San Angelo

San Angelo, Texas

San Angelo, Texas

San Angelo is home to the International Waterlily Collection. Photo by Rosie Hatch.

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.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Larry Winn
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Just the right mix!

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Place type

San Angelo is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [-Angela]
  • (Concho)


  • Latitude

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San Angelo by the Numbers

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Population Counts

San Angelo
Pop. Year Source
99,794 2019 Texas Demographic Center
93,200 2010 Texas Demographic Center
88,439 2000 Texas Demographic Center
84,462 1990 Texas Demographic Center
73,240 1980 Texas Demographic Center
63,884 1970 Texas Demographic Center
58,815 1960 Texas Demographic Center
52,093 1950 Texas Demographic Center
25,802 1940 Texas Demographic Center
25,308 1930 Texas Demographic Center
10,050 1920 Texas Demographic Center
10,321 1910 Texas Demographic Center