Development of the Oak Forest Subdivision started in 1946. The first house, which served as a sales office, was built at thecorner of Golf and Fisher Dr. Almost all of the first houses were sold to World War II veterans. My husband, who had been a Captain in the Army in WWII, and I bought our house in April, 1947, when it was only a slab and moved in on June 1, 1947.
Oak Forest Realty Corporation, founded by Frank Sharp, built houses only in Section 1 (Golf Dr. to Oak Forest Dr., and Dubarry to W. 43rd. Mr. Sharp continued to develop the neighborhood for 17 more
sections, by building the streets and installing utility lines: however, building contractors would then build the houses.
We had no telephone service. The only telephone were in the construction shack on the corner of Wakefield and Kinley Ln. and in the house of Frank Sharp’s niece at on Wakefield. We finally had telephones about the middle of 1948. Sufficient acreage in Oak Forest was set aside for building churches and many denominations have taken advantage of this.
Also space was made available for parks, and Oak Forest has four parks within the area: T.C. Jester, Candlelight, American Legion and Oak Forest Park.
Areas were also set aside for commercial development and this accounts for the many grocery stores, cleaners, service stations, etc., which are located on W. 43rd St. and Ella Blvd. Oak Forest was
annexed by the City of Houston about 1949. In the year 2000, there were 5,523 homes in Oak Forest with a population of over 23,000.
Oak Forest was the largest subdivision in Houston until Mr. Sharp built Sharpstown. Now the area is the third largest after the annexation of Kingwood.
The original Oak Forest Elementary was built in1951, followed by Black Junior High School in 1958 and Waltrip High School about 1961. Stevens Elementary was added as the area was built up.
Mr. Sharp was born in East Texas and moved to Houston to build a small house or two near the ship channel for workers who were building ships for use in World War II. Then he sold those two and built four more and soon he had built a small village known as Jacinto City.
The first houses in Oak Forest sold for $8,000-$10,000. Larger houses built in the 60’s sold for $15,000-$20,000.