Judge W. H. Bassett was born January 12, 1832, on a farm in Harrison County, Kentucky, and there grew to manhood, receiving a common-school education. He later attended a commercial college in Cincinnati , 011;o, graduating May 12, 1854. Afterward he engaged in the mercantile business in Cynthiana, Kentucky. He came to what is now Douglas County, Illinois, in 1857, and was engaged in farming until 1862. At this time he enlisted in Company K, Seventy-ninth Illinois Infantry, and served to the close of the war, filling all the company offices from corporal to captain.
Upon returning from his army service our subject engaged in merchandising and farming in and near Arcola until 1882, when he was elected County judge. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1889. Politically Judge Bassett is a Republican, and religiously is an adherent of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having joined that society at Millers-burg, Kentucky, in 1856.
In 1860 our subject was married to Miss Nellie M. Gruell, and two children are the result of this union: Jonathan H., residing at Arthur, Illinois, and Martin H., residing at Mattoon, Illinois.