Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Daniel P. Greene

GOFORTH, TEXAS. Goforth, twelve miles northeast of San Marcos, was once the center of cotton production in eastern Hays County. It was named for landowner and merchant J. T. Goforth. In 1881 the community built its first school, called Prairie Hill. A post office operated at Goforth from 1890 to 1902. Although population estimates for the community fell from 100 in 1892 to twenty in 1896, by 1900 Goforth's ginning company had established itself as one of the busiest in Central Texas. In the early 1900s the prosperous farms and ranches of eastern Hays County supported a variety of businesses and services at Goforth, but soil exhaustion and erosion began reducing local agricultural yields, and a flood in 1913 accelerated the decline. Area farms and businesses failed, and Goforth lost population. The community persisted as the site of a school for local Mexican Americans until 1948, when the school closed. The 1981 county highway map showed only a cemetery at the townsite.

Mary Starr Barkley, A History of Central Texas (Austin: Austin Printing, 1970). Dudley Richard Dobie, A Brief History of Hays County and San Marcos, Texas (San Marcos, 1948).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Daniel P. Greene, "GOFORTH, TX," accessed August 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on!

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox