Caldwell County Historical Commission

Who We Are

Caldwell County was established in 1848 and named after Mathew "Old Paint" Caldwell, Indian fighter and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.


Caldwell County, created from part of Gonzales County, is bounded by Hays, Guadalupe, Bastrop and Travis Counties. The county line with Hays still boasts faint traces of the old Spanish Camino Real.


Settlers aided by the Tonkawas permanently ended Comanche raids in the area with the Battle of Plum Creek on August 12, 1840.  Caldwell County was home to many Confederate soldiers and became a major source for investors and drovers of the massive cattle drives north on the Chisholm Trail. These cattle barons included J.J. Myers, A. L. Brock and others. Later, the era of cotton growing provided the impetus for the building of some of the larger historic homes in the county. In the '20s and '30s an oil boom in Luling created wealth based on Black Gold. Luling’s Central Texas Oil Patch Museum commemorates this era in our county history. 


Lockhart and Luling form parts of both the Independence Trail and the Chisholm Trail tourism initiatives in Texas. Lockhart’s Chisholm Trail Days and Luling’s Watermelon Thump are just two of the many celebrations that entertain visitors. And last, but not least, most hungry travelers visit the county for a taste of sausage and barbeque, come to Lockhart, the BBQ Capital of Texas.


The Caldwell County Historical Commission, created as an arm of county government in 1974, has won many awards for historical preservation. Meetings are open to the public and are held on the third Thursday of the month in the public meeting room at the First-Lockhart National Bank, on W. San Antonio Street.


The Historical Commission sponsors the Caldwell County Museum located at 315 E. Market Street in Lockhart. Various aspects of Caldwell County history are portrayed. The jail cells on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors are also available for viewing. The castellated building, one block off Highway 183, is open on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. and by appointment for special tours.  Admission is $2 for adults / $1 for children.


Caldwell County Museum, in the historic 1909 jail, is located at 315 E. Market Street, just east of downtown Lockhart.

Open Saturday and Sunday, 1–5 p.m.

or by appointment.