L. L. Shield W. R. Kelly A. G. Weaver T. M. Hays V. L. Grady L. W. Hunter W. J. Hosch S. H. Phillips Jason Tyson Marion Tyson L. V. Stockard H. W. Kingsbery A. W. Blue Fred Turner R. C. Gay Leman Brown
Any list of the founders of a place is bound to leave somebody out. A true list of those responsible for starting Santa Anna would go back to the cavalrymen of Camp Colorado and to the cattleman John Chisum and all his hands. We would have to go back even further to Chief Santana and the Comanches as well. In addition, accuracy would require that we include all those brave, long-suffering women who endured the privations and misery of pioneering. Heaven knows that without the women–many of the names of whom are forever lost– they were never written down or otherwise recorded—without those women there would be nothing.
But we always say “founding fathers.” In the case of Santa Anna, it is a whole lot easier to list the fathers than it is the mothers, even though several of the founding mothers can be identified. For the purposes of this little tale, I will stick to the old habit of “founding fathers.” The list at the top, though not exhaustive by any means, is some of the names of men who can be loosely described as founders. They are names familiar to those of us of a certain age that were raised here from childhood. I knew one of them. V. L. Grady was my grandmother’s uncle. He lived a widower in the house across the street from my grandparents and we all called him Uncle—just Uncle. He died sometime in the mid 1950s. The rest of these are just names to me, but names important to our city and surrounding area.
L. L. Shield, grandfather of Richard Shield and great-grandfather of Leon, came here soon after the railroad came through in 1886. He moved his mercantile operation from Trickham to Santa Anna and soon owned businesses along the entire block on the south side of Wallis from Second Street to Third Street.
Dr. T. M. Hays was one of the first doctors in Santa Anna. His home stood on the south side of Wallis just west of the intersection of 283. His office was also located in his home. When the home was torn down, I managed to salvage the concrete hitching post and ring that stood in the front.
S. H. (Sam) Phillips was a pharmacist, mixing and compounding medicines in a time before everything came in pill form. Phillips Drug was in the building that currently stands home to That Santa Anna Store.
L. V. Stockard came to Santa Anna in 1886 as the Agent for the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad. He supervised the building of the depot and warehouse here (presently home to the Visitor Center) and served as Railroad Station Agent until he was struck and killed by a train in 1923. The home he built still stands at the south end of First Street on Bowie Avenue.
A. G. Weaver came here from Mississippi to settle a large parcel of land north of Santa Anna’s Peaks in 1892. Weaver was a lieutenant in the scouts during the Civil War, owning a dry goods store here just before the turn of the twentieth century. He was an organizer of the Santa Anna National Bank in 1906, where he served as Vice-President and Director until his death in 1912.
A. W. Blue arrived in Santa Anna with his wife and five children in 1890. He owned a feed store and was Precinct Two County Commissioner for several years. Blue was a founder of the Methodist Church in Santa Anna, and several of his children grew up to be involved with the retail area of town.
There are probably a hundred other founders of our little town that could be mentioned and researched, but time and space do intrude. The archive of the Santa Anna News online is a treasure of information for historians and for families. If your family was here before 1999, you should go to the website and see what you can find. Santa Anna News editors were good to publish regular “Twenty-five Years Ago in the News” recalling earlier events of note.
Check it out: https://swco-ir.tdl.org/swco-ir/handle/10605/2123 scroll down and click on Santa Anna News, and type in your ancestor’s name.