Lyman K. Bass

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Lyman Kidder Bass
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 32nd district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Preceded byWalter L. Sessions
Succeeded byDaniel N. Lockwood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 31st district
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1875
Preceded byWalter L. Sessions
Succeeded byGeorge G. Hoskins
16th District Attorney of Erie County, New York
In office
January 1, 1866 – December 31, 1871
Preceded byCyrenius C. Torrance
Succeeded byBenjamin H. Williams
Personal details
BornNovember 13, 1836 (1836-11-13)
Alden, New York
DiedMay 11, 1889 (1889-05-12) (aged 52)
New York, New York
Citizenship United States
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Frances Esther Metcalfe Wolcott Bass
ChildrenLyman Metcalfe Bass
Alma materUnion College
Professionlawyer politician

Lyman Kidder Bass (November 13, 1836 – May 11, 1889) was an American lawyer, politician, U.S. Representative from New York, and the 16th District Attorney of Erie County, New York.


Born in the town of Alden, New York, Bass attended the common schools and was graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1856. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1858. He commenced practice in Buffalo, New York. He married Frances Esther Metcalfe Wolcott and they had one child, Lyman Metcalfe Bass.[1]


In 1865, Bass ran against Grover Cleveland and was narrowly elected district attorney for Erie County.[2] He served in this role from 1866 to 1871. He was renominated in 1871, but declined to accept. In 1870, he was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for election to the Forty-second Congress.

Bass was elected as a Republican U. S. Representative for the thirty-first district of New York to the Forty-third; and as Representative for the thirty-second district to the Forty-fourth Congresses. He served from March 4, 1873 to March 3, 1877. Because of ill health, he declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1876.[3]

While in congress, Bass made a name for himself while serving on the House Committee on Expenditures in the War Department. During his time on the committee, it looked into spending by Secretary of War William Worth Belknap.[4] In addition, Bass served on the Committee on Railways and Canals as well as the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Affairs of the District of Columbia. On June 22, 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant nominated Bass to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. He was confirmed by the Senate, but declined the position.[5]

After moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1877, Bass was asked to be an associate counsel by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Co. Bass worked on a case against the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway regarding the right of way through the Arkansas Canon on the route from Denver to Leadville. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court and was won due to Bass' argument. He was then appointed chief counsel of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Co. and principal counsel of the Mexican National Railway.[6]


Bass died of consumption, in New York City's Buckingham Hotel on May 11, 1889 (age 52 years, 179 days). He is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York.[7]


  1. ^ "Lyman K. Bass". Find A Grave. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  2. ^ Parker, George Frederick: Recollections of Grover Cleveland, page 35. The Century Co., 1909.
  3. ^ "BASSS, Lyman Kidder - Biographical Information". US Congress. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  4. ^ The Belknap Impeachment, page 1. The New York Times, March 31, 1876.
  5. ^ Barnes, William Horatio. The American Government, Vol. II: Biographies of Members of the House of Representatives of the Forty-third Congress, page 143. New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1874.
  6. ^ Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York, Volume II, pages 39-40. The Genealogical Publishing Company, 1908.
  7. ^ "Lyman K. Bass". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 19 August 2013.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Walter L. Sessions
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 31st congressional district

March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1875
Succeeded by
George G. Hoskins
Preceded by
Walter L. Sessions
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 32nd congressional district

March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Succeeded by
Daniel N. Lockwood

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website