Wandering Lizard

An online magazine with information related to attractions, lodging, dining,
and travel resources in selected areas of Utah

Daggett County

Dinosaur National Monument - Fall

Josie Bassett Morris was quite the lady! Well educated in fine schools and in the rough and tumble life of the frontier. Daughter of legendary Elizabeth Basset, Josie and her more famous sister Ann, both beautiful girls, led a somewhat scandulous life in Brown's Park during the heyday of cattle and horse rustling during the last decades of the nineteenth century. Josie and Ann were intimate with several of the more notorious outlaws of the period, including Robert Leroy Parker, aka Butch Cassidy, and Henry Longabaugh, aka The Sundance Kid. The Bassett sisters were among the handful of women who were sufficiently trusted by Butch's Wild Bunch to be permitted access to their legendary Robber's Roost hideout in southwestern Utah. (Josie is also one of the people who claim to have met with Cassidy in the United States subsequent to reports of his death in South America.)

In 1913, Josie homesteaded in Cub Creek. She had been married five times, but had divorced four times, and was widowed once. She is reputed to have driven one of her husbands off with a frying pan and some believe that she may have poisoned the husband that widowed her. In the beginning, at Cub Creek, Josie lived with her son and his wife, but when they moved to Jensen, Josie was left to run the homestead by herself. During the fifty years that she lived alone at Cub Creek, she became something of a local legend engaging in a modicum of game poaching, cattle rustling, and bootlegging to supplement what she could raise on her property. Although she lived alone and guarded her isolation fiercely, she also had a reputation for helping any of her neighbors that might be in need. Once, it is said that she moved into a dugout so that a family could shelter in her cabin. Other stories have her regularly bringing food to neighbors in need. Josie wound up in court twice on rustling charges, but was acquitted after the juries failed to reach a verdict. She fell and broke her hip in December 1963 and died of complications in May 1964. The lady was 90 years old.

Although there may well be a crowd at the Dinosaur Quarry when you visit, there will usually not be very many, if any, people at "the old cabin down at the end of the road." Josie would have liked it that way and so does the Lizard. Josie's old cabin is a perfect setting for your imagination to take hold. It is one of those rare places where it is possible for the past to talk to any of us that are willing to listen.

Northeast Utah
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