Named for Byrd Lockhart, deputy surveyor for the 1820s colony of Green DeWitt, the town is the county seat of Caldwell County, formed out of early Mexican land grants. The agricultural Blackland Prairie covers most of this county that lies in the Guadalupe River basin. In 1870, Lockhart became a starting point of the cattle trail leading north to connect with the Chisholm Trail and thus developed as a trading center. When the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway ran through Luling in the southern part of the county, Lockhart lost its market dominance but remained the center for cotton processing. Now often seen as a bedroom community to Austin, Lockhart and Caldwell County have retained a special identity through respect of their architectural past.
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