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BASSETT, George Washington, Jr.
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
Pesented by Nancy Rayburn
III, page 286, 1923.
BASSETT Jr., GEORGE WASHINGTON. One of the active and very successful
members of the bar of St. Augustine, GEORGE WASHINGTON BASSETT, Jr.,
brought to his profession an equipment and qualifications the result
of a most unusual range of experience and exceptional personal gifts.
He was born at Lake City, Columbia County, Florida, December 25, 1884,
son of GEORGE WASHINGTON and CORINNE ELIZABETH (MONCRIEF) BASSETT, his
father a native of Charleston, South Carolina, and his mother of
Montgomery, Alabama. His father began his education in South Carolina,
and was a boy when the family established their home at Tallahasse,
Florida, where he grew up, completed his school work, and then began
railroading as a lifelong occupation and profession.
For a time he was with the Florida Central and Peninsula Railroad, then
with the Florida Southern Railroad, and for many years has been with
the Atlantic Coast Line. He has been conductor, station agent, yard
master and is now chief clerk in the freight operating department
at Palatka, which has been the home of the family for over thirty years.
The father is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, is a democrat and
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He and his wife have
two children, GEORGE W., Jr., and MABEL C., wife of D. J. COUGHLIN.
GEORGE W. BASSETT, Jr., was three years of age when his parents moved to Palatka. He attended
the grammar and high school there, and was then appointed a cadet in the United States Naval
Academy at Annapolis. Eighteen months later he resigned on account of ill health. Following
that he was an employee for several months in the general offices of the Atlantic Coast Line
Railroad at Palatka. He continued his higher education in Stetson University at DeLand and
also at the University of Florida. As a result of a competitive examination had received an
appointment to the West Point Military Academy, but did not enter that institution since
there seemed to be an opportunity to acquire a commission two years earlier through actual
service. Consequently in November, 1904, he became a private in the One Hundred and Eleventh
Company of the Coast Artillery Corps at Fort Dade, Edgmont, Florida. In 1906 he took the
physical and mental examination for a commission at Fort Oglethorpe, but failed to receive a
commission of second lieutenant through lack of sufficient service. He had been made a
noncommissioned officer two months after entering the army and in 1907 he took his discharge
as sergeant major. While in the army he taught the Post School and was the chief plotter,
these facts indicating something of his versatility. After taking his discharge he was made
assistant construction engineer in the Quartermaster's Department and continued until March,
1908. He has been for a number of years Judge Advocate General of the National Guard of Florida.
After leaving the army Mr. BASSETT was in the insurance business as cashier of the Florida
Life Insurance Company at Tampa, and subsequently as district manager for the company of the
East Coast of Florida. In May, 1910, he took up the study of shorthand, acquired proficiency
in thirty days' time, and while acting as stenographer with several law firms at Palatka, he
studied law and in eighteen months was admitted to the bar. He had begun the study of law
privately while in the army. He was admitted on examination before the Supreme Court June 13,
1912, and at once engaged in general practice at Palatka. On January 18, 1915, Mr. BASSETT
removed to St. Augustine. He handles a general practice, and has represented a number of
prominent interests during his professional career.
He is a member of the St. Johns County Bar Association. Fraternally he is affiliated with
Ashler Lodge No. 98, F. & A. M., and demitted from Florida Consistory No. 2, to become a
charter member of St. Augustine Lodge of Perfection No. 1. He is also a member of Morocco
Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Jacksonville, is a charter member of the St. Augustine Rotary
Club, and a member of the Country Club. In politics he is a democrat and a member of the
State Executive Democratic Committee.
January 19, 1908, Mr. BASSETT married Miss LENA H. DIVINE, daughter of W. D. DIVINE, a prominent
citizen of St. Petersburg. She was born at Bartow, Polk County, Florida. They have two
children, GEORGIA CLARICE and NAN ELIZABETH.
This page created August 24, 2010
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