Bests, Gilberts, and Bibys Help Populate Grant County, Oklahoma

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Bests, Gilberts, and Bibys Help Populate Grant County, Oklahoma
written by Becky Best
February 3, 2007

George Anthony and Susan Elizabeth Stanley Best had, among their other children, two sons:

Louis Martin (1876) and George Austin William (1881)


Truman Hiram and Lucy Mariah Ford Gilbert had, among their other children, two daughters:

Elsie Pearl (1881) and Ollie Floss (1883)


George and Susan and Truman and Lucy had both participated in the Cherokee Strip Land Run on September 16, 1893.  To my knowledge the families did not know each other prior to the time they homesteaded within a couple of miles of one another.  Both families built sod houses and set about raising crops, farm animals, and children.  As the years went by, the community grew as communities did in those days and schools, stores, and churches were established and around those came small towns.  One of those towns was "Gilbert" which wasn't much more than a general store and a post office for a while.  "Gilbert" was named because of it's proximity to the Gilbert Farm. (See below for more on Gilbert.)

In time, the children had grown and were ready to begin families.  And, here began the efforts of the Best-Gilbert family to populate Grant County, Oklahoma.

Lou and Elsie married in 1897.  George and Ollie married in 1901.

Now, I don't know what the official genealogical classification is here but I was raised with the term "double cousins."  I suppose, genetically it means that all the children from these two couples were the same as siblings.

Lou and Elsie had six children, including one surviving daughter Opal, their fourth child (1902).

George and Ollie had ten children, including daughter, Eva, their first child (1901).  George and Ollie are my grandparents.

First cousins, Opal and Eva, who basically were the same as sisters married brothers.

Opal married Frank Biby (dob ?) on February 7, 1923.  Eva married Chester Biby (1899) on May 21, 1923.

Opal and Frank had one child, Lyndel.  Eva and Chester had two, Thelma and Dean.

So, now we have another generation of first cousins who were genetically the same as siblings.

Lyndel and Marjorie have three sons.  Thelma and Arden, one daughter.  Dean and Fae, two daughters and one son. 


To my best count, seven of the George/Susan, Truman/Lucy children farmed and raised families in Grant County. 

Seven of the Lou/Elsie, George/Ollie children, did the same.

Opal and Frank's son, Lyndel and Eva and Chester's son, Dean both farmed and raised their families in Grant County.  Dean's son, Cliff, has continued this family tradition. 




According to Oklahoma Place Names by George H. Shirk (page 88) - Gilbert -- A rural community in Grant County, 7 miles southwest of Wakita. Named for Truman H. Gilbert, local rancher.

According to TRAILS TO OLD POND CREEK by Jim Fulbright (page 207) - Gilbert (NW 1/4 27-27N-7W), seven miles south southwest of Wakita, was on property purchased by Truman H. Gilbert in 1895. Gilbert, an early-day rancher in Indian Territory, moved his wife and four daughters from Iowa to the Pond Creek area in the winter of 1894 and began looking for a suitable place to settle. When his family moved on to their new farm, Gilbert built a little store, and the village sprang up around it. Gilbert received a post office on November 5, 1901, with Charles H. Owen as the postmaster. Mail service was discontinued on February 19, 1904. The Gore district schoolhouse was located across the road, west of the Gilbert store. A short time after statehood the Gore school district was organized in Oklahoma's first consolidated school district.

According to Cousin Lyndel Biby:  The original town was to the corner south and one mile east on the southeast corner of the intersection. That was the quarter that Delilah Gilbert (our Grandmother) claimed in the run. Her husband had died in Iowa. She did not build the store nor did she run it. Must have been named because of her quarter. About the time that the district was consolidated into the large school, the store was moved to just south of the school plot, across the fence.  That store burned and the new one was built across the road.