The Story of the Bassman Family in America
By Erin Murphy Garcia1
George Casper Bassman
According to research done by Oliver Bassman (son of Nicholas Albert Bassmann), George Caspar Bassmann immigrated to the United States in 1844. He meet his future wife, Eva Barbara Ott on the ship, which took 3 months to cross the Atlantic Ocean.2
George Caspar Bassmann was born in Oberimbach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, WurtemberGermany on September 27, 1922.3 His parents names have yet to be determined. George Caspar's future wife can be found on the Wuerttemberg, Germany Emigration Index. Eva Barbara Ott, born in Oberrimbach, Germany, applied to emigrate to the United States in July 18444. She appears to have traveled with two brothers: Georg Leonard Ott and Johann Leonhard Ott, who applied at the same time as Eva Barbara.5 Another possible brother, Johann Michael Ott, emigrated in 1848.6
According to a Civil War Widow's Pension affidavit signed by Eva's brother, John M. Ott, the Bassmanns and the Otts knew each other in Germany:
“I was intimately acquainted with George C. Bassmann, deceased (who was my brother-in-law); I became acquainted with him in Germany about the year 1844 and we emigrated together to St. Louis, in 1844, where the said George C. Bassmann married my sister, Eva Barbara, about 1846.”7
George Caspar Bassmann and Eva Barbara Ott were married in the City of St. Louis, Missouri on February 1, 1846 by Pastor F. Picker of the Evangelical Protestant Church of St. Louis8 (also known as Independent German Evangelical Protestant Church of the Holy Ghost).9
George Caspar became a citizen of the United States when he completed a naturalization affidavit on April 6, 1848. In his declaration he listed his name as Casper Bassmann and stated that he was a native of Germany and 25 years old. When he renounced his allegiance to “every foreign Power, Prince, State and Sovereignty”, he specified the King of Wirtemberg. The document was signed, indicating that Casper could read and write. The next person to swear their allegiance to the United States on April 6, 1848 was Casper's brother-in-law, Leonard Ott, who is listed as 30 years old and also from Wirtemberg.10
According to notes from Oliver Bassman, the family stayed in St. Louis until 1857, when they moved to Cole County, Missouri.11 Unfortunately, the family has not yet been found in the 1850 census12. However, two deed records mentioning George Caspar Bassman have been found that support this assertion. In 1850, a Lancelot Jopling was paid $102 by Casper Bassmann so that Jopling would assign his interest in a mortgage held by a John Cloak. Jopling appointed Bassmann as his attorney.13 The location of the property mortgaged is not described in this record.
In 1852, George Kasper Bassman sold a parcel of land containing 92 acres and 24 hundreths to a Johnston Shults. The land was located in the north west facional quarter of section 18 township 45, north of range 5 east of the principal meridian. Lying on the waters of Creve Ceur.14
By 1860, the family had moved to Osage Township, Cole County, Missouri where they are found in the 1860 Federal Census.15 George is listed as a farmer.
George C Bassman age 38 born Germany
Barbara Bassman age 39 born Germany
Anna Bassman age 11 born Missouri
George Bassman age 9 born Missouri
John Bassman age 7 born Missouri
Augustus Bassman age 6 born Missouri
Emily Bassman age 5 born Missouri
Jasper Bassman age 3 born Missouri
According to the Declaration for Widow's Pension, filed by George's widow, Bassman enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company D, 1st Regiment of the U.S. Reserves on 13 June 1861. Her declaration states that George served until October 1861.16. Supporting her statement, a record of Bassman's enlistment can be found in Ancestry's database: “U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records”.17 This record shows Bassman living in Clark Township, Cole County, Missouri. He is 40 years old, a farmer and was born in Germany. It also states that George served previously in the Home Guards E.M.M. (Enrolled Missouri Militia). The Home Guards was a compulsory military organization whose role was to stay at home and protect their local area from bushwhackers and guerillas. They were not issued uniforms, arms or ammunition. They were expected to provide necessary items themselves, as they protected their own homes and communities.”18
We get a glimpse of George's political position from an editorial he submitted to a local newspaper: “I understand that the so called Conservative Convention at Jefferson City has appointed me as a delegate to the Conservative- Rebel Copperhead convention at Sedalia. I wish my friends to understand that I protest most earnestly against such a stain upon my name as an honest man, and that I have never done anything that could justify anybody to bring me in to the most remote connection with such a rotten concern. Clark township has, I am sorry to say, plenty of rebel and bushwhacker material to represent the miserable policy of President Johnson better than a Union man could do it. Geo. Bassman.”19 “Copperheads” was a reproachful term for those Northerners sympathetic to the South, mostly Democrats outspoken in their opposition to the Lincoln administration20.
Clearly George was proud to have served in the Union Army and was opposed to a quick reconciliation with the Southern states.
In 1868, George C. Bassman purchased land offered by the United States Federal government to help support state schools. The Township School Land Patents are indexed on the Missouri Secretary of States website. George purchased 40 acres for $90.21 This was land that the Federal government gave to the State of Missouri. The money raised by issuing the land patents funded both schools and teacher salaries.22
Bassman is listed in the 1870 Federal Census as “Casper” with his family in Clark Township, Cole County, Missouri:23
Casper Bassman age 48 born Baaden
Barbara Bassman age 45 born Baaden
John Bassman age 18 born Missouri
August Bassman age 16 born Missouri
Emma Bassman age 14 born Missouri
Casper Bassman age 12 born Missouri
Albert Bassman age 10 born Missouri
Minna Bassman age 8 born Missouri
William Bassman age 5 born Missouri
Elizabeth Bassman age 7 born Missouri
The 1880 Federal Census again shows the family in Clark Township, Cole County, Missouri:24
G.C. Bassman age 57 born Wurttemburg
Ava B Bassman age 59 born Wurttemberg
Maria E. Bassman age 24 born Missouri
Albert Bassman age 19 born Missouri
Wilhelmina Bassman age 15 born Missouri
Joanna Ott age 14 born (niece of Eva Barbara)
Next door is:
Casper Bassman age 23 born Missouri (son of George Caspar Bassman)
Maggie age 21 born Missouri
In the 1890 Veterans Schedule, George C. Bassman is listed in Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri.
His rank was 2nd Lieutenant, Company “A”, 1st Regiment, U.S. R.C., Infantry. Service dates: June 19,1861 to October 1, 1861.25
George C. Bassman died on July 8, 1893.26 His death notice in The Daily Tribune of Jefferson City, Missouri stated: “George Bassman Dead: Mr. George Bassman, an old and well-known citizen, died yesterday morning after an illness of a month of paralysis. The deceased was born at Oberimbach, Germany, September 27, 1822, and has been a citizen of Cole county since 1858. He leaves a wife and six children – four sons and two daughters – all grown and married. The funeral will take place at 3:30pm today from the family residence on Ashley street.”27
George Casper Bassmann must have been a successful farmer as the value of his estate was determined to be $9,764.9528 which in today's money worth about $200,000.29 His oldest son, John August was his executor. Eva Barbara, George's widow and their eight children received an initial dispersement of $1000 and later, each received a final settlement of $125.54.30
Eva Barbara died on March 12, 1907 in Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri31 Her death notice confirms her date of birth and emigration to the U.S.:
“Grandma Bassman Dead. Dies at the Ripe Old Age of Eighty Seven Years. Mrs. Eva Bassman was called away from our midst by the Supreme Ruler Tuesday morning at 4:15 o'clock. She was one of the oldest residents of Jefferson City and was highly respected by all her knew her.
She was born in Oberstteen, Wurtemberg, Germany in 1820, living there until a young woman, she came to American and took up her residence in St. Louis in 1844. Two years later she was married in that city to George C. Bassman, living in St. Louis county until the year 1857; when a removal was made to Cole county. Fourteen years ago the husband died here, his widow removing to Dodge City, Neb., returning to this place seven years ago and since making her home with her son. She maiden name was Ott.”32
George C. Bassman and Eva Barbara Ott had 8 known children:
1) Elizabeth Helena Bassman, born 19 June 1848 in St. Louis County, Missouri. She married Wilhelm Henry Werkmann on 22 January 1867 in Cole County Missouri. Elizabeth Helena died on 21 January 1923 in Cole County, Missouri.
2) John Casper Bassman, born 29 October 1850 in St. Louis County. He married Lucy Evaline Birdson on 1 April 1879. John Casper died on 4 October 1930 in Tuscumbia, Missouri.
3) John August Bassman, born on 7 July 1853 in St. Louis County, Missouri. He married Margaretha Meier on 21 September 1875 in Cole County, Missouri. John August died on 15 August 1936 in Cole County, Missouri.
4) Maria Emelia Bassman, born on 8 July 1855 in St. Louis County, Missouri. She married Mauritz Stenvers on 29 October 1882 in Cole County, Missouri. Maria Emelia died in January 1916 in Hooper Nebraska.
5) George Casper Bassman was born on 21 May 1857 in St. Louis County, Missouri. He married Margaretha Sahr on 30 September 1879 in Cole County, Missouri. He died on 28 July 1953 in Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri.
6) Nicholas Albert Bassman was born on 18 September 1860 in Cole County, Missouri. He married Sadie Elizabeth Buerhle on 12 February 1884 in Cole County, Missouri. Nicholas Albert died on 27 September 1965 in Jefferson City, Missouri.
7) Margaret Wilhelmina Bassman was born on 12 October 1862 in Cole County, Missouri. She married William Sommerer on 31 January 1882 in Cole County. Margaret Wilhelmina died on 16 April 1927 in Nebraska.
8) William Henry Bassman was born on 13 August 1864 in Cole County, Missouri. He married 1) Carrie S. Borney and 2) Caroline Louise Rolph. William Henry died on 31 December 1943 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
2Letter from Fred Bassman (Fred Bassman; Post Office Box 1006, Jefferson City, MO 65101) to John V. Bassman, 1 June 1979; held in 2015 by the author, Erin Murphy Garcia (3982 Far West Blvd, Austin, TX 78731). In the letter, Fred Bassman states that the family history provided had been researched by his brother, Oliver Bassman.
3Find A Grave(www.findagrave.com), memorial# 111537351 and #82494798, George Caspar Bassmann, Riverside Cemetery (Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri); digital images by Nancy Arnold Thompson. Also, “George Bassman Dead”, Jefferson City Daily Tribune, Jefferson City, Missouri, 9 July 1893, pg. 4, col. 6.
4Find A Grave(www.findagrave.com), memorial# 82494938, Eva Barbara Ott Bassmann, Riverside Cemetery (Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri); digital images by Nancy Arnold Thompson. Also, “Mrs. Eva Barbara Bassmann Passed Away Tuesday Morning”, Jefferson City Daily Tribune, Jefferson City, Missouri, 13 March 1917, pg. 2, col. 3.
5Ancestry.com >Wuerttemberg, Germany Emigration Index>[database on-line]. Listing for Eva Barbara Ott, date: July 1844, listing for George Leonard Ott , date: July 1844, and listing for Johann Leonard Ott, date: July 1844. Original data: Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index. Vol. I-VIII. Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Ancestry, Inc., 1986.
6Ancestry.com >Wuerttemberg, Germany Emigration Index >[database on-line]. Listing for Johann Michael Ott, dated August 1848.
7Eva B. Bassman certificate #413837, Civil War Widow's Pension, Micropublication (Washington: NARA).
8George Bassman marriage to Eva Barbara Ott, Ancestry.com. Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm
9Archives of EdenTheological Seminary website: http://library.webster.edu/luhr_library/guides/churches/mo_stl_hg.html, accessed 4/25/2015.
10Casper Bassman, Declaration of Aliens, Naturalization Cards, St Louis City Circuit Court, St. Louis City, Missouri, volume T, page 331. Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri.
11Letter from Fred Bassman (brother of Oliver Bassman) to John V. Bassman, dated June 1, 1979, currently in the possession of the author, Erin Murphy Garcia, 3982 Far West Blvd, Austin, TX 78731, firstname.lastname@example.org. The letter indicates that the information therein was accumulated by Oliver Bassman.
12Search of 1850 census on Ancestry.com, search terms “Bassman”, “Ott”, “George Bass*”, accessed April 25, 2015.
13City of St. Louis, Missouri, Recorder of Deeds, Book N5, Page 185.
14City of St. Louis, Missouri, Recorder of Deeds, Book B6, Page 337.
15Ancestry, 1860 Federal Census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Osage, Cole, Missouri; Roll: M653_615; Page: 335; Image: 339; Family History Library Film: 803615
16U.S. Civil War Pension File, “George C. Bassman” filed by Eva Barbara Bassman on 27 July 1893. Widow's application #580636, Certificate #413837, NARA,
17Ancestry Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865. NM-65, entry 172, 620 volumes. ARC ID:4213514. Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War), Record Group 110. National Archives at Washington D.C.
18Life of a Home Guard...”, http://www.civilwarmo.org/educators/resources/info-sheets/life-home-guard-and-enrolled-missouri-militia, site accessed on 6/14/15.
19Jefferson City State Times, Jefferson City, Missouri, August 10, 1866, pg>?.
21Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri, Cole County, “Township School Land Patents”, volume $, Page 428 (image 435).
23AncestryAncestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
24Ancestry, AncestryAncestry.com. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1880 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
25Ancestry, US Veterans Schedule 1890 Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M123, 118 rolls); Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
26Find-a-Grave, Memorial#Findagrave.com, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 24 April 2015), entry for George Caspar Bassmann, Memorial# 111537351, George Caspar Bassmann, Riverside Cemetery, Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri. Also, Death Notice, “George Bassman Dead”, Jefferson City Daily Tribune, Jefferson City, Missouri, July 9, 1893, Pg. 4, column 6
27The Daily Tribune, Jefferson City, Missouri, “George Bassman Dead:, July 9, 1893 pg.3.
28George Casper Bassman settlement statement, Cole County, Missouri, fiche #478B, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri.
29Manuel, David, “Inflation Calculator”, at http://www.davemanuel.com/inflation-calculator.php, (accessed June 15, 2015).
30George Casper Bassman settlement statement, Cole County, Missouri, fiche #478B, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri.
31Find ind-a-Grave, Memorial#Findagrave.com, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 24 April 2015), entry for Eva Barbara Bassmann, Memorial# 111537351, George Caspar Bassmann, Riverside Cemetery, Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri
32The Jefferson Democrat, Jefferson City, MO, March 14, 1907, pg. 1.
Mauritz Stenvers and wife Emelia Bassman
This photo is owned by the Stenvers family.
George Caspar Bassman
This appears to be a painting made from a photograph, circa 1865. This image is owned by the Stenvers family.
Eva Barbara Ott Bassman (owned by the Stenvers Family)
This appears to be a painting made from a photo, ca 1865.
Bassman kids: Elbert, Mellie, Laura, Minnie & Henry, abt. 1910
Katherine (Zimmerman) Bassman
Minnie, Henry & Mellie Bassman
Bassman Family 1943
Elbert, Henry, Minnie & Mellie Bassman, abt. 1906
John Victor Bassman
Emma Bassman Freshley
Granddaughter of John August Bassman
Elbert, John Victor and Henry Bassman
Pulaski County, Missouri
John Victor Bassman
Georg Caspar Bassman Tombstone, Cole County, Missouri
Barbara Eva Ott Bassman Tombstone, Cole County, Missouri