Sufficient acreage in Oak Forest was set aside for churches, parks and schools. Areas were also reserved for commercial development and this accounts for the many grocery stores, cleaners, service stations, etc., which are located along W. 43rd St. between Ella Blvd. and Oak Forest Dr.
When it was first established, Oak Forest was a golf course and a part of the Aldine Independent School District. The land was ceded to Houston ISD. The original Oak Forest Elementary was built in 1951, followed by Black Junior High School in 1958 and construction on Waltrip High School began in 1959 with the first classes held in the fall of 1960. Stevens Elementary was added as the area grew beyond the capacity of one elementary school.
Oak Forest was originally an unincorporated area in Harris County. It was annexed by the City of Houston about 1949. Sixty years later, there are 5,523 homes in Oak Forest with a population of over 23,000. Oak Forest is the third largest area after the annexation of Kingwood.