Larkspur Historical Society

Ranch Alvin Srewart Best Spring Valley, Colorado 1908

Alvin Stewart Best Ranch

Alvin Stewart Best was a pioneer cattleman of Douglas County and raised Hereford cattle under the brand Quarter Circle Lazy B and Lazy S J. He married Bertha May Shirk in 1898 and began ranching in Douglas County. After working other ranches in Spring Valley (Gideon, Pratt and Lincoln ranches), he purchased the McDowell Ranch in 1908, which lies one mile west of the Spring Valley Cemetery. Mr. Best was a county commissioner from 1912 to 1916 and also served as a school board member for Spring Valley School for 40 years and Douglas County High School for 30 years.

Alvin and Bertha had Five children, Mary A, Laurel M, Harold W, Pearl M and Alvin S Jr.

His son Stuart continued the tradition of ranching until his death in 1976. Grace Best, Stuart’s wife, grew up in Louviers and was a lifelong teacher. She began her career at Glen Grove School, (a one room school east of Perry Park) also she taught at Spring Valley School (a one room school, where her husband and his siblings attended school). She later taught, 24 years, at Palmer Lake Elementary School. Grace Best Elementary School in Monument, Colorado, is named for her.

Alvin’s other son Harold Best and his wife Jenny (Lamb) Best bought the Carr Lamb Ranch  where they lived until their deaths.


Alvin and Bertha Best


Grace and Stuart Best and daughters; Doris, Charlotte and Janet. 1945


Bertha and Alvin Best. 1951


Grace Best, Stuart’s wife.

Photo credit thanks to Janet Piscotta and Charlotte Rubenking, granddaughters of Alvin Best.