The VVCHC Chair visited Tom Green County this month. The Chair is also a member of the Texas Jewish Historical Society which held its January 2013 meeting in San Angelo. Among the events was the dedication of a historical marker for Temple Beth Israel. The crowd that turned out was incredible.

Temple Beth Israel marker
The man at the far left is Marc Wormser, the President of TJHS.
The woman at far right is Barbara Rosenberg, a native of San Angelo,
member of TJHS, and the writer of the marker application.

Del Rio and San Angelo, Val Verde and Tom Green share several parts of Texas history.

The most obvious link is through the wool and mohair industry. Both counties are full of sheep and goats. The Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers' Association of Texas was organized in Del Rio, and its headquarters is now in San Angelo.

Another link is much more obscure: a failed attempt to create a transcontinental railroad. The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway Company built a rail line from Kansas to Texas, though San Angelo and Alpine to Presidio. Eventually the Mexican government completed the rail line from Ojinaga (across the border from Presidio) through the mountains of northwest Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

San Angelo train station sign

San Angelo train station

The railroad company also laid track in the direction of Del Rio. The intent of that branch was to capture trade with Mexico as well as with Asia. That branch line was never completed. However, the railroad grade shows up on United States Geological Service maps, and the proposed line shows up in Val Verde County deed records.

A third link is the Stool Family. Two of the Stool brothers lived many years in Del Rio: Max operating The Guarantee, and David operating The Star (sometimes called the Star Store). A third brother, Nathan, lived in Del Rio for a time, but spent his life across West Texas, and in San Angelo. Nathan Stool was one of the founders of Temple Beth Israel.

Temple Beth Israel

Temple Beth Israel