Rison is located in Cleveland County. The Texas and St. Louis Railroad gave rise to the small town. The town was incorporated in 1890 with J. T. Renfrow as mayor. The railroad remained instrumental to the town for decades. The economy depended on the production of cotton, lumber, and a variety of wood products. Three cotton gins operated in and around town and residents owned and operated a dozen or more sawmills. During World War II, many residents secured war-related jobs in nearby towns. Today, no cotton or large-scale farming takes place in the county.