The dispersed community of Utley, located east of Austin in Bastrop County along the Wilbarger Bend of the Colorado River, dates to the 1850s. The name connection is through the wife of James Harvey Wilbarger; Dorothy Olive Wilbarger was a descendant of Nancy Utley, who was born at Holly Springs, NC. My family, too, comes from Holly Springs, so there is likely a distant connection. I first visited Utley c. 1960 when I was 12. I went there on a Colorado River fishing trip with my great uncle, Henry Kolls, and cousins Randy, Ricky, and Jack Kolls. Jack was Henry’s son, and Ricky and Randy were his sons. The Utley store was featured in the 1996 movie, “Michael,” starring John Travolta.

April 4, Easter Sunday, 2021

Utley, Bastrop County, Texas

Established in early 1850s, post office established 1892

Population in 1914 was 25; population in 2000 was 50