Last updated on October 30th, 2014
CALDWELL, TEXAS (Burleson County Seat): In 1840 the Texas Congress annexed to Milam county all of Washington County forth of Yequa Creek and west of the Brazo R., designating the the area around a small settlement founded by Lewis L. Chiles as the county seat. The site was situated along the Old San Antonio Road (a Mexican military/mission road) and was named for Mathew Caldwell. In 1846, when Burleson County was organized, Caldwell became the county seat of the new county.
By 1856 the town had a hotel, post office, male and female academies housed in the Masonic Lodge and several churches, seven general stores, a saloon, blacksmith shop, livery stable, and a “fine red-brick courthouse.” The hotel, The Caldwell House, was considered one of the finest in Texas and a popular stopping place for west bound travelers along the Old San Antonio Road. By 1878, Caldwell had its first newspaper, The Caldwell Register, a bottling works and a ice house. Many of the new settlers were Czechs, bringing with them their culture.
In 1880 the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway arrived, locating its depot a half-mile from the courthouse. Soon after, Caldwell became a busy shipping point for area farmers, resulting in the addition of several gins, a cottonseed oil mill, and wholesale grocers. In 1905 six passenger trains called on Caldwell. The Houston & Texas Central arrived in 1912, adding more freight and passenger traffic.
With the discovery of oil in Burleson County in the 1970s the area population which had remained static (c. 2000) began to grow once again. Current population is about 4,000, although like most towns dotting the countryside, its downtown has suffered with the coming of strip malls. Caldwell is the home to the Burleson County Fair and the Caldwell Kolache Festival. – See more at: http://www.frankamills.com/gallery/vanishing-texas/towns-vanishing-vanished/caldwell/#sthash.O038otd3.dpuf