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. 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.