Edit Blog Post
Published: October 28th 2020
According to Historic Texas Wildhurst was founded by Milton Smith when he established the Chronister Lumber Company in 1895. Their operations included sawmills, mill ponds, drying kilns, planing mill, commissary (company store), and a locomotive and logging tram. 75% of the workforce was Afro-Americans that had segregated housing, schools, and churches. Cuz of the logging there was a shortage of available pine timber the sawmills closed in December, 1944. Then the population declined quickly with their major employer gone, finishing the town. A Historic Marker was located at the intersection of Texas FM 1911 & 1247, one mile North of Forest. There was no mention if or when Wildhurst had a post office.
According to jacksonvilleprogress.com several older local women helped in the internet history of Wildhurst, One of those ladies was Ira Vee Arnold.
I drove to that intersection of FR 1911 & 1247 and parked my truck. I walked through the brush of the right-of way for an hour without finding the Historic Marker. Then some people driving by and stopped cuz they saw me roaming the intersection. We had a nice chat and I informed them that I was looking for Wildhurst. They told me to
County Road 2723
Wildhurst Historic Marker
follow them and they would take me to the Wildhurst marker. The historic marker was about a mile down Cherokee County Road 2723. I passed a nice ranch with a Wildhurst sign on the way to the marker. (The two internet sites were not correct on the location of the Wildhurst HM location.)
After a photo opp at the marker I drove a short distance East to the Wildhurst Construction Company that I think was the old site of the Chronister Lumber Company. Then I did a little scouting driving Northbound on CR 2707 and saw just an old wooden plank over a creek.
I returned to the ranch on CR 2723 and parked by their sign. While I was making my photo shoot of the ranch a nice woman across the street started talking with me about Wildhurst. Then she told me about her grandmother Ira being a well informed local historian. We walked next door and Ira came out and sat down to talk. (She was disabled and could not walk far.) We talked about local history for an hour. Then Ira told me that she was the last postmaster in Forest until it closed in
1981. They showed me some of their artifacts they found by the old sawmill lake behind their homes. I was told that the (replacement) lake dam was built about five years ago. I feel certain that that nice grandmother was Ira Vee Arnold who helped record the history of Wildhurst.
I thanked the ladies and walked back to shoot the ranch (from the road) with a nice ranch-house and an interesting old structure by the tree line. Then I drove Northbound on FM 1911 to see more of Southern Cherokee County. When at home I used my photo software to zoom in on that old structure. I was surprised to see that the old neat structure was the old Forest Post Office. Had I known about that post office I would have asked Ira how that structure got there at Wildhurst.
Tot: 0.03s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 7; qc: 21; dbt: 0.0062s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb