FORNEY, TEXAS. 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.
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 what would become the Forney settlement in 1873. Forney was officially incorporated in 1884, and soon afterward a mayor-alderman form of local government was established.
The railroad and fertile soil attracted settlers to Forney, and the town grew as a farm center and residential community. The population increased steadily for the next century, to more than 3,000 residents by 1960. The surrounding land is used as ranchland and for the production of cotton, corn, grain, and onions. Forney has also been a small manufacturing community; its factories producing such goods as cottonseed oil, ice, athletic supplies, paper products, and plastics. In 1964 Forney Reservoir was constructed on the East Fork of the Trinity River four miles north of Forney. The reservoir, impounded to provide water for Dallas, was later renamed Lake Ray Hubbard.
By 2010 the population had increased to over 14,000, and Forney has since continued its pattern of steady growth.
Robert Richard Butler, History of Kaufman County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). Farm and Ranch, October 15, 1885, June 14, 1913. Kaufman County Historical Commission, History of Kaufman County (Dallas: Taylor, 1978).