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Coleman County,
Texas Panhandle / Hill Country

Hwy 84
8 miles E of Coleman
Population: 1,112 (2010)
1,081 (2000) 1,249 (1990)

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Coleman Hotels
Santa Anna High School
The Santa Anna High School
TE Photo, 2000
Santa Anna Texas Santa Fe Depot with passengers , old photo
Santa Anna Santa Fe Depot
Photo courtesy Mary L. Irving, Curator, Martin & Frances Lehnis Railroad Museum
More Texas Depots
Santa Anna and Coleman have an excellent relationship. You need one when you're only 8 miles apart. The local newspaper (The Coleman Chronicle and Democratic Voice) serves both towns.

Santa Anna wasn't named after General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, no matter what his relatives might tell you. The town was named after the mountain, the mountain was named after the Comanche Chief, Santana, who may or may not have been named after "The Napoleon of the West."

The Santa Anna Mountains, or Peaks as they are sometimes called, served as a sort of "switchboard" for the signal-fire network that the Comaches used. They also were the point of impact for a meteorite that the Comanches recovered and held sacred. Santa Anna (the Chief) actually traveled to Washington-on-the-Potomac and met with then-president Polk.

About four blocks south of Hwy 84 you'll see the Santa Anna High School. We were told by several people that the school was told they could be placed on the State Register of Historic Places if they could replace the windows back to the original wooden ones.
Santa Anna mountains
The first structure in Coleman County (recently restored)
2000 photo by John Troesser
Santa Anna High School

The Santa Anna High School
2003 photo courtesy Jim and Lou Kinsey
First Baptist Church in Santa Anna, Texas

Santa Anna First Baptist Church
2003 photo courtesy Jim and Lou Kinsey
post office in Santa Anna
Post Office in Santa Anna
2003 photo courtesy Jim and Lou Kinsey

Big Events are unfolding in Santa Anna

The Santa Anna Historical Development Organization has gone back into Santa Anna's History even before settlement and has contacted the Tribal Leaders of the Comanche Nation, now living in Lawton, Oklahoma. Several meetings have already taken place, including cultural exchanges and a gift of a quarter horse to the Comanche Tribe. The Comanches have declared property owners of former Comanche lands to be caretakers for the tribe.

The ongoing discussions will eventually produce a cultural museum in Santa Anna. A restoration of the Old Sealy Hospital is proceeding and this is the logical place for the museum. Eleven Comanche families are considering putting their private collections on loan to the museum.

The Third Weekend in October is when Santa Anna puts on their annual Frontier Heritage Festival.

Santa Anna is also home to the Texas Bison Grower's Association. (See Bison)

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US Post Office sign
Waiting is a consideration in Santa Anna, where there's so much to enjoy.

  • Sheriff Fenton of Coleman County and His Larger Than Life Wife by John Troesser

  • Santa Anna, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Lost Carvings of Santa Anna

    Dear TE, I was born in the Santa Anna Hospital in 1933 and lived in and around there until I left to join the Marines in 1953. My grandfather J.T. Newman (12 children) farmed and ranched near “Leady” (now nonexistent) which was on St. Rd. 2633 just North of the CR-16 cut off road to Trickham. My other grandfather G. P. England ( 9 children) farmed near Gouldbusk.

    The large families of that day and time inter married and created family relationships referred to as “Double Cousins” and there were three such marriages within the Newman family. A brother-sister Newman combination married a sister-brother combination from the England family, the McClure family and from the Parish family.

    The Newman Family began a custom of holding annual family reunions in about 1932, which custom continues today. From an existing database of some 400 descendants, an annual attendance of 100-125 participate at Lake Buchanan for three days every July.

    While growing up I first lived near and attended “Mukewater School” (now nonexistent) which was a two room schoolhouse on the Trickham Road (St. Rd. 1176) approx halfway from Santa Anna to Trickham. There was also a gas station/grocery store run by the Bowden family at the junction across from the school.

    After moving to Santa Anna about 1940, I attended the old Grammar School and later the existing Santa Anna High School. About 1944 we moved to an address at the corner of 8th St and Ave A which was near the hospital and at the very south foot of the West Mountain. While there, the Nurses’ Residence (About 100 yards from our house) burned to the ground. Also, a Coleman high school girl was killed in a fall at an excavation about halfway up the west mountain directly above our house.

    About 1946 we moved to an address at 1st Street and Mountain Ave which was also at the foot of the West Mountain and between this new address and the immediate prior address. We lived almost ten years at the base of the West Mountain and I spent many, many hours roaming and exploring the mountain.

    Some time after 1946, mining work to extract Silica Sand began again at the eastern end of the west mountain and over the ensuing years, many, mostly little known artifacts were destroyed or lost, likely forever.

    I am referring to relief carvings in the limestone caprock all of which appeared to be quite old. They have to have been destroyed by the mining operation unless by some chance they were preserved. I will describe the carvings below: (Geographic co-ordinates approximated from “Google Earth”)

    1) On the South face of the Caprock at approx 31 deg,44 min, 50.05 sec North and 99 deg, 19 min, 17.65 sec West were two large relief carvings.
    a. A large (Approx 36” x 36”) Indian Chieftain with full feathered headdress and the name “Nocona” chiseled beneath it.
    b. A large United States Marine Corps emblem (Eagle, Globe and Anchor) (Approx 36” x 36”) in relief and the inscription “In memory of my Buddy Ollie” chiseled beneath it.

    2) On the North face of the caprock at approx 31 deg, 44 min, 50.08 sec North and 99 deg, 44 min, 20.97 sec west (An area referred to as an Indian holy place and/or Lover’s Leap) were more relief carvings:
    a) A stylized Indian Swastika approx 18” x 18” (No wording)
    b) What appeared to be a “Bag” gathered and tied at the top approx 14” high and 10 “ wide (No wording)
    c) Several “Doves Flying” (No wording)

    The local legend intimated that the “Bag” represented treasure and the direction of the flight of the doves represented the location of the treasure. (I never did find it !)

    I also remember the town’s members of the Texas National Guard returning home from Europe following WW II on the train one day and the parade that followed with them marching and pulling their small artillery pieces along the main street. Later while I was still a HS student, I joined the Santa Anna Unit “Tank Co, 142nd Inf, 36thDdiv” and attended two summer camps with them. I was trained as a cook and in 1949, went in a military truck to the top of the east end of the west mountain before daylight on Easter Sunday to serve coffee and doughnuts after an Easter Sunrise Service.

    I sincerely hope that this offering stimulates many memories for those who may have experienced those times and stimulates the curiosities of the younger generations that follow. - Capt. Joe England USMC (Retired), Victoria, B.C., Canada, February 13, 2007
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