FROM: The History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887).  P. 706-707.

          Prof. James J. Hassett, principal of the select school at Thackeray, was born in 1862 in Henderson County, Ky., the son of James and Frances (Church) Hassett.  The father was born in 1812, in Ireland, and was a farmer who, in 1840, left his native country and settled in Union County, Ky., where he lived at the time of his marriage.  Twenty years after he settled in Henderson County, Ky., and in 1875 came to Hamilton County where he died five years later.  The mother, born of English stock, in 1835, in Henderson County, Ky., died in 1871.  Three of their eight children are living: Mary (widow of John Fenan), Maggie (wife of John Griffin) and our subject.  James J. received his education at McLeansboro and at Ewing College, and since his seventeenth year he has been teaching continuously in winter seasons and during two summers, always in Hamilton County.  In 1884-85 he was principal of the Dahlgren schools, and in 1886 of the Thackeray school.  In March, 1887, he and Prof D. J. Underwood opened a select school in Thackeray for a term of twelve weeks, and have met with marked success, averaging fifty pupils, eleven being experienced teachers, and most of whom are preparing to teach.  Prof. Hassett is one of the leading educators of the county.  He is a Democrat, and first voted for Cleveland.  He is a Roman Catholic.

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