Biography of Stephen Best
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Stephen Best, of Ireland, emigrated to America many years before the revolution, and settled in Pennsylvania. His children were Isaac, Humphrey, Stephen, Jr., and Ebenezer. He also had several daughters, but their names are lost. Ebenezer never married, but he educated sixty children that claimed him for their father. He was one of the celebrated horse racers of Madison Co., Ky., and also indulged in chicken fighting. He once fought ten times with his chickens in one day, and gained seven of the fights, winning $1,000 each. Isaac Best and his wife came to Missouri in 1808, from Garrard Co., Ky. They rode two old horses, on which they also carried their bedding, furniture, cooking utensils, etc. They settled on the bottom in Montgomery County, which has since borne their name. Mr. Best, like his brother, was fond of amusement, and delighted in horse racing. When the Indian war broke out he built a fort on his farm, but had to give it up before peace was declared. The Indians became so troublesome that he was afraid to leave his family in the fort any longer, and conveyed them for greater security to Fort Clemson, on Loutre Island. The following day his fort was captured by the Indians, but they found nothing to reward them for their trouble. The names of Mr. Best’s children were John, Stephen, Isaac, Jr., Humphrey, Ebenezer, Polly, Phoebe, Sally, and Peggy. John was married twice; first to his cousin Polly, a daughter of Humphrey Best, and second to Sarah Quick, daughter of Alexander Quick. By his first wife he had Polly, Catharine, and Margaret; and by his second-Stephen, John, Jr., Rice, Nancy, Rhoda, and Elizabeth. Isaac Best, Jr., died when he was nineteen years of age, Stephen, Humphrey, Ebenezer, Polly, Sally, and Margaret all accompanied their father to Texas, to which State he removed a number of years age.