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.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Best is part of or belongs to the following places.

Adopt a Town

The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town, county, or lake of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.

Currently Exists


Place type

Best is classified as a Town


  • Latitude

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Proud to call Texas home?

Put your name on the town, county, or lake of your choice.

Search Places »

Best by the Numbers

This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."

Pop. Year Source
2 2009 Local Officials