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Home San Angelo San Angelo History San Angelo Circa 1922

San Angelo Circa 1922

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Sheep and Goat Raisers' Magazine from 1922 featured the city of San Angelo, Texas.The Sheep and Goat Raisers' Magazine was the official publication of the newly formed Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers' Association. In January 1922, ranching sheep and goats on the high, relatively arid ground in West Texas known as the Edwards Plateau was still a new enterprise. It had not been too many years since the open range was subdivided by barbed wire lines of demarcation, although at the time (and still true today in remote areas) vast unfenced stretches of prairie and mesa remained unfenced. Agriculture thrived and flourished and sheep and goats were the superstars. Enterprising ranchmen brought in an "exotic" breed from Turkey, the Angora goat, prized for its luxurious mohair coat that was harvested by shearing and made into cloth for garments and upholstery. Scottsmen and New Yorkers trekked to West Texas with herds of woolly sheep, introducing breeds such as Delaine, Merino and Rambouillet. Sheep and goats did extremely well on the Plateau and still do

Later, city promoters would christen San Angelo "The End of the Rainbow;" in 1922 its nickname was "Queen City of Central West Texas." In the January 1922 issue of Sheep and Goat Raisers' Magazine, the editor and publisher, Capt. James T. Elliott, featured the "Queen City" and its citizens, history, government, points of interest and industry. In the following excerpt, the writer touches on the "Old West" heritage of the town. Remember, this is 1922 and the writer is recalling the atmosphere 30 years or so earlier in San Angelo; silent movies are the movies referenced:

One may gather a fair perspective of the place from some of the wild west productions of the movie theaters today. The population of the town was small and rather a mixed one. The soldiers from the Post with their blue uniforms and brass buttons were always in evidence. Cowboys with their wide sombreros, their chaps and spurs , with the proverbial "ivory handled 45" hanging from a carved leather belt, filled with cartridges, indulged themselves in breaking a favorite broncho on the main street, much to the delight of all.

The Mexican rancheros had not become so Americanized as they are now and they too, added a touch of color in their characteristic Mexican costumes that gave the town a picturesque setting, all that was required for a real Wild West and a scene not soon to be forgotten.

There were four large general stores, well stocked with ranch supplies and outfitting for buffalo hunters. The other business houses of the town consisted of a real estate office, a small private bank and eighteen or twenty saloons, operating on a twenty-four hour schedule, seven days a week.

The articles about San Angelo continue with an outline of the city government structure and how in 1915 the city adopted its present commission form of government and, in 1916, added a city manager.

City officials in 1922 included:

  • B.H. Yancy, Mayor, Yancy-Richardson Implement Compan
  • R.H. Henderson, City Manager, Assessor and Collector
  • R. Wilbur Brown, Commissioner No. 1, Attorney
  • H.E. Jackson, Commissioner No. 2, Attorney of Blanks, Collins & Jackson
  • Miss Mamie Barfield, City Secretary, Concho Valley Loan and Trust Co., Treasurer
  • A.W. Loveland, City Attorney
  • L.H. Laging, City Engineer
  • G.W. Cunningham, Chief of Police
  • M.B. Jones, City Recorder
  • Dr. A.C. DeLong, City Physician
  • M.V. McDaniel, City Scavenger
  • John Parker, Fire Chief
  • M.B. Jones, Fire Marshal
  • H.G. Williams, Keeper of the City Pound

January 1922 issue of Sheep and Goat Raisers' Magazine featured San Angelo, Texas. Article about San Angelo city government includes photo of old city hall/fire station combination.

An article by Harvey H. Allen, president of the Board of City Development and trainmaster of Orient Railway, reported how the Board conducted annual city-wide clean up campaigns and pecan tree planting campaigns "which has resulted in wonderful development of the pecan industry and we now have thousands of young pecan trees beginning to bear the very best high grade thin shell pecans which will in a few years be very profitable."

School superintendent Felix E. Smith reported an elementary and high school population of 2024 and wrote that the city in 1917 "completed a three-story centrally located brick high school with modern equipment, meeting the latest architectural requirements for school structures."

One of the primary industries that San Angelo was known for and is still known for is wool and mohair production, shearing and processing. The city's size, central location and several established wool and mohair warehouses led to its preeminance in wool and mohair for the country and later crowning as "Wool Capital."

Sheep and goats played an important role in the economic development of San Angelo. Angora goat shown here was reportedly the highest selling Angora goat ever at the time. This goat is probably not too many generations removed from the foundation stock imported to West Texas from Turkey. And, the sale amount of $3,080 was a huge sum for the time.

Writer Robert Massie, president of Wool Growers Central Storage Company, authored an article in the 1922 magazine titled "San Angelo as a Wool and Mohair Market." Mr. Massie wrote:

Being the largest city in Western Texas between Fort Worth and El Paso, located on two accessible railroads, with advantageous shipping facilities, it is nothing but natural that this city should be the logical concentration point of the greater part of the wool produced in central West Texas. Then again, the climate and the physical conditions of the range in this section of the country, being the most ideal character, and unexcelled for the raising of sheep and goats, is a further inducement for sheep and goat men to locate their herds in this section of the country.

He outlined the structure of Wool Growers Central Storage Company, among the first warehouse operations which began as a cooperative effort by a number of wool and mohair producers and offered storage, baling and marketing of sheared wool and mohair as well as financing for sheep and goat ranchers.

The company, officered and directed by practical sheep and goat men of the stongest financial responsibility, familiar with every detail of the business, has, from a small beginning, in twelve years grown to a very large proposition, and from a few hundred thousand pounds of wool stored in 1909, the amount has increased to many millions of pounds at the present time.

Shearing season in 1922 San Angelo looked very much like it appears today.

Privately owned warehouses and commission merchants included Geo. Richardson, March Bros., and Wm. Campbell & Co.

The Sheep and Goat Raisers' Magazine was established August 1, 1920, as the official publication of the Sheep and Goat Raisers' Association of Texas. In 1922 it had a sizeable circulation in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. Capt. James T. Elliot was the editor and publisher. Through the years the magazine has remained the voice of the assocation, now known as the Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers' Assocation or TSGRA. The name of the magazine has changed through the years. At one time it was known as Sheep & Goat Raiser, later the Ranchman's Magazine, still later Ranch Magazine. Now the name is Ranch & Rural Living Magazine, and it still is the official TSGRA publication.


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