History of Widtsoe, Utah
Taken from the Utah Place Names. (Links Added)

Widtsoe (Garfield) is a ghost town at the junction of the East Fork of the Sevier River and Sweetwater Creek. In 1872 it was open range and James Houston, a Mormon stake president of Panguitch, ran his cattle in this area. On April 15, 1902, the Adair family homesteaded the site and it became Adairville on ground donated by Julia Ann Adair. Then three families , including the Winder family, moved close by and in 1910 their settlement was named Winder. The postal service objected to Winder because there were already several Winders in Utah Territory, so after a short period of time, the name was followed by Houston for James Houston. In 1915 Adairville and Winder (Houston) joined and named their community Widtsoe in honor of John A. Widtsoe, a Mormon church official, president of the University of Utah, and a dry-farm expert. But this was an area too high and cold for good vegetable crops to grow. The soil was poor and unexpected floods and drought occurred, so by 1920 the settlers gave up and moved out. In 1936 the Federal Resettlement Administration stepped in and bought out the entire project and returned it to the public domain.

John W. Van Cott
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