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
Ficklin was washed away in an 1882 flood. Ben
Ficklin's 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. They did.
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.
LANDMARKS / ATTRACTIONS:
More San Angelo
The best preserved of the chain of forts across Texas. Twenty-three
buildings on 40 acres make up this National Historic Landmark.
Green County Courthouse
Fe Depot: 703 S. Chadbourne Street - Museum featuring West Texas
Avenue: Many fine examples of San Angelo's early architecture,
State Park: Camping, boating and fishing on 7,000 acres on O.
C. Fisher Reservoir.
3900 - 2 Mercedes San Angelo TX 76901
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.
Photo courtesy Lou Ann Herda, 2001
Angelo from the 15th floor of the Cactus Hotel
Photo courtesy Lou Ann Herda
The Cactus Hotel
TE postcard archive
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
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact