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Irene Mayhew Bassett (1872–1959)

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Compiled and written by Kimberli Faulkner Hull © Cool Adventures
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John O’Neil, photographer (New Bedford, Massachusetts), Irene Mayhew Bassett, ca. 1890; privately held by the Faulkner-Hull Collection.
John O’Neil, photographer (New Bedford, Massachusetts), Irene Mayhew Bassett, ca. 1890; privately held by the Faulkner-Hull Collection.

Irene Mayhew Basset was born in June 1872 in Massachusetts to William A. Bassett and Almira D. Mayhew.1 During her childhood and teen years, Irene lived with her parents and siblings, William, Charles, Alvah, Edwin, Frederick, and Dorothy at 15 Chestnut in New Bedford and attended Middle Street Grammar School.2

[Open Endnotes in separate tab]

Tragedy struck the family in 1886, when Irene’s brothers, Alvah and Eddie, fell through the ice while playing and Eddie did not survive. Eddie is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford.3

"Dead Under Ice, Eddie Bassett," newspaper article, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 17 Jan 1886, p. 1, col. 8.
“Dead Under Ice, Eddie Bassett,” newspaper article, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 17 Jan 1886, p. 1, col. 8.

Irene graduated from New Bedford High School in 1890.4

Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of New Bedford, with the Superintendent's Annual Report, for the Year 1890, (New Bedford : Mercury Publishing Company, 1891), p. 21-23, New Bedford High School Graduating Exercise, 27 June 1890.
Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of New Bedford, with the Superintendent’s Annual Report, for the Year 1890, (New Bedford : Mercury Publishing Company, 1891), p. 21-23, New Bedford High School Graduating Exercise, 27 June 1890.
“New Bedford High School Class of 1890”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.
“New Bedford High School Class of 1890”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.

After high school, Irene became a kindergarten teacher and lived with her parents and siblings, Charles, Alvah, and Dorothy.5 Irene’s father, William A. Bassett, died in 1903.6

"William A. Bassett," death notice, The Fall River Daily Herald (Fall River, Massachusetts), 26 Feb 1902, p. 4, col. 4.
“William A. Bassett,” death notice, The Fall River Daily Herald (Fall River, Massachusetts), 26 Feb 1902, p. 4, col. 4.

Following her father’s death, Irene and all of her siblings except William lived at 166 Mills Street with their mother, Almira, and their mother’s siblings, Allen Mayhew and Harriet Mayhew Davis.7 Irene’s mother, Almira Mayhew Bassett, died in 1911 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford.8 When their uncle, Allen, died in 1917, he left the majority of his estate to Irene and her siblings.9

"Will of A. G. Mayhew," newspaper article, The Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, Massachusetts), 6 Sept 1917, p. 7, col. 3.
“Will of A. G. Mayhew,” newspaper article, The Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, Massachusetts), 6 Sept 1917, p. 7, col. 3.

Irene, Charles, and Alvah lived at 166 Mill Street for decades. Charles and Alvah ran the fish market and Irene continued to teach school. Dorothy remained at the home until the 1920s, about the same time Fred moved back in following the death of his wife, Dora, in 1922.10 In 1932, Irene and Dorothy traveled to Honduras, returning on the S.S. San Benito with a cargo of bananas.11

"Port of Boston, SS San Benito Arrives from Tela, Honduras," newspaper article, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 29 Aug 1932, p. 10, col. 4.
“Port of Boston, SS San Benito Arrives from Tela, Honduras,” newspaper article, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 29 Aug 1932, p. 10, col. 4.

Irene’s brother, William, died in Cheshire, New Haven County, Connecticut in 1934. He is buried in Rural Cemetery in New Bedford.12

"William H. Bassett," obituary, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), 22 Jul 1934, p. 17, col. 3.
“William H. Bassett,” obituary, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), 22 Jul 1934, p. 17, col. 3.

Irene’s brothers, Frederick and Alvah, died in 1944 and 1954 respectively.13 Irene and her brother, Charles, remained living together at 166 Mill Street in New Bedford until his death in 1956.14

Irene’s sister, Dorothy, was a noted psychologist. She died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1958 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford.15

"Dorothy Bassett, Psychologist Dies at Age 67," obituary, The Daily Journal (Vineland, New Jersey), 28 Jan 1958, p. 2, col. 1.
“Dorothy Bassett, Psychologist Dies at Age 67,” obituary, The Daily Journal (Vineland, New Jersey), 28 Jan 1958, p. 2, col. 1.

The last surviving sibling, Irene died at the age of about 87 in 1959 in New Bedford.16


Endnotes

1. Full name fo Irene Mayhew Bassett listed in Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of New Bedford, with the Superintendent’s Annual Report, for the Year 1890, (New Bedford : Mercury Publishing Company, 1891, p. 23, New Bedford High School Graduating Class of 1890, Irene Mayhew Bassett.

No birth record found in page-by-page searches, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1871, vol. 4, p. 74-94A, 485 births; Family Search.
Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1872, vol. 4, p. 95-116, 508 births; Family Search.
Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1873, vol. 4, p. 117-138, 502 births; Family Search.
Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1874, vol. 5, p. 1-12, 537 births; Family Search.
Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1875, vol. 5, p. 13-25, 587 births; Family Search.
Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1876, vol. 5, p. 26-38, 578 births; Family Search.

The 1900 census states a year and month of June 1872 for Irene’s birth.
1900 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 187, sheet 15B, dwelling 286, family 371, William A. Basset household.
Address: 83 Summer Street
– Irene M., daughter, age 27, single, born June 1872 in Massachusetts, school teacher
– Dorothy, daughter, age 9, single, born Sept 1890 in Massachusetts

Also, Irene and her sister, Dorothy, traveled to Honduras in 1932 and both of their birth years appear to be 4 years later than the known birth years for both Irene and Dorothy. Dorothy’s month and day match her birth record. It is possible Irene’s birth was on 21 June 1872.
Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1891-1943, S.S. San Benito, Tela, Honduras to Boston, Massachusetts, departure 22 Aug 1932, arrival 28 Aug 1932, manifest list, p.174, nos. 3, 4, Irene and Dorothy Bassett.
– no. 3, Bassett, Irene, age 56, female, single, birth 21 June 1876.
– no. 4, Bassett, Dorothy, age 41, female, single, birth 4 Sept 1894.

Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1890, vol. 7, p. 41, no. 648, Dorothy Bassett, 4 Sept 1890. Parents: William A. [Bassett], born in New Bedford, and Almira D. May [unreadable], born in Westport. Father’s occupation: Fish dealer.

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2. 1880 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 111, page 16, dwelling 149, family 202, William A. Bassett household.
Address: 15 Chestnut
– William A. Bassett, age 36, born in Massachusetts, fish dealer
– Elmira D., wife, age 32, born in Massachusetts
– Wm. H., son, age 12, born in Massachusetts
– Irene M., daughter, age 9, born in Massachusetts
– Charles M., son, age 6, born in Massachusetts
– Alvah H., son, age 3, born in Massachusetts
– Edwin B., son, age 1, born in Massachusetts

Also, “Admission to the High School,” newspaper articleThe Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 10 July 1886, p. 5, col. 3.

Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1882, vol. 5, p. 118, no. 248, Frederick C. Bassett, 25 May 1882. Parents: William A. [Bassett], born in New Bedford, and Almira Mayhew, born in Westport. Father’s occupation: Fish dealer.

Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1890, vol. 7, p. 41, no. 648, Dorothy Bassett, 4 Sept 1890. Parents: William A. [Bassett], born in New Bedford, and Almira D. May [unreadable], born in Westport. Father’s occupation: Fish dealer.

Also, W. A Greenough, complier, 1893 The New Bedford and Fairhaven Directory, (Boston, Massachusetts : W. A Greenough, 1893), p. 84, William A. Bassett.
– Bassett, William A., fish, 193 Purchase, h. 15 Chestnut

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3. “Dead Under Ice, Eddie Bassett,” newspaper article, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 17 Jan 1886, p. 1, col. 8.

Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Deaths Register 1886, vol. 5, p. 49, no. 31, Edwin B. Bassett, 16 Jan 1886. Male. Age: 7 years, 1 month. Cause of death: Drowned. Place of death: Chestnut Street. Place of birth: New Bedford. Parents: William A. and Almeda D. Burial: Oak Grove.

Also, Find A Grave, memorial 23341095, Edwin B. “Eddie” Bassett (1879–1886), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts; no headstone photo.

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4. Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of New Bedford, with the Superintendent’s Annual Report, for the Year 1890, (New Bedford : Mercury Publishing Company, 1891), p. 21-23, New Bedford High School Graduating Exercise, 27 June 1890, Irene May Bassett

Also, “New Bedford High School Class of 1890”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.

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5. W. A Greenough, complier, 1899 New Bedford and Fairhaven City Directory, (Boston, Massachusetts : W. A Greenough, 1899), p. 102-103, Bassett family listings.
– Bassett, Alvah H., mill apprentice, b. 83 Summer
– Bassett, Charles M., clerk, 193 Purchase, b. 83 Summer
– Bassett, Irene M. kindergarten teacher, b. 83 Summer
– Bassett, William A., fish, 193 Purchase, whol. 161 Front, h. 83 Summer

Also, 1900 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 187, sheet 15B, dwelling 286, family 371, William A. Basset household.
Address: 83 Summer Street
– William A. Basset, age 56, married 34 years, born Mar 1844 in Massachusetts, fish dealer
– Almira D., wife, age 52, married 34 years, born May 1848 in Massachusetts, 8 children born, 6 living
– Irene M., daughter, age 27, single, born June 1872 in Massachusetts, school teacher
– Charles M., son, age 25, single, born Oct 1874 in Massachusetts, fish dealer
– Alvan H., son, age 22, single, born Nov 1877 in Massachusetts, second hand mill
– Dorothy, daughter, age 9, single, born Sept 1890 in Massachusetts

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6. New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Deaths Register 1902, p. 297, no.185, William A. Bassett, 24 Feb 1902. Age: 57 years, 11 months, 19 days. Place of death and burial: New Bedford. Place of birth: New Bedford. Cause of death: Heart disease. Parents: William C. [Bassett] and Harriet Luther.

Also, “William A. Bassett,” death notice, The Fall River Daily Herald (Fall River, Massachusetts), 26 Feb 1902, p. 4, col. 4.

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7. 1910 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 199, ward 4, sheet 8A, dwelling 111, family 148, William A. Basset household.
Address: 166 Mill Street
– Almira D., age 60, married 44 years, born in Massachusetts, 7 children born, 6 living
– Irene M., daughter, age 35, single, born in Massachusetts, public school teacher
– Charles M., son, age 34, single, born in Massachusetts, fish market employee
– Alva H., daughter, age 32, single, born in Massachusetts, fish market
– Fred C., son, age 19, single, born in Massachusetts, twist drill
– Dorothy, daughter, age 19, single, born in Massachusetts
– Allen Mayhew, brother-in-law, age 72, widowed, born in Massachusetts
– Harriet Davis, sister-in-law, age 72, widowed, born in Massachusetts

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8. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, certificate of death, no. 440, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Almira D. Bassett, 25 Feb 1911. Place of death: 166 Mill St., New Bedford. Maiden name:  Mayhew. Widow. Spouse: William A. [Bassett]. Birth: 2 May 1848. Age: 62 years, 9 months, 23 days. Parents: Jeremiah B. [Mayhew] and Dorothy B. Manchester. Cause of death: Hepatitis. Informant: Husband. Burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, 28 Feb 1911.

Also, Find A Grave, memorial 233230949, Almira Durfee Mayhew Bassett (1848–1911), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts; no headstone photo.

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9. “Will of A. G. Mayhew,” newspaper article, The Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, Massachusetts), 6 Sept 1917, p. 7, col. 3.
– William H. Bassett of Cheshire, Connecticut, watch and chain
– Irene M. Bassett of New Bedford, $1000, niece
– Dorothy M. Bassett of New Bedford, $1000, niece
Residue divided between:
– William H. Basset of Cheshire, Connecticut, nephew
– Fred C. Bassett of Cheshire, Connecticut, nephew
– Alvah H. Bassett of New Bedford, nephew
– Charles M. Bassett of New Bedford, nephew

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10. 1920 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 140, ward 4, sheet 3A, dwelling 41, family 58, Irene Basset household.
Address: 166 Mill Street
– Irene Bassett, age 44, single, born in Massachusetts, public school teacher
– Charles, brother, age 45, single, born in Massachusetts, fish dealer, own shop
– Alvah, brother, age 43, single, born in Massachusetts, salesman, fish shop
– Dorothy, sister, age 30, single, born in Massachusetts, public school teacher

Also, 1930 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 125, ward 4, sheet 15A, dwelling 269, family 269, Irene Basset household.
Address: 166 Mill Street
– Irene Bassett, age 53, single, born in Massachusetts, public school teacher
– Fred C., brother, age 46, widower, born in Massachusetts, salesman, fish market
– Alvah H., brother, age 50, single, born in Massachusetts, proprietor, fish market
– Charles M., brother, age 55, single, born in Massachusetts, salesman, fish market

Also, 1940 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 20-76, sheet 13B, family 300, Irene Basset household.
Address: 166 Mill Street
– Irene Bassett, age 60, single, born in Massachusetts, supervisor, special classes public schools – Charles M., brother, age 65, single, born in Massachusetts, fish clerk, retail fish store
– Alvah H., brother, age 62, single, born in Massachusetts, owner of fish store
– Fred C., brother, age 56, single, born in Massachusetts, fish clerk, fish market

Also, “Cheshire, Mrs. Fred C. Bassett,” funeral notice, Record-Journal (Meriden, Connecticut), 8 Aug 1922, p. 12, col. 6.

Burial location changed to New Bedford, “Cheshire, Mrs. Fred C. Bassett,” burial notice, Record-Journal (Meriden, Connecticut), 8 Aug 1922, p. 12, col. 6.

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11. “Port of Boston, SS San Benito Arrives from Tela, Honduras,” newspaper article, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 29 Aug 1932, p. 10, col. 4.

Also, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1891-1943, S.S. San Benito, Tela, Honduras to Boston, Massachusetts, departure 22 Aug 1932, arrival 28 Aug 1932, manifest list, p.174, nos. 3, 4, Irene and Dorothy Bassett.
– no. 3, Bassett, Irene, age 56, female, single, birth 21 June 1876.
– no. 4, Bassett, Dorothy, age 41, female, single, birth 4 Sept 1894.
Note: It is believed both birth years are 4 years later than actual birth years.

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12. “William H. Bassett,” obituary, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), 22 Jul 1934, p. 17, col. 3. Death: 21 July 1934, Cheshire, Connecticut.

Also, Headstone reads: William H Bassett / 1868 – 1934 / His Wife / Sarah H. Whiting / 1869 – 1956. Find A Grave, memorial 105408178, William Hastings Bassett (1868–1934), Rural Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts with headstone photo.

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13. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, Death Index, 1941-1945, Dartmouth, Bristol County, Frederick C. Bassett, 1944, vol. 36, p. 202.

Also, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, Death Index, 1951-1955, Fall River, Bristol County, Alvah H. Bassett, 1954, vol. 41, p. 337.

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14. Manning’s New Bedford and Fairhaven Directory for the year beginning January 1955, vol 74 (Springfield, Massachusetts : H. A Manning Company, 1955) p. 200, Charles M. and Irene Bassett.
– Bassett, Charles M (Irene) retired h166 Mill
Note: Written as if spouses; they were siblings.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, Death Index, 1951-1955, New Bedford, Bristol County, Charles Mendell Bassett, 1956, vol. 73, p. 24.

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15. “Dorothy Bassett, Psychologist Dies at Age 67,” obituary, The Daily Journal (Vineland, New Jersey), 28 Jan 1958, p. 2, col. 1.

Also, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, certificate of death, no. 7441, Dorothy M. Bassett, 28 Jan 1958. Residence: North Main Road, Vineland, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Age: 65. Birth: 14 Sept 1892, New Bedford, Massachusetts. Parents: William A. Bassett and Elmira D. Mayhew. Occupation: Psychologist, Public and Private Schools. Burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Massachusetts, 31 Jan 1958.

Also, Find A Grave, memorial 233240660, Dorothy M. Bassett (1890–1958), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts; no headstone photo.

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16. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, Death Index, 1956-1960, New Bedford, Bristol County, Irene M. Bassett, 1959, vol. 75, p. 187.

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Citing this page: Kimberli Faulkner Hull, author, “Irene Mayhew Bassett (1872–1959),” Cool Adventures (https://cooladventures.com/collection/irene-mayhew-bassett-1872-1959/ : posted 2021).


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