Nathaniel Saxon Best
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

A well known resident of Butler, Mr. BEST was born at Saxon Falls, Morris county, between Waterloo and Hackettstown, on the 15th of October, 1847. The ancestry of the family can be traced back through several generations to William BEST, a native of Germany who left the fatherland and established a home on American soil. He died in the vicinity of the BEST homestead, at the advanced age of one hundred and fifteen years. His son, Andrew BEST, the grandfather of our subject, was born about 1778, following farming as a life work and died about 1862. His son, Andrew, the father of our subject, was born in Warren county, New Jersey, April 23, 1814, engaged in the tilling of the soil in order to support his family, and closed his eyes in death in 1894. His father married a Miss TIGER, and their children were:

  • David;
  • Saxon;
  • George;
  • Herbert;
  • Sallie, who married a Mr. MOONEY; and
  • Andrew.

The last named was united in marriage to Sarah McWILLIAMS, a daughter of James McWILLIAMS, and the record of their family is as follows:

  • George, of Stanhope, New Jersey;
  • Wilson W., of Dover;
  • Ruhama, wife of Abram HARRISON, of Tioga county, Pennsylvania;
  • Theodore, deceased;
  • John, of Stanhope;
  • Mercy, of Boonton;
  • Jesse, deceased;
  • Nathaniel S.;
  • William and
  • Martin, who have also departed this life; and
  • Elizabeth, of Boonton.

Nathaniel Saxon BEST, the well known merchant of Butler, assumed the responsibility of providing for his own maintenance at the age of fifteen years, at which time he began work as a farm hand. After a year spent in that way he determined to change his occupation, and he learned the blacksmith's trade, under the direction of A. J. WINTERS, of Hackettstown. He worked as a journeyman in that city, in Cherryville, Washington, Boonton and Dover and became very proficient in horse-shoeing and in coach-ironing. In 1884 Mr. BEST came to Butler, where he conducted a blacksmith shop for ten years, doing a good business. He then abandoned his trade and purchased his brother's bakery, since which time he has conducted the establishment with excellent success. In addition to this he is extensively engaged in the manufacture of ice cream, and the reputation of "Best's ice cream" extends throughout this section of the state. So large are the sales that he manufactures the cream by steam process and during the summer season employs a very large force of men in this department of his business. The prosperity which Mr. BEST has achieved is due entirely to his own efforts, a fact which is indeed creditable.

Mr. BEST was married in Hackettstown, New Jersey, February 26, 1874, to Miss Mahala Evelyn HAINES, daughter of Lewis and Eliza (LODORE) HAINES, of Hackettstown. He is a member of Silencia Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Butler, and since the age of twenty-one years has been connected with Musconetcong Lodge, I.O.O.F., of Hackettstown. Mrs. BEST is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, at Butler.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


This page was last modified on:  01 January, 2014

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