Buell Burdett Bassette was born at New Orleans, Louisiana, February 7, 1870, the son of Frederick Henry Bassette, who fought in the Union Army in the Civil War, and Margaret (Anderson) Bassette. His father was a New Englander who was a direct descendant of William Bassett, early settler at the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.
The son received his early education at the public schools in New Britain, Connecticut. He received his appointment to West Point in 1889. Four years later he was graduated 28th in his class, and first in drawing.
Immediately after his graduation he left for Houston, Texas, to marry Miss Lena Candee on June 21, 1893. In the summer of the same year he resigned from the Army and entered the cotton seed oil business at Velasco, Texas. After four years he returned to New Britain, Connecticut, where he lived most of his subsequent life.
Buell Bassette had a tremendous capacity for work, study and research. As a business executive, a genealogist, a stamp and coin collector, a reformer, an active churchman, and a civic leader, he expended his intellectual energy freely.
When he needed recreation he turned to the field of sports. Up to the time of his death he was a member of the West Point Athletic Association. At least once a year he attended a major Army football game, and he was always in his seat early enough to see the Cadet Corps march into the stadium. He loved to watch baseball games.
Bassette was the father of three children: Mrs. Wilbur C. Gilbert of Beaumont, Texas; Harold B. Bassette of New Britain, Connecticut; and Mrs. Mrs. Ruth B. Cobb of Long Beach, California. Each of his children attended a college or university, thanks to the thoughtful planning of a loving father.
Author and compiler of One Bassett Family in America, published in 1926, a book of 877 pages weighing nine pounds, he was awarded a certificate of merit in genealogy by the Council of the Institute of Genealogy in recognition of originial research and of meritorious contributions to the archives of American genealogy.
From 1898 to 1902 he was office manager of the Russell & Erwin Manufacturing Comany. He then served as organizing auditor of the American Hardware Corporation. He was appointed General Secretary of the International Reform Bureau, with headquarters in Washington, D. C., on February 1, 1905. He returned to New Britain in 1907 and accepted a position as secretary and treasurer of the Corbin Motor Vehicle Corporation. He was auditor of the Stanley Rule and Level Company from 1909 to 1918, and treasurer from 1918 to 1929. During the following years, until his retirement in 1937, he was employed in the financial department of The Stanley Works.
Bassette held many civic positions. He was auditor of the International Reform Federation, incorporator and auditor of the New Britain General Hospital, Secretary of the New Britain Civic Safety Lsague, and president and secretary of the Commonwealth Club. He was a member of the Connecticut Historical Society. For 56 years he was an active member of the South Congregational Church. He served as a member of the New Britain Board of Health.
A life member of the Association of Graduates, he was always interested in West. Point. He loved the Academy and always spoke fondly of it.
The following editorial, which appeared in a New Britain newspaper the day following his death, is quoted:
“Buell B. Bassette, a well-known citizen of this city for many years, passed away at his home on Emmons Place last night, thus ending a career of intense activities in many fields, particularly those of research and religion in addition to his business duties here. He was an indefatigable and patient worker in quarters which attracted his meticulous attention.”
Those acquainted with his many activities outside of business marvel at the thoroughness in detailed work connected with his avocations. He was rightfully proud of a geanealogy of his family which must have taken years to accumulate. He took an active part in other associations too numerous to mention here.
A good student has passed on.