Chester Bascom
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

CHESTER BASCOM—Standing behind the mechanical industries of the city of Troy, New York, and indeed supplying a wide territory with many varieties of patterns, Chester Bascom, as the head of Bascom & Company, and the proprietor of the well-known Vedder patterns, is carrying forward a broadly practical industry. This is probably one of the oldest enterprises in Rensselaer county still carried on along the general lines originally followed, having been devoted to its present activities for nearly a century.

The Bascom family is a very old one in Massachusetts, and a century or more ago it was largely scattered to other States, this line going to Vermont and later to New York State, but a few descendants ofthe original pioneers still remain in the State of Massachusetts. Daniel W. Bascom, Mr. Bascom's father, was born in Vermont and went with the family to Crown Point, New York, when only two weeks old. There he lived and died, passing away February 2, 1873. He married Pamelia Shearer, who died April 16, 1904, after surviving her husband for many years.

Chester Bascom was born at Crown Point, New York, September 6, 1837. His education was acquired in the schools of his birthplace and at the Fort Edward Collegiate Institute. For many years he was connected with manufacturing industries in his native town, but in 1879 he came to Troy and became a member of the firm of Bascom, Galbraith & Company, successors to the Vedder Pattern Works, prior to that time his brother, Henry Clay (H. Clay) Bascom (see following sketch), having been in the employ of the Vedder Pattern Works for twelve years. Mr. Galbraith retired in 1884, and subsequently, for a number of years, the Bascom brothers carried the interest forward. Henry Clay Bascom died December 13, 1896, and his widow retained his interest in the business until 1898, when Chester Bascom bought her holdings, having long been at the head of the enterprise. At that time the name of Bascom & Company was adopted for this long-established business, which for several generations had been known as the Vedder Pattern Works. This concern was founded in 1835, being located at that time at the corner of Fourth and Fulton streets, Troy, New York, at which location it remained until 1882, when it was removed to its present one at No. 532 River Street. At the present time (1923) the plant has a frontage of 175 feet on that street and 100 feet on Hoosick Street, and contains various manufacturing appliances. They make machine patterns, stove and heater patterns in wood and metal, and their products are shipped to every State in the Union and exported to Canada, the British Isles, and other foreign countries. Their operating force numbers about 125 hands. This is one of the really far-reaching and important industries of the city of Troy. Mr. Bascom is interested in few affairs outside of this enterprise, finding his chief relaxation in motoring. He is a member of Fort Edward Institute Alumni, and his religious affiliation is with the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, of Troy. He has served as trustee on the official board of the church since the year 1885.

Chester Bascom married Helen A. Forbes, of Vermont, who died in 1904, leaving four children. The family had consisted of six children: George Carleton, of whom further; Jessie Louise, of whom further; Bertha Augusta, of whom further; Frederick, of whom further; and twins, Lucy and Laura, of whom further. George Carleton Bascom, who was born in Crown Point, New York, and educated in the public schools of Troy and at Poultney Seminary, died in 1908. He married Catherine M. Guith, now a resident of San Jose, California, and left two children: Carl Chester, and Helen Marie, the latter now the wife of Edward Seaman, of Oakland, California. Carl Chester Bascom, the son of these parents, and grandson of the subject of this sketch, enlisted in the 58th Infantry, 4th Division Headquarters Company, American Expeditionary Forces, and served in some of the most fearful drives of the World War. Among these were Chateau-Thierry, the Argonne and St. Mihiel, then was severely wounded at the Vaille River. Upon his recovery he rejoined his command, and was in the Army of Occupation at Coblenz, Germany, until August, 1919, when he received his honorable discharge from the service. He is now manager of the plant of Bascom & Company, and a prominent member of Troy Lodge, No. 564, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Phoenix Lodge, No. 58, Free and Accepted Masons.

Jessie Louise Bascom, second child of Chester and Helen A. (Forbes) Bascom, was educated in the Poultney and Troy schools, and became the wife of Charles Ressguie, of Bennington, Vermont. They have two children: 1. Ruth Bascom, who became the wife of Louis B. Puffer, a professor in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy for many years and now professor of engineering in the University of Vermont (Burlington). They are the parents of two children: Olive Louise, and Charles Mernes. 2. Raymond Carleton, married Mary Durand, and they have three children: Raymond C, Jr., Durand Cooper, andCharles Henry.

Bertha Augusta Bascom, third child of Chester and Helen A. (Forbes) Bascom, was educated in Oswego (New York) Normal School and Cazenovia College, and died in 1901.

Frederick Bascom, the fourth child of Chester and Helen A. (Forbes) Bascom, died in infancy.

Lucy Bascom, fifth child of Chester and Helen A. (Forbes) Bascom, was educated in the public schools of Poultney and Troy, and Cazenovia Seminary, and is the wife of Wellington E. Aiken, professor of English literature in the University of Vermont. Their three children are: John Kenneth, Glenn, and Robert Bascom.

Laura Bascom, twin sister of Lucy Bascom, is also a graduate of Cazenovia Seminary and Poultney Seminary, and is now associated with her father in business as office manager. She is very popular socially, and is past matron of Bethlehem Chapter, No. 166, Order of the Eastern Star, of which she is also at the present time (1923) the secretary. The Bascom residence is at No. 146 Second Avenue, Troy, New York.

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