Tuesday, July 19, 2005

100th Anniversary of the death of Jane Stanford

E.C. Fellows / A.C. Bassett

From: "Larry Mullaly" lmullaly@jeffnet.org

One thing leads to another. The fine information on Fellows brings up a colleague of his that I have been trying to track down: AC Bassett.

In 1870 Bassett was the chief dispatcher for EC Fellows, Superintendent of the Western Division, who transferred with him from Sacramento to Oakland at that time. At the end of that year when Stanford et al. obtain operational control of the newly reincorporated Southern Pacific, Bassett was appointed Assistant Superintendent of that line, San Francisco to Gilroy.

Bassett and Fellows seem to have been closely linked. A telegrapher named Fonda, terminated from the SP in 1872 responsibility for the collision involving SP No. 1, CP Huntington, later appears as an engineer on the Western Division.

Bassett also seems to have died at a relatively young age, since a station point just east of San Gabriel in Southern California receives his name in the late 1880's (I believe), and the street in San Jose fronting the railroad station is renamed in his honor. He may be the same AC Bassett whose name shows up in San Jose militia lists during the period 1864-1866. On the basis of his 1873 Assistant Superintendent's Journal as well as newspaper remarks from that period he was a respected and effective operating officer.

I would assume he learned his railroad craft on the Central Pacific – possibly under Fellows. Any information would be appreciated.

Larry Mullaly