1873 Brigham Young called on the saints to organize themselves into
the united order, communal living; but the attempt survived only for
a year. A silk raising project, under the direction of the Women's Relief
Society, was begun and the ladies of Washington participated. The first
worms were raised in 1874. In 1896 a state silk commission was formed
and they sent instructors to towns to teach the business of reeling
silk from cocoons. The success of the project was marginal at best and
the endeavor was discontinued.
the late 1880s, because of the Edmunds-Tucker Act which targeted plural
marriages, many men came to southern Utah to avoid federal authorities.
Some were given work in the cotton factory. When polygamist raids reached
into Washington, the supervisor of the mill had to flee and go into
1890 to 1893 the Washington Fields Dam was built; it solved the irrigation
problem created by the annual flooding and destruction to the dams.
By 1910 the cotton factory closed its doors to milling. Various uses
of the building after the cotton mill ceased operations included the
manufacture of juicing machines, turkey processing. Much town property
had passed into the hands of "outsiders." Many of the town lots stood
uncultivated and homes were unoccupied. For years the population hovered