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