Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 462 of 1,110
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HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY.
one year; Will L., and Jessie M. and Carlos
W., twins. Our subject is an active member
of John A. Dix Post, Grand Army of the
Republic, and holds one of the offices of the
post. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal
Church, and takes an interest in all the enterprises
that have for the object the elevation
ILLIAM E. BEST, who is actively
engaged in mercantile trade in Dallas,
Texas, has been a resident of the
city and prominently connected with her
commerce since 1874. The lot where his
handsome residence stands was then in the
suburbs. He purchased this land and a
small grocery store located on the corner of
Caroline and McKinney streets, where he
had his first experience in mercantile life;
he continued in business there until the end of
eighteen months when he found his quarters
were too small for the growing demands of
his trade, and established himself in the commodious
quarters he now occupies at 161
Ross avenue. Here he has by fair means,
industry, and an intelligent comprehension
of the conditions of the markets, built up a
trade of which any man might well be proud.
Mr. Best is an American citizen by adoption,
his native land being the Emerald Isle,
county Armagh, where he first saw the
light of day May 26, 1839. He is the
second of a family of nine children born to
Robert and Sarah (Thompson) Best, natives
of Ireland; the father was a land owner in
that country, residing in county Armagh;
he died in 1867, and his wife survived him
two years. In 1854 our worthy subject bade
farewell to home and friends and native land,
and crossed the sea to America, landing in
New York city; he started West at once,
and stopped in Hillsboro, Illinois, where
he remained until the beginning of the Civil
war. In September, 1862, he went to
Springfield, Illinois, and' there enlisted in
defense of the flag of his adopted land. He
joined Company A, Ninty-seventh Volunteer
Infantry, and was transported to Vicksburg.
To trace the Ninety-seventh through
all the varying fortunes of warfare would be
an oft-told tale. Suffice it to say, that Mr.
Best bravely and gallantly participated in
the engagement at Arkansas Post, the siege
of Vicksburg, the attack on Fort Gibson, at
which place he was commissioned First
Lieutenant, the battle of Edwards Station,
Black River Bridge, Jackson, Mississippi,
and many of less note. Mr. Best was
mustered out of the service at Galveston with
the rest of the Ninty-seventh in August,
1865, and honorably discharged at Springfield,
In January, 1865, during the war, he was
united in marriage to Miss Isabella Otway,
a daughter of John A. Otway; of New Orleans.
Mr. Otway was the owner of a fine
line of steamers on the Mississippi, and he
was otherwise interested in the. transportation
lines of New Orleans. He was well
known in business circles throughout the
South; his death occurred in New Orleans
After his return from the war, Mr. Best
settled down to the more peaceful pursuit of
agriculture, cultivating his farm near Hillsboro,
Illinois. There he lived until 1871,
when he removed to Louisiana; he purchased
a plantation near St. Martinsville, and made
it his home for three years. Not being
satisfied with the results of this operation, he
sold out and moved with his family to Dallas
county, Texas; he settled near the present
city on rented land, and in one year
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/462/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.