|Birth: ||Jun. 3, 1914|
|Death: ||May 21, 1987|
James Thomas Bass
Service for James Thomas Bass, retired owner of the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald Newspaper in Mount Vernon, were held recently at First United Methodist Church in Mount Vernon Bass, 72, die at Franklin Country Hospital in Mount Vernon after a lengthy illness. A native of Kennedy, Bass worked as a printer and manager at the Longview News and Journal for 18 years before buying the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald in 1952. He sold the paper and retired in 1980 relatives said. Bass was a past president of the Northeast Texas Press Association, the Franklin Country Chamber of Commerce and the Mount Vernon Rotary Club. He was a member of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame. A former resident of Jefferson, he was the son of P.L and Mattie Bass. He started his journalism career at the Jimplecute while still a student in High School. He worked in the Jimplecute circulation department from 1927 to 1933. Survivors include his wife Lonatish Bass; three daughters, Dewitta Campbell, Jane Banks, and Pat Wright, all of Mount Vernon; and four grandchildren. Milton K. Bass of Jefferson is a nephew.
Newspaper obit no name of paper
James Thomas Bass
MOUNT VERNON - Services for James Thomas Bass, 72, of Mount Vernon will be 2 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dan Hoke officiating.
Burial will be in Mount Vernon City Cemetery under the direction of Sam Harvey Funeral Home.
He died Thursday in a Franklin County hospital.
Born in Kennedy, Mr. Bass was editor of the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald and printer at the Longview News-Journal from 1933 to 1951, serving as manager of the commercial printing department for five, years. He was a member of First United Methodist Church and had recently been elected to the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce's Business Hall of Fame. He was a former president of the North and East Texas Press Association, the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and the Rotarian Club.
Survivors include his wife, Tish; daughters, Jane Banks, Pat Wright and Dewitta Campbell, all of Mount Vernon; sister, Olivia DeVaux of Cuero; and four grandchildren.
FORMER OPTIC-HERALD PUBLISHER DIES
Front page of the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald Newspaper
Vol 112-No. 40 Thursday May 28, 1987
Mount Vernon, Franklin County, Texas
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 23, 1987, for James Thomas Bass at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Dan Hoke officiating. Burial was in the City Cemetery.
He died at 1:57 p.m. Thursday, May 21, in Franklin County Hospital after a long illness.
Bass was the former publisher and co-owner of the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald, with his wife, Tish, who survives. He is also survived by three daughters, Dewitta Campbell, Jane Banks, and Pat Wright, all of Mount Vernon; a sister, Olivia DeVaux of Cuero; and four grandchildren, Susan Reeves of Corinth, Rick Banks of Piano, James Robert Campbell of Mount Vernon, and Latisha Ann Campbell, Mount Vernon.
Pallbearers were Truman Griggs, R. B. Carr, Walter Sears, B. F. Hicks, Charles Teague, and Ken Greer. Honorary pallbearers were members of the Mount Vernon Rotary Club.
He was born in Kenedy, Texas, on June 3, 1914, to Paul Leon and Mattie Cotter Bass. The family moved to Jefferson shortly thereafter, and Bass grew up there.
He married Lonatish Hebisen on March 28, 1937.
Bass began his newspaper career in 1927 in Jefferson, working for the Jefferson Jimplecute. He delivered newspapers on horseback and worked in the print shop.
A "hot-type printer," Bass worked for the Kilgore News-Herald for a short time in 1937, and also worked for Will Rogers Jr. on the Beverly Hills (California) Citizen for several months during the same year before going to work for the Longview News-Journal. He became the foreman of the commercial print shop of the News-Journal, and Tish worked in the advertising department. They both worked for the Gladewater Mirror in 1951 and early in 1952. The Bass family bought the Optic-Herald in
May, 1952, with Jimmy the publisher and Tish the advertising manager.
Mr. and Mrs. Bass became co-owners of the Deport Times, Talco Times and the Bogata News Nov. 17,1973, with their daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Wright. The family founded The Blossom Times Oct. 28, 1976. The Wrights bought the Basses' interest in the newspapers in 1980, after Bass suffered a heart attack. Jim continued as a consultant until his death.
The couple has numerous credits, both in Mount Vernon and in the newspaper community. They took the top award of the North and East Texas press Association, the Sweepstakes, in 1975 and have 13 first place awards in newspaper contests in the association to their credit. The newspaper won first place in the Texas Press Association with News Pictures in 1975, in Editorial Writing in 1972 and in News Writing in 1965.
Bass served as president of the North and East Texas Press Association in 19"75-76 and has served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Press Association. In 1973 he received the Sam C. Holloway award from North and East Texas Press Association, recognition as the outstanding newspaper man in the association. The award was especially meaningful to Bass, a personal friend of Holloway, who was a long-time owner of the Deport Times. Buying the newspaper in 1973 was the realization of a dream for Bass.
Bass was a Future Farmers of America Honorary State Farmer, and in 1969 received the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen Award. In 198S he was named to the Franklin County Hall of Fame by the Chamber.
Bass supported his community through many projects and drives, including the restoration of the plaza, the construction of Franklin County Hospital, construction of new school buildings and the construction of Lake Cypress Springs.
The impact a man has on his children and his family is great, and when the man is a public figure in a small community in which the community is, in fact, an extended family, the shock and grief is felt throughout the community as well as the immediate family.
Jim Bass loved Mount Vernon and he loved his family. He spoiled us all as much as he could, and we will all miss him. There was never any way to do as much for him as he did for us.
The personal tributes of our extended family will be held dear to us forever, and we thank you all.
Bob and Pat Wright
Page 2, Section A, Mount Vernon Optic-Herald, Thursday, May 28,1987
Letters To The Editor
To The People Of Franklin County
Last week we lost a man who served this county for over four decades. James T. Bass, who was the owner and publisher of the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald was more than a resident and businessman. He was the force that pushed toward every progressive move Franklin County has achieved during these years.
We didn't realize the importance of what he had done for the improvement and on going of our community. His work and influence were taken for granted.
Jimmy would always support and promote projects he felt would make this a better county. His contributions helped to make possible the industrial interests, Lake Cypress Springs, medical facilities, and educational excellence and facilities We enjoy today. Most important, he was responsible for creating an image that let others know Franklin County welcomed growth and progress!
These accomplishments are mentioned first, but most of us remember Jimmy's concern and personal touch for us as individuals. He was genuinely interested and wanted others to know about the people of his county. His ability to portray people at their finest motivated the citizens of our county to achieve greater success.
Most of us will always remember his image as the hurried newspaperman as he went about work with his clipboard in hand. His memory will continue to inspire all of us to make our community a better place to live.
Paul Leon Bass (1875 - 1955)
Mattie Amy Cotter Bass (1876 - 1965)
Lonatish Hebison Bass (1919 - 2000)*
Dewitta Bass Campbell (1938 - 2011)*
Charles Leon Bass (1897 - 1961)*
Frank Myron Bass (1901 - 1986)*
Frances Olivia Bass DeVaux (1905 - 1993)*
Mattie Pearl Bass (1908 - 1910)*
James Thomas Bass (1914 - 1987)
Maude Estelle Bass Hilton (1920 - 1973)*
Mount Vernon City Cemetery
Created by: Naomi Snider McFadden
Record added: Sep 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77011534