Biography of Russel Basim

One of the early pioneers of Wallowa County, a man possessed of sound principles and dominated with wisdom and talents of a high order, the subject of this sketch is well fitted for representation in this history of Wallowa and Union counties, since also he has wrought here for the advancement of the county’s interests and has constantly manifested unswerving integrity and moral qualities that have given him the admiration and confidence of all of his fellows, and he is today numbered with the leading agriculturists of the county and is a substantial citizen.

Mr. Basim was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, on September 15, 1833, being the son of Joseph and Sarah (Russel) Basim. While still a child, he went with his parents to Washington County of his native state and grew to manhood there, gaining a good education in the public schools and assisting his father in the work of the farm. At the age of twenty-three he went to Athens county and there followed farming until the year 1865, in which year he removed to Macon county, Missouri, and there was numbered with the agriculturists until 1880. In the spring of that year he fitted out teams and made the long weary journey across the plains that was so popular in the times of the early fifties. He came to Cove, Union county, and leaving his family there, he came over to Wallowa valley and sought out a homestead. Then he returned to Cove and wintered there with his family and in the spring of 1883 he brought them to his homestead, which is three and one-half miles south from Enterprise. In his former labors in the east, fortune had not smiled upon him as was wished and so when he started here after the expense of the long journey and the winter’s cost in a new country, he had but little capital to assist him in making his western home. In this place, dame fortune has been freer in the dispensation of her good things and Mr. Basim has been prospered constantly and is now one of the well to do farmers of the community and is possesed of plenty to make life comfortable and happy. His farm is well improved with necessary buildings, is all fenced and all under cultivation and produces well. In addition to general farming he raises stock. He also owns an interest in an irrigating ditch and this enhances the value of his land as he is enabled to augment the yield by the use of water.

In the fifties, Mr. Basim married Miss Sarah E., daughter of Barney and Ann Nolan, the nuptials occurring in Washington County, Ohio. Five children have blessed this union, as follows: Judson; Dora, wife of James B. Kooch, near Enterprise; John, married to Lilly Akins and living near Barnesville, Idaho; Malinda; Elizabeth, wife of Carl Whitmore, near Enterprise. Mr. Basim has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1863. He is one of the substantial, wise and enterprising citizens and he and his wife are valuable members of society, being esteemed by all.



An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

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