Our Past Present & Future
With the end of America’s civil war, thousands of settlers began moving west in search of their fortunes. Realizing its need to protect these citizens from hostile threats, the government established forts on the frontier.
One such placement, Fort Concho, was made in 1867 at the confluence of three rivers in West Central Texas. The fort at different times was home to mounted cavalry, infantry, and the famous black cavalry whose members were respectfully called “Buffalo Soldiers” by the Native Americans in the area. Almost as soon as the first units arrived at Fort Concho, a small and somewhat lawless village by the name of Santa Angela came to life just across the river. As the village grew into a community, it became a trade center for the many farmers and ranchers who had settled in the area.
By 1889, the hostilities had ended and the soldiers abandoned Fort Concho. However, with the economic base of agriculture and trade, the community later renamed “San Angelo” continued to grow as it moved into the 20th Century.
Weather and climate also played an important role in San Angelo’s early development. When tuberculosis became widespread in the first half of this century, patients from all over the nation were sent to a treatment center near San Angelo. Our dry climate proved to be an effective healing factor, and the medical center reputation and the services we now enjoy can be attributed to this role played in the early 1900’s.
The military returned to San Angelo during World War II, when an Army Air Corps training base was established in the city. While flight training is no longer provided, Goodfellow Air Force Base still provides military intelligence training and a fire fighting school for the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines.
The discovery of oil and gas, the influx of light manufacturing, the initial development of a communications center, the establishment and growth of Angelo State University, and the growth of the medical community provided diversification to a growing community.
Today, this city of 100,000 is the trade and services hub of a 13-county area, supported by agriculture, manufacturing, education, business and health services, military, tourism, and retirement.