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Utopia, Texas

History

Utopia. After an 1886 Indian raid on their nearby Little Creek home, R. H. Kincheloe and family moved here, built a home and in 1873 a 2-story rock store. They platted town as "Montana", giving land for churches, school, and community square. Post office moved from Waresville in 1883. Methodists had church here before town was founded. Baptists organized their church in 1888. Church of Christ congregation relocated here, 1902. New name praising climate was chosen by Postmaster George Barker. Stores and shops were built. Town is now a center for ranching, retirement, vacationing. Marker sponsored by citizens of Utopia - 1973.  Historical Marker.  Marker Location: East Main Street (Highway 187), Utopia, across from general store.

Utopia Methodist Church.  Established in 1866 as part of the Uvalde-Kerrville Mission; later in the Uvalde Circuit. Pecan grove behind present church was site of many pioneer camp meetings under brush arbors. The first was held in 1868 by the Rev. A. J. Potter, noted Civil War chaplain and circuit rider. This Gothic sanctuary, built in early 1890s with members doing much of the work, is on a site given by the Rev. Irving Jones and R. H. Kincheloe. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967. Marker Location:  At end of Cypress Street off (eastward) Highway 187, Utopia.

The Utopia Missionary Baptist Church was organized before July 20, 1886. On that date the congregation petitioned the Rio Grande Baptist Association for membership. The first pastor of the Utopia Church was the Rev. Lawrence S. Cox. The nine charter members were Mrs. Margaret Bownds, Mr. and Mrs. L. D. Bownds, Mr. and Mrs. Jake Croft, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jackson Sowell, and Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Reynolds. Nine new members were baptized that year. The Methodist congregation shared its facilities with the small Baptist congregation until a Baptist church was erected. The Baptists purchased land from Robert Kincheloe, one of Utopia's founding citizens, in 1892 and erected a building there in 1912. By 1915 the church had 150 regularly attending members. During the 1920s the church was renamed Utopia Baptist church. The congregation held revivals under a brush arbor until a tabernacle was constructed in 1928. In addition to its programs in Utopia, the church supported a small mission in nearby Vanderpool and was instrumental in the establishment of the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment. The church was represented by volunteers during the first and second world wars. Member Leslie Bounds was wounded in World War I and died on the journey home. Several young men and women of the church volunteered for service in World War II; Roy D. Tampke gave his life in that conflict. A new church building was dedicated in 1952, and the church thrived in the second half of the Twentieth century. At the dawn of the 21st century, Utopia Baptist Church continues in the traditions of its founders with programs of worship and service.Historical Marker text, 2000.  Marker Location: Johnson and Oak Streets, Utopia.

Utopia History from the Handbook of Texas Online.

Location

Utopia, TX 29° 36' 54.8172" N, 99° 31' 37.1748" W