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RG2891.AM:  Samuel Clay Bassett, 1844-1926

Papers:  1871-1926; mostly 1907-1926

Buffalo County, Neb.:  Agriculturist, legislator

Size:  3.0 cu.ft.; 6 boxes


Samuel Clay Bassett was born in Wilson, New York July 14, 1844.  He was a graduate of Corning Academy, and in 1864 enlisted in the 142nd New York Infantry, serving with that unit until the end of the Civil War.  He was married in Grant County, Wisconsin to Lucia M. Baker in 1867.  In 1871, accompanied by his wife and two children, he came to Nebraska taking up a soldier’s homestead claim near Gibbon, one of the original Gibbon colonists.  Here he lived throughout the remainder of his life.  He developed Echo Farm, as he christened his homestead, from a barren prairie into one of the most beautiful farms in the entire Platte Valley.

Mr. Bassett taught five terms of school, the first being the first term of winter school taught in Buffalo County, and served twenty years as a member of the school board in District #8.  He was secretary of the first Buffalo County Agricultural Society, 1875; and was a charter member and first president of the Nebraska Dairyman’s Association, 1885.  Mr. Bassett was also a member of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture for 14 years, serving two terms as president.  He acted as first president of the Buffalo County Republican convention in 1871 and served as a member of the state legislature in 1885, and again in 1911.  From 1909-1915 he acted as vice president of the Nebraska State Historical Society.  Bassett also served as Post Commander of the G.K. Warren Post 113 of the Grand Army of the Republic at Gibbon, Nebraska.

Samuel Clay Bassett died March 14, 1926, at Echo Farm, Gibbon, Buffalo County, Nebraska.


This collection consists six boxes of papers of Samuel Clay Bassett dating from ca. 1871 to 1926.  The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence relating to Bassett’s agricultural interests and political issues, including Bassett’s opposition to the proposed movement of the state capitol from Lincoln to Kearney.  Other correspondence relates to activities in various organizations including the Nebraska Dairyman’s Association, the State Board of Agriculture, the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Nebraska State Historical Society and to his research into the history of Buffalo County.

In addition to the correspondence, there are folders of Bassett’s writings and research, primarily relating to his book on the history of Buffalo County.  Also included are files relating to various organizations, including the Buffalo County school district no. 8, Erie Farmers Club, Grand Army of the Republic and the Nebraska Dairymen’s Association.  The collection concludes with several general files on agriculture and politics, various collected materials, writings about Bassett, newspaper clippings and tax receipts.

Note:  See the library for copies of Buffalo County, Nebraska: and its people; a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, and Free homestead colony of Buffalo County, Nebraska, by Samuel Clay Bassett.  See the photo component [RG2891.PH] for related images.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1907-1910

  2. Correspondence, 1911, Jan.-Feb.

  3. Correspondence, 1911, Mar.-June

  4. Correspondence, 1911, July-Dec.

  5. Correspondence, 1912, Jan.

  6. Correspondence, 1912, Feb.

  7. Correspondence, 1912, Mar.

Box 2


  1. Correspondence, 1912, Apr.

  2. Correspondence, 1912, May-Oct.

  3. Correspondence, 1912, Nov.-Dec.

  4. Correspondence, 1913, Jan.-Oct.

  5. Correspondence, 1913, Nov.-Dec.

  6. Correspondence, 1914, Jan.-Feb.

Box 3


  1. Correspondence, 1914, Mar.-Apr.

  2. Correspondence, 1914, May-Dec.

  3. Correspondence, 1915, Jan.-May

  4. Correspondence, 1915, June-Oct.

  5. Correspondence, 1915, Nov.-Dec.

  6. Correspondence, 1916

  7. Correspondence, 1917

Box 4


  1. Correspondence, 1918

  2. Correspondence, 1919, Jan.-June

  3. Correspondence, 1919, July-Oct.

  4. Correspondence, 1920-1921

  5. Correspondence, 1922

  6. Correspondence, 1923

  7. Correspondence, 1924-1926

Box 5


  1. Correspondence, undated

  2. History of Buffalo County drafts and research

  3. History of Buffalo County drafts and research

  4. History of Buffalo County drafts and research

  5. History of Buffalo County drafts and research

  6. Misc. writings, articles, speeches, etc. by Samuel Clay Bassett

  7. Misc. writings, articles, speeches, etc. by Samuel Clay Bassett

Box 6


  1. Buffalo County school district no. 8, 1871-1890

  2. Erie Farmers Club, 1874-1881

  3. Grand Army of the Republic, ca. 1911-1923

  4. Nebraska Dairymen’s Association, 1892-1911

  5. Organizations and events, misc., 1915-1923, n.d.

  6. Agriculture

  7. Dairy and creamery information

  8. Politics and government, misc.

  9. Miscellaneous collected materials

  10. Writings about Samuel Clay Bassett

  11. Newspaper clippings

  12. Tax receipts


Subject headings:

Agriculture — Nebraska

Agriculture — Societies, etc.

Bassett, Samuel Clay, 1844-1926

Buffalo County (Neb.) — History

County Option League of Buffalo County, Nebraska

Erie Farmers Club (Buffalo County, Neb.)

Grand Army of the Republic. Department of Nebraska

Legislators — Nebraska

Nebraska — Capital and Capitol

Nebraska — Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920

Nebraska Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers (Neb.)

Nebraska Crop Improvers’ Association

Nebraska Dairymen’s Association (Neb.)

Nebraska Farmers Congress (Neb.)

Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement (Neb.)

Nebraska Pure Grain and Seed Growers’ Association (Neb.)

Nebraska Rural Life Commission (Neb.)

Nebraska State Board of Agriculture (Neb.)

Nebraska State Historical Society (Lincoln, Neb.)

School districts — Nebraska — Buffalo County


JEP/ht   10-31-1972

KFK/dco   09-04-2003

Revised TMM    02-02-2010; 01-12-2022