Tom Green County

Tom Green County, Texas

Tom Green County, Texas

Texas Theather in Dowtown San Angelo, in Tom Green County, Texas. Photo by Courtney Rose on Unsplash.
Tom Green County, Texas

Tom Green County, Texas

Map of Tom Green County, Texas. Map Credit: Robert Plocheck.

Tom Green County comprises 1,540.5 square miles in west central Texas. The county seat, San Angelo, is centrally located at 31°28' north latitude and 100°26' west longitude, 301 miles south of Amarillo and 258 miles west of Dallas. The county has a 235-day growing season, an average temperature range of 32° F in January and 97° F in July, an average annual precipitation of 18.2 inches, and an elevation variation of 1,717 feet to 2,480 feet. The principal river in the county is the Concho, which is formed by the convergence of the North, Middle, and South Concho rivers. The North Concho River and its tributaries, Bald Eagle, Chalk, Dry, Grape, Little, Mulberry, and Walnut creeks, drain the northwest portion of the county. The Middle Concho and its tributaries, Brushy, Dove, Dry Rocky, East Rocky, West Rocky, and Spring creeks, drain the west central and southwest portions of the county. The South Concho and its tributaries, Burks and Pecan creeks, drain the southern part of the county. And finally the Concho and its tributaries, Catelan, Erica, Hog Marsh, Kickapoo, Lipan, and Snake creeks, drain the southeastern part of the county. There are three major impoundments, O. C. Fisher lake, Twin Buttes Reservoir, and Lake Nasworthy. The major soil types in the county are silty clay loams and stony clays. The county has two distinct physiographic regions: the Osage Plains and the Edwards Plateau. In the central, eastern, and southeast sections, the plants are typical of the Lower Osage Plains and the High Plains, including buffalo, grama, wheat, and Indian grasses, with scattered mesquite and zerophytes. The northern, western, and extreme southwest parts of the county have the short grasses and scattered timbers typical of the Edwards Plateau and Hill Country, which include live, shinnery, and red oaks mixed with buffalo and mesquite grasses. There is also algerita, cat's claw, chapparal, prickly pear, yucca, and cacti. Mesquite trees thrive throughout the county, and pecan trees are present in great numbers in the river bottoms. In general, agriculture is dominant in the Osage Plains and ranching in the Edwards Plateau region. San Angelo is the largest processing and shipping center for the wool and mohair industry in the United States. In 1990, 200,000 of the county's one million acres were farmed, including 15,000 irrigated acres. Commercial minerals include caliche, limestone, and oil and gas in the south central and northwest regions of the county. Major archeological sites are scarce in the county. Some scattered artifacts and graves have been discovered, including fifty smooth rock basins near the head of Dove Creek. The most famous aboriginal site in the region is that of Painted Rocks in Concho County, west of Tom Green.

The "Concho Country," which included Tom Green County, was known to the Spanish 300 years before Texas became a republic. The Indians of this area were the Jumanos. In 1629 and 1632 Father Juan de Salas visited and worked among the Jumanos on the Concho River. Captains Hernán Martín and Diego del Castillo who followed in 1650, recovered pearls from the Concho River. The area was visited by Diego de Guadalajara in 1654, and by Father Nicolás López and Juan Domínguez de Mendoza in 1684. Early explorers noted the friendliness of the Jumanos, abundance of pecan trees and mussel shells, and vast herds of buffalo. By the mid-eighteenth century the Apaches—pushed south by the stronger Comanches—had allied with and then absorbed the Jumanos. The Apaches, by the early nineteenth century, were forced west by the Comanches and their allies. The Comanches remained in control of the Concho Country until they were overwhelmed by westward expansion of Anglo-Americans in the second half of the nineteenth century. Following the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845 a number of forts were built to restrain the Indian attacks and protect the Americans moving to the region. A second series of forts was built, including Camp J. E. Johnston (1852) in northwest Tom Green County and Fort Chadbourne (1852) in the area of modern Coke County, thirty miles up Owl Creek from its confluence with the Colorado River. The Butterfield Overland Mail stage line followed in 1857, west through Carlsbad, across the headwaters of the Middle Concho River, on to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River, and El Paso. The stage line was abandoned, as was Fort Chadbourne, with the outbreak of the Civil War.

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John C. Henderson | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

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

Adopted by: TOM GREEN COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION
Adoption Message: Tom Green County - Celebrating 150th Anniversary (1874-2024)
Until: November 1st, 2024

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Tom Green County is classified as a County

Altitude Range

1675 ft – 2600 ft

Size

Land area does not include water surface area, whereas total area does

  • Land Area: 1,522.0 mi²
  • Total Area: 1,540.6 mi²

Temperature

January mean minimum: 29.6°F
July mean maximum: 94.5°F

Rainfall, 2019

23.0 inches

Population Count, 2019

119,200

Civilian Labor Count, 2019

51,614

Unemployment, 2019

7.8%

Property Values, 2019

$9,396,907,979 USD

Per-Capita Income, 2019

$45,993 USD

Retail Sales, 2019

$2,101,197,224 USD

Wages, 2019

$569,232,670 USD

Tom Green County

Highlighted:
  • Tom Green County
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Town 99,667 (2021) Yes
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Lake Yes
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Town 115 (2009) Yes
Town 329 (2009) Yes
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Town 203 (2009) Yes
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