Bassett Family Association Database

Minerva George Kadi

Female 1898 - 1976  (78 years)

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  • Name Minerva George Kadi 
    Born 22 Apr 1898  Baskenta, Syria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    _UID 35E87C274BE4144EAE021F435B1B751462C3 
    Died 29 Sep 1976  Adrian, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 

    • Bassett Nickolas Nickolas E. Bassett died Jan. 16, 1948. He lived at 106 E. Main . His wife: Minerva Bassett. His DOB: Jan. 5, 1892. Age 56. He was born in Beirut , Syria . He was a machinist at Clinton Products Co. His father: Eli Bassett, born in Syria , his mother was Auria Bassett born in Syria . The deceased died of cancer. Informant: Louis Bassett of Ann Arbor . Burial at Marble Cemetery . Source: Death certificate.
      Bassett, Nickolas My grandfather, Nickolas Bassett, was born in (or near) Damascas. He opened a restaurant in Huntington , WV and then a restaurant in Cleveland , OH . Source: Nick Pulver.
      Bassett Nicholas Nickolas Bassett owned a restaurant in Huntington , WV , and then in Cleveland . My mother Delores was born in Akron Ohio . Back then all the Lebanese people came to the US and congregated in Huntington WV , then disperse across the country. Nickolas Bassett was born in (or near) Damascus ; Minerva came from Beirut . Source: Nick Pulver, grandson of Nickolas and Minerva Bassett.
      Bassett Nicholas My grandfather’s full name was Nicholas Lewis Bassett. He always spelled his name “Nicholas” not “Nickolas.” I am not sure about the spelling of “Lewis” though because one of my uncles was named after him and his name was Louis. Source: family member.
      Bassett Nicholas The children of Nicholas and Minerva Bassett are as follows: 1916 Louis, born in Cleveland . 1917 Nellie, born in Cleveland . 1919 Delores, born in Akron . 1930 Alford Nicholas, born in Milan .

      Bassett, Minerva Minerva Bassett died 9-29-1976, at age 78, according to records at Marble Park Cemetery .
      Bassett, Minerva Minerva Bassett, female, died Sept. 29, 1976 in the City of Adrian . Source: Lenawee County death records Vol 24, page 527. She was a Citizen of Syria. Occupation: housewife. Hospital or institution: Provincial House. Widowed. Residence: City of Milan , Washtenaw County , at 806 Lee St. DOB April 22, 1898. State of birth: Syria . Father: George Kadi. Mother: Mary, last name not known. Informant: Elmer Pulver. [NOTE: Elmer is husband of Minerva’s daughter Delores.] Burial: Marble Park Cemetery .
      Bassett, Minerva Minerva Bassett, 78, of 806 Lee St. , Milan , who had been ill with a heart ailment the last four months, died Wednesday in Provincial House, in Adrian . Rev. Vern R. Campbell will officiate at funeral. Born April 22, 1898 in Baskenta , Syria , she was the daughter of George and Mary Kadi. She was married to Nicholas Bassett May 11, 1915, in Cleveland , Ohio . Mr. (Nicholas) Bassett died in 1948. She was a member of People’s Presbyterian church. She is survived by 2 daughters, Mrs. Leo (Nellie) Schnurstein of St. Helen and Mrs. Elmer (Dolores) Pulver of Milan; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by two sons, Louis and Alfred Bassett.
      Source: obit from Monroe newspaper, Sept. 30, 1978.
      Bassett, Minerva Minerva Bassett came to the US from Beirut when she was about 13-15 years of age. [Approx 1912] Her parents were wealthy clothing store owners in Beruit. Minerva’s mother sold jewelry and other things to raise the fare for Minerva to come to the US . Minerva came to the US to escape the unrest in Lebanon . We were Christians, not Muslims. So she came over here by herself, and somehow found her sister, Mary, who lived in Cleveland . Source: Nick Pulver, grandson of Minerva Bassett.
      Bassett, Minerva Minerva George Kade was born in Baskenta , Syria , on April 22, 1898. She came to the US from Syria , by way of France , in 1914. Source: her application for US citizenship, signed Feb. 1928 in Cleveland , Ohio .

      Bassett, Louis Louis: died 9-16-1971, age 55. Cemetery records.
      Bassett, Louis Louis Bassett, 55, of Ann Arbor died yesterday in the Chelsea Medical Center . He was a former Milan resident. He was the son of Nicholas and Minerva Bassett. He was born March 16, 1916, in Cleveland , Ohio . He married Trella Gillespie Sept. 7, 1941, in Angola , Indiana . Mr. Bassett was reared in Milan and graduated from Milan High School He was a veteran of WW II. He owned and operated the Wash-Out Laundry in Jackson . Surviving: his mother of Milan ; stepson Lionel Gillespie of Douglas , Ariz ; brother, Alfred Bassett of Ann Arbor ; 2 sisters, Mrs. Leo (Nellie) Schnurstein of Ann Arbor and Mrs. Elmer (Delores) Pulver of Milan, and four grandchildren. Source: Monroe newspaper, Sept. 17, 1971.

      Bassett, Nellie Nellie M. Schnurstein died Dec. 7, 1992 at age 75. She was born May 26, 1917 in Cleveland , Ohio to Nickolas and Minerva (Kadi) Bassett. On Feb. 20, 1960 she married Leo A. Schnurstein and he died Nov. 27, 1986. She was living in Rochester Hills at the time of her death, and she died at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak . She was buried in Marble Park Cemetery in Milan . Obit says: She was preceded in death by two brothers, Louis and Alfred Bassett, and one sister Dolores Pulver.

      Bassett Delores Delores Pulver died Nov. 8, 1978 at St. Joe Hospital . She was born July 5, 1919 in Akron , Ohio , the daughter of Nicholas and Menerva (Kadi) Bassett. She was married to Elmer F. Pulver on July 25, 1947 in Milan . She is survived by 4 sons including Douglas Pulver of Milan . She was buried in Marble Memorial Park Cemetery.
      Bassett Alford Alford Nicholas Bassett was born Jan. 16, 1930. Father: Nicholas Bassett, of Milan , age 37, who was born in Syria , occupation laborer. Mother: Menerva Kade, she is 31, and was born in Baskentu , Syria . Dr. Kenneth Noble attended the birth in Milan , Mich. Source: birth certificate for Milan , on Washtenaw side.

      Bassett family made their mark on Milan
      Past Tense, Special Writer
      PUBLISHED: November 23, 2006

      George Ellis Bassett and his wife, Sadie, are the stars of this week's column. Last week, the topic was George's older cousin, whose name was also George Bassett, running a fruit and candy store at 108 E. Main St. For almost 10 years, George Ellis and his cousin each had stores in downtown Milan, across the street from one another.

      George Ellis Bassett was born in Keb-Elias, Lebanon, Jan. 13, 1887. His younger brother, Nickolas, was born five years later, also in Lebanon. Hoping to escape the political unrest in their native country, the two brothers snuck onto a ship in 1907 and came to the United States as stowaways, a common practice in those days.

      The first stop was Lawrence, Mass. At some point, the two brothers must have gone their separate ways because George Ellis went to Milan in 1911 to work at the Ideal Furnace Co. for three years. Nickolas probably lived in West Virginia, a gathering place for Lebanese immigrants, where he could have run a restaurant, a dry goods store or any other business.

      In 1915, Nickolas was married in Cleveland to Minerva George Kadi, 17. She had come to the United States from Lebanon in 1914 after her parents scraped up the money for her travel expenses.

      Two years later, George Ellis Bassett exchanged vows with Sadie Coury in St. Albans, W.Va. He was running a dry goods store there. The couple had two children in St. Albans, a daughter, Edna Jeanne, and then a son, Eli George.
      George Ellis must have saved up some money in St. Alban's because he took the big plunge March 7, 1924. That is the date he purchased a building in downtown Milan at 49 E. Main St. at the corner of Ferman Street.

      The Washtenaw County Register of Deeds office shows that "George Bassett" bought the property. Do not be confused. I am quite sure that the buyer was George Ellis Bassett, husband of Sadie, never mind the spelling of his last name or his store's name.

      Today's picture shows Sadie Bassett inside Bassitts store, surrounded by a huge selection of household items. This could be the early 1930s. Notice the magazines, purses, clothing, baskets, candy, belts, neckties, blankets and pans. The place was loaded with merchandise. This was truly a variety store.
      The late Warren Hale, a Milan historian, told me he used to visit Bassitts after school and search for just the right piece of candy, all under the watchful eye of Sadie Bassett. Warren had to think carefully about each piece of candy before figuring out how to spend his penny, and Sadie went nuts waiting for him to decide.

      Milan's Bassett population increased rapidly. The elder George K. Bassett had five kids, George Ellis and Sadie had two offspring, and brother Nicholas moved from Cleveland to Milan with his growing family.
      Nickolas operated a restaurant in Cleveland, but when the Great Depression hit in 1929, his restaurant floundered. Nickolas and Minerva already had Louis, Nellie and Delores when they moved to Milan in 1930. Their fourth child, Alford, was born in Milan.

      Nickolas was the only Bassett in Milan not in the retail business. He was a machinist, employed by a local foundry, Clinton Products Co., or anywhere he could work. Nickolas' family lived in the apartment above the candy and fruit store at 108 E. Main St., across the street from his brother's "Bassitts 5¢ to $5" store.

      In 1932, George and Sadie tried an experiment with their Bassitts store. Trying to add the second floor as a retail selling space, they ripped out the stairs and installed new ones going the other way from back to front.
      The experiment proved unsuccessful. George and Sadie didn't have enough sales help for three floors, including the Bargain Basement. This summer, the orthodontist who purchased that building ripped out the stairs and installed new ones, front to back, just like the original.

      Things went well for the Bassett family and for their variety store, everything from 5¢ to $5. In September 1940, George and Sadie went to a Lebanese convention in West Virginia to have some fun and entertainment with other Americans of Lebanese background. Their son Eli was 20, and went along for the ride.

      All of a sudden, George and Sadie discovered their son was missing. Eli had been hanging around in the lobby of the hotel waiting for his parents, and noticed a lovely 19-year-old lady also standing in the lobby waiting for her parents.

      The two quickly ran off to a movie theater and watched "Boom Town" with Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr. While viewing the movie a second time, suddenly the young lady's father showed up. Oh well.
      No one was upset by the growing attraction between Eli Bassitt and Shumla Steffan. The following January, they were married at a Baptist church in Williamson, W.Va, Shumla's home town.

      Shumla had left Lebanon at the age of 8, and found herself in Toledo while her father worked for a retail store. He quickly got another job offer from a relative in Williamson, and moved the family there. She recalls her first year of school in Williamson as a serious challenge because she spoke only French and Arabic. A kind teacher helped Shumla with a little extra attention, which left a lasting impression on Shumla.

      The newlyweds settled in Milan. Shumla cared for their first child while Eli served the military in World War II. He came home with an injury. Shumla took a great interest in the Bassitts store and offered some ideas to improve it.
      In 1954, the family was making plans to expand the Bassitts store by adding the Garrick theater next door. Unfortunately, George Ellis Bassett died that year, at age 67. His obituary spelled his name "Bassitt" and stated that he owned and operated a "variety store."

      I don't know why, but somehow the family name drifted from Bassett to Bassitt. During the late '20s and early '30s, Milan had two George Bassetts in town with retail stores across the street from each other, and I think they both flipped a coin to decide how to spell their last name on any given occasion.
      Eli and Shumla were enthusiastic about operating Bassitts store, especially with the extra store space for a shoe department. After acquiring the Garrick Theater at 45 E. Main St., the couple went on to join another shop to their growing department store. In 1968, they purchased 39 E. Main St., giving them plenty of room to sell shoes, men's clothing, women's clothing and other classy merchandise.

      Today, you can see the old Garrick Theater by visiting Main Street IX and entering the dining area on the east part of the restaurant. The center of the restaurant is 39 E. Main St., the last part added by Eli and Shumla to expand their department store.

      Bassitts store closed for good in 1976, when Breedveld's took it over as a retail outlet. Arborland, Briarwood and other shopping malls killed off the small-town Main Street department stores, no matter how high the quality. Today, only the hip and trendy retailers can survive in downtown shops.
      The old Bassitts building became a Bredveld's, then an antique store, then a flower shop, and now it's a good place to get your teeth straightened.
      The Bassett families, including Michael Hawarny and his soda grill, have all contributed a great deal to the Milan landscape over the years. Apples, dates, pears, chocolates, fresh roasted peanuts, household goods, clothing, shoes, and you-name-it, and they had it.

      Martha Churchill is a member of the Milan Area Historical Society. She can be reached at 439-4055 or
    Person ID I47  107B Bassetts of Syria & Lebanon
    Last Modified 14 Mar 2014 

    Father George Kadi 
    Mother Mary 
    Family ID F33  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Nickolas "Nicholas" Bassett,   b. 5 Jan 1892, Beirut, Syria Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jan 1948  (Age 56 years) 
    Married 11 May 1915  Cleveland, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Louis Bassett,   b. 16 Mar 1916, Cleveland, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Sep 1971  (Age 55 years)
     2. Nellie Bassett,   b. 26 May 1917, Cleveland, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Dec 1992  (Age 75 years)
     3. Living
     4. Living
    Last Modified 17 Mar 2014 
    Family ID F23  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart