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When Charles Hall BASSETT and Mary Ann KYGER were married in Brookville, Indiana, on August 25, 1863, they brought together families that had been part of the earliest settlements along the Whitewater River valley in Southeastern Indiana. The children of this marriage were to participate in the building of a new settlement in northern Lake County named Gary. The seven children of Charles and Mary were: Leora T. (1865-1922) m. Daniel Havens (known to all as Lola and Doc) Ch. Mabel, Georgia, C. Howard, Madeleine Lewis W. (1869-1873) A. Gertrude (1872-1959) m. Frank O. Hodson Ch. Ralph Grace (1876-1961) m. Charles Allison Ch. Vivian L. Orris W. (1878-1966) m. Mary Emma Hains Ch. Maxine Harry H. (1880-1893) Walter S. (1884-1961) m. Golda Tegarden Ch. Mary, Robert, Virginia about 1893 the family moved to Elwood, Indiana, where the oldest daughter had gone to live with her husband. As the children married and established their own homes, they either lived nearby or made the weekly trek to spend Sunday with Charles and Mary. Charles had been a brick layer but joined his son, Orris, in the plumbing business in Elwood. Gertrude was the first of the Bassett brothers and sisters to move to Gary where she and her husband, Frank Hodson, became socially prominent community leaders. Encouraged by the Hodsons and the opportunity offered in this budding city, one by one the other family members made the move. The Allisons and Havens had moved to Indianapolis, but both families were in Gary by 1920 with daughters Vivian Allison and Madeleine Havens enrolled in Emerson High School. About 1920 Charles and Mary also moved to Gary and were joined by Orris in 1925. When first arriving in Gary the families usually lived with or near one another--often renting a house from the Hodsons. The addresses include 521 Monroe, 221 W. 6th Ave., 525 and 527 Jackson. Walter was the only Bassett off-spring to resist Gary. He and his family moved frequently and to several different states, but resided for a number of years at 8204 Forest Ave. in Munster. Distance, however, seldom prevented them from joining in family gatherings. An appreciation of and talent for art and music was evidenced in several family members. Lola taught art for a time in the Gary Schools and Gertrude's hand painted china is still admired by family members. Ralph Hodson and his daughter, Sally, were both singers and lent their voices to most of the family weddings. Walter's pumpkin carvings were an annual art event for the family. Charles had served in the Union Army during the Civil War and was one of the 14 charter members of the William A. Ketcham Post of the Grand Army of the Republic which was organized in Gary in 1923--believed to be the last post to be organized. In 1926, at age 86, he became Commander of the post. In their final years, Charles and Mary lived with the Hodsons at their home at 1516 W. 6th Ave. where the regular Sunday gathering of the clan took place. Charles and Mary each died in 1929 but their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren still assembled with some regularity. They were a fun loving group, able to create their own entertainment or adopt the latest game craze. There were beach parties at Wells Street and "10-cent" Christmas parties at the home of Frank or Ralph Hodson or at Walter Bassett's home in Munster, where Walter was the first family member to discover that a basement could be converted to a "rec-room". The younger children often produced a play for the Christmas gathering. All of the youngsters have fond memories of special times at the Hodson's Long Beach summer cottage. In later years, the family gathered at Joe and Madeleine (Havens) Wildermuth's beach home or at their farm near Leroy, Indiana. In 1989 the descendants of Charles and Mary Bassett are far flung and see one another only rarely. Yet each holds a special place in his childhood memory of the Bassett family gatherings.
Source: Submitted by: Dorothy Wildermuth Vekasi - dvekasi@aol.com