Forest Meadow, Dallas
|Area code(s)||214, 469, 972|
Forest Meadow is a suburban residential neighborhood within the Lake Highlands area of Dallas, Texas. The neighborhood is thought of today as being bounded by Greenville Avenue on the west, Whitehurst Drive on the south, Abrams Road on the east, and an alley demarcating the neighborhood from businesses and apartment blocks on Forest Lane to the north. However, the earliest plats identified by the name "Forest Meadows" were east of Abrams Road and some plats were south of Whitehurst Drive. Earlier plats used the name "Forest Meadows" and this nomenclature is also in use to describe neighborhoods in the area.
Almost all of the land that today comprises the Forest Meadow, Moss Farm, and Town Creek neighborhoods of Dallas lay within the bounds of properties in the possession of pioneer settler James M. Houx (1822-1850), his wife Amanda L. Houx (1829-1847), and their son Nicholas T. Houx (1847-1890). James and Amanda Houx came to Dallas County, Texas, from Kentucky in 1846 or 1847, but Amanda died in childbirth when Nicholas was born on June 30, 1847. James M. Houx purchased a tract of 306 acres in this area from William M. Simpson and his wife Lettitia Simpson on October 27, 1849. However, James M. Houx had died by November of the next year when the federal census (1850) showed Nicholas as the adopted son of Judge John S. and Mrs. Hannah Thomas. Judge Thomas (the first County Judge in Dallas County) apparently assisted his young adopted son to receive a 640-acre land grant in the name of the "Heirs of James M. Houx, Deceased" from the State of Texas, given under a patent signed by Texas Governor Elisha Marshall Pease on February 28, 1855. The 1849 purchase of 306 acres did not fall within the present bounds of Forest Meadow, though it did include much of the area that is now Moss Farm. The larger grant of 640 acres in 1855 adjoined the earlier grant and it included almost all of the area that is now Forest Meadow and Town Creek.
Nicholas Houx lived on and farmed these two properties after he came to adulthood, when he was married to Mary Elizabeth Kemper (1850-1876, m. ca. 1874) and then to Maggie Bell Norman (1860-1935, m. 1878). From 1883 Nicholas and Maggie Houx began to sell parcels of the property, including substantial amounts of property in both of the earlier tracts to W. W. Sebastian (see the following paragraph), although Nicholas continued to live on the land until his death in February 1890, At least one portion of the land, including what is now the 9000 block of Windy Crest Drive, remained in the possession of the heirs of the Houx family until 1964.
William Whitesides Sebastian (1838-1898) eventually purchased land amounting to 640 acres and although this did not correspond to the earlier 640-acre tract noted above, his property included much of what is now Forest Meadow, Moss Farm, and Town Creek. He is considered to be a Dallas County pioneer, although of a later generation than the Houx family. Sebastian had served as a captain in the Civil War and had moved to Dallas County with his family in 1872. Sebastian lived on this land and not only cultivated cotton on it, but also utilized the land as a stock farm, raising Hereford and Holstein cattle. This pattern of use continued in the twentieth century when in 1940 Harry S. Moss purchased land that would later become Moss Farm and the Harry S. Moss Park and used the land as a stock farm.
The land was further subdivided after the time of the Sebastian family. The Houston & Texas Central Railroad (now the DART Red Line) had come through the area in 1873, and in the twentieth century, the land became more and more part of the growing city of Dallas. In 1916, the road that is now North Greenville Avenue adjacent to the neighborhood, previously called "Richardson Road," was designated as Texas State Highway 6. In 1926, the road was redesignated as US Highway 75 (Route 75) and remained so until North Central Expressway was constructed in the 1950s. In the early twentieth century small parcels were utilized as suburban farms where people who worked in Dallas could maintain a semblance of rural life. Dallas oil developer William A. "Bill" Browne (or Brown), for example, owned a suburban farm on 25 acres in the larger Houx survey that he had purchased in the 1940s and that is now part of Forest Meadow. This is now the subdivision of Forest Meadow platted as "Bill Browne's Farm," including Bill Browne Drive.
Suburban additions identified as "Forest Meadows" or now falling within the customary boundaries of Forest Meadow were platted between 1967 and 1978 as follows.
|Year:||Subdivision:||Plat Book and Pages:||Area (or Streets) Included:|
|1967||Forest Meadows Addition 1||67193 p. 275||East of Abrams Road: Heatherdale, Meadowknoll, Hunters Creek|
|1969||Forest Meadows Addition 2||69185 p. 1999||East of Abrams Road|
|1971||Forest Meadows Addition 3||71076 p. 2070||South of Whitehurst and west of Club Meadow: Locarno, Seagrove, Raeford, Loma Vista|
|1973||Forest Meadows Addition 4||73020 p. 895|
|1974||Forest Meadows Addition 5||74228 p. 678||Bounded by Dove Meadow, 9200 block of Windy Crest, Abrams Road, and Forest Meadow Junior High|
|1975||Forest Meadows Addition 5||76038 p. 472||(corrected plat?)|
|1976||Forest Meadows Addition 4, Phase 2||Parts of Arborside Drive and Loma Vista Drive|
|1976||Bill Browne’s Farm||76209 p. 1348||Bill Browne, 9100 block of Windy Crest, Webb Kay, Clayco, Dusti, Brady|
|1976||Topaz Estates||79011 p. 1140||9000 block of Windy Crest and Windy Crest Circle|
In 1979, residents concerned about rising reports of crime in the neighborhood established a Neighborhood Crime Watch. In 1995 this group was incorporated as the Forest Meadow Crime Patrol (see external link below).
Schools and Amenities
Although the neighborhood is part of the city of Dallas, Forest Meadow falls within the Richardson Independent School District. Neighborhood school children attend Moss Haven Elementary School, Skyview Elementary School, Stults Road Elementary, and Merriman Park Elementary School, Forest Meadow Junior High School, and Lake Highlands High School.
Neighborhood residents have access to DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) Rail by way of the Forest Lane DART Rail Station, less than a mile west of the neighborhood on Forest Lane. The neighborhood lies within close proximity of Harry S. Moss Park, which is an access point for the White Rock Creek Trail. The Cottonwood Trail, currently under construction, will have an access point at the Forest Lane DART Station.
- Forest Meadow Crime Patrol
- City of Dallas, Texas
- Richardson Independent School District
- DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit)
- Dallas County Pioneers Association page on James M. and Amanda L. Houx
- Both Amanda L. Houx and Nicholas T. Houx are buried in the Mount Calvary Cemetery on Valley View Lane near Richardson, Texas. Amanda's grave marker shows her death date as June 30, 1847; Nicholas' grave marker shows his birth date as June 30, 1847.
- County land records, volume “B” (in the oldest series of land records), pp. 215-216. The land was surveyed on March 2, 1850.
- US Census for 1850, Dallas County, Texas, page 82b, family 147.
- Dallas County Land Records, volume 119 (old sequence), pages 146-147. A record of this patent is also available in the database of the Texas General Land Office. Nicholas T. Houx would have been eight years of age at this point.
- Mary E. Kemper and her mother Sena Kemper are buried in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery adjacent to Amanda L. Houx and in the same row as Nicholas T. Houx. Next to Mary is a baby named Edney, born to Nicholas and Mary in 1876, who died at age nine months just a few weeks before her mother's death. The marriage of Nicholas T. Houx and Maggie Bell Norman was recorded in Dallas County as being on 8 May 1878: Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. They are shown on the federal census for Dallas County, Texas, in 1880: Roll: 1299; Family History Film: 1255299; Page: 161B; Enumeration District: 60.
- A sale of 200 acres to Sebastian from the James M. Houx (640-acre) survey is recorded in the land records of Dallas County on December 10, 1883: Dallas County land Records, vol. 72, p. 472. Nicholas Houx's death date, February 25, 1890, is given in the inscription on his grave marker in the Mount Calvary Cemetery, and his death was noted in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday, February 27, 1890, under “Local Notes." This obituary states that Houx died at his home on Rock Creek.
- Dallas County land records, book 254, page 1914, recorded on February 18, 1964. This records a sale of land from Hannah Virginia Houx Hunt, her husband C. M. Hunt, and their daughter Orleene Houx Pratt. Hannah Virginia Houx Hunt (1885-1972) was the daughter of Nicholas and Maggie Houx. The property was conveyed to Ralph Pinckus, who subsequently sold it to Topaz Development in 1978: Dallas County land record, book 78040, page 2199, signed 23 February 1978 and recorded 27 February 1978. This property was developed as "Topaz Estates" (see below on the plats of Forest Meadow).
- An account of the life of W. W. Sebastian is given on the web site of the Dallas County Pioneers Association: http://www.dallaspioneer.org/stories/pioneers.php?ID=210. This account was extracted from an earlier work entitled Memorial and Biographical Sketches of Dallas County (Lewis Publishing, 1892).
- Numerous advertisements in the Dallas Morning News in the 1940s and 1950s are for stock advertised by the "Moss-Haven Stock Farm."
- Obituary for W. A. Brown in the Dallas Morning News on November 17, 1956. Browne's purchase of the property is recorded in Dallas County Land Records, Dallas County land records, vol. 3920, p. 615.
- The name is variously spelled "Brown" and "Browne," even on street signs in the neighborhood.
- See, for example, the Dallas Morning News for March 31, 1978, which has a photo of Cowboys football players practicing at the Forest Lane facility.
- These plat books and page numbers refer to Dallas County Land Records.
- See: http://news.myfmcp.org/about/ Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine