Hardcover. Good. Quarto, 289 pages, plus index and blanks, bound in ¼ leather, cloth backed boards, back-strip lacking, re-backed at some point with black tape, corners and edges of boards bumped and worn through, boards scuffed, stained, and somewhat warped, otherwise the text is in good legible condition, most letter copies are clear and readable. The letter copies are copied onto tissue paper and are often multiple pages in length, and at other times either two letters to a page, or a single page, the letters are dated August1857 to August 1861. ""Meservey & Gregory,"" later: ""Meservey & Bassett,"" and still later: ""W. N. Meservey"" Meservey & Gregory was a law firm comprised of William N. Meservey and George Gregory. They were located in Homer, at that time the capitol seat of Webster County, Iowa, and were in business for at least the year 1857. Gregory had been picked, in 1855, to fill a vacancy that came up in the Clerkship of the District Courts at Homer. Gregory was a master mason in the same Masonic lodge as Meservey. Later, when the county seat was moved to Fort Dodge, Meservey also moved to Fort Dodge. There, in 1858, he formed another partnership, this time with George W. Bassett, founding the firm of Meservey & Bassett. This firm lasted until February of 1861, at which time the firm was dissolved and Meservey worked on his own. The letter copy book offered here begins in August 1857, when Meservey was still associated with George Gregory. This association lasted until at least 28 January 1858, before the firm of Meservey & Bassett was founded. The Meservey & Gregory letters take up the first 66 pages of the letter copy book, after which point the letter copies of Meservey & Bassett begin. Once George W. Bassett entered into Civil War service, Meservey began signing his letters with his own name, indicating that he was the successor to ""Meservey & Bassett."" This occurs in February of 1861, on page 266 of the letter copy book Meservey makes note in a letter: ""P.S. I am now alone Mr. Bassett and myself have dissolved our partnership..."" The letter copies continue under the name of W.N. Meservey until August 1861 on page 289, thus the volume covers the years of the firm of Meservey & Bassett, and as other periods. George W. Bassett (1827-1896) George W. Bassett was born in Canada West in 1827. His mother's father lost an arm at the Battle of Bennington during the American Revolution. Bassett's parents returned to the United States when Bassett was a child and settled in the West. Bassett attended Wabash College. After college he entered the law school at Cincinnati, and upon graduating he went to Des Moines, Iowa in 1856 and entered into the law office of the Hon. John A. Kasson. In 1858, he went to Fort Dodge, Iowa, and formed a law partnership with Judge W. N. Meservey, which continued until Bassett enlisted in the Union Army in 1861, in a Fort Dodge Company, which was attached to the Pennsylvania Cavalry. He served in the army of the Potomac as a Lieutenant of his company and was twice wounded in battle and so disabled that he was mustered out in 1862. He returned to Fort Dodge in the fall of 1863 and was elected to the State Senate (1864-1866), representing the 43rd district, which at that time embraced twenty-eight counties of northwestern Iowa, more than a third of the entire territory of the State. For twenty years he was general agent for the lease and sale of the lands embraced in the Agricultural College grant to Iowa, handling more than 200,000 acres to the satisfaction of the State and College. After failing health, he moved to California, where he died in Elsinore, California, on 6 February 1896. He left a wife and a child, a little girl five years old. Judge William N. Meservey (1820-1878) William N. Meservey was born on 16 November 1820 at Dearborn County, Indiana. In early youth he attended the public schools in Cincinnati for a few years, and after leaving them engaged in the wholes (Inventory #: 030085)
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