Biography of Alexander W. Bass
Kings County, CA Biographies





ALEXANDER W. BASS.
An enumeration of those men of the present generation who have won success and public recognition for themselves, and at the same time have honored the locality to which they belong, would be incomplete were there failure to make specific mention of Alexander W. Bass, probably the best known and most successful house mover in the entire San Joaquin valley, who was torn in Springfield, Missouri, on the 30th day of October, 1861. He was reared under the parental roof and secured his education in the public schools of his native city. At the age of nineteen years he went to Boise City, Idaho, where for seven years he engaged in farming. In the spring of 1888 he came to Hanford, where for six months he was employed at farm labor, and then turned his attention to learning the carpenter trade. His first work was on the construction of the old Hanford flouring mill and he also helped twice to build the Artesia Hotel. In 1900, encouraged by the stories of great fortunes that were being brought out of the Alaskan gold fields, Mr. Bass went to Nome, Alaska. When he arrived there on June 1st the population consisted of about six hundred people, but in six weeks the population had jumped to thirty thousand. It was one of the greatest booms in the history of gold fields, and naturally thousands who went there were disappointed. Mr. Bass went there on a mining deal and was one of the few who came away with more money than he took with him.

After his Alaska experience Mr. Bass returned to Hanford and during the following three years worked on general construction work. He then engaged in business as a house mover and from that time to the present has stood in the front rank in that line of work. He has literally moved hundreds of houses and has had some extraordinary experiences and some very difficult and dangerous jobs. The longest distance he moved a house was fifty two miles, from Delano, Kern county, to Hanford, and the shortest move made was two feet. In a distance of eight blocks on Douty street, Hanford, practically every house was either erected by Mr. Bass or moved to that location by him. In 1907, after the earthquake, he went to Santa Rosa, Sonoma county, and spent eight months in wrecking buildings which had been ruined by the quake. He moved the Southern Pacific Railroad depot in Armona a mile and also moved the old Southern Pacific depot in Hanford. He moved seventy five houses from the city of Tulare and has moved many ranch houses in various parts of the valley.

Politically Mr. Bass gives his support to the democratic party. He is now serving his third term as trustee of the city of Hanford. During his period of service on this board practically all of the modern improvements in Hanford have been made, including the fire protection system and most of the paved streets, and he was a member of the committee which had in charge the buying of the new truck for the fire department. He served as chief of the fire department in 1912 and for thirty three years has been a volunteer member of the department, and, despite his age, he still responds to alarms and bears his full share of the work. For twenty three years he has been a director of the Cemetery Association. Fraternally he is a member of the Woodmen of the World, the Knights of Pythias and the Knights of the Maccabees.

Mr. Bass was married on September 6, 1888, to Miss Alice Howard, of Visalia, and to them were born four children, namely: Ernest, who is in business in Long Beach, California; Mrs. Ethel Mona of Hanford; Mrs. Anita Saxon of Los Angeles; and Edna, at home. Personally Mr. Bass enjoys marked popularity in his home community. While he has carried on a special line of business in such a manner as to gain a comfortable competency for himself, he has also belonged to that class of representative citizens who promote the public welfare while advancing individual success. A man of great energy, he has carried rare judgment into every affair in which he has engaged, and has contributed in every way possible to the advancement and welfare of his community.

From:
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
and
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1926


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