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Published: August 20th 2020
Note: This blog is shot on Texas Hwy 1911 West of US Hwy 69, and South of Alto, Texas.
Forest, Texas (population few) is about eleven KM WNW of Wells, Texas.
According to Wikipedia, in 1847 Wiley Thompson brought his large family and many slaves to his new 636 acre (almost a square mile) home along Larrison Creek and founded the community of Forest in Cherokee County. In the 1870s the Thompson family opened a general store, saloon, a water mill, a gristmill (powered by water), and a cotton gin. The Forest Post Office opened in 1879. The Forest Baptist Church (with school) was established in 1888. In 1922 the Forest school consolidated with the with the Wildhurst School at the nearby Chronister Lumber Company Camp. Then the Forest-Wildhurst School consolidated with the Wells ISD in 1949. In the 1920s and 1930s Forest produced many good tomatoes, and two tomato packing sheds were built by the St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas. (There is no remains of the railway now.) Forest has two cemeteries, (and I later found their Arnold Cemetery). in 1980 the Forest Post Office was transferred to Wells.
According to Historic Texas,
the earliest settlers of Forest included the Carrs, Burkes, and the Dials. (Dialville was founded by John Dial about five KM North of the Texas State Railroad.) Miller Dial became the postmaster of Forest in 1934. In 1879 Wylie Thompson's general store was also the voting place and post office.
I could not find the old Forest Post Office, and assumed that it was gone. A week later I found that post office in an unsuspected place.
I could not find the sawmill town of Wildhurst, so I drove on Northbound on hwy 1911.
I was surprised to find the old village of Barsola on the West side of hwy 1911 just North of Forest, cuz I did not know that it existed.
Then I drove Northbound to find the Historic Marker for the Morrill Orchard Company on the West side of hwy 1911 about five KM South of Alto.
According to Historic Texas, in 1901 Roland Morrill teamed up with WW McFarland to purchase land to start a large scale peach farm near a rail line. They planted about 1400 acres of peach trees. The community of Morrill was founded by Roland
Morrill and WW McFarland in 1901 to start a large scale peach farm. The purchased land near the St. Louis Southwestern Railway and became the Morrill Orchard Company. The village of Morrill was established in 1903 that included a school, commissary, post office , and worker housing.
According to unknown sources, the Morrill timber was used to make charcoal to fuel the Rusk Penitentiary's iron blast furnace.
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