coal train done hauled [them] away.”
The Oblivion Twins
SW of Uvalde
Combined 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,
Two towns disapppeared
guess nobody knew it,
what happend to towns
named Dabney & Blewett
We searched high and low
and finally said screw it,
there aint no damn towns
named Dabney & Blewett.
TE 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.
When 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 company’s
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.”
*This piece 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.
See Blewett and Dabney,
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact