October 29, 2022

Samuel Clay Bassett, 1844-1926 [RG2891.AM]


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

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Emigrants along the Trails at Chimney Rock

Emigrants along the Trails at Chimney Rock

Marker Monday: Easter Blizzard of 1873

Marker Monday: Easter Blizzard of 1873

She Didn’t Know She Was a Statue

She Didn’t Know She Was a Statue

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.