Between 1867 and 1879, troops and civilian craftsmen, many being German stonemasons from Fredericksburg, Texas, erected six barracks, ten officers' quarters, several storehouses, six stables/corrals, a headquarters, hospital, schoolhouse/chapel, and other support structures. Limestone, quarried near the town of Ben Ficklin a few miles south of the fort, provided stability even beyond the army's needs. Mortar consisted of a mixture of kiln-produced lime extracted from the stone and local sand. Timber was always in short supply, and local pecan wood proven unsuitable because of its hardness and tendency to warp. Work progressed slowly as a result of delays in transporting materials overland by wagon, the rapid turnover of commanding officers, and a lack of overall planning.
Officers' Quarters 5
Construction began in 1868, and the building was occupied by 1869. The architectural design matched that of Officers' Quarters (OQ) 2, 4, and 6. Like the other quarters, OQ5 became a private residence after the military abandoned the post in 1889. The second story, removed in 1917, was weak and had structural issues. The City of San Angelo and the Fort Concho Museum purchased the property in 1971. By 1980, the structure's condition presented a danger, and it was reduced to a stabilized ruin.
Major John P. Hatch
4th U.S. Cavalry
While he commanded Fort Concho in June 1870, Major John P. Hatch experimented with adobe construction. Work was abandoned after August rains washed away the bricks. Thus, Major Hatch received the nickname "Dobe" Hatch, which he carried throughout his military career.
[Photo captions read]
Officers' Row circa 1871, OQ5 is the fourth complete building from the right
Tent Officers' Quarters used prior to permanent stone structures
Officer's Quarters 5 circa 1950
Ryan Lupton, Eagle Scout Project, 2009