Recently, Texas state parks celebrated their 100th Anniversary. There are commemorative events throughout the year to celebrate the legacy of our state park system.

While San Angelo State park is only 28 years old, it opened in 1995; there is evidence that Native Americans have lived near the 7,677-acre park for 18,000 years. The park was leased by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department from the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

San Angelo State Park is a fantastic area filled with natural wonders, live buffalo, and Texas Longhorns. The park also has something not many parks have-a cemetery.

On Macey Ridge is a lone gravesite. It was discovered in the 1940s by two boys. Dave Macey lived from 1797-1847. Until the discovery of this grave, historians believed that no English-speaking people had ventured into the area until 1849.

Excavations of the gravesite found a 4-inch spear point and a crude musket ball. This points to the grim reality of life here on the frontier before Fort Concho provided security from Native American tribes who fiercely defended the area, which they claimed as their ancestral home.

Photo: William Richard Porter via Facebook
Photo: William Richard Porter via Facebook

A West Texas historian, Joe Weaver, told San Angelo Live in a story by reporter Cheyenne Benson dated November 20, 2013, that he believes Dave Macey may have been a deserter from the army near Sante Fe. The Army occupied Santa Fe in 1846, and the army's biggest problem was desertions.

Macy may have tried to hide out in this unsettled region of West Texas and traded with the Native Americans here.

I tend to doubt that hypothesis. Dave Macey was 50 years old when he met his demise. That might have been a bit older than the age of the average soldier of that time.  In any event, it is an exciting story, and if I can find out more, I'll update it.

If you know more about Dave Macey, please share.

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