859, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Deceased
    Family ID F8  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S1] GEDCOM file imported on 24 June 2009.