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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 >
  • Lockhart, Texas >
  • Lockhart Hotels > Book Hotel Here
  • 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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