003 of 254 Caldwell County Courthouse, Lockhart, Texas. County Population: 38,066
Lockhart, the county seat, is the self-proclaimed "Barbecue capital of Texas" There are four BBQ restaurants in Lockhart. The restaurants estimate that about 5,000 people visit their establishments each week. This would be roughly 250,000 people a year who eat BBQ in Lockhart."
"Caldwell County was part of Green DeWitt's colony, which was approved by the Mexican government in April 1825. Early settlement in the colony centered around the Gonzales area. The surveying of the Caldwell County area began in the late 1820s.
"The Congress of the Republic of Texas made the Caldwell County area part of Gonzales County in 1836.
"By 1847 the population in the northern part of Gonzales County had increased so much that residents petitioned the Texas legislature to establish a new county, Plum Creek County, with Lockhart Springs as county seat. In March 1848 the legislature approved the formation of the county from Bastrop and Gonzales counties but named it Caldwell instead of Plum Creek; the county seat was called Lockhart. Although the legislature did not say why the name Caldwell was chosen, it was probably in honor of Mathew Caldwell, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence."
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "CALDWELL COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
"[Lockhart] was named for Byrd Lockhart, who in 1831 received the land that later became the Lockhart townsite as partial payment for his survey-ing work for the Mexican government."
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "LOCKHART, TX (CALDWELL COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Caldwell County and photographed the courthouse on September 16, 2008 and September 3, 2011.
Caldwell County Courthouse 1894
The Caldwell County Courthouse, a Second Empire design with an exuberant roof of many towers, was built by Martin, Brynes & Johnston in 1893. Most attribute its design to San Antonio architect Alfred Giles. However, it is more likely that Henri E. M. Guindon is the architect. Guindon is said to have prepared the drawings for this courthouse and the Goliad County courthouse, a similar design. Guindon was, for a time, a partner of Alfred Giles, and the Caldwell and Goliad courthouses later appeared in advertisements for Giles' firm. The contractors, Martin, Brynes & Johnston, were themselves, "architects" for several Texas courthouses, using elements of design and structure they picked up from other architects. See Medina County, for example.