Lockhart, TX – Caldwell County

Population 13,098 // Official Website // Schools

Lockhart is located 30 miles southeast of Austin in Caldwell County. Incorporated in 1852, the already well-established town was named after Byrd Lockhart, an assistant surveyor to Green DeWitt who made his living setting boundaries throughout Central Texas. At his own expense, Lockhart built roads, and as payment he asked for a stretch of land along Plum Creek. Although Lockhart lived in Gonzales, he farmed the land he was given, opening it up for other settlers. Residents began settling the area in earnest by the 1840’s after the battle of Plum Creek. In the 1860’s and early 1870’s, the town became a regional trading center as a beginning point for the Chisholm Trail. In 1893 a cottonseed oil mill was opened, and by the early 1900’s the area became a valuable center for processing cotton. Lockhart resident A.D. Mebane developed a particularly hardy strain of cotton that continues to set a worldwide standard.

Like many other Texas towns at the time, Lockhart became a boom town with the discovery and development of oil fields in the 1920’s. Shallow field exploration continues in Caldwell County, with a major field surrounding the nearby city of Luling.

Lockhart’s greatest claim to fame might be its barbecue. Known as the barbecue capital of Texas, there are four BBQ restaurants in town serving an estimated 250,000 people per year. The most famous of the four is Blacks Barbeque, established in 1932 and still owned and operated by the same family. Black’s has been recognized in the New York Times and Texas Monthly magazine. During his presidency Lyndon Johnson had Black’s BBQ flown to Washington D.C . under the supervision of Secret Service and Department of the Agriculture personnel, and served on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in front of the Smithsonian Institute.

Steady growth continues to be the trend in Lockhart. Families and businesses are lured by the hospitality of its people and the appeal of escaping the frenzied pace of city life. There is a variety of housing options, from lovely historic homes in quiet older neighborhoods, to the more recently built subdivisions.

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