|The 'cowgirl' of the late west?|
Yes, I do love history. I am also guilty of becoming passionate about women in history. Couple this with a love affair with THE WEST, and you are in the company of a card carrying Old West loving Feminist. But enough about me. This post is a combination of all of the above. Queen Ann, Ann Bassett for those who don't know, is a figure from the later years of the Old West. So many stories abound about her, her sister Josie and her mother Elizabeth. All are fascinating, but I fell in love with Ann and have been digging trying to find the truth.
We know she was born in May of 1878, the second daughter of Herb and Elizabeth Bassett. The family had a ranch on the Colorado, Utah and Wyoming border. She was married twice. First to Henry Bernard, that marriage ending in divorce, then later in life to Frank Willis. She died in 1956 just shy of her 78th birthday. Her mother Elizabeth was twenty four years younger than her father, and much has been made about how Elizabeth 'ruled' her husband.
The Bassett ranch was located in Brown's Hole or Brown's Park, Moffett County, Colorado. Ann insisted that it be Brown's Park. I can hear the wheels turning in your heads. Yes, near the area made famous by Butch, Sundance and other outlaws.
|View from the rim of Johnson Draw (foreground) west-northwest along the escarpment of the Yampa fault, Moffat County, Colorado. In the distance the fault ...|
Ann was also tried for cattle rustling. The trial was held in Craig, Colorado, and story goes that they rented a large hall to accommodate all the people who wanted to attend. The circumstances surrounding the charges were circumstantial at best. The time of the big ranchers eating up the little ones was over, although this trial appeared to be a case of little ranch taking on big ranch. Ann was acquitted.
|Craig, Colorado today.|
Ann is also been declared as the real "Etta Place". For more on that, along with refutation of the claim can be found here:http://bit.ly/1JzE8Tf
One of the most complete books on the Bassett family, Herb, Elizabeth and their children is "The Bassett Women" by Grace McClure. Yet even this book doesn't give Ann her full due, in my opinion. That she was rebellious, gracious, intelligent and so much more seems to be a given. Her full story, well the whole true story, that is another matter completely. Here's to more research and trying to find the 'Almost, maybe, true story of Ann Bassett, known by many as Queen Ann.
Doris McCraw/Angela Raines: Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in Colorado and Women's History.
NEVER HAD A CHANCE- upcoming in the COWBOY CELEBRATION anthology
Home for His Heart: http://amzn.to/1KUpF6n
Photo and Poem:http://bit.ly/1dVnNwO