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    Texas | Architecture | Courthouses

    Caldwell County Courthouse
    County Seat - Lockhart, Texas

    Caldwell County has had three courthouses:
    1848, 1858 and 1894

    Book Hotels Here > Lockhart Hotels

    The 1894 Caldwell County Courthouse, Lockhart, Texas
    The 1894 Caldwell County Courthouse
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2008

    The Present Caldwell County Courthouse
    - Lockhart, Texas

    Date of completion - 1894
    Architect - Henry E. M. Guidon
    Architectural Firm: Giles and Guidon
    Contractor: Martin, Byrne & Johnston
    Style - Second Empire
    Material - Muldoon blue sandstone, with Pecos red sandstone trim
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

    See Historical Marker
    Caldwell County Courthouse, Caldwell, Texas
    Goliad County Courthouse vintage photo
    L - Caldwell County Courthouse in Lockhart, Texas
    R - Goliad County Courthouse in Goliad, Texas

    1939 photos courtesy TXDoT
    The Texas Historical Commission description states: "Most attribute its design to San Antonio architect Alfred Giles. However, it is more likely that Henri E. M. Guindon [sic] is the architect."

    Another entry on the THC website states: "plans were sold to Caldwell County during [a] brief period when Guidon did not work with Giles, same plans subsequently sold to Goliad shortly after Guidon rejoined Giles practice, Giles later ads claimed both Caldwell and Goliad as his."
    Caldwell County Courthouse,  Lockhart, Texas  old photo
    Caldwell County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
    Photo courtesy TXDoT
    Caldwell County Courthouse,  Lockhart, Texas 1905 old photo
    Caldwell County Courthouse as it appeared in 1905 Courtesy of Texas Historic Commission
    The three story building is constructed mainly from "Muldoon Blue" sandstone quarried in Fayette County. The popular stone was used in many other courthouses and churches across Texas.

    Until its recent total restoration the building only went through minor repairs and improvements. In 1969 the building received air conditioning and had an elevator installed. In 1977 the district courtroom was converted to office space, with the then-popular plastic paneling and a dropped ceiling. The following year downspouts were replaced, windows and doors were repaired and the stonework was repointed.

    For many years the color scheme was "cream and green." The nearby H.E.B. grocery matched the colors at the request of Lockhart's City Council. The original colors were brought back during the recent restoration.
    Caldwell County courthouse, Lockhart, Texas
    Caldwell County Courthouse clock Tower
    The courthouse in cream and green
    TE photo 2003
    Caldwell County Courthouse historical marker, Lockhart, Texas
    Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2009
    Historical Marker Text

    Caldwell County Courthouse

    The first Caldwell County Courthouse was erected on this site in 1848, when the county was organized and named for Mathew Caldwell, a Texas Ranger and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It was replaced in 1858 by a 2-story limestone edifice, measuring 65 feet by 40 feet, with six offices and two rooms for storing records. By 1893, that building had become too small for a growing county.

    In April 1893, Judge George W. Kyser and commissioners J. H. Jolley, g. A. McGee, C. R. Smith, and R. A. Tiller approved plans for the present courthouse. The cornerstone was laid by Lockhart Lodge No. 690, A. F. & A. M., on August 15, 1893. Contractors Martin, Byrne, and Johnston completed the building on March 19, 1894.

    The 3-story structure is built of sandstone with red sandstone trim. It displays the fine workmanship and elaborate detail common to architecture of the period. the mansard roof is characteristic of the second empire style that was often used for public buildings. The courthouse is topped by a central clock tower, with additional towers at each corner and flanking the north and south entrances. When it was built, the structure was equipped with the latest conveniences of the day, including electricity.


    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1976
    Mural showing Caldwell County Courthouse, Lockhart, Texas
    Mural on the Vogel Furniture building
    a couple of blocks W of the courthouse

    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2008
    More Texas Murals
    Lockhart Texas Caldwell County Courthouse and courthouse square
    Caldwell County Courthouse and courthouse square
    Photo courtesy of Paul Turner
    Confederate monument, Caldwell County Courthouse, Lockhart, Texas
    Confederate monument on the courthouse square
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2008
    More Texas Monuments
    The 1894 Caldwell County Courthouse clock tower, Lockhart, Texas
    The clock tower today
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2009
    Caldwell County Courthouse columns, Lockhart, Texas
    Metal capitals on the couthouse's east entrance
    TE photo 2003
    Caldwell County Courthouse close-up,
    TE photo 2003
    Courtroom
    Remembering the Courthouse
    Rick Scott remembers his father, Caldwell County Judge Scott, and his inspections of the Courthouse
    TX - Caldwell County Courthouse Scaffold
    Caldwell County Courthouse in scaffolding
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2013
    Photographer's Update:
    Courthouse in Lockhart

    "Only ten years after restoration, the roof needs major repair. They are repainting all the cupolas, repairing rotted wood around the windows and removing the mold and mildew stains. They also discovered that the tower is twisted and tilting slightly to the east so they want to repair that before the building becomes known as the "Leaning Tower of Lockhart." Here is a photo of it in scaffolding that I took today." - Terry Jeanson, June 15, 2013
    Caldwell County Courthouse
  • Page 2 - Remembering the Courthouse > next page
    Rick Scott remembers his father, Caldwell County Judge Scott, and his inspections of the Courthouse
    (Including courthouse interior photos)
  • Page 3 - Courthouse Cornerstone >
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  • Caldwell County Texas centennial marker
    Caldwell County centennial marker
    on SW corner of courthouse grounds

    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2008
    Centennial Marker Text
    CALDWELL COUNTY
    A part of DeWitt's Colony 1825 - 1836.
    A part of Gonzales County to 1848.
    First settlements were on Plum Creek and the San Marcos River.

    Created March 6, 1848 Organized August 7, 1848

    Named in honor of Mathew Caldwell, "Old Paint"
    1798 - 1842
    Soldier-Statesman.
    Signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence
    Commander of the Texas Rangers

    Lockhart, the county seat
    Caldwell County Texas centennial marker
    Caldwell County Centennial Marker
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2008
    More Texas Centennial
    Caldwell County Towns and Ghost Towns

    Caldwell County Seat - Lockhart
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