Life and Adventures of Sam Bass, The Notorious Union Pacific and Texas Train Robber Page: 3
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EARLY LIFE OF BASS.
Hoosier Boy.-Out in the World.-Down the Mississippi.-Rapid
Progress in Diszipation.-Arrival in the Lone Star State.
Sam Bass was born July 21st, 1851, in Lawrence county, Indiana,
on a falrn two miles north of Mitchell. He was the son of
Daniel Bass, who in 1840 had married Elizabeth J. Sheeks and
settled upon a farm, where by industry and economy he acquired
a competency. They had ten children, the two oldest of whom
died in infancy. The third son, Geo. W. Bass, enlisted in the 16th
regiment Indiana volunteers and was killed in the battle of Richmond,
Ky., August 30th, 1862. The rest of the children, with the
exception of the wayward subject of this sketch, are still living in
Lawrence and Martin counties, Indiana. Their names are John,
Denton and Sallie Bass, Euphema Beasley, Mary Hersey and Clarissa
Hersey, "all doing well," so the chronicles state, "and highly
In 1861 Bass lost his mother, but a few months after his father
made haste to supply the loss by marrying "a pious young
widow and devoted member of the M. E. Church." This union
seems to have bec-n attended by excellent results, as we are informed
that soon after the marriage "Daniel Bass joined the M. E.
Church and was a praying Methodist up to the time of his death
which occurred February 20th, 1864." One child was born from
this last marriage, Charles Bass, who now lives at Kansas City,
After the death of the elder Bass, Daniel L. Sheeks, an uncle
of the heirs, took charge of the estate and the children. Mr.
Sheeks, being one of the largest, and most respectable farmers
in the country, trained the children up to the habits of industry
and gave them all the advantages of education and improvement
conferred upon his own children. But as Bass could not read and
could barely sign his name, these advantages could not have been
There seems to be no question that the Bass and Sheeks families
were hi2<ghly respectable and had the esteem of all the people
with whom they lived.
Up to the time of the death of his father and for two or three
year afterward, young Bass maintained an excellent character,
but after that he began to associate with bad companions and soon
acquired evil habits.
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Biographical sketch of Sam Bass with an emphasis on his time as a train robber.
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Life and Adventures of Sam Bass, The Notorious Union Pacific and Texas Train Robber, book, 1878; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46828/m1/5/: accessed June 12, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .