Texas State Historical Markers located in Caldwell County
As stated on the Texas Historical Commission's website, "Texas has one of the most active and successful historical marker
programs in the country". Historical markers are awarded in recognition for sites, people, or events that impacted the heritage of who and what we are as a state and a people. The following is a list of THC markers located in Caldwell County.
Bethel Primitive Baptist Church
This congregation was organized June 19, 1852, in the home of John Fleming near this site. Elders George Daniels and Reuben W. Ellis from the Plum Creek Primitive Baptist Church were called to serve as pastors by the charter members: James Jeffrey, Mary Ann Jeffrey, John M. Fleming, Abigail Fleming, Richard Cole, Sarah Cole, John B. Jeffrey, Elinder Jeffrey, Robert McFeron, and Sarah McFeron. A church building was erected at this site in 1901. Bethel Primitive Baptist Church continues to minister to McMahan and the surrounding area as it has since 1852. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986
Location: from McMahan take FM 713 W .5 mi. (adjacent to Jeffrey Cemetery)
Tennessee native Andrew Lee Brock (1830-1904) moved to Caldwell County in 1848, and he married Rebecca Montgomery Wayland two years later. Rebecca's father gave the couple a parcel of land on Boggy Creek as a wedding gift, and Brock built a log cabin on the site. Brock cultivated cotton, grains, and vegetables and also operated a cotton gin on his property. The growing family later relocated to a house on 201 acres and Brock enlarged the house to accommodate nine children. Brock raised and sold mules and horses, and was also a prolific developer in Lockhart's business district. Many of the twelve commercial buildings financed by Andrew Lee Brock remain in use today.
Location: In Lockhart's Lions Park on Hwy 183
The harsh anti-Indian policies of President Mirabeau B. Lamar and Mexican efforts to weaken the Republic of Texas stirred Indian hostilities. Hatred increased after the Council House Fight in San Antonio, March 19, 1840, where 12 Comanche chief were killed. After regrouping and making plans for revenge, 600 Comanches and Kiowas, including women and children, moved across central Texas in early August. They raided Victoria and Linnville (120 mi. SE), a prosperous seaport. About 200 Texans met at Good's Crossing on Plum Creek under Major-General Felix Huston (1800-1857) to stop the Indians. Adorned with their plunder from Linnville, the war party stretched for miles across the prairie. The Battle of Plum Creek, August 12, 1840, began on Comanche Flats (5.5 mi. SE) and proceeded to Kelley springs (2.5 mi. SW), with skirmishes as far as present San Marcos and Kyle. Mathew Caldwell (1798-1842), for whom Caldwell County was named, was injured in the Council House fight but took part in this battle. Volunteers under Edward Burleson (1793-1851) included 13 Tonkawa Indians, marked as Texan allies by white armbands. Texan casualties were light while the Indians lost over 80 chiefs and warriors. This battle ended the Comanche penetration of settled portions of Texas.
Location: In Lockhart near the intersection of US 183 and SH 142 in Lions Park
A part of De Witt's Colony, 1825-1836. A part of Gonzales County to 1848. First settlements were on Plum Creek and the San Marcos River. Created March 6, 1848; organized August 7, 1848. Named in honor of Mathew Caldwell, "Old Paint," 1798-1842, soldier-statesman. Signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Commander of the Texas Rangers. Lockhart, the county seat.
Location: In Lockhart on the SW corner of the Courthouse Square.
Caldwell County Courthouse
The first Caldwell County Courthouse was erected on this site in 1848, when the county was organized and named for Mathew Caldwell, a Texas Ranger and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It was replaced in 1858 by a 2-story limestone edifice, measuring 65 feet by 40 feet, with six offices and two rooms for storing records. By 1893, that building had become too small for a growing county. In April 1893, Judge George W. Kyser and commissioners J. H. Jolley, G. A. McGee, C. R. Smith, and R. A. Tiller approved plans for the present courthouse. The cornerstone was laid by Lockhart Lodge No. 690, A. F. & A. M., on August 15, 1893. Contractors Martin, Byrne, and Johnston completed the building on March 19, 1894. The 3-story structure is built of sandstone with red sandstone trim. It displays the fine workmanship and elaborate detail common to architecture of the period. The mansard roof is characteristic of the second empire style that was often used for public buildings. The courthouse is topped by a central clock tower, with additional towers at each corner and flanking the north and south entrances. When it was built, the structure was equipped with the latest conveniences of the day, including electricity. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1976
Location: In Lockhart on the Courthouse Square
Organized in 1848, Caldwell County lost its original log jail in an 1858 fire, then kept prisoners in the Courthouse basement until 1873, when outlaws' activities called for a strong stone prison. In 1908 Caldwell countains voted 725 to 311 for a $25,000.00 bond issue to erect this castellated brick structure. The jailer's quarters occupy the ground floor, over a storage area in the basement. The upper floors contain fifteen cells of concrete and steel, with one cell rising from the center of the building. Gallows are said to have been removed from this jail in the 1930s. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1977
Location: In Lockhart on the corner of Brazos and Market St.
John Madison Cardwell (1838-1917) moved to Caldwell county at the age of eighteen. After serving in the Civil War, he returned to Lockhart and opened a mercantile store on the Courthouse Square. He had this home built in 1917, but died before its completion. His wife Martha (Withers) lived here until her death in 1944. An example of the classical revival style, the frame residence has a two-story gallery and eleven-foot ceilings. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1980 Incise in base: Restored by Charles and Carol Haynes - 1979
Location: In Lockhart
Cemeterio Navarro Historico
Also known as the Mexican Cemetery, this burial ground has served the Mexican-American community of Lockhart since around 1900. The earliest dated burial here, of area settler Severiano Sanchez, dated to 1901. Since that time, the cemetery has served primarily Hispanic and Roman Catholic residents.
A number of community leaders are interred here. Others, including business owners, farmers, laborers, ranchers, teachers, and veterans of foreign conflicts dating to World War I, are also buried here. Several graves are marked by Woodmen of the World monuments, which led to the burial ground also being known as the Woodmen of the World Cemetery or Paneon de los Hacheros. Other features in the cemetery include vertical stones, plot curbing and grave slabs.
In 2005, descendants of the interred formed the Cemeterio Navarro Association to restore and maintain the burial ground. The association named this tie Cemeterio Navarro Historico after the noted Tejano statesman and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Jose Antonio Navarro. The cemetery is also near the site of the old Navarro Elementary School, which was known historically as the Mexican school. Today, Cemeterio Navarro Historico continues to serve descendants of those buried here. It remains a chronicle of the Mexican-American pioneers of Caldwell County and a testament to the difficult and laborious circumstances under which they settled and thrived.
Location: Around the 100 block of Mulberry St. in Lockhart
Clark Cemetery James E. Clark was born in North Carolina in 1826. He later moved to Texas, marrying Mary E. Roberts in Bastrop County in 1860. In January 1881, he bought land in this area. Here, he and Mary reared nine children. In 1884, James set aside land for a school and a family cemetery. He was buried here in 1898, and his grave is the first marked in the cemetery. The most recent burial dates to the 1950s. Today the family cemetery is adjacent to a community center established at the site of the former school. Both serve as reminders of the Clark family and their contributions to area history and growth. Historic Texas Cemetery - 2002
Location: From Lockhart go 8.9 mi. E of US 183 and FM 20 intersection, then S 3.8 mi. on CR 158
Built in 1899 and dedicated on July 6, 1900, this library was financed with funds bequeathed by Dr. Clark, who was a prominent physician of Lockhart and San Antonio. A native of New Orleans, he was a graduate of Tulane Medical School and studied in Vienna, Austria. He was an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist. He died, while still a young man, in New York City in 1897. The building, an outstanding example of French renaissance style, was designed and built by T. S. Hodges. When erected, it stood near the opera house, in the cultural center of Lockhart.
Location: In Lockhart on the corner of S. Main St. and E. Prairie Lea St.
Location: behind the Clearfork Baptist Church at 461 Clearfork Rd, Lockhart, TX, off of FM 86
Oldest church in Caldwell County. Organized in 1848, with J. Isaac, Pastor. Building erected in 1850; hand-hewn oak frame was mortised with pegs; lumber hauled from Port Lavaca. Land for church and adjoining cemetery was donated in 1857 by John H. Hargis and Thomas L. Burkhead.
Location: 461 Clearfork Rd., Lockhart, TX
A one-story residence stood on this lot when businessman James G. Blanks (1862-1927) purchased the property in 1896. He added another floor and completed the house in the classical revival style popular at the time. In 1908 Blanks sold the structure to Dr. Thomas Benton Coopwood (1860-1932), a noted Lockhart physician who served as Caldwell County health officer for over 30 years. Members of the Coopwood family occupied the home until 1970. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1979
Location: In Lockhart
(Feb. 2, 1872 - Oct. 14, 1951) One of the great benefactors of Texas. Born in Brockton, Mass. Had business careers in shoe manufacture and rubber planting. On retirement, came here and in wildcat operation brought in Luling Oil Field, 1922. By 1926 had 215 producing wells. Gave employees $2,500,000 in bonuses, then endowed Luling Foundation, for advancement of agriculture and human opportunity in area. Result has been conservation of land, upbreeding of crops and livestock and introduction and marketing of superior products. Davis remained in this area and is buried near Luling.
Location: Corner of Austin and Magnolia st. (US Hwy. 183) in Luling.
The earliest known permanent settlers in this area were Orrin L. and Susannah Winters and their extended family. By 1873, enough of a settlement existed to make application for a U. S. Post Office. Postal officials rejected the first name selected for the community, Iron Mountain, but accepted the second name, Delhi. According to local tradition, Delhi was the name of a traveling salesman who stayed in the area for a time dispensing patent medicines and providing entertainment for the settlers. John P. Reid served as first postmaster. The first store in Delhi was in operation by the early 1870s in the home of Daniel t. Winters. The Delhi community experienced some growth in the 1880s with the founding of two churches, a school, and two cotton gins. Over the years, additional businesses, including a blacksmith shop, casket shop, and a syrup mill have served the community. Although the post office closed in 1929 and the public school consolidated with the McMahan district in 1947, Delhi remains a strong rural community in eastern Caldwell county. Many of its residents are descendants of the town's pioneer families.
Location: from McMahan go 8 mi. east on FM 713, then .4 mi. south on SH 304 (at Delhi Community Center)
In 1885 the Rev. C. Kreuzenstein conducted the first formal German Lutheran worship service in this area. On June 3, 1886, a congregation was organized with 20 charter families. In 1924, during the pastorate of the Rev. Hans Erich Krause (1887-1942), this Gothic Revival building was constructed. Designed by San Antonio architect Leo Dielmann, the basilica-plan brick church features a tower with Romantic German Gothic details. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1986
Location 291 Church St. in Maxwell
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Organized in 1853 by the Rev. Joseph wood Dunn, this parish erected its own church building in 1855-56. Bishop G. w. Freeman, who dedicated the edifice in 1857, noted its fine acoustics. It was built of an early type of concrete fashioned from caliche, gravel, and sand. The belfry was damaged by an 1879 tornado and removed, but the original stone floor remains. Stained glass windows enhance the Gothic detailing. The structure was restored in 1976. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1962
Location: corner of N. Church St. and W. Walnut St. in Lockhart
Episcopal Church of the Annunciation
Luling's first church building. The Rt. Rev. Robert W. B. Elliott (1840-87), first bishop, missionary district of western Texas, enroute to his see city, held his original service in the district in a Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railway passenger car in Luling on Dec. 20, 1874, eight months after town's founding. Early in 1875, the Rev. Wallace Carnahan preached here. The rev. Nelson Ayres arrived as vicar in Feb. 1876 and began to build this chapel with his own hands, conducting first service in it on April 15, 1877. Church was remodeled in 1938 and 1965.
Location: Corner of Walnut and Bowie St. in Luling
Fentress United Methodist Church
On October 15, 1905, under the leadership of the Rev. V.G. Thomas, 18 men and women organized the Fentress Methodist Church under the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Members initially held services in the local Cumberland Presbyterian Church building until completing their first sanctuary in 1909 near the Fentress post office. In 1924, the congregation moved to this location. Ten years later, members added Sunday School rooms, and over the past several decades, other additions and changes have been made. For 100 years the church has offered worship, music and educational programs in the church traditions begun by the founding members. (2005)
Location: FM 20 and Barber St. in Fentress
Location: In Prairie Lea Masonic Cemetery
First Baptist Church of Luling
Seventeen charter members, with encouragement from the Rev. G. W. Lane,
district missionary, organized this congregation on Dec. 3, 1875.
Worship services were held outdoors and in the Masonic Lodge Hall until
spring of 1876, when the first church building was erected on this lot
donated by Thomas W. Peirce. A revival in the fall of 1876 increased the
membership to 50. In 1939 a fire destroyed the sanctuary, education
wing, and parsonage. Cornerstone for the present church building was
laid on Nov. 13, 1939, with Gov. W. Lee O'Daniel delivering the
Location: Corner of Austin and Magnolia St in Luling.
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Lockhart
Organized in 1852 with seven members, this congregation constructed its
first sanctuary in 1858. Located across the street from this site, it
soon became too small for the growing membership. In 1898, this Gothic
revival building was designed and built by Tom Hodges, who served as the
architect on several public buildings in Lockhart. The ornate sanctuary
features lancet windows, decorative brickwork, and corner turrets.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1985
Location: Corner of W. San Antonio and Church St. in Lockhart
First Christian Church of Luling
Eula Nichols moved from a farm near Austin to Luling in 1891 to attend school. She persuaded the rev. A. J. Bush to hold a revival service here in 1892. As a result, First Christian Church was organized with the Rev. G. S. Kimberly serving as resident minister. The congregation purchased the lower level of a local Masonic Lodge where they held services until 1946. A sanctuary, built at this site in 1947, burned and was replaced with a new building in 1979. The church sponsors a variety of youth programs and remains active in local and foreign outreach activities.
Location: 712 Crockett St. in Luling
First Presbyterian Church of Luling
After surveying Luling townsite in 1874, the Galveston, Harrisburg &
San Antonio Railroad deeded land for several church sites. In 1877 the
Rev. Philip H. Hensley led 14 persons in organizing the Luling
Presbyterian Church. Built in 1882, during the pastorate of the Rev. A.
H. P. McCurdy, this structure originally had one 28' x 48' room. In 1925
the spire and bell were removed during repairs. after major remodeling
the Sunday School Annex was added in 1955. The congregation reached in
1962 a membership peak of 92.
Location: Corner of Crockett and Pecan St. in Luling.
Doctor Sidney Joseph Francis (1867-1935) settled in Luling in 1889 after earning a medical degree from Tulane University. He purchased this site which included four town lots in October 1895. One month later he married Annie Davis Gregg, granddaughter of Bishop Alexander Gregg, the first Episcopal Bishop in Texas. A modest frame house was constructed for Dr. and Mrs. Francis on this corner by 1896; it was enlarged in 1916 by contractor J.W. Bishop into a two-story dwelling. The home features a full-length two story porch, a porte cochere, and a central projecting bay with an offset entry. The vernacular house was typical of those in railroad towns. Dr. Francis was a World Ward I veteran, a prominent local businessman and a banker. Prior to Francis' death in 1935, his youngest daughter and her husband, H. Miller Ainsworth, moved into the house. Ainsworth served in World Wars I and II, and rose to the rank of General in the National Guard. He was active in the oil, gas, and banking industries in Luling. After his death in 1969, his widow and son lived in the house until her death in 1986. The house remained in the Ainsworth family until 1989 when it was deeded to the city of Luling. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1996. Incise on Base: Given by Cornelius Smith Chapter, DRT, Custodian since 1993.
Location: 214 S. Pecan St. in Luling
Born in Georgia, Isham Jones Good (1813-1866) came to Texas in 1835 with
a group of volunteers to join the Texian forces in their war for
independence from Mexico. As a member of the Georgia battalion, Good
went to the aid of Col. James W. Fannin, but escaped death or capture in
the Goliad Massacre in March 1836.
After an honorable discharge from military service in May 1836,
Good married Melissa Trantham (1811-1870) in Alabama. By February 1838,
he had returned to Texas and settled near this site in what was then
Gonzales County. As a participant in the 1840 Indian battle of Plum
Creek, Isham Good helped open the area to further settlement. He served
as first postmaster when the Plum Creek postal station was established. A
civic leader, entrepreneur, and land speculator, Good was instrumental
in the formation of Caldwell County in 1848 and served as its first
During the 1850s, Good sold most of his landholdings and moved his
family to Bear Creek in Hays County, where he raised cattle until his
death. An important local leader during Texas' formative years, Isham
Jones Good is buried on his ranch in Hays County.
Location: 5.45 mi. east of US 183 on FM 20 ROW
Gunkel Family Cemetery
Historic Texas Cemetery - 2001
Location: From Luling, E on US 183 to Caldwell CR 135. Go 1 mile and turn left, go 0.1 mile and turn right at mailboxes. Cemetery is located on private property.
The Hall community in this area was named for pioneer settlers John and Sarah Hall who moved here about 1860 from Mississippi, A rural settlement gradually built up in the area, and in 1882 landowner J.R. Biship deeded two acres to the community for a school. Part of the land contained grave sites, so one acre was set aside for a community cemetery The oldest documented burial is that of the unnamed infant son of W.J. and Louisa Williams, who died at birth on June 21, 1873, The cenetery also served the nearby Wattsville community.
Location: from Luling take FM 1322 5.7 mi. east, then 3.2 mi. east (right) on CR 139, then .5 mi. N (left) on CR 142, then .1 mi. west (left) on CR 141.
At this site once stood the home of Susanna Dickinson Hannig (1814-1883), who came to Texas from Tennessee in 1831 with her husband Almeron Dickinson. He died at the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Susanna, with her daughter Angelina, was among the survivors. She carried news of the Alamo's capture to Gen. Sam Houston, commander of the Texas Army. Susanna settled in Lockhart in 1855 and bought this property. She married Joseph William Hannig, who had a cabinet shop here. In 1858 they moved to Austin, where Susanna died and is buried.
Location: In front of the Lockhart City Hall - 308 W San Antonio St.
Sidon H. Harris and his family arrived in Texas in 1851, and moved to
this vicinity in 1856. Harris and his wife, amanda, bought two parcels
of land, and this family cemetery was begun when Sidon died in 1861. Two
Harris children were buried here in 1862, followed by Amanda in 1866.
Descendants later sold the land, with the understanding that the
cemetery would be maintained. Destruction of the cemetery in 1984 led to
the replacement of the original grave markers. The cemetery reflects
the history of an early Caldwell County family.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986
Location: from Mendoza take US 183 N 1.3 mi. to SH 21, then east .8 mi. to FM 1854, then south .5 mi. to gate entrance.
Members of the Jennings and Humphreys families settled in the Martindale
area in the 1850s. They established a cemetery on land bought by Joseph
Humphreys in 1855. Set aside on this raised area, the burial ground
initially served family members who had settled the 2,000 acres
adjoining the site.
Randolph Reed Jennings (d. 1854), who reportedly died of yellow fever
on his way to Martindale, was the first buried here, and the grave
marker of Agnes Jennings (d. 1869) bears the earliest birth year, 1783.
Joseph Humphreys (d. 1864) was the first buried in the Humphreys family
plot, denoted by two obelisks. Tradition holds that a number of unmarked
graves belong to former slaves of the pioneer families. Notable burials
include the graves of early settler Jemima Crunk (1799-1876) and George
N. Martindale (1842-1892), son of the community's founder.
Today, families and descendants of those buried here meet regularly
and maintain the cemetery, which was enlarged in 1946. This burial
ground, a link to the area's early settlers, remains a symbol of
Martindale and its rich history.
Historic Texas Cemetery - 2003
Location: 2 mi. SE of Martindale at intersection of SH80 and CR 66
Tennessee native Abraham Roberts wed Cynthia Jeffrey in Alabama in 1828.
The couple arrived in Seguin, Texas, ten years later with their family.
In 1840, Roberts purchased land on Tinney's Creek in what was then
Gonzales County. He and other area residents petitioned the Texas
Legislature to create a new county, which was formed in 1847 and named
Caldwell. That year the Roberts family made the first burial on family
property when granddaughter Martha Ellison died while visiting them. The
family and local residents soon began using the site as a community
There are conflicting stories about the origins of the cemetery name
and about which family gave the land for the site, but a 1921 deed cited
acreage conveyed earlier to a cemetery association. In 1938, the
community officially adopted the name Jeffrey Cemetery and elected
officers to a board of trustees.
Today, an association maintains the site and continues traditional
homecomings for families and friends of those buried here. Among the
several hundred graves are the names of veterans of military service
dating to the U.S.-Mexican War, as well as generations of area
Historic Texas Cemetery - 2004
Location: E of Lockhart via SH 20 to FM 713, then S approx. 5 mi. to CR 160
The Rev. William Johnson (1822-89), farmer and Baptist minister who came
to Texas in 1833, built this shotgun-style cabin near Tenney Creek (11
mi. NE of Luling) in 1870s. Family included five children. His son, W.
E. (Billie) became a physician in Tilmon.
Since 1893 the Jeff Connolly family has owned Johnson's land. T. B.
Coopwood, M. d., used cabin as office in late 1890s. Mr. and Mrs. Jett
Connolly donated structure in 1972 to be relocated here.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1973
Incise in base: Restored by Luling Garden Club, 1972
Location: corner of US 183 and Austin St., (Blanche Square) in Luling
Local cotton buyer Julius W. Karbach (1869-1943) had this two-story
residence constructed in 1911. Built by Louis Neeb, it features
characteristics of the Victorian and classical revival styles. In 1924
the house was purchased by Martin Owen Flowers (1874-1944), a former
Lockhart city attorney. Later elected Caldwell County judge, he also
served one term as secretary of state (1939-41) during the
administration of Governor W. Lee O'Daniel.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1980
Incise in base: Restored by Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Hanna, 1978
Garland R. Lincecum, cousin of Alamo hero James Bowie, and his wife
Emmaline left Mississippi and settled on land ha had purchased here in
1847. Lincecum, who signed a petition with others to create Caldwell
County in 1847, died in 1853 and was the first person buried here. Three
of his daughters were married to the sons of fellow Mississippian
Alexander Roberts, who settled in this area in 1843. The last person
buried here was Jacob G. Roberts, Lincecum's grandson, in 1938. Members
of the pioneer Roberts and Lincecum families and their descendants are
Location: 5.4 mi. E of US 183 on SH 20 ROW
Lockhart Vocational High School (Carver HS)
According to local tradition, materials salvaged from Ross Institute, a
former school for Lockhart's caucasian children, were used in 1923 to
build this school for African American students. The Rosenwald
Foundation of Chicago, which funded many African American schools in the
south in the early 20th century, provided the design and part of the
construction cost. The school district and local African American
citizens raised the majority of the funds for its completion.
Previously, African American children attended classes scattered
throughout town. Elementary-aged students learned at Sunset School, Mt.
Salem Methodist Episcopal Church or the Masonic Lodge; high school
students used a building on Live Oak Street that was also a funeral
parlor and domino hall.
The two-story brick and stucco schoolhouse contained six classrooms, a
Principal's office and a large auditorium that also served as a social
center for the neighborhood. Prominent brick and stucco pilasters on the
unadorned main façade rise above the parapet. The east and west sides
of the building have large banks of windows to maximize natural light.
The lower level has a centrally located portico with double doors that
divide the principal façade.
R.A. Atkinson was the first pricipal of the school, which received
state accreditation in 1926. At the time two years of high school
coursework were offered here, and students could attend the twelfth
grade in Luling. In 1946, the facility changed its name to G.W. Carver
High School. It closed in 1964 due to school integration, but the
building was later used by the Head Start program. Recorded Texas
Location: 1104 E. Market Street in Lockhart
Founded when Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad line intersected a main wagon road from South Texas to Austin. Many families of the Atlanta community (3 mi. SE) relocated here. Plum Creek Post Office, opened nearby in 1848, also moved here and was renamed Luling. The city was chartered Sept. 19, 1874. Original mayor was W.H. McClelland. The first aldermen were Jesse R. Bond, L.C. Cunningham, J.N. Stagner, Mike Tierney, and L.C. Wilder. Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio locator James Converse platted the townsite on Oct. 15, 1874. The G.H, & S.A. gave land for four public parks, and its president, T.W, Peirce willed $2,000.00 to the town. Terminus of the railroad until mid-1875, Luling had heavy shipping and trade in its infancy. In late 1874 the population was 800 to 1,000, including drifters who gave the place an early reputation as a tough town. The law-abiding, however, established churches, schools, and stability, and within a few years the railroad boom town was only a legend. An oil boom began in 1922, and 125 producing wells have now been drilled within the city limits. Three major oil fields surround the town, which in later years has become also an agribusiness center.
Location: In the park at the 500 block of E. Davis St. in Luling
Burial site of Rev. John McCullough (April 3, 1805-January 7, 1870) Born in Pennsylvania; educated at Princeton - in New Jersey, 1835, ordained a missionary. In 1838 came to Texas. Elected Chaplain, House of Representatives, Third Congress, Republic of Texas, 1839.
Founded First Presbyterian Church, Galveston, 1840. Moved in 1841 to Columbia-on-the-Brazos.
Driving an ox-drawn conestoga wagon, "Little Church in the Wilderness" moved 1846 to San Antonio. Helped build "Old Adobe", city's first Protestant church.
Founded Galveston Seminary in 1849. Moved to Burnet County in 1859, and to Prairie Lea, 1869. Continued to preach and teach.
Led by the Rev. B.F. Dixon of the San Marcos Baptist Association Members of the McNeil Creek Community met on June 30 1888 to organize a local congregation. The name chosen was McNeil Creek Baptist Church and the congregation began to hold worship services in a local schoolhouse. R.W. King was elected church clerk a position he held for the next twenty-two years.
As a church began to grow a need was recognized for a permanent home. A building committee was formed which began raising funds in 1895. Samuel McCarley donated two acres of land to the church on February 1896 and by November of that year a sanctuary was completed.
In 1908 the church name was shortened to McNeil Baptist Church. A large tabernacle was added to the south side of the church which provided space for Sunday school and revivals until it and the original church structure were removed from the property. A new building was completed by August 9 1947. To further serve the growing congregation an annex was added onto the west end of the auditorium in 1952.
The McNeil Baptist Church has continued to serve residents of a large rural area for over a century.
(Soda Springs Methodist Cemetery)
This cemetery was founded on land deeded to the Soda Springs Methodist
Church about 1867 by early settler Margret Hinds. The first recorded
burial was that of Henrietta Gant in 1868. The cemetery was first known
as Soda Springs Methodist Cemetery but was renamed McNeil Cemetery
sometime before Soda Springs Methodist Church disbanded in 1919. Among
the more than 390 grave sites in the cemetery are many of the area's
early settlers and their descendants. the cemetery is maintained by an
association and continues to serve the McNeil community.
Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995
Location: from Luling, take FM 1322 E/NE 5 mi. to CR 302, then west .5 on CR 302
Alexander Duff Mebane (1855-1923) built this house for his family in
1918. A cotton farmer, Mebane developed a high-lint, drought-, storm-,
and boll weevil-resistant cotton that would become known worldwide as
Mebane Triumph Cotton. Exhibiting influences of the prairie school
style, this two-story brick structure features pedimented portico
entrances at two sides. The home remained in the Mebane family until
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1986
The three-acre tract of land that was the Polish settlement of Polonia
was deeded to Bishop John Neraz of the Catholic Diocese of San Antonio
in 1894 by Joseph and Veronica Dzierzanowski. The community was founded
one year after the death of Simon Dzierzanowski (1853-1896), who was the
first to be buried in his family's cemetery on this site.
The settlement once boasted a cotton gin, blacksmith shop, general
store, and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Schools for both English
and Spanish speaking students were built. The Polish population retained
many traditions from their homeland. Polonia declined in the late 1930s
because of a failing farm economy. The Catholic church was razed in
The Dzierzanowski Family Cemetery, now Polonia Community Cemetery, is
the last reminder of the once vibrant village. Twenty-five percent of
those buried in the cemetery are veterans of the United States Armed
The first known families of Polonia, settling near this site from
1891, were Bienek, Boniewiez, Bonkowski, Dedek, Dikowski, Dykowski,
Dzierzanowski, Foerster, Foryszewski, Grabarkewitz, Kalinowski,
Krzywosinski, Levandowski, Malinowski, Petroski, Pieniazek, Reisner,
Scholwinski, Slawinski, Urbanski, Wacluwzcyk, Wisniewski, Zaleski,
Zarrasky, Zawadski, and Zolewski. (1998)
Location: 3.6 mi. N on US 183; 3 mi. W on CR 233
Prairie Lea United Methodist Church
In 1853, five years after the organization of Caldwell County, a Methodist church was organized in the Prairie Lea community. Heads of the four charter families were George Francis and Pendleton Rector, veterans of the Battle of San Jacinto; Early settler W.F, Happle, on whose land was established one of the first cemeteries in the area; and Dr. James Fentress, a veteran of the Indian Battle of Plum Creek (1840) and the man for whom the nearby town of Fentress is named.
Early worship services were held in the area's first schoolhouse. From 1854 until 1871, the congregation met in the Prairie Lea Academy building. In 1871 area prioneer Thomas Mooney and his sons - William Danie, Samuel Lafayette, and John Keener - deeded land at this site for the construction of a sanctuary. Trustees were George Francis, Joseph Francis, Wesley Frances, Pendleton Rector, LeRoy McLeod, J.J. Smith, Albert C. Johnson, Joseph McCord, and William Happle. The present sanctuary is the second one built on this site.
Pastors who have served the Prairie Lea Methodist Church include noted pioneer Methodist minister Andrew Jackson Potter and the Rev. M.A. Black, who led the dedication service for the current sanctuary, which was completed in 1884.
Discovery well of Luling Field, a major Texas oil area. Wildcatter E.B.
Davis drilled on land owned by R. Rios. Well came in Aug. 10, 1922,
after 3 dry holes had been drilled in same area. Magnolia (now Mobil)
Oil Co. bought filed 1926. By 1969, production was 135,000,000 barrels.
Incise on back:
Donated by Mobil Oil Corporation.
Location: Intersection of Hightway 80 and FM 671, northeast corner
This community began in the early 1870s, when a group of freedmen and
their families, led by the Rev. John Henry Winn, relocated here from
Webberville (approx. 20 mi. N). The original fourteen families purchased
about 2,000 acres of land to establish a town and family farms.
Originally named Winn's Colony in honor of John H. Winn, the community
name was changed to Saint John Colony after Winn organized Saint John
Missionary Baptist Church in 1873.
The community grew steadily and
at its peak included homes of about 100 families, farms, stores, a
school, cotton gin, and grist mill. A post office, under the name
Mackiesville, opened in 1890 with Lewis Mackey as Postmaster. Churches,
in addition to Saint John Missionary Baptist, included Zion Union
Missionary Baptist and Landmark Missionary Baptist. The boundaries of
the colony extended into Bastrop County.
The post office was
closed in the 1920s, and the school was consolidated with Lockhart
schools in 1966. The churches remain active, and the community
graveyard, known as Saint John Cemetery, or Zion Cemetery, contains the
graves of many of the area's pioneers. Descendants of some of the
founding families still reside in Saint John Colony. (1990
(1824-1889) Pioneer Lockhart physician, from Alabama. Studied medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Was Civil War surgeon, Texas Mounted Rifles and Cavalry, on Texas frontier and in Louisiana, Arkansas and Indian Territory. Typical of Texas Confederates, his letters home show concern for wife and children: contain instructions on teaching child to read, crops, plowing, animal care, fences, debt collection. Professor of chemistry, 1871, Galveston Medical college. A&M College physician, 1879-82. First to serve full time in any Texas college or university.
Location: 631 S Colorado St., Lockhart Texas.
This frontier community cemetery was established in the early 1850s. The earliest recorded burial was that of a child, Martha Jackson, in 1853. Georgia native Samuel Lumpkin Wells and his wife, Eliza Bennett (McGinty), an Alabama native, left their Mississippi home for Texas about 1860. By 1867 the Wellses owned the land containing this graveyard. The previous year their 23-year-old daughter, Mae Wells, had been buried at this site.
Among the 40 or so marked gravesites in this cemetery are those of at least three veterans of the civil war and that of Seawill (Pipkin) Wells, for whom the former local community of Seawillow was named. At its height, the community boasted a post office, school, church, and store. Many pioneers of this community, including Samuel and Eliza Wells and their descendants are buried here. They represent the Foreman, Long, Kirksey, Kelly, Franks, Patterson, Jones, Chapman, Rogers, Wallis, Misenhimer, Dillard, Hendricks, Perry, Tally, Watts, and Henderson families. The last burial was that of Nicholas Perkins Ridout in 1934. Descendants of many of the early settlers interred here formed the Wells Cemetery Association in 1988 for the purpose of maintain the grounds.
Location: from FM 713 take CR 198 (same as Wells Cemetery Rd), take a right on CR 200
John and James Merriwether and Leonidas Hardeman in 1874 built gristmill
and sawmill at this site, with stone dam across the San Marcos. Bob
Innes, John Orchard, J. K. Walker, and Fritz Zedler, as Luling Water
Power Co., bought mills (1884), adding cotton gin. A milling veteran,
Zedler in 1888 bought all stock and made eldest son partner. The gin,
soon burned, was rebuilt. Units were added. Sons Herman and Charles
joined firm. In 1890 and later, the Zedlers furnished water to city;
1894 and later, city power. In time various mill units closed;
operations ceased about 1960.
Location: Near the corner of SH 80 and S, Laurel St. in Luling
Born in Germany, Fritz Zedler (1840-1932) came to Texas in 1852. He
moved to Luling in 1884 and began operation of Zedler's Mill, soon a
thriving business. This house, built in 1900 from Zedler's own plans,
testifies to his pride and prosperity. The original structure had ten
rooms and four porches. In 1964 Zedler's daughter, Frances, sold the
house. It was used as rental property until Corinne and Wesley Parker
purchased (1970) and restored it (1972).
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1974
Location: Near the corner of S. Laurel St, and SH 80 in Luling