RANSOM MILO BASCOM
Ransom Milo Bascom, the popular president of the thriving little village of Sunfield, was born in Washington County, Iowa, August 7, 1868, and is a son of Elliott Milo Bascom, who was born in Bergen, Genesee County, New York, October 11, 1825. In the old Empire state was solemnized the marriage of Elliott M. Bascom to Miss Mary Jennison, who was born at Hardys, Wyoming County, that state, and who died in Washington County, Iowa, in 1875, aged about thirty years. Soon after their marriage they removed to Iowa and located in the county mentioned, being pioneers of the state. The father purchased a farm of forty acres, but the year after the death of his wife he sold the property and came to Eaton County, Michigan, buying thirty acres of land in Sunfield Township, the property being improved at the time. He resided on this place until about 1895, when his second wife died, and thereafter he resided with his son, Ransom, subject of this sketch, until 1901, when he went to the soldiers' home in the city of Washington, D. C., where he passes the winters, while during the summers he resides in the Michigan soldiers' home, in Grand Rapids, finding much satisfaction through this association. He served five years in the regular army, having been a member of Company F, Second United States Infantry, and was a valiant soldier in the Mexican war. The following article, which appeared in the Detroit Free Press of May 15, 1905, is self-explanatory and is well worthy of reproduction in this connection: "Aged hero of Mexican war is still alive; Elliott M. Bascom, commended for bravery at Chapultepec, is in his eightieth year," The foregoing constituted the heading of a communication which was sent to the paper from Galesburg, Michigan, and the text of the article was as follows: " A man with a history is Elliott M. Bascom, who is now a visitor here. Mr. Bascom is now a trifle more than eighty years of age, and the events of the Mexican war, that seem to the present generation like ancient history, are to him very vivid memories. As a soldier in Company F of the Second United States Infantry, he served throughout the struggle, and at the battle of Chapultepec he so distinguished himself as to receive a certificate of merit signed by James K. Polk, then president, and countersigned by William L. Marcy, secretary of state. The battle occurred September 12, 1847, and the following is a verbatim copy of the certificate: 'Army of the United States; Certificate of Merit. Know all whom it may concern that Private Elliott M. Bascom, of Company F of the Second Regiment of Infantry, having distinguished himself in the battle of Chapultepec, on the 13th day of September, 1847, on the recommendation of Captain Morris, commanding the regiment. I do hereby award to the said Private Elliott M. Bascom this certificate of merit, which, under the provision of the seventeenth section of the act approved March 3, 1847, entitles him to extra pay at the rate of two dollars per month. Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this 3d day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.' Signed, James K. Polk, president of the United States; William L. Marcy, secretary of state. Notwithstanding his four score years, Mr. Bascom is still comparatively vigorous and can discount many veterans of the late civil war in physical strength. His present home is Sunfield, Michigan." Samuel Bascom, great-grandfather of this honored veteran, was a lieutenant in the Continental line in the war of the Revolution, in which also served two of his sons, Samuel Jr., and Thomas. Elliott M. Bascom is a son of Milo, who was a son of Joel Bascom. Elliott M. Bascom is a Republican in politics and is a member of the United Brethren church, his first wife having been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. They became the parents of four children, of whom the immediate subject of this review was the first-born. Etta died in infancy; Charles Francis met his death by drowning, in 1886, being fifteen years of age at the time; Fannie is the wife of Frank Deland, of Sunfield, and they have five children. Ransom M. Bascom was educated in the district schools of Eaton County, beginning his independent career when but twelve years of age, and continuing to attend school during the winter terms, while by personal application and naturally alert mentality, he was effectively supplemented the somewhat limited education which he gained as a youth, being a man of mature judgment and marked intelligence. At the age of eighteen years he went to California, where he remained three years, working on a ranch. After returning to Eaton County he engaged in the meat-market business in Sunfield, soon disposing of the business and then establishing a general store, in partnership with Alba Murphy, the latter later disposing of his interest to Henry Teall. Still later, Mr. Bascom purchased his partner's interest, finally selling out and engaging in the meat-market business with F. M. Nichols, in 1898. This association continued until 1901, after which several changes in partnership occurred, Mr. Bascom finally securing entire control and thus continuing the enterprise one year, while since February 1, 1905, he and Frank Lemon have been associated as co-partners, under the firm name of R. M. Bascom & Co. They have erected a two-story building of Portland cement blocks, the structure being twenty-two by fifty feet in dimensions, and here they have a model market, -- one which would be creditable in a much larger town. The firm does a large business in the buying of stock for shipment, -- principally to the city of Buffalo. Mr. Bascom has an attractive residence in the village, and also owns twelve acres of land on which the slaughterhouse of his firm is located. Mr. Bascom is unwavering in his allegiance to the Republican party, and he had the distinction of being the first village clerk of Sunfield, serving two years, while for a similar period he held the position of village treasurer, and in the spring of 1905 he was further honored in being elected president of Sunfield. He has served two terms as township clerk, and he was formerly incumbent of the office of justice of the peace. He is affiliated with the local organizations of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of the Maccabees and the Grange. July 31, 1895, Mr. Bascom was united in marriage to Miss Sadie Richardson, who was born in Ionia County, this state, in November 1866, being a daughter of William Richardson, who was formerly engaged in the blacksmith business in Sunfield, but who is now a farmer in Ionia County. Of the seven children all are living except one, who died in infancy, this representing the only death in the immediate family. Mr. and Mrs. Bascom have a fine little son, Charles Milo, born May 17, 1902.