BASS, THOMAS COKE
BASS, THOMAS COKE (ca. 1830–1878). Thomas Coke Bass, attorney and Confederate cavalry officer, was born about 1830 in Mississippi. He was admitted to the Mississippi bar about 1858 and moved to Sherman, Texas, where he established a practice specializing in land law. With the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency in 1860, Bass became an outspoken advocate of secession. He is credited with raising the first Confederate flag over the Grayson County Courthouse. With the onset of the Civil War, he raised a cavalry regiment in Grayson and Cooke counties and in June 1862 was commissioned a colonel in the Twentieth Texas Cavalry. In this position he saw action in Texas and Indian Territory and commanded the force that captured Fort Washita. In addition, his cavalry unit participated in the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, on December 7, 1862. Bass spent the remainder of the war defending Indian Territory. After the war he returned to his law practice in Sherman. In addition to this business, he published a newspaper, the Sherman Courier, for a short time in 1866. He married Ada Dalton Hocker on July 10, 1867. The couple had two sons and a daughter.
As a land agent Bass developed a system to verify land claims, which he published as Best System of Abstract. He advertised the pamphlet, which explained his system and listed the legally available lands in Grayson, Denton, Collin, Cooke, and Fannin counties, in numerous national publications. This system and his advertisement of it apparently brought him considerable business. He gained local notoriety in 1874 when he purchased the decrepit, twenty-five-year-old Grayson County Courthouse, had it leveled, and sold the bricks for use in chimneys. In 1878 he responded to an appeal from Memphis, Tennessee, for aid in combating a devastating yellow fever epidemic. Bass and a companion, Dr. T. J. Heady, contracted the disease upon their arrival in Memphis, and Bass died there on September 22, 1878.
Grayson County Frontier Village, History of Grayson County, Texas (2 vols., Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1979, 1981).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Brian Hart, "BASS, THOMAS COKE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbaac), accessed December 02, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles