A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 06, 2008
Sheep and Wool Capital of the World (San Angelo nickname)

San Angelo has been called the “Wool Capital of the Nation” since the 1930s. Variations of San Angelo’s title include “Sheep and Wool Capital of the World,” “Woold and Sheep Capital of the World,” and “Mohair Capital of the World.” There were once one million Angora goats within 150 miles of San Angelo.

The wool industry has largely gone overseas and San Agnelo does not actively promote its “Wool Capital” or “Mohair Capital” nicknames today.


Wikipedia: San Angelo, Texas
San Angelo is a city in and the county seat of Tom Green CountyGR6, Texas, United States. It is also the principal city of the “San Angelo, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area” that includes all of Irion and Tom Green county. As of the 2000 census, San Angelo had a total population of 88,439.

The city is located at the confluence of the North Concho River and South Concho River, which in turn form the Concho River, a tributary of the Colorado River (in Texas, not to be confused with the Colorado River in Colorado and Arizona).

Handbook of Texas Online
SAN ANGELO, TEXAS. San Angelo, the county seat of Tom Green County, is on U.S. highways 87, 67 and 277, State highways 208 and 126, Farm roads 584, 765, 1223, 388, and 853, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, 220 miles northwest of San Antonio, in the center of the county near the geographical center of the state. The history of the frontier town began in the late 1860s across the North Concho River from Fort Concho, which had been established in 1867. As an early frontier town, San Angelo was characterized by saloons, prostitution, and gambling. Officers of nearby Fort Concho would not leave the garrison after dark.
(...)
Agriculture, ranching, and later the oil and gas industry became the most important factors in the economy. Wool growers, cattle ranchers, and the railroads combined to make San Angelo one of the leading cattle markets in Texas, the largest sheep market in the United States, and one of the leading inland wool and mohair markets in the nation. 

S&P Credit Research: San Angelo, TX
The ratings on San Angelo, Texas’s bonds reflects the following credit strengths: The system’s strong financial performance, Rapid amortization of debt, Reliable water supply, Below-average rates. Credit risks are highlighted by a local economy with a some concentration in military and governmental employment and wealth and income indicators that lag the state and nation. San Angelo is located in west Texas and is the seat of Tom Green County. The city’s economy is anchored by the Goodfellow Air Force Base and is an agricultural center for the region, priding itself as the “Wool and Sheep Capital of Texas.” Wealth and income indicators are below the state and national averages, reflecting the agricultural/military nature of the economy. 

20 December 1919, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, pg. 6: 
Young as San Angelo is as a wool capital, a system of credits and a marketing system, both efficient, have been devised.

8 December 1931, San Antonio (TX) Express, pg. 14C, col. 8:
But the S.P. plans to build from a point on that line in Fredericksburg, through Mason and Brady to San Angelo, wool capital of the state, which will give San Antonio direct connection to points farther north and northwest.

26 January 1936, San Antonio (TX) Light, part 7, pg. 8, col. 3:
SAN ANGELO, Jan. 25. (...) Interest in wool is at the highest peak in years now in this city, the raw wool capital of the nation. 

31 October 1948, Oakland (CA) Tribune, pg. B7, col. 1:
SAN ANGELO, Tex., Oct. 30—Part of the answer to high meat prices may be found in this sheep and wool capital of the United States. 

22 May 1949, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Southwest Texas Claims Many Kinds of Capitals” by O. Clark Fisher, section 9, pg. 32:
Then, there’s San Angelo, the Wool Capital of America, from which point more wool is shipped than from any other inland place in the whole country.

12 May 1953, New York (NY) Times, pg. 36, col. 4:
San Angelo has about 55,000 residents and calls itself the wool-growing capital of the world.

Google Books
Conservation in America
by Dorothy Child Hogner
New York, NY: Lippincott
1958
Pg. 194:
A little over two decades after the Okies were dispossessed by their drought-ravaged farms, President Eisenhower boarded his plane, Columbine III, and flew on a mission of mercy to San Angelo, formerly the sheep and wool capital of America, but in January of 1957, the center of a great drought.

2 March 1958, Lawton (OK) Constitution-Morning Press, pg. 12, col. 1:
SAN ANGELO, Tex., March 1—Scouting the sports scene on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the wool capital of the world, so the San Angelo chamber of Commerce announces proudly.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: San Angelo :
wool capital of the world.
Publication: [San Angelo? Tex. : s.n.,
Year: 1963
Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 28 cm.

29 June 1963, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 3, pg. 8:
For four days the contestants will be the guests of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association in San Angelo, wool capital of the world.

6 December 1965, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section D, pg. 6:
San Angelo is the recognized lamb and wool capital of the nation, while Rocksprings is the chief center for goat raising. 

11 June 1967, New York (NY) Times, pg. 169:
Mr. Guthrie said he visited San Angelo, the nation’s wool and mohair marketing capital 350 miles west of Dallas. 

15 February 1970, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 12A, col. 2:
“Tourist Talk,” official publication of the Texas Tourist Council, outlines the 12 world capitals Texas brags about:

Crystal City, spinach capital; Tyler, rose capital; Bandera, cowboy capital; Terlingua, chili capital (population 9 people); Perryton, wheat capital; Friona, maize capital; New Braunfels, sausage capital; Comanche, peanut capital; San Angelo, wool capital; Amarillo, helium gas capital; and San Saba, pecan capital.

16 February 1985, European Stars and Stripes, pg. 14 photo caption:
“San Angelo is the “Sheep and Wool Capital of the World.”

Google Books
Ray Miller’s Eyes of Texas Travel Guide
by Ray Miller
Dallas, TX: Lone Star Books
1988
Pg. 160:
Del Rio claims to be the wool and mohair capital of the world. (San Angelo also claims to be.)

Angelo State University Ram
San Angelo celebrates centennial with “Sheep Run”
By: Lindsey Jones
Issue date: 9/19/03 Section: Features
Nine months ago, it was mentioned as a joke.

Saturday at 10 a.m., Oakes Street will be a sea of wool as the first annual ‘Running of the Sheep’ becomes a reality.

“This is an idea former state Senator Rob Junell had last year at a luncheon,” Vice President of San Angelo Conventions and Visitors bureau Marion Szurek said.

As home to the largest sheep auction as well as the wool capitol of the United States—the San Angelo Sheep Run Committee took him seriously.

“He was half joking yet half serious when he mentioned it,” she said. “And even though we are pulling our hair out trying to get everything done, it is a wonderful idea and we hope to make it a tradition.”

Playing off Spain’s famous ‘Running of the Bulls,’ spectators have been asked to line the street starting at the corner of Oakes and Concho streets to form a natural barrier to prevent sheep from escaping down side streets.
(...)
“It makes sense for San Angelo to host a ‘Running of the Sheep’ since we are the wool capitol of the nation, and that’s a fact,” Associate Professor of Animal Science Dr. Brian May said.

Madden round the land
2005.02.03
You Know You’re from San Angelo When...
(...)
23. “Mohair Capital of the World” has some meaning to you.

RLC (Richard Lawrence Cohen)
March 20, 2005
Travel Notes: San Angelo, Texas
(...)
San Angelo looks like the set of the beginning of a slasher movie, before anything has happened or anyone suspects. It’s loaded with civic improvements that no one uses: sculpture in the park; a riverside walk where you can watch herons nesting in the trees; a pedestrian bridge with commemorative tiles. It’s the wool and mohair capital of the U.S. and the home of the nation’s last windmill manufacturer (one of three in the world). It’s got a bordello museum in what was a real bordello till 1946, and a military intelligence training center at Goodfellow AFB, and one of its best Mexican restaurants is called Mejor que Nada—“Better than Nothing.”

Bogalusa Daily News (October 11, 2006)
The problem with government subsidies, regardless of the beneficiary, is that they are costly to the taxpayers.

Some subsidies, however, have proven to actually save us money. Years ago, the American wool and mohair industry received a subsidy to allow them to compete with producers in Australia and New Zealand.

The American industry—and specifically in West Texas—was so large that San Angelo billed itself as “the mohair capital of the world.”

Every little community in the region had a wool warehouse and there were more than 1 million Angora goats within 150 miles of San Angelo.

In 1994, that changed when the subsidy went away. Today, American producers can obtain special assistance loans from the government but almost all of the warehouses are gone and the industry has moved overseas. Because American competition has dwindled, the cost of products containing quality wool has skyrocketed.

Just goes to show that there are two sides to every story.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, January 06, 2008 • Permalink