Oak City was named after Oak Creek, a sparkling mountain stream meandering through scrub oak and gray sagebrush. It provided water, the life blood, of this community.
Founded in 1868 by pioneers who had formerly resided at Deseret, this location was chosen as a refuge from the Sevier River floods. Their animals formerly had been pastured on Oak Creek. The town site was surveyed into twenty-four blocks and was patterned after the original survey of Salt Lake City. Lots were drawn for the property. Families began the wagon trek bringing with them doors and windows from their homes in Deseret. Others completely dismantled their houses there and hauled the material to the new settlement and reassembled it on their newly acquired land.
The season was late, near November. Twenty-three families hauled logs from the canyon, dug dugouts, made adobes. Many of the houses were of one or two rooms and had dirt roofs and floors. With shovels they tapped the Oak Creek, digging ditches for irrigation water.
The first winter the men worked together and fenced 360 acres of land. The leading industries in those first days were agriculture and cattle raising. John Lovell was the first presiding elder, serving from 1868-1871. The first public meeting was held November 8, 1868.
We honor and appreciate the courage of these pioneers, their vision, faith, and fortitude to subdue this desert and harness the mountain stream.