About San Angelo
San Angelo is located in the Concho Valley, a region of Texas between the Permian Basin to the northwest, Chihuahuan Desert to the southwest, Osage Plains to the northeast and Central Texas to the southeast. This geographical crossroads – plus the confluence of the three branches of the Concho River – has created a unique and special place in North America. 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’s 100,000 residents take pride in Angelo State University, Goodfellow Air Force Base, the International Waterlily Collection, excellent medical facilities and many cultural events. The versatile San Angelo State Park helped the city earn the number two spot on Livability.com’s Top 10 Great Places to Ride a Bike. The Concho River Walk has been designated one of five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Association’s annual Great Places in America list.
San Angelo has consistently been ranked 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 offers a delightful mixture of arts and culture of West Texas, from a sophisticated symphony that showcases artists such as the Vienna Boys Choir to country and western music, from a civic ballet whose students regularly earn spots at top national dance academies to the folk dances of Mexico. Patrons enjoy live theater at the state’s longest-running theater, 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.
The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo began in 1932, making it one of the longest-running rodeos in the world.
San Angelo Independent School District operates 17 elementary schools, three middle schools, one freshman campus, two alternative campuses and two high schools. Approximately 1,000 teachers are employed to teach the 14,000 students.
There are eight private schools in San Angelo serving over 1,000 students. These include Ambleside School of San Angelo, Cornerstone Christian, Gateway Christian Academy and Learning Center, Angelo Catholic, San Angelo Christian Academy, Trinity Lutheran School, Harris Avenue Baptist Church School and Joy School.
(See Chamber-member school details on our business listings page.)
Angelo State University is a dynamic learning institution ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s Best Colleges every year since 2010. The university offers over 100 majors and concentrations through its six colleges: health and human services, arts and humanities, education, graduate studies, engineering and business.
Howard College offers a variety of programs of study to meet the ever-changing needs of West Texas. There are classes for students who want to get an associate’s degree and transfer to a four-year school as well as health professional programs, career technology programs and Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID) degrees and certifications.
Associates degree transfer programs include Associate of Arts degrees in art, communication, drama, English, general studies, history and music; Associate of Arts in Teaching.; Associate of Science degrees in agriculture, biology, business, chemistry, child development studies, communication, computer science, criminal justice, English, general studies, health and physical education and history.
Park University, a global system based in Parkville, Mo. Park specializes in flexible education options, with 33 of its 42 campuses located on U.S. military installations, including Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo. Classes and degree plans are also available to civilian students in the community. Extensive online programs help the University, launched in 1875, serve 16,500 students annually.
San Angelo is also home to a branch of American Commercial College, a private for-profit career college. It offers seven career certificate programs.
San Angelo was established across the river from historic Fort Concho, an outpost established in 1867 that served as headquarters for the 4th and 10th Cavalry and 16th Infantry. The fort was home to cavalry, infantry, and the famous Black Cavalry, also known as Buffalo Soldiers by Indigenous Americans.
The settlement across the river 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.
After being designated as the Tom Green 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.
In 1928, the city founded San Angelo College, one of the region’s first institutes of higher education. 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.
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.