Black History Month: Celebrating Those Who Came Before Us

  • Tom Bass (1859 - 1934) 

    Tom Bass

    Born into slavery in southern Boone County near Ashland, Tom Bass went on to become a world-famous rider and trainer of show horses.  Sometime after the Civil War, he moved to Mexico, Missouri where he opened his own horse-training stable.  Known as a lover of horses, it was said that he never beat a horse and rarely raise his voice.  He would come to international fame for inventing the “Bass Bit”, which did not injure a horse’s mouth.  The bit is still used today.  He is credited as a founder of the American Royal Horse Show.  His reputation earned him the respect of leading figures of the day who visited him at his home including Theodore Roosevelt, President William McKinley, William Jennings Bryan, Buffalo Bill Cody and Will Rogers.  Tom Bass was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in 1999.  


  • February 28, 2021