Harvey Bass

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Harvey Lee Bass

(Businessman and civic
and political activist)

Political party Democrat

Born October 11, 1918
Jones County, Texas, USA
Died February 7, 2007
Snyder, Scurry County, Texas
Spouse Marie Bingham Bass (married 1945-2007, his death)
Religion Primitive Baptist

Harvey Lee Bass (October 11, 1918 – February 7, 2007) was a businessman in Muleshoe, Texas, who for twenty-six years served as the Bailey County Democratic Party chairman, prior to the overwhelming movement of West Texas into the Republican Party during the 1990s.

A native of Jones County north of Abilene, Bass was the youngest and last surviving of fourteen children of Henry Isom Bass (1873-1968) and the former Mary Evaline Jones (1877-1961), who are interred at Anton Cemetery in Anton in Hockley County, also in West Texas.[1]

Bass graduated in 1939 from Meadow High School in rural Meadow in Terry County, Texas. Thereafter, he was employed by the former Burleson-Garrett Engineering Company, laying telephone line in East Texas. He also worked for North American Aviation in Hawthorne, California, having helped to build P-51 Mustangs and B-25 bombers.[2]

In 1946, Bass married the former Marie Bingham (1921-2015) in Crosbyton in Crosby County, Texas. The couple moved to Muleshoe to operate together Harvey Bass Appliance and Furniture, a company that survived until 2003, having been a mainstay of the community. Mrs. Bass, a native of Young County south of Wichita Falls, said of their business, “And we enjoyed it! We had fun!”[3] 

In addition to his local political activities, Bass sat on numerous boards and commissions designed to promote the western-style image of Muleshoe and Bailey County. He helped to organize the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce and was a charter member of Rotary International there and a Paul Harris Fellow. His obituary indicates that Bass was "known for his positive attitude, optimistic outlook, and his ì-can-do-ît attitude"[2]

After World War II,  Bass returned from California to Texas to join with a brother-in-law, Afton E. Richards (1914-1984),[4] to publish The Aspermont Star, a weekly newspaper in rural Aspermont in Stonewall County near Abilene. Prior to Bass' tenure, The Star had earlier been briefly owned and operated by former Texas State Senator Marshall Formby, who ran for governor in the 1962 Democratic primary against John Connally.[5] The paper is now known as The Stonewall County Courier.

Bass was long affiliated with the Primitive Baptist Church, a conservative largely Calvinist denomination, also known as "Hard Shell Baptists," which he joined while living in California. He was a deacon, first in Rule in Haskell County, and then in Muleshoe. With his wife, he taught church singing schools in Texas and Oklahoma.[2]  Primitive Baptists avoid Sunday school, shun musical instruments, and practice foot washing as a symbol of humility. Bass and Richards also took over the publication for a time of The Banner of Love, a Primitive Baptist monthly newspaper first published in 1932 in Lubbock.[6]

After his health declined, the Basses relocated from Muleshoe to Snyder in Scurry County, the home of their younger daughter, Vina Strayhorn, and her husband, Thomas.[2][7]

The Basses were also survived by an older daughter, Carolia Johnson and husband Ron of Aledo in Parker County, Texas, west of Fort Worth, and five grandchildren. They are interred at Snyder Cemetery.[3]

References

  1. Henry Isom Bass. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on September 16, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Obituary of Harvey Lee Bass. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (February 9, 2007). Retrieved on December 19, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Marie Bingham Bass. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on September 16, 2017.
  4. Afton E. Richards. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on September 16, 2007.
  5. Marshall Formby. centennialcircleofhonorplainviewexas.com. Retrieved on December 18, 2009.
  6. Banneroflove.net; no longer on the Internet.
  7. Harvey Lee Bass. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on September 16, 2007.