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BEST FAMILY-Kootenai Co. and area

BEST FAMILY-Kootenai Co. and area

Posted: 998247721000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1005930033000
Looking for info on any of the many Best family members in the Coeur d'Alene area, especially John David Best who died there in 1906. He had a wife, Laura Gates, and 3 sons and a daughter.

Re: BEST FAMILY-Kootenai Co. and area

Posted: 1005775925000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1136967151000
Surnames: Best
Okay are you ready for this? I don't know if you have any of the info but. . .

There is a family cemetery in the city of Coeur d' Alene. It is called the Hope Cemetery and is also known as the Best Cemetery. It is located behind residences on Gilbert Ave between 7th and 8th streets.

Babbitt, John Tracy, Age 75 Died 06-19-1911 (married in Michigan, moved to Idaho 1892 born in New York

Babbitt, Lucia Aurora (Perry), age 73 died 11-07-1914 wife of John T. Babbit

Best, Addie Chirilla, age 48 died 03-06-1911 wife of Edwin O Best, born Algonac, MI married in WI

Best, Alexander Hubbard, died in CDA ca 1900, born in OH lived at Big Springs, Adams Co, WI and Dunn Co., WI moved to ND and to ID in 1893.

Best, Bennett J age 45 Died 03-03-1909 born in WI

Best, Ellen Chirilla (Ring), died in CDA in 1904, born Maine, Married Alexander H. Best.

Best, Iva May, died 05-23-1893, 5 year old daughter of Charles & Cora, granddaughter of Alexander Best & John Babbitt.

Best, John David, died CDA age 30, born WI son of Alexander & Ellen Best, married to Laura Gates, had 1 daughter and 3 sons.

Cook, Monty, died September 1911, aged 2 days son of Paul C. Cook & Wife, Ruby (Best) Cook.

Granger, Foster age 67 07-06-1912 he died after requesting burial in Best Cemetery.

There are a lot of Best's buried in several of the other cemeteries in Kootenai County. If you would like me to find Obits on these just let me know.

I will also go back to the Hayden Lake Library and check the History of North Idaho book (1903) to see if they did a write up on the family.

Re: BEST FAMILY-Kootenai Co. and area

Posted: 1006233349000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1136967151000
Surnames: Best

Archie E. 1884 11-22-1954 s/s Winifred
Bessie R. 1880 03-26-1936 S/p Eugene
Charles Age 79 05-23-1936 s/s Cora M
Charles A. 11-30-1908 02-03-1972 s/s Ruth A
Cora Age 74 1-12-1939 s/s Charles
Donald L 03-1-7-1919 03-20-1961
Edwin O. Age 78 07-06-1934
Elmont C. 11-07-1914 03-10-1929 s/p Winifred
Emma L. 1871 05-18-1949 s/s William
Eugene 1881 08-28-1972 s/s Hepburn
Fannie age 75 10-10-1965 s/s Ruben
Hattie D 1882 08-08-1961 s/s Ralph L
Helen L. n/d 1917 s/s Rowena R Nunes
Hepburn, L. 10-24-1914 06-19-1970 s/s Eugene
Kenneth D. 1907 02-04-1941
Lisle Lyle n/d 04-10-1919
Luzetta A. 1890 08-15-1977 s/s Vernon W
Madge 1912 11-22-1918 s/p Eugene
Mae 1862 11-30-1924/5 s/s William
Ralph L 1879 10-03-1941 s/s Hattie D
Ross age 30 09-06-1935
Ruben age 75 12-03-1952 s/s Fannie
Ruth A 10-28-1910 n/d s/s Charles
Vernon W 1889 08-08-1958 s/s Luzetta
Walter Andy 1928 05-09-1954
William 1860 02-23-1923 s/s mae
Winifred A. N. 1891 04-18-1964 s/p Elmont C

I also found the article I remembered in the Spokesman Review dated 06-11-2001 that is a detailed one on the Hope or Best Cemetery. I will pull a copy of that and send it to you as well.

I will work on getting these obits but it might take me a few days or so.

Re: BEST FAMILY-Kootenai Co. and area

Posted: 1006233505000
Classification: Obituary
Edited: 1136967151000
Surnames: Best
The funeral of Mrs. Edward Best, who passed away Tuesday, will be held from the home of the deceased near Springwater at 3 o'clock this afternoon. R. Ashton Curtis, rector of the Episcopal church, will conduct the services and interment will be in Hope Cemetery.

Coeur d' Alene Evening Press Wednesday March 08, 1911

Further down on the same page:

Forest Best was the victim of a painful accident yesterday afternoon near Gibbs. He was making a delivery for the Metropole market and had left his team standing for a few moments at the roadside. The horses became frightened and started off and Mr. Best in an attempt to catch the team fell and sprained his ankle.

Re: BEST FAMILY-Kootenai Co. and area

Posted: 1006233783000
Classification: Obituary
Edited: 1136967151000
Surnames: Best

W. H. Best died last evening at 7:30 o'clock from heart failure.

Mr. Best had been ill for several months and his death was brought on by the excitement caused when his home at Hayden Lake caught fire yesterday afternoon. The building was a modern seven room home and was totally destroyed and with the exception of one or two small articles, nothing was saved.

Mr. and Mrs. Best were spending the evening at the home of J. W. Arnold and were attracted by the blaze of the burning home. Mr. Best attempted to run to his home but sank in the yard of Mr. Arnold and was caried into the house, where he expired shortly afterward.

The funeral services will be held from the Cassedy parlors tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, Rev. McCabe of the Episcopal Church will officiate and interment will be in Forest Cemetery.

Besides his wife, he leaves one son, Archie, who resides at E528 Sinto Avenue, Spokane, four brothers, Ed and Charles of this city, Frank, of White Sulpher Springs, Montana; Alexander, of Deer Park, Wash., and three sisters, Mrs. Minnie Caryl, of Yakima, Mrs. Ella Herrington, of Powderhorn Bay, and Mrs. Laura Latin of Mount Vernon, Wash.

The deceased has resided in this locatlity for the past 25 years, coming here from Wisconsin. For a number of years he engaged in trapping and hunting and later operated a launch on Hayden Lake and last year assisted in the care of the Hayden Lake golf links.

Coeur d' Alene Evening Press Saturday February 24, 1923

Re: BEST FAMILY-Kootenai Co. and area

Posted: 1006311506000
Classification: Cemetery
Edited: 1136967151000
Spokesman Review June 11, 2001

Lost cemeteries Family graveyards can be a burden for heirs, neighbors
[IDAHO Edition]
Spokesman Review
Spokane, Wash.
Jun 11, 2001


Authors: Hazel Barrowman Correspondent

Pagination: A1


Personal Names: Best, Ronald L
Follette, Lois
Yates, Dexter
Shane, Al
Dahlgren, Dorothy


The Colonial Dames had big plans for the small cemetery, said Lois Follette,
a Coeur d'Alene member. The group wanted to turn it into a small neighborhood
park, using a miniature version of [Partington]'s original plat, she said.

Before the land surrounding the present-day Hope Cemetery was sold,
the St. Pius Church in Coeur d'Alene had an opportunity to buy the platted
5-acre cemetery, [Dexter Yates] said. But the church already had the St.
Thomas Cemetery.

2 Color photos Map: Hope Cemetery; 1. [Ronald L. Best], born in 1926, is
owner and caretaker of a family cemetery in north Coeur d'Alene, where
it now is surrounded by homes. Photos by Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review
2. A simple grave marker is almost hidden in the overgrowth at Hope Cemetery,
where members of the Best family were buried form the 1890s to 1914.
(Copyright 2001 Cowles Publishing Company)

Full Text:

At first glance, you wouldn't know it was a cemetery.

Bordered by a rusty barbed-wire fence, this half-acre at the end of
Eighth Street off Gilbert Avenue in north Coeur d'Alene is surrounded by
houses and taken over by shrubbery and weeds.

About 100 years ago, the land, owned by the Best family, was a small
portion of a five-acre plat that was to be the Hope Cemetery. Designed
by F.G. Partington in 1907, it was planned to be a grand and peaceful resting

Today, the small and humble Hope Cemetery is owned by Ronald L. Best,
75. Although Best is the sole caretaker for his family's cemetery, the
weeds often are in charge. Eight headstones are visible upon entering the
cemetery, yet there are 10 recorded burials. The first was in 1893 - Best's
father's 5-year-old sister, Iva May. Lucia Aurora Babbitt was the last
in 1914.

Best said that although Partington, who was Best's father's brother-in-law,
designed the cemetery with more than 800 grave sites, most of the land
was sold after Partington abandoned the project. The Hope Cemetery remains
a shadow of its original design, and the Best family is left with the job
of maintaining the grounds. Best inherited the land from his father and
is responsible for paying the taxes.

A similar situation plays out among numerous privately owned cemeteries
in North Idaho. Many have fallen into disrepair as growth pushes neighborhoods
up around them and the families that own them pass away.

Some have been taken over by cities, but preservation can be a struggle
when no records exist to show where graves are located.

Best says he's the only one who takes care of Hope Cemetery these days,
and it's a lot of work for one man. His relatives have little interest
or are unable to help, he said.

In 1994 and 1995, the local chapter of the National Society of Colonial
Dames XVII Century, a historical preservation group, took on the cemetery
as one of its projects. The group helped repair the fence, donated a new
sign, and cleared the brush around the graves.

The Colonial Dames had big plans for the small cemetery, said Lois Follette,
a Coeur d'Alene member. The group wanted to turn it into a small neighborhood
park, using a miniature version of Partington's original plat, she said.

"It was going to be absolutely spectacular," said Follette. The Dames'
project was slowed because the land was privately owned, and little could
be done to preserve their work for the future, Follette said.

"This is the problem with private cemeteries," said Dexter Yates, owner
of the Yates Funeral Home in Coeur d'Alene. "They don't think past the
next 100 years."

Yates explained that even if the Best family were to sell the land,
it would still be recorded by Kootenai County as an existing cemetery.
The land could not be built on unless the graves were removed, which is

Yates also explained that cemeteries come with an automatic built- in
easement for anyone who has family buried there. No matter who owns the
cemetery, the family has a right to visit the land.

Other privately owned cemeteries have similar problems.

The Pine Grove cemetery in Rathdrum, originally owned by the Post family,
was eventually turned over to the city. Yet many of the grave markers were
lost or destroyed throughout the years, and no records could be found.
The city was left with an awkward and daunting task, says Al Shane, who
has spent about 15 years cataloguing graves throughout Benewah, Kootenai,
Boundary and Bonner counties with his wife, Betty.

Shane explained that when the markers are destroyed, little or no record
remains of where graves are located.

An abandoned cemetery in Loffs Bay on Lake Coeur d'Alene has only one
grave marker, yet there are about 19 recorded burials there, Shane said.

"The Post Falls Cemetery has a section on the north end that's in limbo,"
Shane said. Most of the wooden markers were burned when a train caught
on fire nearby years ago. Today the city doesn't know if, or where, many
of the graves exist.

"You'd be lucky to find the abandoned cemetery in Colburn," Shane said.
And the Northside Cemetery in Bonners Ferry cannot be found because there's
a house built on it, he said.

Dorothy Dahlgren's small family cemetery, located on Coeur d'Alene Mountain,
is situated within a housing development. The cemetery is essentially part
of someone's back yard, said Dahlgren, who directs the Museum of North

The homeowner has taken down the fence and has landscaping plans for
the cemetery, but has assured the family he will respect their historical
site, Dahlgren said.

"People are building around these old cemeteries, and either trying
to make them part of their landscape or obliterating them," she said. As
far as she knows, Dahlgren said, no legislation exists to protect the cemeteries.

Before the land surrounding the present-day Hope Cemetery was sold,
the St. Pius Church in Coeur d'Alene had an opportunity to buy the platted
5-acre cemetery, Yates said. But the church already had the St. Thomas

"It will probably be a long time before something happens to that land,"
Yates said.

Best said he is interested in turning the cemetery over to the city,
yet is unsure if the city wants it.

City parks officials say that there would be a lot to consider - including
maintenance and taxes - in order to have a private cemetery become public.
The first step would be to send a proposal to Doug Eastwood, director of
parks and recreation.

So the historical Hope Cemetery sits quietly in neglect, nestled among
newly constructed homes, in the heart of what was once the Best family

2 Color photos Map: Hope Cemetery; Caption: 1. Ronald Best, born in 1926,
is owner and caretaker of a family cemetery in north Coeur d'Alene, where
it now is surrounded by homes. Photos by Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review
2. A simple grave marker is almost hidden in the overgrowth at Hope Cemetery,
where members of the Best family were buried form the 1890s to 1914.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner.
Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

=============================== End of Document ================================

Re: BEST FAMILY-Kootenai Co. and area

Posted: 1010120040000
Classification: Obituary
Edited: 1136967151000
Surnames: Best
Ralph Best Dies

Ralph L Best, 62, resident of Coeur d' Alene for 47 years, died yesterday at a local hospital, after an illness of considerable length.

Deceased is survived by his widow, Hattie; by two sons, Phillip of Wallace and Donald, serviving at Fort Lewis; by three grandchildren; a brother, Vernon Best at Oakland, California, and a sister, Alana Brandon of Republic, Wash.

The body is at the Cassedy Funeral Home, where services will be held Saturday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock. Interment will be in Forest Cemetery.

Kootenai County Leader, Friday October 3, 1941

Ross Best

Posted: 1011774191000
Classification: Obituary
Edited: 1016470943000
Surnames: Best

Resusciation efforts of Firemen fail; Lafferty Employee fell into water while working on boom.

Body of Ross Best, 30, employee of the Lafferty Transportation Co. who drowned in Coeur d' Alene Lake Friday afternoon while stringing some boomsticks near the Northern Pacific pier at the south end of First Street, was recovered by officers and volunteers with the aid of grapping hooks in 14 feet of water at 5:15 last night.

City firemen vainly tried resuscitation, using artificial methods and an inhalator for 10 minutes. It was believed that Best was in the water 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Dr. E. H. Teed, who was on the scene, pronounced the man was dead.

Sheriff S. J. McMillan, Deputy Ed Molstead and several volunteers, Ernest Phillips, Jim Plumb, Bert Edwards and Howard Hudson searched and dragged the lake bottom near a small log boom and finally recovered the body.

F. E. Erickson, fishing off the NP Dockage, said that he saw Best twice fall in and get back on the boomstick which he was tieing to one end of a dock piling.

Erickson resumed his fishing and Best, with corked shoes, went out to bring into the dock the other end of the boomsticks. Best got out of Erickson's sight. Later Erickson saw Best's pike pole on the water but was unable to see the man. Fearing Best might have slipped into the water, Erickson went to get help at about 4 o'clock. Searchers found some matches on the water and then began a thourough search.

Best ran the Coeur d' Alene Tug boat for Lafferty. He was said to have been a good swimmer.

There were no marks on his body to indicate that his head might have struck a long. Exertion in working on the log booms, followed by falling into the cold water, might have caused cramps.

Survivors are his widow, Genevieve, three children, Charles, Leona and Rosa, this parents; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Best all of this city, and several brothers and sisters. He was born in Coeur d' Alene and spent all of his life here. The family lives in a houseboat.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 2 o'clock from the Cassedy Funeral Home. Interment will be in Forest Cemetery.
Coeur d' Alene Press, Saturday, September 7, 1935

Best Family

Posted: 1012974789000
Classification: Lookup
Edited: 1016470943000
Surnames: Best, Gates
I am still trying to weed through the papers for 1906 for more information. Some of the papers are missing. You do not happen to know John David Best's date of death due you?

I also found the following in some cemetery books and wondered if you would like me to find those obituaries.

Infant Gates 08-24-1907
Lillian Gates 10-04-1978
Frank Gates 02-26-1968

Re: Best Family

Posted: 1013018240000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1120773229000
Hi Mary,
I show that he died 12-30-1906 in Coeur d'Alene. I show 3 sons and 1 daughter for he and Laura but I do not have any names for them. Hopefully, if an obit is found, the kids names will be in it. Thanks, Mac
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