20 minutes from downtown Dallas sits the close-knit community of Forney.
The community has seen tremendous growth since the late 1990s and continues to be the fastest growing city in Kaufman County. Forney retains a strong sense of community values. Schools still have bike racks, neighbors walk together and the town turns out for parades and celebrations.
In 1847, Sallie Daugherty came from Arkansas with her four sons and purchased 1,000 acres of land four miles southeast of present-day Forney, naming the area Union Hill. This area later became known as Lone Elm. In 1848, Kaufman County was carved out of the huge Nacogdoches County.
In the early 1850s, more settlers began to arrive in this area. By 1860, many hardy settlers entered booming Texas, mainly from the South. Hearing of the good land of the rolling prairies of this North Central Texas area, many stopped here and began their lives as farmers and ranchers. The small village that began to spring up near the rim of the bluff that overlooked the Bois D'Arc Fork of the Trinity River was to be named Brooklyn.
By 1873, Brooklyn was a growing town, with saloons, merchandise store, lodge, and was being supported by a few hundred people. It was the year that the Texas and Pacific Railroad come through Brooklyn, which was to change the face of our town forever.
As the town progressed, through the influence the Railroad provided, it was now ready for a Post Office to satisfy the residents' needs. The name of Brooklyn was submitted to the Post Office Department in Washington, D.C., however, another town by the same name with a Post Office was already established in Fayette County, so another name had to be selected for our town if it wished postal service.
Changing of a town name was unusual, even in 1873. John Wein Forney, born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1817, was a director of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Company and was believed to have been instrumental in the new railroad route through the village of Brooklyn.
In gratitude to Mr. Forney, several influential residents suggested Forney's name be submitted as a Post Office, and it was accepted. Thus the name of the town of Forney was established permanently.
The prairies that surrounded the town were covered with a native grass that was found to produce a sweet, nutritious hay when cut and baled. For the next 50 years "Forney Prairie Hay"' as it was known, was one of the leading export products of Forney.
When the peak of the hay industry had been reached, cotton took its place. Money and wealth came to many large landowners from hay and then cotton. By 1910, Forney boasted of eight cotton gins, the most for its size of any town in Texas. Fifteen to twenty thousand bales of cotton were ginned each fall and shipped to cotton markets across the United States.
The new Dixie Highway (U.S. 80) opened through Forney in the late 1920s, resulting in better automobile travel in this area. The Texas Interurban Railway Company began operations in 1923 on its Dallas-Forney-Terrell rail line. Running through Forney on Church Street, this streetcar-type electric rail line served for 10 years as an advanced commuter type service, a source unequaled before or since.
During the 1940-1950 period, the town came virtually to a standstill, due primarily to the Second World War. Very few, if any, new businesses were opened in the city. Many larger companies chose Garland and Mesquite during the post-war period, after considering Forney as a prospective home. Little residential building was recorded and the town slumbered as many of its neighbors grew like wildfire.
The area north of the new Interstate Highway 20 was exclusively farmland in the 1960s. Today it composes a major residential section of Forney. During the late 1960s, a new elementary school was completed in South Forney and the city became a three-school town. It was during the 60s that the Forney High School jackrabbit football team won approximately 100 games in a ten-year period, one of the winningest records in Texas and a proud heritage of Forney athletes.
In the late 1960s, Glenn "Red" Whaley opened the first antique business in east Forney, the genesis of the huge antique business the city boasts today. Forney has now been recognized by the Texas Senate as the "Antique Capital of Texas".
Today these flavors all blend together with rural farmers and suburban-ites all calling Forney home.
Forney is most easily accessed via car from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport or Love Field Airport in Dallas.
From DFW International, take 183 east to I-35E south. You will merge into I-30 E towards Texarkana. Then merge onto US Hwy 80 E. Forney is roughly 15 miles to the east.
From Love Field, take the Dallas North Tollway south to I-35E south. You will merge into I-30 E towards Texarkana. Then merge onto US Hwy 80 E. Forney is roughly 15 miles to the east.
Forney does not offer any public transportation.
Forney is known as the Antique Capital of Texas and a number of antique shops line US Hwy 80. You can find a number of great finds along westbound US Hwy 80 between County Road 217 and FM 548.
- Starplex Theater (near the intersection of US Hwy 80 and FM 548). For movie buffs.
- Forney Community Park, 241 S. FM 548 (between the intersection of FM 548/FM 1641 & FM 741). It features a hike and bike trail, a large playground for kids, a splash park and soccer, softball and baseball fields.
The Pinson Road corridor is home to a Brookshire's grocery store and several other national and locally owned restaurants and neighborhood service businesses.
- Heritage Town Center (downtown Forney). Home to professional offices, City Hall, Kaufman County services, beauty salons, restaurants, bakeries and other specialty stores.
- Mustang Crossing shopping center (At Hwy 80 and FM 548). Home to Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Chili's Grill, Chick-fil-A, Wendy's, Starbucks, GameStop, Walgreens, CVS, Sonic, Starplex Theater, NTB, AutoZone and Whataburger. Additional national restaurant and food and retail chains are planned.
Chains in town include Chick-Fil-A, Chili's, Dairy Queen Panda Express, Subway and Whataburger. Other options include:
- Brady's Burgers.
- Christina's. Mexican
- Madres Cocina. Mexican
- Napolli's. Italian
- Super 8 Forney, 103 W Us Highway 80, ☏ .
- Best Western Plus Christopher Inn & Suites, 752 Pinson Rd, ☏ .
- Terrell - Nearby Terrell is home to the Tanger Outlet Shopping Center, Ham's Orchards and The No. 1 British Flying School Museum.
- Mesquite - Home to Town East Mall and The Mesquite Rodeo.
- Lake Ray Hubbard - Formerly Forney Lake, this nearby lake offers countless water activities for all ages.
|Routes through Forney|
|Dallas ← Mesquite ←||W E||→ Gladewater → Shreveport|