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BASSETT (Fall River family). The family bearing this name in Fall River, to which belonged the late Hon. Rufus W. Bassett, long prominent in business and public affairs, for years a member of the board of police and much of the time its chairman, is a branch of the earlier Taunton family, it of the still earlier Rochester branch of the distinguished Bassetts of the Cape Cod towns of the Old Colony.

William Bassett Family of Duxbury and Bridegewater, Massachusetts

William Bassett, the emigrant ancestor in this country, was born about 1590. It is of record that he married (first) Cecil Licht and (second), in 1611, in Leyden, Holland, Margaret Oldham. As there is no further mention of the second wife it is supposed that she died soon after. William Bassett left Delft Haven in the ship “Speedwell” July 22, 1620, and went to Southampton, England, with other Pilgrims. There the “Mayflower” was waiting for them, and after the company was divided between the two vessels they set sail for America Aug. 5, 1620. The “Speedwell” was found to be leaking, and both ships put into Dartmouth for repairs, and again set sail Aug. 21st. The “Speedwell” again commenced to leak, and, with such emigrants as could not be accommodated on the “Mayflower,” Robert Cushman and family, William Bassett and others – about twenty in all, returned to London. Early in November, 1621, the ship “Fortune,” a vessel of about fifty-five tons burden, and a new boat, arrived at Plymouth, Mass., from England, with thirty-five passengers, among whom were William Bassett and Robert Cushman. It is not positive that William Bassett’s third wife, Elizabeth (Tilden), came with him or not, as she is not mentioned until 1627, when William and his wife, Elizabeth, and children William, Jr. and Elizabeth, Jr. were included in the record of the division of cattle at Plymouth, Mass. William Bassett was elected deputy assistant to the governor in 1640, 1643, 1644, 1645, 1648, from Duxbury, Mass., where he had gone in 1637 and made a settlement with others. About 1650 he settled in Bridgewater, Mass., he being one of the original proprietors of that town, which was incorporated in 1656. He was comparatively wealthy, being a large landholder, only four in Plymouth paying a higher tax in 1633. He had a large library, from which it is to be inferred that he was an educated man. In 1633 he had become a freeman of the Colony, and in 1637 he was a volunteer in the company raised to assist Massachusetts and Connecticut in the Pequot war; he was a member of the committee of the town of Duxbury to lay out bounds and to decide on the fitness of persons applying to become residents. He was representative to the Old Colony Court six years. His children were:

  1. William Bassett, settled in Sandwich; Nathaniel first settled in Marshfield, and in 1684 in Yarmouth, Mass.
  2. Elizabeth Bassett, married Thomas Burgess, of Sandwich, Mass.
  3. Nathaniel Bassett
  4. Joseph Bassett, remained on the parental homestead at Bridgewater, Mass.
  5. Sarah Bassett, married Peregrine White, of Marshfield, the first child born of English parents at Cape Cod Harbor, in November, 1620
  6. Jane Bassett
  7. Ruth Bassett (born in 1632, married first John Sprague, 1655), and perhaps others.

He died in Bridgewater in May, 1667. William Bassett (2) is the ancestor of the Bassetts at Sandwich, and some of those in Barnstable and the town of Dennis.

William Bassett (2), son of William and Elizabeth (Tilden) Bassett, born in 1624, married Mary Burt, and died in 1670.
William Bassett (3), born in 1656, son of William (2) and Mary (Burt) Bassett, married in 1675 Rachel Willison. He died in 1721.
William Bassett (4), son of William (3) and Rachel (Willison) Bassett, married in 1709 Abigail Bourne.

John Bassett Family of Rochester, Massachusetts

John Bassett, son of William (4) and Abigail (Bourne) Bassett, lived in Rochester, Mass., and there by his wife Mary had a family of twelve children. His death occurred May 17, 1781. His children were:

  1. Aurelia Bassett, born in 1743
  2. Bethsheba Bassett, 1744
  3. Benjamin Bassett, 1746
  4. Mary Bassett, 1747
  5. Emma Bassett, 1749
  6. Peter Bassett, 1752
  7. Desire Bassett, 1754
  8. Sarah Bassett, 1756
  9. Newcomb Bassett, 1757
  10. Thomas Bassett, 1759
  11. Meltiah Bassett, 1761
  12. Abigail Bassett, 1763

Thomas Bassett Family of Rochester, Massachusetts

Thomas Bassett, son of John and Mary Bassett, was born in Rochester, Mass., June 19, 1759, and died there Feb. 24, 1833. On Jan. 7, 1781, he married Lydia Mendall, of that town, who was born March 19, 1760. His children were:

  1. Newcomb Bassett, born in 1781
  2. Anselm Bassett, born in 1784
  3. Samuel Bassett, born in 1786
  4. Abner Bassett, born in 1788, who married Harriet B. Spaulding, of Norwich, Conn.
  5. Thomas Bassett, Jr., and Lydia (twins), born in 1790
  6. John Bassett, born in 1793, who married Laura Wing, of Marion, Mass.
  7. Stephen Bassett, born in 1798, who married Abigail Mendall
  8. Ezra Bassett, born in 1800, who married Keziah Russell

Anselm Bassett Family of Westport and Taunton Massachusetts

Anselm Bassett, son of Thomas and Lydia (Mendall) Bassett, was born April 29, 1784, in the town of Rochester, Mass. He prepared for college under the tuition of Hon. Tristam Burges, who was then preceptor of the Rochester Academy, entered Brown University in 1799, and is said to have been the youngest member of his class, graduating in 1803. After receiving his degree he taught school in his native town, and also studied law in the office of Abraham Holmes. He was admitted to the bar in January, 1808, and immediately settled in Narraguagus, in what was then called the district of Maine. After a year he removed to Columbus, Maine, where he practiced successfully for three years, when, business being prostrated by the war with England, he returned to Rochester. Here he married Rosalinda, daughter of Abraham Holmes, with whom he had studied law, and soon afterward settled at Head of Westport, Mass., where for twenty years he continued the practice of his profession with a high degree of success. In 1849 was formed what was long the well-known firm of Bassett & Reed. On June 1, 1863, he withdrew from this partnership and determined to relinquish his profession. He had been in practice fifty-five years, and was the oldest practitioner in Bristol county, and one of the oldest in the State. But though he closed his office and withdrew from the bar, he was constantly sought by his former clients, who were unwilling to rely on other advice until his could no longer be obtained.

In 1831 Mr. Bassett represented his town in the Legislature, and in 1832, having been appointed registrar of Probate for the county of Bristol, he was required to fix his residence in Taunton. This office he continued to hold for nineteen years, and discharged its duties with distinguished promptness and faithfulness. He appears also to have kept up his practice during this official period, and to have been very much relied upon as a counselor by a large number of clients. Both as a public official and as a lawyer he was greatly respected for the uprightness of his conduct and his great kindness of heart.

Mr. Bassett died Sept. 9, 1863, when in the eightieth year of his age, and apparently from the natural decay of old age, without disease.

After the death of Mrs. Rosalinda (Holmes) Bassett Mr. Bassett married (second) Mrs. Lucy Smith, of Troy, 1ST. His children, all born to the first marriage, were:

  1. Thomas Bassett, born in 1811, who died in 1835
  2. Charles J. H. Bassett, born in 1814
  3. George P. H. Bassett, born in 1817, who died in 1820
  4. Cynthia C. H. Bassett, born in 1821
  5. Elizabeth M. Bassett, born in 1824

Mrs. Rosalinda (Holmes) Bassett was a descendant in the sixth generation from William Holmes (who was an inhabitant of Scituate, Mass., as early as 1646, and a freeman of that Colony in 1658, later removing to Marshfield, where he died in 1678), from whom her lineage is through

Abraham Holmes and his wife Elizabeth (Arnold), of Rochester, he dying there in 1722
Experience Holmes, who died in 1715, aged thirty-three years
Experience Holmes (2)
Hon. Abraham Holmes, a distinguished lawyer of Rochester, Massachusetts

Charles Jarvis Holmes Bassett Family of Taunton, Massachusetts

Charles Jarvis Holmes Bassett, son of Anselm and Rosalinda (Holmes) Bassett, was born in Westport, Mass., July 10, 1814, and began his education there. For a time he lived with his uncle, Charles Jarvis Holmes, in Rochester, Mass., and there also attended school. He studied law and was admitted to the Bristol county bar, but did not practice. He was cashier of the Taunton National Bank, and later of the Hanover National Bank of New York City, and was recalled to the Taunton Bank, of which he became president. He was a member of the Congregational Church. He married, Jan. 20, 1840, Emeline Deane Seabury, who was born in Taunton, Mass., Oct. 2, 1817, daughter of John Westgate Seabury, and died April 1, 1842. On Aug. 14, 1845, Mr. Bassett married (second) Nancy L. Gibbs, who was born in Sandwich, Mass., Feb. 28, 1823, and who at the time of her marriage was living in Bridgewater, Mass. She died May 12, 1848, and Mr. Bassett married (third) Dec. 25, 1850, Martha B. French, of Pawtucket, R. I., who was born June 2, 1825. Mr. Bassett died Sept. 3, 1891. His children were:

  1. Sarah S. Bassett, born in 1840, who married Erastus Morse, of Taunton
  2. John S. Bassett and Charles A. Bassett (twins), born in 1842, the former of whom married Marianna C. Perry, of Taunton
  3. Louisa L. Bassett, born in 1846, who married George H. Rhodes, of Taunton, Mass.
  4. Isabel Bassett, born in 1848
  5. Henry F. Bassett, born in 1851, who married Emma C. Jackson, of Taunton, Mass.
  6. Rufus W. Bassett, born in 1853
  7. Martha E. Bassett, born in 1855, who died in 1881
  8. Mary R. Bassett, born in 1858, who married Col. Henry Pierce, of Pawtucket, R. I.
  9. George F. H. Bassett, born in 1862
  10. Susie A. Bassett, born in 1864

Charles A. Bassett Family of Taunton, Massachusetts

Charles A. Bassett, son of Charles J. H. Bassett, received his education in the schools of Taunton, attending high school in that city. At the age of seventeen he started out to earn his own living, for a year clerking in a dry goods store, and for four years he was the youngest clerk in the Taunton National Bank. Through the influence of the late Hon. John S. Brayton, at the age of twenty-one he came to Fall River and for thirteen years was connected with the First National Bank of that city. In February, 1877, he was made treasurer of the Fall River Savings Bank, in which position he still remains. Of the nine-teen trustees of that bank in 1877 only two survive. Mr. Bassett is a Royal Arch Mason.

On June 15, 1870, he married Mary L. Hooper, daughter of Dr. Foster Hooper, of Fall River, and to them came one daughter, Mary Hooper, who married George H. Waring, of Fall River. Mr. and Mrs. Waring have four children:

  1. Seabury Bassett Bassett, born March 26, 1900
  2. Margaret Bassett, April 27, 1902
  3. Janice Bassett, July 25, 1903
  4. Mary B. Bassett, July 7, 1910

Rufus W. Bassett Family of Fall River, Massachusetts

Rufus W. Bassett, son of the late Charles J. H. and Martha B. (French) Bassett, of Taunton, was born in that city July 22, 1853. After receiving a high school education he entered the office of the Eagle Cotton Company, at Taunton, where he remained for several years, later removing from Taunton to Fall River to become bookkeeper for the Troy Cotton & Woolen Manufactory. After some years in this position he opened an office as a cotton and cloth broker, later associating himself with Nathan Durfee under the firm name of Bassett & Durfee, in a partnership which was continued to the time of his death. The firm did a large business and were the recognized representatives of the American Printing Company in the purchase of goods in this market. In this capacity they frequently took very large quantities of goods. Mr. Bassett was also a director in the Metacomet National Bank, the Fall River Electric Light Company and the Richard Borden Manufacturing Company.

In young manhood Mr. Bassett was fond of athletics, and as an amateur played right field and first base for the Fall River nine, a semi-professional organization. He served for some time, when he first came to Fall River, in Company M (of which he was a charter member), Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. He had a genial, obliging disposition, which made him very popular with those who came in contact with him, and he was everywhere recognized as a man of ability and a useful and valuable citizen, whose death was a loss to the city. He was a member of the First Congregational Church.

Mr. Bassett was prominent in political life, in which he exerted a considerable influence up to the time of his death. He was a member of the old common council in 1887 and 1889, and of the board of aldermen from Ward 8 in 1890-91. On June 4, 1902, Gov. W. Murray Crane appointed him to the board of police commissioners, for a three years’ term, and on June 19, 1903, he was named by Gov. John L. Bates to be chairman of the board. When his term expired, Governor Douglas, a Democrat, was in office, and James Tansey was appointed to succeed him. On May 22, 1907, Mr. Bassett was again appointed to the board by Gov. Curtis Guild, Jr., and in June, 1908, was designated as chairman, his term to expire the first Monday in June, 1910. Mr. Bassett also served as a trustee of the public library from 1891 to Feb. 4, 1901, when he resigned to take the police commissionership. He was again appointed March 31, 1906, resigning June 19, 1908. He was a member of the Old Colony Historical Society. He died July 26, 1909, at his home on High street, Fall River.

On Sept. 13, 1882, Mr. Bassett was married to Harriet Minerva Borden, born June 15, 1856, daughter of the late Col. Thomas J. and Mary E. (Hill) Borden, of Fall River, Mass., and a direct descendant of Richard Borden, of Borden, in the County of Kent, England, who came to America in 1635 and settled at Portsmouth, R. I., from whom her descent is through

John Borden and his wife Mary (Earle)
Richard Borden (2) and his wife Innocent (Wardell)
|Thomas Borden and his wife Mary (Gilford)
Richard Borden (3) and his wife Hope (Cook)
Thomas Borden and his wife Mary (Hathaway)
Col. Richard Borden and his wife Abby W. (Durfee)
Col. Thomas J. Borden and his wife Mary E. (Hill).

Mrs. Bassett died Oct. 16, 1904.

Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bassett:

  1. Thomas Borden Bassett, born Aug. 24, 1883
  2. Frederick Waterman Bassett, born April 23, 1885, who died Sept. 26, 1904
  3. Margaret Bassett, born Jan. 26, 1888
  4. Charles French Bassett, born April 5, 1891, who died Dec. 26, 1891
  5. Constance Bassett, born Jan. 19, 1896