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Caldwell County is a county situated in the south-central region of Texas, United States. The county seat of Caldwell County is Lockhart, which is also famously known for its barbecue. The county has a rich history, and several fascinating facts are associated with its past. Here are seven interesting facts about Caldwell County's history that you might not know:

1. Discovery of Oil: The first commercial oil well in Texas was drilled in the J. H. Joiner Estate near Lockhart in 1920. The discovery of oil transformed the economy of the county, and several oil businesses emerged in the region.

2. Birthplace of Luling Watermelon Thump: Luling, a town in Caldwell County, holds an annual Watermelon Thump festival. The festival, which includes seed-spitting contests and watermelon-eating competitions, started in 1954 as a fundraiser for a local hospital and has now become a popular event.

3. Carrington Family Legacy: The Carrington family played a significant role in Caldwell County's history. They owned extensive land in the county and were involved in various business and political ventures. Martha Carrington, the last surviving member of the family, donated her estate, which included vast farmland, to Texas State University.

4. Farming and Ranching: Agriculture has been the primary industry in the county for several years. Caldwell County is one of the top-producing counties in Texas for cotton, grain, and cattle.

5. Historic Courthouses: Caldwell County has had three courthouses since its establishment in 1848. The first courthouse was a wooden structure built in Lockhart's town square in 1856. The second courthouse was constructed in 1869; it was a two-story brick building that also served as a schoolhouse and meeting place. The third and current courthouse was completed in 1894; it is a beautiful Richardsonian Romanesque-style building and is still being used for county business.

6. Confederate History: Many residents of Caldwell County fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. The Texas Confederate Veterans Home, located in nearby Waelder, served as a retirement home for Confederate soldiers until it closed in 1949.

7. Historic Churches: Caldwell County is home to several historic churches, including St. Mary's Catholic Church in Lockhart and St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Luling. These churches were built by local residents in the early 20th century and are still being used for religious services to this day.

In conclusion, Caldwell County has a rich and interesting history. From the discovery of oil to the Carrington family legacy and the Watermelon Thump festival, the county has several unique stories that provide a glimpse into its past. Visitors to Caldwell County can explore these historical sites and learn more about the county's culture and heritage.

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