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Map of Kaufman County

Forney is on U.S. Highway 80, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, Buffalo Creek, and Mustang Creek, twenty-three miles east of Dallas in northwestern Kaufman County. When the earliest settlers arrived and established a community in this area they found a broad expanse of fertile blackland prairie covered with grass. By 1870 several of these settlers, including John C. McKellar, who established the first general store in the settlement, were calling their town Brooklyn, reportedly because several springs flowed together to form a brook nearby. Soon after McKellar's store was opened, a saloon and a blacksmith shop began operation in Brooklyn.

The citizens applied for a post office in 1873, but it was discovered that there was a Brooklyn in Shelby County. That same year the promoters of the Texas and Pacific Railway, having failed to interest the residents of either the county seat, Kaufman, or Cedar Grove in the rail line, chose to build between these communities and through the Brooklyn settlement. In honor of the railroad and in hopes of winning federal approval for the local post office, the residents of Brooklyn renamed their community Forney, on December 29, 1873, after the Pennsylvania journalist, politician, and member of the board of directors of the T&P line, John Wien Forney, then employed as a civil engineer to direct the Texas and Pacific in the area. Forney was officially incorporated in 1884, and soon afterward a mayor-alderman form of local government was established.

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Brian Hart | © TSHA

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

Belongs to

Forney is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Forney is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Brooklyn)


Latitude: 32.74706470
Longitude: -96.45204900

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Forney by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
23,455 2020 United States Census Bureau
25,371 2019 Texas Demographic Center
14,661 2010 United States Census Bureau
5,588 2000 United States Census Bureau
4,070 1990 United States Census Bureau