Josie Bassett


Personal and Family Information

Josie was born in 1874 in Arkansas, the daughter of Amos Herbert Bassett and Mary Eliza Chamberlain.

She died in 1964. The place is not known.

Pedigree Chart (3 generations)


Josie Bassett


Amos Herbert Bassett


Samuel C Bassett


Ann Mariah Scott


Amos Scott


Sarah Sally Stewart


Mary Eliza Chamberlain



Place: Arkansas
Census5 JUN 1880
Place: Sweetwater County, Wyoming
Age: 5 to 6
Address: Green River, dwelling 37 family 38 Bassett, A.H. wm 47 married, Laborer, born NY father & mother NY __ Eliza wf 23 wife, marred keeping house born Ark, father Va mother Ark, Josie wf 6 daugher born Ark, Samuel wm 4 son born Ark, Annie wf 2 daughter born Utah
Census15 APR 1910
Place: Routt County, Colorado
Age: 35 to 36
Address: Browns Park, dist 0137, dwelling 1 family 1 Bassett, A.H. head, mw age 75 widowed, born NY father and mother NY ___ Sam'l C, brother mw 73 single, born NY father and mother NY, Mcknight, Crawford grandson 17 single born Colorado, father Utah mother Ark. McKnight Herbert grandson mw 15 single born Colorado, father Utah mother Ark. Wells, Emerson son in law mw 38 m1 0 yr born Indiana, Wells, Josie daughter fw 35, m3 0yr this marriage, mother of 2, 2 living born Ark, father NY mother Ark dwelling 2 family 2 Bassett, Elbert H head mw 27 single born NY, father NY, mother Ark
Place: Moffat County, Colorado
Address: Bassett Cemetery , Maybell, Moffat County, Colorado, Find A Grave Memorial# 74411798


Note 1

Josephine Bassett 1874-1964

Married 5 times, once to James MacKnight. Rumored to be a one-time sweetheart of Butch Cassidy.

Burial: Bassett Cemetery , Maybell, Moffat County, CO. Find A Grave Memorial# 74411798

Emerson "Mig" Wells 1872 Indiana-1913 Utah Find A Grave Memorial# 20438212

Josie Bassett's fourth husband, Emerson "Mig" Wells, with two or three other men, left their Willow Creek Ranch (Tom Davenport Ranch) in Brown's Park to attend a New Year's Eve dance being held at Linwood, Utah, some forty miles to the west. When they arrived, the hotel-boarding house, kept by Minnie Ronholt (daughter of Charley Crouse of Brown's Park), was full, and they were put up in a small house belonging to Willard Schofield.

An item prepared for publication in the Green River (Wyo.) Star, dated, but never published, tells the story:

Green River, January 10, 1913. Information has been received from Linwood of the death of Emerson Wells, on the morning of January 1. He is said to have been on a drunk the day and night before and early the morning of the first his wife gave him a drink from a bottle of whiskey. In a very short time he was seized with convulsions and one followed the other until he died a little after eight o'clock. There were no available officers nor physicians near at the time and the body was conveyed to the Well's home on Willow Creek, near Brown's Park, without an inquest having been held. The burial took place January 7, as nearly as can be learned. It is the opinion of those who saw Wells just before he died that he swallowed poison, perhaps strychnine, as his actions were similar to the actions of men who had been known to die of the effects of an overdose of that drug. It is possible that in a fit of remorse, rage, or discouragement, he committed suicide, but people who ought to know do not believe it. Mrs. Wells is said to have made the statement that her husband was subject to convulsions or fits...

The men folks were drinking a great deal during the day and Wells took on too much. When dance time came he was in bed and asleep. The others got ready to go to the dance hall and before leaving they covered the sleeping man up and left him. He didn't sleep very long and as soon as he awoke he got up and went over to the dance to fetch his wife back to the room. When they reached the little rooming house they are said to have had a fuss. She returned to the dance and he went back to bed. When the dance was over, sometime between one and three o'clock, Mrs. Wells returned to the room. Her husband, who was awake at the time, or soon afterward, called for a drink of whiskey which she gave him according to information received. In a few hours he was dead. Whether he had taken a drink before or after has not been learned.

Wells was a familiar character in northeastern Utah. He resided on what is known as the Davenport Ranch on Willow Creek, which is now owned by August Kendall, president of the First National Bank, Rock Springs, Wyoming. A few months ago, Wells was arrested along with Peter Derrick, on the charge of removing marks from sheep. That case was dismissed by the Justice Court, and Wells was bound over to the District Court in the sum of $500. He was to have had his trial at the coming term. Mrs. Wells' maiden name was Bassett.

The snow was so deep that no outside authorities could be brought in, and Josie had the local constable, Justice of the Peace, Ed Tolten, "wrapped around her little finger." She then did a strange thing: she had Mig Wells' body taken outside where it was frozen stiff. Then Josie ordered the corpse loaded onto the wagon to be taken back to Brown's Park for burial. Karl Talley loaded the body onto the wagon, and Jose Bueno (known as "Joe Good"), one of her hired men, drove her back to Willow Creek.

Mig Wells was buried on January 7, in the little cemetery adjacent to the Lodore School. A few days later, however, a cowboy found the grave open and the coffin empty.

After Josie had left the boarding house at Linwood, Minnie began tidying up the room, and found a small vial of poison which she turned over to George Stephens, later sheriff of Daggett County, Utah. An inquiry was held, to which Josie was summoned to appear. She did, with a six-gun strapped to her waist and rifle in hand. This intimidating posture, coupled with the disappearance of the corpse, caused the inquiry to be prudently dropped.

Josie ran a hotel in Baggs, Wyoming, for a time, then moved to Rock Springs, where she had a reunion with Butch Cassidy and Elzy Lay. In 1919 she homesteaded a place several miles up the Green River from Jensen, Utah, a few miles east of Vernal. Not long afterward, she was arrested and tried on a charge of cattle rustling, reminiscent of that of her sister, Queen Ann, a few years before. She appeared in court dressed nattily, and, in her best manner, convinced the jury that she was simply incapable of the act. She was duly acquitted of the charge.

Migs father was Archamides, his mother was Cassandra, brother was Andrew and sister was Ellen.


Burial: Lodore Cemetery