Best, Isaac (1774–1837)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Isaac Best, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, the son of Stephen Best, was born in 1774, possibly in Pennsylvania. He married Mary Margaret Wilkins, and the couple had nine children. After spending his early years in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, Best and his wife left Garrard County, Kentucky, and moved to Montgomery County in southern Missouri in 1808. There he built a mill and an outpost known as Best's Fort, which served as a refuge from Indian attacks during the War of 1812. The family and several slaves moved to Texas in 1824. On August 19 of that year Best received title to a sitio east of the Brazos River in what is now Waller County. He increased his landholdings and built a home near the site of present Pattison. The 1826 census described Best as a farmer and stock raiser between forty and fifty years of age. His household consisted of his wife, three sons, two daughters, and four slaves. Best may have lived at San Felipe in 1833, when William B. Travis issued a subpoena for him as a witness in a case against Isaac Clower. Best died near Pattison in 1837. On August 29, 1974, the Texas Historical Commission dedicated a marker to him on Farm Road 1458 1½ miles west of Pattison.

Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). Waller County Historical Survey Committee, A History of Waller County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1973).
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Best, Isaac,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 21, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994

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