in a Pecan Shell
San Angelo had
originally been named after the wife (or some say the sister-in-law) of Bartholomew
DeWitt. Mr. DeWitt had bought the 360 acres opposite Fort Concho for $1.00 per
acre. The town had been spelled San Angela but that spelling was rejected by the
postal authorities for its "ungrammatical construction". They would accept either
Santa Angela or San Angelo and so the city fathers chose the easier-to-pronounce
San Angelo grew as a direct result of its proximity to Fort
Concho. The town was a pretty rowdy place, and so was the fort. But Fort Concho's
post hospital (built in the 1870s) served as the city hospital until St. John's
Hospital and Health Center was constructed in 1910.
Five miles away from
the fort - a rival town was prospering and indeed, it became the county seat.
But the town, later to be named Ben Ficklin was washed away in an 1882 flood.
colorful story is worth reading.
After the courthouse at Ben Ficklin
was swept away, San Angelo became the logical choice for the county seat. Shortly
after the flood, Oscar Ruffini showed up and asked if anyone needed a courthouse.
Ruffini had been sent west for his health and ended up outliving
his "healthy" brother by decades. He stayed in San Angelo and made it his home,
dying in the late 1950s. He is said to have contributed more than 40 buildings
to the city - some of which are still standing. Between Oscar and brother F. E.
- the Ruffini Brothers dotted the Texas landscape with courthouses, jails and
durable structures from McKinney
(The Collin County Prison) to the Concho County courthouse in Paint Rock.
San Angelo has always had a diverse economy. It developed a sheep raising
industry in the 1870s and the railroad came through in 1888. Oil discoveries helped
and in 1940 Goodfellow Air Field was developed, which later became Goodfellow
Air Force Base.
ANGELO LANDMARKS and ATTRACTIONS:
best preserved of the chain of forts across Texas. Twenty-three buildings on 40
acres make up this National Historic Landmark.
San Angelo Attractions:|
Green County Courthouse The
Orient-Santa Fe Depot: 703 S. Chadbourne Street - Museum featuring West Texas
Avenue: Many fine examples of San Angelo's early architecture, beautifully
Angelo State Park: Camping, boating and fishing on 7,000 acres on O. C. Fisher
3900 - 2 Mercedes San Angelo TX 76901
| || Running
of the Sheep
by Audrey A. Herbrich |
On the last Saturday in September, local West Texan’s
showcase their idea of “fun” by releasing a herd of sheep in the downtown streets.
Ellis by Mike Cox (From "Texas Tales" Column)
guiding tours of Fort Concho's reconstructed hospital still tell the story of
Photo courtesy Lou Ann Herda, 2001
Angelo from the 15th floor of the Cactus Hotel |
Photo courtesy Lou Ann
postcard image of The Cactus Hotel |
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact
Angelo Texas Forum
recently purchased a travel book on Texas here in Germany, in which they focused
on about five cities in Texas and San Angelo was one of them. They pointed out
that San Angelo, in their opinion, is the real Texas, with genuine friendly people,
etc. I am very proud of my home!! Take care and best greetings from Hamburg, Germany
- Glenn Du Pree, December 2001
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