Forest is on the Old Jim Hogg Highway, better known as Farm Road 1911, ten miles south of Alto in southeastern Cherokee County. The community was established when Wiley Thompson opened the first business—a store, saloon, watermill, gristmill, and cotton gin—on Larrison Creek. The name Forest is said to have come from a traveler who was resting under a tree and who, when asked why he was there, replied, "For rest." In March 1879 Wiley Thompson was appointed the first postmaster at the community. The mail was transferred to Wells in 1887 but was routed back to Forest the same year. The post office was permanently transferred to Wells in 1980. During the 1920s and 1930s the Forest area produced tomatoes, and two tomato packing sheds were built beside the Cotton Belt Railroad (officially known as the St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas). The Forest Baptist Church was established in 1888 with a pastor named Rushing. In the 1980s Forest was mainly a cattle-raising community, and its only store was in and out of business. During the first half of the twentieth century, Forest's population was reported as around 100. It was reported as 120 from the 1950s to the 1970s and as eighty-five in 1990 and 2000.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Forest by the Numbers

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Pop. Year Source
85 2009 Local Officials