Julian Marcus Bassett, rancher, land promoter, and principal founder of Crosbyton, Texas, was born in New York City on December 4, 1874, to R. M. and Fannie Louisa Bassett. He was brought to Texas in 1882; the family settled in Crosby County. He left the area to work for the McCormack Harvester Company in Chicago but returned after two years to work as a cowboy on the Three H Ranch.
While delivering cattle to market in Chicago, Bassett contracted with the Coonley Brothers (Avery, John Stuart, Howard, and Prentiss) to invest in a sheep ranch in Crosby County. The successful partnership resulted in the founding of the CB Livestock Company in 1901. The company purchased the Two-Buckle Ranch property and used the Bar N Bar brand. The company began to sell its ranchlands in 1908, and the town of Crosbyton was founded. Bassett served as the first postmaster. By 1910 he was also working as the general manager of the Crosbyton-South Plains Railroad, vice president of the Crosbyton South Plains Townsite Company, and a copartner in the Crosbyton Company. He was president of the First National Bank of Crosbyton and of the Crosbyton Telephone Company, and he owned the Bassett Land Company. These companies promoted Crosbyton and two additional townsites, Lorenzo and Idalou, located in Crosby and Lubbock counties. Crosbyton, the most successful of the towns, reached a population of 1,200 by 1917.
Bassett married Cora Belle Drake on August 1, 1915; they had four children. The family moved in 1916 to San Antonio, where Bassett purchased the Block Y Ranch and the townsite of Dryden in Terrell County. He was less successful with this promotion and moved to Gila, New Mexico, in 1928. He returned to Dryden in 1930 and operated a store there until the late 1930s. He died on December 9, 1947, and was buried in the Crosbyton Cemetery.
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Julian Marcus Bassett Papers, Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University. Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum, A History of Crosby County, 1876–1977 (Dallas: Taylor, 1978). Ellis A. Davis and Edwin H. Grobe, comps., The New Encyclopedia of Texas, 4 vols. (1929?).
Ranching and Cowboys
Ranchers and Cattlemen
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Bassett, Julian Marcus,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 21, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994