Caldwell County, Texas

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Caldwell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. It is part of the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area. In 2000, the population was 32,194. Its county seat is Lockhart[1]. Caldwell County was founded in 1848, and was named after Matthew Caldwell, a ranger captain who fought in the Battle of Plum Creek against the Comanches and later against Santa Anna's armies during the Texas Revolution. Caldwell was also a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It is in the Lockhart-San Marcos Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History Timeline

  • 8000 b.c. Paleo-Indians Hunter-gatherers, and later Tonkawa, Karankawa.and Comanche, first inhabitants.[2]
  • 1825 Caldwell County is part of Green DeWitt's petition for a land grant to establish a colony in Texas is approved by the Mexican government.[3]
  • 1839 Edmund Bellinger becomes the first settler of Prairie Lea, the county’s oldest town. Sam Houston names the town for his future wife Margaret Moffette Lea.[4][5]
  • 1848 March - The legislature forms Caldwell County Bastrop and Gonzales counties. The county seat us called Lockhart.[2][6]
  • 1860 County population is 2,871. There are 1,610 slaves.[2] Community of Fentress is established, originally as Riverside, later changed to Fentress to honor the town’s first physician James Fentress.[7]
  • 1861 County votes 434-188 in favor of secession from the Union. Several hundred men from Caldwell County serve in the Confederate States Army.[2]
  • 1870’s St. John Colony established by former slaves.[8]
  • 1874 Town of Luling is established.[9] John and James Merriwether and Leonidas Hardeman build a gristmill and a sawmill, later to be known as Zedler’s Mills.[10]
  • 1887 The Missouri, Kansas and Texas completes its track between Lockhart and San Marcos.[2]
  • 1889 The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway connects Lockhart and Luling to Shiner.[2]
  • 1892 The Missouri, Kansas and Texas lays track from Lockhart east to Smithville.[2]
  • 1880-1900 Tenant farming accounts for nearly half of all the county's farming and as much as 75 percent of the 3,149 farms.[2]
  • 1902 The Southwest Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention is established in McMahan.[11]
  • 1922, August 9 – Edgar B. Davis discovers the Luling Oilfield.[12]
  • 1927 The Luling Foundation is established by Edgar B. Davis to teach diversity in agriculture and improve the lives of farm and ranch families.[13]
  • 1948 Lockhart State Park opens to the public.[14]
  • 1953 Luling establishes its annual Watermelon Thump celebration.[15]

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