Retreat was on Farm Road 709 just south of Corsicana in south central Navarro County. The site was settled in the 1840s and originally known as Beeman's School House. For many years the log school building, which was also used as a church, was the only church or school in the area. As a result of shifting population, the building was moved more than once. When someone consequently suggested calling the settlement Retreat, the name struck. A public school was in operation by 1900, and in 1906 it had an enrollment of fifty. In the mid-1930s Retreat had a store, a gin, a cemetery, and a number of houses. After World War II the store closed, but the population in recent years has increased because of the community's proximity to Corsicana. In the mid-1960s the estimated population was 100; by 1990 it had grown to 334. Most of the residents worked in Corsicana.