San Angelo

San Angelo lies in the midst of West Texas ranching country almost in the center of Texas and is home to about 100,000 friendly people. A virtual oasis, San Angelo is home to three lakes, as well as the beautiful Concho River which runs through the heart of the city.

San Angelo was established across the river from Historic Fort Concho, a fort that served as headquarters for the 4th and 10th Cavalry and 16th Infantry. The settlement was originally named "Santa Angela" in honor of Carolina Angela de la Garza DeWitt, the deceased wife of the city's founder Bart J. DeWitt, a merchant and businessman. The name was later changed to San Angelo.

Today's San Angelo offers a delightful mixture of arts and culture of West Texas, from a sophisticated symphony that showcases artists such as the Vienna Choir Boys to Country Western, from a Civic Ballet whose students regularly earn spots at top national dance academies to the Folk Dances of Mexico. You can enjoy live theater at the state's longest running theatre, The Angelo Civic Theatre and on the Angelo State University campus. The Old Chicken Farm Art Center displays works by visual artists of all media, and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, a world-class museum that received the prestigious National Museum Service Award, houses continually changing exhibits by artists from Texas and around the world. And, then there are our other treasures, our artistic alleys, historic murals, internationally acclaimed waterlilies and the Concho Pearls, found in freshwater mussels unique to this area.

SAN ANGELO, TEXAS. San Angelo, the county seat of Tom Green County, is on U.S. highways 87, 67 and 277, State highways 208 and 126, Farm roads 584, 765, 1223, 388, and 853, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, 220 miles northwest of San Antonio, in the center of the county near the geographical center of the state. The history of the frontier town began in the late 1860s across the North Concho River from Fort Concho, which had been established in 1867. As an early frontier town, San Angelo was characterized by saloons, prostitution, and gambling. Officers of nearby Fort Concho would not leave the garrison after dark. Shortly after the fort was established, Bartholomew (Bart) J. DeWitt, the founder of San Angelo, bought 320 acres of land from Granville Sherwood for a dollar an acre and, over the river, established a trading post, which was later called Santa Angela. There are several stories as to how the town was named, including one in which it was named for DeWitt's sister-in-law, a nun in San Antonio. A local historian found that DeWitt named the town in memory of his wife, Carolina Angela, who died in 1866. The name had changed to San Angela by 1883, when application was made for a post office. The proposed name of San Angela was rejected because of the ungrammatical construction. The name should be Santa Angela or San Angelo. The latter was chosen. Oscar Ruffini, the architect of many of the early business buildings in San Angelo, arrived in the town shortly after the flood of 1882, which destroyed the county courthouse in Ben Ficklin, the county seat. After the voters decided on San Angelo as the new county seat, Ruffini was asked to design and supervise the construction of the new county courthouse. Ruffini remained in San Angelo, where he was the architect of about forty buildings in the downtown area, some of which are still in use.

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