Bachelor was educated at Miami University (A.B., 1911) and Harvard University (A.M. 1912). After teaching English at Cornell College in Iowa (1913-1917), he worked as an editor for the Century Company in New York City where he was definitiions editor of The New Century Dictionary in two volumes. He returned in 1927 to teach at his alma mater, Miami University where he remained until his death in 1947. He was a popular and rigorous professor teaching Shakespeare and a course he developed called "Words." Upon his death, he bequeathed over 400 acres of woodland and streams, including Harker's Run, to Miami University. The land is today known as the Bachelor Wildlife and Game Reserve. He collaboarated with other professors on at least ten English textbooks and edited a series of poetry collections (under his pen name Joseph Morris) in collaboration with St. Clair Adams which included poems by Bachelor and Adams.
A newly-constructed academic building on the Miami University campus was named Bachelor Hall in 1979 as a memorial.