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San Angelo is a city in and the county seat of Tom Green County, Texas, United States. Its location is in the Concho Valley, a region of West Texas between the Permian Basin to the northwest, Chihuahuan Desert to the southwest, Osage Plains to the northeast, and Central Texas to the southeast. According to a 2014 Census estimate, San Angelo has a total population of 100,450. It is the principal city and center of the San Angelo metropolitan area, which has a population of 118,182.
San Angelo is home to Angelo State University, historic Fort Concho, and Goodfellow Air Force Base.
Common nicknames of the city include Angelo, Land of Sand and Jello, the Concho City, the Pearl of the Conchos, and the Oasis of West Texas.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, San Angelo was the center of the Jumano people. As of 1600, the area had been inhabited for over a thousand years by succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples.
In 1632, a short-lived mission of Franciscans under Spanish auspices was founded in the area to serve the Indians. The mission was led by the friars Juan de Salas and Juan de Ortega, with Ortega remaining for six months. The area was visited by the Castillo-Martin expedition of 1650 and the Diego de Guadalajara expedition of 1654.
During the colonization of the region, San Angelo was at the western edge of the region called Texas, successively claimed in the 1800s by the nations of Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and finally the United States, in 1846.
The current city of San Angelo was founded in 1867, when the United States built Fort Concho, one of a series of new forts designed to protect the frontier. The fort was home to cavalry, infantry, and the famous Black Cavalry, also known as Buffalo Soldiers by Indigenous Americans.
The settler Bartholomew J. DeWitt founded the village of Santa Angela outside the fort at the junction of the North and South Concho Rivers. He named the village after his wife, Carolina Angela. The name was eventually changed to San Angela. The name would change again to San Angelo in 1883 on the insistence of the United States Postal Service, as San Angela was grammatically incorrect in Spanish. The town became a trade center for farmers and settlers in the area, as well as a fairly lawless cowtown filled with brothels, saloons, and gambling houses.
After being designated as the county seat, the town grew quickly in the 1880s, aided by being on the route of newly constructed railroads. It became a central transportation hub for the region. The Santa Fe Railroad arrived in 1888 and the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway in 1909. After a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak hit the United States in the early 1900s, many patients moved to San Angelo. At the time, doctors could only recommend rest in dry, warm climates. TB sufferers went to San Angelo for treatment.
In 1928, the city founded San Angelo College, one of the region's first institutes of higher education. The city had been passed over by the Texas State Legislature to be the home of what would become Texas Tech University. San Angelo College, one of the first municipal colleges, has grown to become Angelo State University. The military returned to San Angelo during World War II with the founding of Goodfellow Air Force Base, which was assigned to train pilots at the time. San Angelo grew exponentially during the oil boom of the 1900s, when vast amounts of oil were found in the area, and the city became a regional hub of the oil and gas industry.
The San Angelo Independent School District became one of the first in Texas to integrate, doing so voluntarily in 1955.
San Angelo is located at 31°26′34″N 100°27′1″W (31.442628, -100.450145). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 58.2 square miles (150.9 km²), of which, 55.9 square miles (144.8 km²) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.1 km²) (4.03%) is covered by water.
San Angelo falls on the southwestern edge of the Edwards Plateau and the northeastern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert at the junction of the North and South Concho Rivers. The city has three lakes: Twin Buttes Reservoir, O.C. Fisher Reservoir, and Lake Nasworthy. The Middle Concho River joined the South Concho several miles upstream, but the confluence has been obscured by the Twin Buttes dam.
San Angelo is about 225 miles (362 km) west of Austin.
San Angelo falls near the boundary between the subtropical semiarid steppe (Köppen BSh) and mid-latitude steppe climates (Köppen BSk). It is located at the region where Central Texas meets West Texas weather. Temperatures reach 100 °F about 18 times in an average year. However, in 2011, San Angelo recorded 100 days of 100 °F or higher. The average year has 50 days with lows below freezing. Though the region does experience snow and sleet, they occur only a few times a year. San Angelo averages 251 days of sunshine a year, and the average temperature is 65.4 °F. The city has an average rainfall of 21.25 inches (540 mm).
As of the census of 2010, 93,200 people, 36,117 households, and 22,910 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,601 people per square mile (618/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83% White, 5.4% African American, 1.4% Indigenous American, 1.7% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 11.3% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 38.5% of the population.
Of 36,117 households, 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were not families; 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city, the population was distributed as 23.4% under the age of 18 and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.8 years. The population was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.
The median income for a household in the city was $38,777, and for a family was $49,640. Males had a median income of $33,257 versus $26,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,970. About 13.9% of families and 17.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
San Angelo has consistently been ranked by many publications and rankings as one of the best small cities for business and employment. In 2013, it ranked fourth in the nation in Forbes magazine's "Best Small Cities For Jobs" rankings. In 2010, Kiplinger's Personal Finance named San Angelo as one of the "Best Cities of the Next Decade". In 2009, CNN Money ranked San Angelo as one of the best cities to launch a small business.
San Angelo has a diverse economy for a city of its size. Although most oil fields lie to the west, many oil-field service companies based in the city employ a large number of local residents. The agricultural industry in San Angelo remains strong. Producer's Livestock Auction is the nation's largest for sheep and lambs, and is among the top five in the nation for cattle auctions. Though most agricultural work is done outside the city, thousands of employees work in the cattle and lamb meat-processing industries, and many more work in agriculture supporting roles inside the city. Two agricultural research centers are located in San Angelo: the Angelo State University Management Instruction and Research Center and the Texas A&M Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo.
The telecommunication industry is a strong employer in San Angelo. Sitel has a call center in San Angelo. In addition, Frontier Communications, Performant Recovery Inc. (formerly DCS), a debt recovery corporation, and Blue Cross all employ over 1,000 each individuals locally. San Angelo serves as the regional medical center for west-central Texas. Shannon Medical Center and Community Medical Center employ over 3,000 in San Angelo, and provide services to a large region of west-central Texas. The manufacturing industry has seen hits since the 1990s; however, many large employers still remain, including Ethicon a division of Johnson & Johnson, Conner Steel, and Hirschfield Steel.
The several large institutional employers in the city include Shannon Medical Center, Angelo State University, and Goodfellow Air Force Base. The latter remains the largest employer in the region.
The Sunset Mall, the area's major shopping mall, opened in 1979.
The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts opened in 1999 in downtown San Angelo on the banks of the Concho River, built with local limestone and end-grain Texas mesquite. It attracts over 85,000 visitors a year and is home to the National Ceramic Competition.
Downtown San Angelo is home to various art galleries. The San Angelo Art Walk, held every third Thursday, includes a viewing of the various downtown art galleries. These include the Kendall Art Gallery, Ruiz Studio, Black Swan Gallery, The Glass Prism, Bonnie Beesley Rug Gallery, and the Wool 'n Cotton Shop, as well as other public art venues. A free trolley service is available to the public.
The San Angelo Symphony, founded in 1949, plays several events a year, with its feature event being on July 3. Over 20,000 people regularly attend that performance, which takes place at the River Stage, an outdoor venue on the Concho River.
Angelo Civic Theatre is the oldest community theatre in Texas. It was founded on November 21, 1885, to raise resources for a town clock at the county courthouse. Though wavering economic times and two world wars stopped artistic efforts in the community on a number of occasions, theatrical productions continued. In 1950, Angelo Civic Theatre gained nonprofit status and a sustainable form of theatre was established.
In 1969‚ a fire demolished the school building in which the theatre was housed. The theatre performed at various locations for 13 years, until purchasing the 230-seat historical Parkway Theater in 1980. Angelo Civic Theatre continues to serve the community of San Angelo and produce six in-house plays a year.
Ballet San Angelo was founded in 1983 for the purpose of presenting an annual production of The Nutcracker. Since then it has expanded to offer a full season of productions including a choreography performance and a Children's Ballet. Ballet San Angelo also offers ballet training for students ages two through high school as well as a full fitness program featuring Pilates, yoga, BodyBarre, PiYOTM, Adult Ballet, and salsa. Ballet San Angelo also has outreach programs which include partnering with The National Ballet School of Canada to promote health, wellness, and education through movement with Sharing Dance Day. They also offer a free Dance for Parkinson's program and a free ballet class for children from local domestic abuse shelters. Ballet San Angelo offer a Tuition Assistance Scholarship to those who qualify.
Angelo State University, through "The Arts at ASU", puts on six plays a year open to the general public. Thse range from dinner theater and theater in the round to conventional theatre productions, using the only active modular theatre in the United States. The university also presents numerous concerts and recitals throughout the year, and has numerous displays in the Angelo State University Art Gallery. The public is encouraged to attend.
The San Angelo City Park system was created in 1903. The city currently has 32 parks with over 375 acres (1.52 km2) of developed land. The department maintains a 33-acre municipal golf course along the river, 25 playgrounds, and 25 sports practice fields.
The "crown jewels" of the parks system are the parks that make up the 10 miles (16 km) of river frontage on the Concho River winding through downtown and beyond. The parks feature many plazas, public art displays, and numerous water features. The city is home to the International Water Lily Collection. The park contains over 300 varieties of water lilies, one of the largest collections in the world.
The city also provides several municipal parks on Lake Nasworthy, one of three lakes near the city, which include Twin Buttes Reservoir and O.C. Fisher Reservoir.
The 7,677-acre (3,107 ha) San Angelo State Park, owned and maintained by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, is located on the shores of the O.C. Fisher Reservoir. Many activities are available within the park, including camping, picnicking, and swimming, as well as hiking, mountain biking, orienteering, and horseback riding on over 50 miles (80 km) of developed trails. The park is home to the official State of Texas Longhorn herd.
The San Angelo Nature Center, located at Lake Nasworthy, is an educational center open to the public. It features many native and exotic animals, including alligators, bobcats, prairie dogs, tortoises, and 85 different species of reptiles, including 22 different species of rattlesnakes. The center includes the Spring Creek Wetland, which has 260 acres (110 ha) being developed by the Federal Bureau of Reclamation, including a 7-mile (11 km) trail; its terrain varies from a semiarid environment to a freshwater marsh. It also maintains the one-mile (1.6-km) nature trail off Spillway Road.
Historic Fort Concho, a National Historic Landmark maintained by the city of San Angelo, was founded in 1867 by the United States Army to protect settlers and maintain vital trade routes. It frequently experienced skirmishes with the then-hostile Comanche tribe. Today, the restored site is home to several museums, and is open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday. Fort Concho is one of nine forts along the Texas Forts Trail.
The annual San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo is held every year. It began in 1932, making it one of the longest-running rodeos in the world. It is nationally renowned within the rodeo circuit, bringing in the top contestants and ranking as one of top 10 rodeos in the nation for monetary prizes awarded to contestants. It includes a parade, carnival, and concerts, and many other events in addition to the main stock show and rodeo.
San Angelo is home to Angelo State University. Founded in 1928, it enrolls about 10,000 students who come from almost every county in Texas, 40 states, and 24 countries. One of the nation's premier regional universities, it was featured in the Princeton Review Best 373. The only other two listed from the state were Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin.
Angelo State offers almost 100 different undergraduate programs and 23 graduate programs, including one doctoral program. The university is divided into six colleges: Business, Education, Liberal and Fine Arts, Nursing and Allied Health, Sciences, and Graduate Studies. It has been a member of the Texas Tech University System since 2007.
San Angelo has a branch of Howard College, which is based in Big Spring, Texas. The two-year school prepares students academically for transfer to a four-year university, and concentrates in technical and occupational fields of study that lead to certificates and/or associate in applied science degrees.
A branch of Park University is located on the Goodfellow Air Force Base. The Goodfellow Campus Center has been providing higher education to the Concho Valley area since 1989. Park University's main campus was established in 1875 and is located in Parkville, Missouri.
San Angelo is also home to a branch of American Commercial College, a private for-profit career college. It offers seven career certificate programs.
Almost all of San Angelo is in the San Angelo Independent School District. Small parts are served by the Wall Independent School District (southeast San Angelo) and the Grape Creek Independent School District (northwest San Angelo). The two main high schools are Central (CHS) with Central Freshmen Campus (CFC), and Lake View (LVH). Three middle schools and 21 elementary schools are within San Angelo city limits.
Seven private schools operate in the city, certified through the 12th grade, which include Ambleside School of San Angelo (a member of Ambleside Schools International), the Angelo Catholic School, Cornerstone Christian School, Gateway Christian Academy, Trinity Lutheran School, Potter's Hand Christian School, and TLCA (a charter school.)
San Angelo is served by the San Angelo Regional Airport, which offers daily flights through Envoy Air. Intrastate and interstate bus service is provided by the Kerrville Bus Co. and Sunset Stages from the downtown Union Bus Center, as Greyhound Bus providers. Both have regularly scheduled service to major cities in Texas and nationwide.
The BNSF Railway serves the town and the Texas Pacifico has a lease on a TxDOT rail line, formerly the Kansas Cho Valley Transit District, with its five fixed bus routes, with transfers provided at the Santa Fe station. The bus service runs from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm, Monday through Saturday. Taxi service is available throughout the city by Red Ball Taxi and Shuttle, Checker Cab, All American Cab and Yellow Cab.
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