James Herrod Basham (August 25, 1848 — January 3, 1903)

Mary Ann (Polly) Phelps (October 1846 — August 31, 1932)
Parents: Benajah Anderson Basham and Nancy E. Turner
Son: John (Johnnie) J. Basham

The year was 1848. John Quincy Adams, the nation's sixth president, died. The 1849 California Gold Rush stage was set when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. That same year, James Herrod Basham was born on August 25 in Warren County, Kentucky, and Wyatt Earp was born in Warren County, Illinois. In southern Warren County, Kentucky, the town of Woodburn was founded.

James' future wife, Mary Ann (Polly), Basham, had been born two years earlier, on October 1846, in adjacent Butler County, Kentucky. They married on November 16, 1868, in Edmonson County, Kentucky[1], and had the following children:

Caroline Basham [3]
Mary Jane Basham Abt. 1870 Aft. 1880
Jenette (Nettie) Basham December 17, 1873 June 24, 1949
John (Johnnie) J. Basham April 12, 1875 October 10, 1897
George Washington Basham April 14, 1879 May 28, 1950
Bennie Basham January 5, 1885 February 17, 1918
Allie May Basham August 1, 1886 January 5, 1958
Bermia (Burnie) Basham Abt. 1890 Aft. 1922
Benaga A. Basham September 1891 Aft. 1910

The 1850 census shows James as a three-year-old son in the home of Anderson and Nancy Basham in Warren County, Kentucky. He and his entire family were born in Kentucky.[4]

The 1860 census shows him as a 13-year-old male in the home of Benjamin (sic) A. Basham.[5] The full name is Benajah Anderson Basham.

The 1870 census shows him as a 22-year-old farmer living in the household of B.A. Basham in nearby Bee Springs in Edmonson County, Kentucky.[6]

By 1880, he had established his own home. The census shows him as a 33-year-old farmer and resident of Renfrow in adjacent Butler County, Kentucky. He married Mary A., age 34, who was "keeping house." They had four children living with them: Mary J. Basham, age 10; Jenette Basham, age 7; John J. Basham, age 5; and George W. Basham, age 1. All of them and their parents were born in Kentucky.[7]

The 1900 census shows a James Basham in Warren County, Kentucky, just following a listing for Bartlett A. Basham. His wife is once again shown as Mary.[8]

James died on January 3, 1903, in Warren County, Kentucky.[9] According to Steve Reeves's conversation with Willie Basham, Harrod Basham was buried at the Greenwood Union Meeting House. There is a tombstone there for J.H. Basham, who died in 1903 or 1904.[10]

The 1910 census for Warren County, Kentucky, shows Polly as 63. She is listed as "Pallie." Her youngest son, Benage, then 19, was the only other person in the household.[11]

Polly died on August 31, 1932, in Warren County, Kentucky.[12]

Portrait of Polly Ann Phelps family

Nothing concrete is known about her ancestry. An emailed inquiry says of her, "I am looking for any information about a Phelps orphan girl, Polly Ann Phelps, born about 1846. Her parents died, and she was raised by a family named Johnson. (according to my grandmother, who is still alive) - Polly was her grandmother.

Another online genealogy said, "Family legend is she was Indian and adopted or raised by a family named Johnson in the Butler Co. KY area." [13]

An online inquiry said, "One online genealogy inquiry said: "Polly Ann Phelps was born in about 1846 in Butler Co., KY, and died August 21, 1932, in Warren Co. KY. She married James Herrod Basham on November 16, 1868, in Edmonson Co., KY, son of Benajah Basham and Nancy Turner."

Standing from left to right: Mary Palestine Cockriel Hamill & Themie Hamill. Seated from left to right:
Jeanette 'Nettie' Basham Cockrill holding Theme Hamill's baby & Mary 'Polly' Ann Phelps Basham.][15]

Jeanette 'Nettie' Basham holding 2 babies

Jeanette 'Nettie' Basham, December 17, 1873-June 24, 1949 holding 2 babies (one of the babies is Theme Hamill's baby). Photo made at the home of Polly Ann Phelps Basham in Warren Co., KY[14]