Caldwell County, Texas

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Caldwell County
The Caldwell County Courthouse in Lockhart
Map of Texas highlighting Caldwell County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 29°50′N 97°37′W / 29.84°N 97.61°W / 29.84; -97.61
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1848
Named forMathew Caldwell
SeatLockhart
Largest cityLockhart
Area
 • Total547 sq mi (1,420 km2)
 • Land545 sq mi (1,410 km2)
 • Water1.9 sq mi (5 km2)  0.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total45,883
 • Density84/sq mi (32/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts27th, 35th
Websitewww.co.caldwell.tx.us

Caldwell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 45,883.[1][2] Its county seat is Lockhart.[3] The county was founded in 1848 and named after Mathew Caldwell, a ranger captain who fought in the Battle of Plum Creek against the Comanches and against Santa Anna's armies during the Texas Revolution. Caldwell was also a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Caldwell County is part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area.

History[edit]

Around 8000 BC, Paleo-Indians hunter-gatherers inhabited the area, and later Tonkawa, Karankawa.and Comanche peoples became the first identified inhabitants.[4] Caldwell County, of Green DeWitt's petition for a land grant to establish a colony in Texas, was approved by the Mexican government in 1825.

In 1839, Edmund Bellinger became the first settler of Prairie Lea, the county's oldest town. Sam Houston named the town for his future wife Margaret Lea Houston.[5][6] The legislature formed Caldwell County from Bastrop and Gonzales Counties in March 1845. Lockhart was named as the county seat.[4][7]

By 1860, the county population was 2,871, with 1,610 slaves.[4] The community of Fentress was established, originally as Riverside, but later changed to honor the town's first physician, James Fentress.[8] The next year, the county voted 434–188 in favor of secession from the Union. Several hundred men from Caldwell County served in the Confederate States Army.[4]

In the 1870s, St. John Colony was established by former slaves.[9] The town of Luling was established in 1874 .[10] John and James Merriwether and Leonidas Hardeman built a gristmill and a sawmill, later known as Zedler's Mills.[11]

The Missouri, Kansas, and Texas completed its track between Lockhart and San Marcos in 1887.[4] Two years later, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway connected Lockhart and Luling to Shiner.[4] By 1892, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas had laid track from Lockhart east to Smithville.[4]

From 1880 to 1900, tenant farming accounted for nearly half of all the county's farming and as much as 75% of the 3,149 farms.[4] The Southwest Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention was established in 1902 in McMahan.[12]

On August 9, 1922, Edgar B. Davis discovered the Luling Oilfield.[13] The Luling Foundation was established in 1927 by Davis to teach diversity in agriculture and improve the lives of farm and ranch families.[14]

The Lockhart State Park opened to the public in 1948.[15] In 1953, Luling established its annual Watermelon Thump celebration.[16]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 547 square miles (1,420 km2), of which 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (0.3%) is covered by water.[17]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18501,329
18604,481237.2%
18706,57246.7%
188011,75778.9%
189015,76934.1%
190021,76538.0%
191024,23711.4%
192025,1603.8%
193031,39724.8%
194024,893−20.7%
195019,350−22.3%
196017,222−11.0%
197021,17823.0%
198023,63711.6%
199026,39211.7%
200032,19422.0%
201038,06618.2%
202045,88320.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
1850–2010[19] 2010[20] 2020[21]

2020 census[edit]

Caldwell County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[20] Pop 2020[21] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 16,841 16,560 44.24% 36.09%
Black or African American alone (NH) 2,456 2,225 6.45% 4.85%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 90 129 0.24% 0.28%
Asian alone (NH) 344 227 0.90% 0.49%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 8 4 0.02% 0.01%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 54 178 0.14% 0.39%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 351 1,092 0.92% 2.38%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 17,922 25,468 47.08% 55.51%
Total 38,066 45,883 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 Census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, 38,066 people were living in the county. 75.8% were White, 6.8% African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.8% Native American, 13.1% of some other race, and 2.5% of two or more races; 47.1% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[22] of 2000, 32,194 people, 10,816 households, and 8,079 families were living in the county. The population density was 59 people per square mile (23/km2). The 11,901 housing units had an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.13% White, 8.50% African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 17.96% from other races, and 2.74% from two or more races. About 40.4% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

Of the 10,816 households, 37.0% had children under 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were not families. About 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.82, and the average family size was 3.28.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found about 5.8 same-sex couples per 1,000 households lived in the county.[23]

In the county, the age distribution was 28.3% under 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,573, and for a family was $41,300. Males had a median income of $29,295 versus $21,595 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,099. About 10.40% of families and 13.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.10% of those under age 18 and 15.40% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

Politics[edit]

County government[edit]

Caldwell County elected officials[edit]

Position Name Party
  County Judge Hoppy Haden Republican
  Commissioner, Precinct 1 B. J. Westmoreland Republican
  Commissioner, Precinct 2 Barbara Shelton Republican
  Commissioner, Precinct 3 Edward "Ed" Theriot Republican
  Commissioner, Precinct 4 Joe Roland Democratic
United States presidential election results for Caldwell County, Texas[24]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,031 53.64% 6,672 44.56% 270 1.80%
2016 6,691 54.94% 4,795 39.37% 692 5.68%
2012 6,021 54.40% 4,791 43.29% 256 2.31%
2008 6,107 52.43% 5,403 46.39% 138 1.18%
2004 6,436 55.55% 5,052 43.60% 99 0.85%
2000 5,216 55.34% 3,872 41.08% 337 3.58%
1996 3,239 41.41% 3,961 50.65% 621 7.94%
1992 2,749 32.95% 3,794 45.47% 1,801 21.58%
1988 3,553 43.00% 4,649 56.27% 60 0.73%
1984 4,315 55.81% 3,401 43.99% 16 0.21%
1980 2,879 46.56% 3,155 51.02% 150 2.43%
1976 2,235 37.75% 3,647 61.59% 39 0.66%
1972 3,171 61.45% 1,974 38.26% 15 0.29%
1968 1,402 27.33% 2,889 56.32% 839 16.35%
1964 1,046 22.60% 3,580 77.34% 3 0.06%
1960 1,482 35.10% 2,729 64.64% 11 0.26%
1956 1,747 40.96% 2,513 58.92% 5 0.12%
1952 2,052 41.53% 2,887 58.43% 2 0.04%
1948 623 17.23% 2,792 77.21% 201 5.56%
1944 704 18.11% 2,916 75.00% 268 6.89%
1940 659 15.85% 3,499 84.13% 1 0.02%
1936 247 7.51% 3,019 91.74% 25 0.76%
1932 291 8.06% 3,317 91.88% 2 0.06%
1928 1,189 49.54% 1,211 50.46% 0 0.00%
1924 399 14.27% 2,194 78.44% 204 7.29%
1920 269 13.01% 1,240 59.99% 558 27.00%
1916 225 15.43% 1,216 83.40% 17 1.17%
1912 56 4.64% 1,068 88.48% 83 6.88%


Education[edit]

School districts:[25]

Austin Community College is the designated community college for the county.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Caldwell County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  2. ^ "Caldwell County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Smyrl, Vivian Elizabeth (June 12, 2010). "Caldwell County, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Stock, Barbara (June 15, 2010). "Prairie Lea". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  6. ^ "Prairie Lea, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  7. ^ "Lockhart, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  8. ^ "Fentress, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  9. ^ "St John Colony, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  10. ^ "Luling, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  11. ^ "Zedler's Mills". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  12. ^ "McMahan". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  13. ^ Smyrl, Vivian Elizabeth (June 15, 2010). "Luling Oilfield". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Parsons, Chuck; Luling Main Street (2009). "Agriculture and the Foundation Farm". Luling (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. pp. 101–106. ISBN 978-0-7385-7145-4.
  15. ^ Taylor, Tom; Molloy, Johnny (2003). "Lockhart State Park Trail". 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Antonio and Austin. Menasha Ridge Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-89732-533-2.
  16. ^ Pohlen, Jerome (2006). Oddball Texas: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places. Chicago Review Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-55652-583-4.
  17. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  18. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  19. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  20. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Caldwell County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  21. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Caldwell County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  22. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  23. ^ Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (June 26, 2015), "Where Same-Sex Couples Live", The New York Times, retrieved July 6, 2015
  24. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org.
  25. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Caldwell County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 29, 2022. - List
  26. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.166. AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°50′N 97°37′W / 29.84°N 97.61°W / 29.84; -97.61