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Charlie E. Bassett, Lawman

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Charles E. Bassett was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on October 30, 1847 to the parents of Benjamin Bassett and Julia (Norton) Bassett.

On February 14, 1865 Charlie enlisted in Company I, 213th Regiment of Pennsylvania at Frankford, Pa. At that time he stood 5ft. 4in. He was mustered out at Fort Sill, Indian Territory.

Chosen Sheriff of Ford County, Kansas on June 5, 1873 in a special election Charlie became the first Sheriff of Ford County. He was re-elected twice, serving until 1878. In September 1877, he with under-sheriff Bat Masterson and others chased Sam Bass following a Union Pacific holdup at Big Springs, Nebraska.

A local law prohibited Bassett from being sheriff for a third successive term and he was forced to resign. His replacement, Bat Masterson, appointed him as under-sheriff.

When Ed Masterson was murdered in April 1978, Bassett became the new Dodge City marshal. Later that year Fannie Keenan was shot and killed by James Kennedy. Bassett was involved in the pursuit and capture of Kennedy. He also arrested Frank Loving who killed Levi Richardson in a gunfight in the Long Branch Saloon.

Bassett resigned in November 1879 and was replaced by Jim Masterson. He went to New Mexico where he worked for the Adams Express Company. Later on he moved to St. Louis, Montana and in 1880 he went in search of gold. He also lived in Colorado and Texas before settling in Kansas City.

Charlie Bassett owned and worked in various Kansas City saloons. About 1881 he managed the Marble Hall Saloon in Kansas City. Later he opened the Senate Saloon on West Ninth Street and their he obtained the soubriquet of " Senator ". The venture failed and Charlie became a bartender for Frank Jones and Hannon & Dixon.

Charlie returned to Dodge City in June 1883 to aid his old friend, Luke Short.

In 1895 Charlie traveled to Europe with Millionaire Emil Werk, formerly of Kansas City then Cincinnati, Ohio.

On his return fron Europe Bassett went to Hot Springs, Arkansas in hope that the waters would benefit his health.

Charlie Bassett died January 5, 1896 in Hot Springs, Arkansas of Inflammatory rheumatism, at the age of 48.



...as seen through the eyes of one person.

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