BEST, TEXAS. Best, on the Santa Fe Railroad in southwestern Reagan County, was started in 1924 as an Orient Railroad switch, reputedly named for an English stockholder, Tom Best. After the discovery of oil in 1923, Best was developed as a supply center for the county's expanding production. By 1925 its population was an estimated 3,500. Although boosters envisioned a model town, undesirable oil-boom followers gave Best a wild reputation, as portrayed in Clyde Ragsdale's novel The Big Fist (1946). The reputation seems to have been deserved. There were enough murders, knifings, shootings, and brawls that the slogan became "the town with the Best name in the world and the Worst reputation." The town declined rapidly after 1925. By 1945 only a few businesses and 300 people remained. In 1983 there were two families and a service station-post office. In 1990 the population was twenty-five, and in 2000 the population was two.
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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
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, Jane Spraggins Wilson, "BEST, TX," accessed November 21, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnb32.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.