Forest. Although the present town of Forest dates from the building of the railroad in the middle ’80s [1880s], the original Forest, located about three-fourths of a mile to the west, existed before the Civil War. According to tradition, a traveler stopped under a tree. When asked why he stopped he answered, “For rest !” His explanation of his presence gave rise to the name “Forest.” Wylie Thompson was the only merchant in the village, his store being the voting place for the precinct and also the post office. Mail, however, was extremely uncertain. The negro carrier rode a most temperamental mule. There was also a gin and a mill, both run by water. Among the earliest settlers were the Carrs, Dials, and Burkes.
The Grange opened the first store in the present town. Dick Durham, the first postmaster, bought it. In 1888, J. S. Derrough, Jeff Latham and Hugh Henry donated a lot for a school and a church. Three stores, one church building, which houses two congregations, and a five-teacher school serve Forest citizens in 1934. Miller Dial is postmaster. – A History of Cherokee County, 1934 by Hattie Joplin Roach