Welcome to Utopia Texas - "An Ideally, Perfect Place"
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HISTORY: Handbook of Texas Online: "Archeologists
have found evidence of Paleo-Indians in the canyon. Spanish explorers
made several excursions into the area to take careful inventory of
tribes, to note the flora and fauna of the area, and to name the
rivers, mountains, and streams. They called the Sabinal River Arroyo de
la Soledad. In 1790 Juan de Ugalde united Comanches, Taovayas, and
Tawakonis and led a decisive victory over the Apaches at the site of
future Utopia. The Spaniards also found silver and dug a shaft on the
east side of Sugarloaf Mountain, five miles south of Utopia. This mine
was seen by John C. Duval in 1836. On June 10, 1839, a party under John
C. (Jack) Hays and Juan N. Seguin pursued a band of Comanches into
Sabinal Canyon, where they destroyed newly deserted villages. Hays
encountered the Comanches again on June 24, 1841, when eight Comanches
were killed and two taken prisoner. Capt. William Ware, a soldier in
the Texas Revolution, moved to the canyon with his son and six slaves
in 1852, thus fulfilling a resolution he had made in 1835, when he
first saw the place. With 600 head of cattle and two ox-drawn wagons
full of seeds, fruit trees, food, and tools, they had to move large
boulders to get the wagons through the pass into the canyon. Gideon
Thompson, Aaron Anglin, John and James Davenport, Lee Sanders, Henry
Robinson, and Chris Kelley soon arrived. More settlers arrived in 1853,
and by 1856, a store-post office was built by Charles Durbon, who
became the first postmaster of Waresville. In 1856 Victor P.
Considerant purchased 47,000 acres of land in the canyon from the
Can’on de Ugalde Land Company. This purchase was financed by the
European and American Colonization Society. Considerant's plan to
establish a Fourierist phalanx in the canyon did not materialize
because the failure of La Reunion, near Dallas, had made potential
colonists too wary.
had friendly contact with Tonkawa Indians who had come to plant crops
for their people, who were due to come later. The Kickapoos raided many
times during the early years. Lipan Apaches captured Frank Buckelew in
1866 and held him captive for eleven months. They also raided Mr.
Kincheloe's home that same year while he was away. His wife, Sarah,
Captain Ware's daughter, was lanced seventeen times, and Mrs. Ann
Bowlin was killed. Warfare continued until 1876. Kincheloe moved his
family to land a mile north of Waresville, where he built a two-story
home in 1873, marked off and sold lots, and donated land for churches,
a park, and a school. In 1884 a survey for the town of Montana was
filed in Uvalde County, and the post office was moved from Waresville
to Montana. When they learned that another place in Texas was named
Montana, residents renamed the place Utopia. By 1880 a stage stopped
weekly at the community, where 150 citizens supported two gristmills, a
cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, a store, and three churches.
services were first held in Waresville by Andrew Jackson Potter in
1854. The Church of Christ was established in 1859; John C. Ware and
his sister Eliza Finley were the first two to be baptized. A Christian
church also moved to the canyon. Andrew Jackson Sowell, his wife, Mary
Lillian, and ten other charter members established the Utopia
Missionary Baptist Church in 1886. A man named Barker taught the first
three school terms in the Methodist church. In 1880 a schoolhouse was
built; this structure was torn down in 1906, and a two-story building
took its place. This building was burned in 1926; the present
structure, built in 1927, has had several additions.
1904 the population of Utopia was 147. The town had telephone service
by 1914. Annual rodeos have brought thousands of people since 1929. By
1946 the town had seven businesses, three churches, a post office, and
a population of 150. In 1952, when Utopia celebrated the centennial of
Ware's arrival, Governor Allan Shivers spoke to a crowd of 3,000 people
in the park. On June 19 and 20, 1952, 9,000 people came to celebrate.
In 1956 the Sabinal River was dammed to impound a small municipal lake.
Many residents moved away in the drought-plagued 1950s. The population
reached a low of sixty in the early 1960s, but by 1965 prosperity had
returned. Ranches leased land to hunters, beef prices rose, and the
population grew. A cedar mill was constructed, the Memorial Library was
established, civic clubs flourished, the town started a museum, and
real estate establishments came into being. The Utopia Spring Water
plant was chartered in March 1984. Tourism flourished after Lost Maples
State Natural Area officially opened in September 1979. In 1990 the
population of Utopia was 360. The population was 241 in 2000."
August 2010 Utopia was the site of filming for a movie called "Seven
Days in Utopia", starring Robert Duvall, Lucas Black, Kathy Baker,
Melissa Leo, Brian Geraghty, Deborah Ann Woll.