Santa Anna is a town in Coleman County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,081 at the 2000 census.
Downtown Santa Anna
Location of Santa Anna, Texas
|Coordinates: 31°44′25″N 99°19′31″W|
Santa Anna is located at (31.740189, -99.325192).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all of it land.
The twin mesas in central Coleman County have always been a landmark. One of the earliest maps of Texas shows a mountain near the center of the state with the notation, "Santa Anna's Peaks." The mountain and later the town were named for the Comanche war chief Santanna, or Santa Anna.
Texas Rangers camped at the foot of the mountain long before the area was settled, and cattle drives from South Texas to the northern markets passed through the gap in the mountain along a military road. This road helped supply the outpost forts along the Texas Forts Trail." The first permanent settlers soon built homes near a fresh water spring at the foot of the mountain. One enterprising settler stocked a supply of goods for trail drivers and settlers, starting the first business at "The Gap" in the early 1870s. In 1879 a petition to open a post office was filed, and the name of Santa Anna was chosen.
During the construction of the Santa Fe Railroad, a group of residents bought land along the right-of-way. Stone buildings were built from limestone quarried from the cap rock of the west mountain. Several businesses moved from Trickham and Brownwood to be a part of the new community. In 1886 The Santa Anna News was established. The first telephone in the county was a private line from Brownwood to Coleman, connected in the Melton Hotel in Santa Anna. A small local exchange was opened in 1892. A drugstore and a bank were opened in the 1880s, and a one-room school was opened that soon expanded to four rooms.
As the open range was preempted and sold, land was cultivated, with cotton the principal crop. Santa Anna eventually had four cotton gins in operation, and was also a major rail shipping point for livestock. The town became a trade center with a thriving business district that included drugstores, hotels, banks, livery stables, and produce houses. One of the early buildings, still a landmark downtown, there they housed an opera house, where traveling groups and local performers provided entertainment and culture.
After World War I, Dr. T.R. Sealy established a hospital that soon became widely known. A nursing school was founded in the 1920s to provide trained nurses, continuing until the death of Dr. Sealy in the mid 1930s. 1
During the first half of the 20th century Santa Anna thrived as a small farming and ranching community and later found livelihood within the oil industry.
The beginning of the 21st century has seen a new industry emerge in Santa Anna: tourism. There are currently 38 businesses of which 13 are less than three years old. Custom hand-crafted furniture has become a hallmark of the city. Other popular draws include a steakhouse,dairy queen, numerous antique stores, furniture stores and specialty shops. Santa Anna and the surrounding area is also popular among dove, quail, turkey, and deer hunters.
Every year on the third weekend in May, Santa Anna hosts the World Championship Bison Cook-off where contestants from all over the state of Texas come and compete in four categories including bison brisket.