BEST, ISAAC (1774–1837). 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).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, "BEST, ISAAC," accessed June 17, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox