and Dabney, Texas“Mr.
Peabody’s coal train done hauled [them] away.”
SW of Uvalde
Population of both towns: 0
and Dabney are easy to find – at least on the official
highway Map.* They are in Uvalde County just West and South of the city of Uvalde.
In fact, if you happen to have a brand new map (2001) - on the middle (fourth)
vertical fold - just below the middle, you’ll see all of the word Blewett
and the ey of Dabney. |
Like we said - finding
them on the map is the easy part. Finding them in person is another matter. We
did see some surprisingly scenic pits, however.
guess nobody knew it,
what happend to towns
Dabney & Blewett
We searched high and low
and finally said screw it,
there aint no damn towns
named Dabney & Blewett.
Photo, April 2001
| After our fruitless
physical search, we called the Uvalde County Tax Assessor’s Office to see what
they knew. Since Uvalde only shows 6 place names on the entire county map – we
figured we might have a chance. They had never heard of either town. The clerk
asked if we were talking about YOU-valde County (like it's frequently mistaken
for one of the numerous counties that sound like it). We asked if we could talk
to someone in the mapping department and we were informed that we were already
talking to them. |
the rock asphalt is gone, we can see this becoming a great water theme park.
TE Photo, April 2001
two alleged communities have a shared history.
We called the Vulcan Mining
Company in San Antonio and then
their office in Knippa. We spoke with Mr. Mantooth
in San Antonio and Mr. Coble in
Knippa. Both men gave swift unhesitant answers
and their explanations made sense. Here’s what we found:
There is no longer
any trace of either town.
There are a few ranches around the company’s
property that might account for some human habitation.
At one time Dabney
was the only rock asphalt mine in the United States.
The company has joined
in partnership with several wildlife organizations in building and placing habitat
and harborage for the wildlife in the area. The lakes (pictured) are stocked with
fish from Uvalde’s National Fish Hatchery. Both men invited us on a tour of the
Two years ago a rare black bear was seen on the company’s
property. Someone managed to photograph it and it appeared on the cover of the
Maryland Wildlife Conservatory’s Magazine.
The employees of Vulcan refer
to the mines by other names. One of the spokesmen told us: “If one of the “old-timers”
happens to refer to the Dabney mine by name – the other workers will not understand
where it is he’s talking about.”
The TxDoT cartographer told us that he
had found that once a city or town is incorporated – it stays incorporated until
it’s officially unincorporated. Which means when a town is abandoned, the last
person to leave should file un-incorporation papers with the appropriate governing
body before turning out the lights.
We also found that Mr. J. B. Smyth,
the founder of Uvalde Rock Asphalt married into a prominent East Texas family
and his son, George W., (born in Newton, County) oversaw operations in the Houston
area throughout the 20s and 30s. Uvalde Rock Asphalt was used to pave Caroline,
Bissonett, Reisner, Leeland, and McKinney streets in Houston
and even what had once been known as “The Westheimer Road.”
was written in 2001. After our interview with the cartographic department of TxDoT,
both towns were removed from the state map, but not at our request.
Blewett and Dabney,
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