BEST, Simon Peter
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 967-968
Among the well-regulated homes of Durand Township, Winnebago County [IL], none have about them an air of greater comfort and content than that which has been built up by the joint efforts and Mr. BEST and his estimable wife. Their pleasant home is located on section 20, and is improved with all the appurtenances required by the progressive and industrious agriculturalist. Our subject dates his residence in this county from the spring of 1855, at which time the family settled in Durand Township. He was born in Northampton County, PA, 13 Apr 1844, and is a son of Jacob N. and Susannah (UNAGEST) BEST, [p 968] who also hailed from the Keystone State [PA]. The ancestors of our subject came from Germany about 200 years ago, and for several generations resided in PA.
Nicholas BEST, the grandfather of our subject, died in 1801, when 28 years of age. The father of Simon Peter BEST was a farmer, and in early life worked at the trades of shoemaker and blacksmith. The parental family numbered three children, his brother and sister being Nicholas and Polly. Jacob N. BEST came to IL in 1855, and located on the southwest quarter of section 20, Durand Township, where he purchased 160 acres of land which bore some improvements. There he resided until his death, 20 Feb 1885, at the advanced age of 86 years. His good wife, who survived him until 09 Aug 1891, passed away in her 92nd year. They were the parents of 11 children, one of whom died in infancy. Those living are: William, Sarah (Mrs. UNAGEST), Rosanna (Mrs. GLASSER), Reuben, Anna Maria (now the widow of A. GOLD, and formerly Mrs. G. NOLF), Sophia (the wife of Jacob L. WEAVER), Rebecca (who married Joseph RICHARD), Elizabeth (now Mrs. Adam RHEINGES, and formerly married to Thomas JENEWINIE), Lovina (Mrs. A. BAKER), and our subject, who is the youngest of the family.
Simon P. BEST was reared to farm pursuits and received a fair education in the schools of his neighborhood. The date of his marriage to Elizabeth H., daughter of Jonathan and Lydia J. MATTER, was 13 Feb 1868. Mrs. BEST was born in Stephenson County, IL, 21 Mar 1847, and with her husband removed in 1880 to their present home. Our subject, who is the owner of 360 acres of finely cultivated land, has been a resident of section 20 since 1855. The nine children born to our subject and his wife bear the respective names of Fernando, Arthur J., Jacob E., Wallace V., Signora, Sylva D., Oscar L., Arvilla M., and Susan P. In his political relations Mr. BEST usually votes the Republican ticket, but leans strongly toward Prohibition and reform principles. He is a member of the Evangelical Association and is active in all good works. His father belonged to a company of militia in PA. He of whom we write, in addition to raising cereals, devotes a great deal of time and attention to the breeding of shorthorn cattle and Norman horses.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.