During the 1860’s, several Mormon families came to Short Creek to build a community. The town was known as Short Creek because of a nearby stream that sank into the sand before it had traveled very far.
It wasn’t until 1890, when the community became a topic of conversation. The Mormon Church declared that polygamy was no longer tolerated. This stand was made, in order to help gain statehood for Utah.
A group of religious fundamentalists from Utah were unhappy with the decree and began a search for refuge. They found Short Creek. Short Creek also had the community of Hilldale, Utah just across the border. These two towns held onto the same religious beliefs.
It wasn’t until many years later in 1953, when the mood changed. Governor Pyle of Arizona was concerned, as were many others, that the community was involved in the violation of several laws. Laws of tax fraud and polygamy were at top of the list. Federal and State officials raided the town.
Over 200 children were taken and placed in foster homes in Phoenix. There were 27 arrests receiving a one-year probationary sentence. Eventually, all of the families were reunited.
The raid proved to be a bad decision on the part of Governor Pyle. He did not win his re-election. The public found the raid unacceptable.
The town officially changed its name from Short Creek to Colorado City in 1963 and was incorporated in 1985.
Today, Colorado City is a town of strong family values. Currently, the government’s policy seems to be “live and let lie.” The town has moved from its traditional economic sources of agriculture and ranching to manufacturing and business. This change has caused urban expansion and growth.
From what I understand polygamy is still practiced there, and, if not encouraged, at least tolerated.
I presume that Slim mentioned his visit because of this town's historic ties to the Church of Latter Day Saints, of which MonteLDS is a proud member.