Forreston, Texas


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Forreston, Texas

(Chambers Creek)

 

Source: A Memorial and Biographical History of Ellis County, Texas, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1892; pp. 224-5.

Forreston (Chambers Creek) was named in honor of General T. J. Chambers, who received a large grant of land (eleven leagues) from the Mexican government  for services rendered as a judge prior to Texas independence. He was also a prominent general with the Texian forces during her struggle with Mexico.

The locality, named Chambers Creek by General E. H. Tarrant, was originally the county seat of Navarro County, before Ellis County was created. It came to be known as Forrest's Store, and has finally adopted the title of Forreston, after Captain Carr Forrest.

Much  business is done there since there are stores and two cotton gins. as well as a good church and school.  The latter has been in existence almost since the county organization, when the first settler, Willliam R. Howe arrived in the fall of 1843.

"Chambers Creek has always been a great point for holding picnics, barbecues and public meetings.  The following is a descriiption of a famous barbecue in 1884:

"One of the largest crowds ever assembled during the picnic season gathered  last Friday in a beautiful oak grove on Mill branch, about a mile southeast of Forrest's store  (Chambers Creek postoffice), to spend the day in social enjoyment and hearing speeches from the numerous corps of candidates. Between 1,000 and 1,200 people were in attendance, and most of them listened attentively to the issues discussed and the claims advanced by the different candidates, until the threatening rain, about 3 P.M., broke up the speaking and caused most of the crowd to disperse. The dinner was all that could be wished in quantity, quality and variety. Besides the bounteous supply of provisions in baskets there were barbecued for the occasion, one kid, two sheep, two beeves and five hogs. All had a cordial invitation to partake of the feast, and if anyone failed to get enough it was not the fault of the committee or the good people of that community, who did everything that could be expected for the entertainment of the crowd. The rain interfered to some extent with the night's programme, but nevertheless a considerable number of young people returned to the ground and spent a few hours in a social dance. The sudden adjournment prevented the writer getting all the desired data relative to this section of the county, but he learned from W. L. (Brack) Mitchell, that he came from Dyer County, Tennessee, in 1845, and located at Chambers Creek, three-fourths of a mile south of Forrest's Store. His father-in-law, William R. Howe, now deceased, also emigrated from Tennessee in 1843, and settled at the same place. Their neighbors at that time were few and far between. Among them were Tom I. Smith, Jeff Jordan, Mrs. Beaty, of Mill creek; Bob Mayfield, near the Reagor place; and Mr. Mitchell, near Red Oak. This was five years before the organization of Ellis County."

"The barbecue was held under the shade of the large oak trees in the pasture of Dr. L. S. Nelson, a highly respected citizen of the community. The writer participated in the rich contents of a friend's provision basket, as well as doing full justice at the dinner table. Many visitors were present from Waxahachie, Ennis, Milford, Italy, Garden Valley, and adjacent communities, and all seemed to be highly elated at the success of the barbecue."

Ninety six votes were cast at the first county election in August 1850.. Now  (1892) Ellis County polls a larger vote than was cast by the whole State for Sam Houston, the first president of Texas, he having received only 4,374 votes. Captain Carr Forrest, an old and prominent citizen of this community, ran a general merchandise store in this section for several years and was Postmaster of Chambers' Creek postoffice. George H. Alderman assisted him in the management of the store. The land here is mostly the black waxy prairie with a considerable quantity of timber along Chambers Creek and its  branches.

Forreston Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Choir begins rehearsal

by Mrs. J. E. Wakeland

Article from Waxahachie Daily Light, Sims' Library vertical files

1914 was the year of the first class to graduate from Forreston High School. Although the school no longer exists (it was consolidated with Waxahachie Independent School District in 1969), its ex-students still gather every three years to reminisce about happy years spent at this historic school.

In 1983, members of the Homecoming Committee were graduates of the 1930s. Members of Forreston High School Choirs of the 30s and 40s sang a medley of songs from those two decades. Mrs. J. E. Wakeland, teacher and choir director from 1934-1945, directed the Homecoming Choir. Out of 45 "girls" who were contacted, 35 were there to sing at the banquet. Rehearsals were held at Mrs. Wakeland's home in Waxahachie for three consecutive Sunday afternoons prior to the banquet.

Nostalgic chatter often interrupted rehearsals as long-time friendships were renewed. The banquet was held on Sept. 17, 1983, at the Waxahachie Country Club. Nearly 300 former students and teachers filled the dining room to capacity.

On Aug. 23, 1986, the same choir performed at the Homecoming Banquet at Southwestern Assemblies of God College. The Homecoming Committee was composed of graduates of the 1940's and the choir sang songs from that era.

Committee members for 1989 are graduates of the 1950's, so music of the 50's will be featured. Rehearsals have been held at Mrs. Wakeland's home three Sunday afternoons. One out of state member has not seen her classmates in 47 years. She came from Harrold, South Dakota.

This year, several choir members graduated from Forreston High School over 50 years ago.

Registration and informal visitation will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at Denham Ranch Inn in Waxahachie. The Homecoming dinner will be at 7 p.m.

Plans are being made to honor the classes of 1937, 1938 and 1939.

Chairmen for the 1989 committee is Billy McCrady, with James Strength as co-chairman. Other committee members are Kay (Hamlin) Price, Judy (Justice) Durham, Wayne Lloyd, Truitt Berrier and Lois (Sullens) Pendley.

Any ex-student who has not already made reservations should contact Truitt Berrier, 803 Eisenhower, Duncanville.

Article from "Waxahachie Daily Light," Vertical Files, Sims Library.


 

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