Oscar Thomas Bassett affectionately referred to as “O.T.” was born in Rutland County, Vermont in 1850. He joined the U.S. Army and later served as a contractor with experience in lumber sales in Clinton, Indiana. He moved to Fort Worth, Texas and finally came to El Paso. His marriage to Mrytle A. Nebeker may have been the reason he came to the county of El Paso.
Bassett was tasked with assessing land on behalf of the Texas and Pacific Railway. This included mines in the state of Arizona that were very promising. He moved to El Paso permanently in the 1880s.
Bassett served as President of First National Bank of El Paso. His ventures in the lumber business made him very wealthy. In 1882, he served as President of the El Paso school board. In addition, Bassett was a member of the city council.
Bassett was a proud mason and belonged to El Paso Lodge No. 130 A.F. & A.M. His brother-in-law Byrd Aquila Nebeker was the President from 1888-1889 and introduced him into the fraternity.
His son built Bassett tower in his father’s honor. The property was acquired by the philanthropist Paul L. Foster and has been remodeled.
Bassett, California is named after him. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso.
Oscar Thomas Bassett
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