Robert BASS, b. 1827, d. 1909

Robert Bass, a prosperous farmer and fruit grower, of White Oak township, his property being on section 10 not far from the village of Rose Hill, is numbered among the worthy and honored pioneer settlers of Iowa. He came to the state in 1843 and since 1845 has lived in Mahaska county. Few residents have longer been witnesses of the development and progress of the county and at all times he has taken an active and helpful part in the work of advancement. Mr. Bass was born in Boone, Kentucky, May 9, 1827. His father, William L. Bass, first opened his eyes to the light of day in the same state in 1802, representing one of the oldest families there. He was reared and married in his native locality, Miss Margaret Roberts becoming his wife. Her birth occurred in Kentucky in 1803. Mr. Bass followed farming in that state and subsequently removed to Bartholomew county, Indiana, where he opened up a tract of land, transforming it from a wild condition into one of rich fertility and productiveness. In 1843 he came to Iowa with his family, settling in Van Buren county, and after two or three years he arrived in Mahaska county in 1845. Here he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land from the government and developed a farm in Union township, spending his remaining days thereon, his death occurring in 1885, while his wife passed away in 1883. Both were more than eighty years of age at the of their demise. They had long been worthy and honored pioneer residents of the county and as such certainly deserve mention in this volume. Bass was the eldest of the family of six sons and three daughters, all of whom reached mature years and three sons and three daughters are yet living. He came to Iowa when a young man of seventeen years and remained with his parents until he had attained his majority. He worked by the month as a farm hand for several years, first receiving ten dollars per month and later an increased wage. Saving his earnings, he was eventually enabled to purchase forty acres of land near Oskaloosa, and later he traded that property for two hundred acres of raw land in Adams township, paying thereon a difference of one hundred and twenty dollars. This he at once began to break, placing the fields under cultivation, and as the years passed by he carried on his farming operations with success. Choosing a companion and helpmate for life's journey, he was married in Mahaska county in 1863 to Miss Mary Ann Roberts. He continued farming thereafter for some years, or until his wife died, leaving two children. He had made a good farm, had fenced the place and built a comfortable dwelling and good barns. Eventually however, he sold that property and bought a farm of eight hundred acres in Monroe township. Although in one tract this is practically three farms with three sets of buildings thereon. On the 4th of July, 1865, Mr. Bass was married the second time, when Miss Martha J. Algood became his wife. She was born in Montgomery county, Indiana, and is a daughter of John H. Algood, one of the early settlers of Iowa, arriving in this state about 1847. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bass have been born seven children and of this number six are yet living. By the first marriage there was a daughter and son: Rosa, the wife of W. E. Stringer, of Monroe county; and J. A. Bass, a farmer, of Pratt county, Kansas, who owns twelve hundred acres of land and is extensively engaged in raising stock. The children of the present marriage are: Mary B., the wife of W. E. Moore, a farmer, of Adams township, Mahaska county; Charles, who carries on farming in the same township; Frank, also living in Adams township; Nellie, who died at the age of ten months; R. W., who is engaged in the drug business in Monona county; Agnes, the wife of Frank Bacon, a resident farmer, of Adams township; and Paul T., who follows farming in Monroe township. Mr. Bass has given to each of his children eighty acres of land, thus enabling them to start well in life. He was one of the organizers and stockholders of the Rose Hill Savings Bank, and is now its president. In 1902 he purchased a small farm near Rose Hill, where he now resides, and since locating here he has planted a nice orchard and much small fruit. He has repaired the buildings and improved the place and gives his time to keeping it in good condition and also to the cultivation of fruit. In former years he was very extensively engaged in farming and his labors brought to him a gratifying financial reward that enabled him to provide liberally for his children and now enables him largely to live retired, but he has a nature to which indolence and idleness are utterly foreign and he could not content himself without some business interest. Mr. and Mrs. Bass are members of the Methodist Episcopal church in which he is serving as one of the officers, and they take a very active interest in church and Sunday-school work. In politics Mr. Bass has been a life-long democrat since casting his first presidential vote for Franklin Pierce in 1852. He was elected and served as justice of the peace, filling the office for several terms. He has also been township treasurer and for about twenty-five years has been a member of the school board. He has served as a delegate to county and state conventions and he is never remiss in the duties of citizenship, but on the contrary is ever alert to public interests, doing all in his power for general progress. For sixty-one years he has lived in Mahaska county and has therefore been a witness of almost its entire growth and development. He has seen it opened up and improved as the white men have reclaimed the district for the uses of civilization and he has borne his full part in advancing the onward movement.


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

Home Page