Martha Hall Bassett, Dover pioneer woman

Patty Bassett's family lived in a log cabin, like the one pictured. The cabin set back from the old Indian trail later named Bassett Road.

In 1810, Moses Hall, a farmer from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, came to Ashtabula and Dover Township to look at land. In Dover Township he purchased 2,163 acres for $2 an acre from Hubbard and Stow in Connecticut‘s Western Reserve. Moses Hall, Martha’s father, gave his daughters 50 acres and his sons 100 acres of the Dover Township lands.

Martha, known as Patty, was born in 1790 in Lenox, Massachusetts, the second daughter of Moses and Relief Swift Hall. Patty had 11 brothers and sisters. On June 14, 1810, Patty Hall, then 20 years old, and Nathan Bassett, 25, of Lee, Massachusetts, were wed. Moses Hall moved his family to Ashtabula in 1811. Patty and Nathan traveled with them in a large group of family and friends. In 1811, Patty, taking up her father’s offer of 50 acres of land in Dover Township, then continued on further west with Nathan and her two brothers, Barnabas and James, who were also claiming their lands of 100 acres.

Patty and Nathan’s land was Lot No. 82, Range No. 15 in Dover Township. Patty and Nathan found themselves living on Porter Creek next to an old Indian trail they named Bassett Road. Nathan built a log cabin and barn and began farming. He brought a turning lathe which he kept in his barn, and made furniture. He was known as a great hunter and kept bees. Patty and Nathan’s first child, Vesta Bassett, would become the first white girl born in Dover Township in 1812. The cabin was busy with little feet when Lydia, Lucy, Martha, Harriet and Nancy came along.

From 1820 to 1830, three more Hall brothers and a sister came to Dover Township. It had to be nice for Patty to have her family near. (Columbia Road, today, was named Hall Road early on.) Charles, Reuben and Edwin Hall, and David and Nancy Hall Ingersoll, arrived.

All Martha and Nathan’s girls married except Nancy. Vesta married Nathan Stanford, Lydia married John Porter, Lucy and Harriet both married Josiah Hurst (at different times), Martha married William W. Aldrich II.

When Patty was with child with Vesta, Nathan made her a baby crib. This crib has rocked every member of the Bassett family at some time and is now in the possession of a great-granddaughter.

Patty passed away at age 45 in the year 1835. There is no record of why she passed but we know life was hard and life expectancy was never a given with illnesses and hard work taking its toll.

kay laughlin

I am the Historian for the Bay Village Historical Society, member and Past President, 1976. Lived in the village since 1936.  I was part of a team that developed the Cahoon farmhouse into Rose Hill Museum in 1973.  I participated by inventoring the Cahoon items and serving as the first Accessions Chairman and as a Docent at the museum for 20 years.  I was part of the committee that brought the Osborn house to Cahoon Memorial Park in 1995 and turned it into a learning center.  Along with my sister, Gay Menning, and the society, we wrote the 'Bay Way of Life' history book in 1974.  When Ginny Peterson asked for my help, I offered my historical pictures and wrote the captions for the Arcadia picture book, 'Bay Village,' published in 2007.  

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:49 AM, 02.07.2017