After World War II, some of the children of George Washing Forster changed their last name to the more modern version of “Foster.” The reason for the change stems from the fact that Forster was a common German name and there was much resentment toward Germany after the war. Eugene (Gene) Forster never did change his name to the more modern version. Gene’s sister, Cora Forster Raney named one of her sons Hubert Forster Raney and she always told him that there was an ‘R’ in his middle name as she admonished him to never forget it.
Gene was born in the old Elm Grove community of northeast Dallas County back on January 23, 1882 and attended the Elm Grove School. He married Bertie Gibson on Friday, December 7, 1906 just two days before her 22nd birthday. Bertie Gibson’s family came to the Dallas County area in 1888 when she was around 4 years of age. The Gibson family left Murfreesboro, Tennessee in a wagon pulled by oxen as members of a wagon train and originally settled in the Duck Creek or Embree area which was later known as Garland.
Bertie’s borther, Jessie Gibson later moved to the Happy Home community which is located just east of Dalrock Road and right before the old Highway 66 (67) crossed the Trinity River at the Dallas County/Rockwall County line. My Grandmother Eula Ross Forster, used to tell me about the time she got married. She was living at Elm Grove, but the wedding took place at Happy Home with George Houston as witness while she and Albert Forster stood in their buggy during the ceremony. Vernon Schrade used to tell me about the early dances being held at Happy Home.
Bertie’s nephew, Jessie Gibson, of Wylie reported that his grand parents were both Cherokee Indians. Jessie, along with his wife Freida and son Troy Gibson, lived in Wylie. Frieda says that their first child was delivered by Dr. Brooks of Wylie at a cost of $10.
Bertie and Gene lived in the Liberty Grove area after their marriage. The community was named Liberty Grove after the Elm Grove and Liberty schools combined. Their children were Loucille and Joseph ‘Joe” Forster. Gene died in 1957 and Bertie followed in 1963. Both are buried at Mills Cemetery in Garland.
Photo and text provided by Jim Foster.