I found this fascinating woman in my constant perusal of the site www.findagrave.com, a woman by the name of Ann Bassett. If anyone has seen anything about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, there was a woman associate with them, Etta Place. There is virtually no information on who this woman was, but she was a constant companion of the ‘Wild Bunch,’ and the criminals associated with the ‘outlaw trail,’ from Brown’s Settlement, in Northern Colorado to Robber’s Rooste, in Utah, and up to Wyoming.
Those who have looked into Etta Place have noticed a strong similarity between her photos and the photo of Ann Bassett, a rancher in Brown’s Settlement canyon. Ann probably was Etta Place. She owned a ranch in Colorado and, when cattle barons wanted her to sell, she refused. They hired Tom Horn, the famous gunfighter, to force her out, and she still refused, taking to shooting the cattle of the barons…and calling on her friend, Butch Cassidy to talk to Horn. Brown’s Settlement, where Ann lived, was an outlaw hangout, and there were many outlaws who went through there. Ann was a frequent friend of many of them.
Ann died in 1961, and that was so close to when I was old enough to talk to her that it is almost painful. What stories she could have told. If she went down with Butch and Sundance, she obviously survived the experience, and could tell us just what happened to the two; my belief is that they weren’t killed, there, but lived a long life, but we shall never really know.
There is one book written about her, “Queen Ann Bassett, alias Etta Place by Doris Karren Burton” published in 1993, and selling for $375 at Amazon; it is very rare, and when I did a library search, it is available in only 4 libraries in the country, in Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin and Wyoming. I am hoping to get one of those copies so I can copy it out (it is only 74 pages). There are two other books, written about people living in Brown’s settlement, one, “Bassett Women,” by Grace McClure very pro Bassett, and one very anti-Bassett, which I can’t find anymore.
Interesting stuff. Brown’s Settlement is in extreme Northwestern Colorado, 50 miles from the nearest civilization, very isolated, they tell me…Ann’s grave is in the Bassett Family cemetery, on private land, but if you ask in the gas station at the head of the road, they will give you permission to visit the grave. If I ever get enough money together to have a vacation, that is where I am going to go. There are bound to be people down there with stories to tell, and I know that Anne’s Ranch buildings are still around, as are other buildings of people in the area from that time.