The settlement of Oak City was begun in late summer of 1868, when a few families moved there from the community of Deseret, Utah. They had become discouraged after eight years of unsuccessful attempts to dam the Sevier River to provide water for their crops, and had left the area. The early settlers were familiar with the Oak City area because they had pastured their cattle there in the spring and fall. They chose this area to settle because of the reliable creek and the quality of the land for farming. The town was settled in two phases. The first phase took place in July 1868 and consisted of a few families and young men to survey the town site, clear the land for farming, and provide shelter for the coming winter. Twenty-three more families came in October and November of that year.