Historical Markers in
Lavaca County, Texas

50th Anniversary of Battle of Galveston Adolph Hofner Alma Male and Female Institute, Site of American Legion Hudgeons Post 230 Andrew Kent Andrews Chapel Cemetery Arthur Henry Vollentine Arthur Pendleton Bagby Bennett Cemetery Brown School Camp of Texas Army Captain Charles Welhausen Captain Leiper Willoughby City Cemetery Cotton Grove Dance Floor and Store Cotton Industry in Shiner Culak's School Dickson School East Side Church of God Estate of John Hallett Ezzell School First Baptist Church of Hallettsville First Baptist Church of Yoakum First Methodist Church of Hallettsville First Methodist Church of Shiner First Methodist Church of Yoakum First National Bank of Hallettsville First National Bank of Shiner First Presbyterian Church of Yoakum Geiger Cemetery General John W. Whitfield Hackberry Half Moon Hallett, John Hallettsville Hallettsville Hallettsville Memorial Park Hallettsville Public Library Hallettsville Public Schools Herder Half Moon Place Hope Baptist Church Isaac D. Hamilton Joel Ponton John Himes Livergood John Wilkins Whitfield Joseph Kent Joseph Lawrence Kaspar Wire Works Lavaca County Courthouse Marshall and Malinda Mitchell Masonic Lodge Building Memorial Park Cemetery Moravia General Store Moulton Moulton Lodge No. 298, A.F. & A.M. Moulton's World War II Observation Tower Murchison Lodge No. 80, A.F. & A.M. Novohrad School Old Boehm Store Old Hanging Tree Old Kinkler Cemetery Old Moulton Old Moulton Baptist Church Old Moulton Cemetery Old Sweet Home Orrin L. Winters Cabin Orth-Fitch House Park Place School Building Paul Scarborough Petersburg Pilot Grove Church and Cemetery Pioneers Settlers Killed by the Indians Comanches and Tonkahues Ponton Family Rabb Switch Radhost School Richardson Chapel United Methodist Church Rocky School Route of the Texas Army Ruins of Brushy Creek Church Sacred Heart Catholic Church Saint Joseph's Catholic Church Saint Ludmila's Academy Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church Sam and Will Moore Institute Sam and Will Moore Institute Bell Sarah Creath McSherry Hibbens Stinnett Howard Shiloh Cemetery Shiloh Community Shiner Shiner Brethren Cemetery Shiner Brethren Church Shiner Cemetery Shiner Colored Cemetery Shiner Opera House Shiner-Welhausen Homestead Site of Baursville School Site of Beasley School Site of Breslau School Site of Bunjes School Site of Evergreen School Site of Komensky School Site of Moore Hotel Site of Moravia School Site of Oak Grove School Site of the Camp of the Texas Army Site of Velehrad School SPJST Moravia Cemetery SPJST Shiner Cemetery SPJST Velehrad Cemetery Spoetzl Brewery St. James' Episcopal Church St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery St. Joseph's Catholic Church St. Mary's Parish St. Paul's African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church St. Peter Lutheran Church Stacy School Stephen Tucker Foley Sublime Baptist Church Sulphur Park Sunken Garden Dance Platform The Lay-Bozka House The Trail Drivers of Southwest Texas The United Methodist Church of Hope The Wild Man of the Navidad Thompson School United Evangelical Lutheran Dr. Martin Luther Church Vienna (Cheney Settlement) Vsetin Cemetery Vysehrad School Welhausen Park Bandstand West-Wagner Homestead Wied Hall Wied School William E. Summers William Green House William Smothers Witting School Worthing Wreck of the Don Milo Yoakum Zion Lutheran Church Zion Lutheran Church (Hallettsville)
The first oil well in the United States was drilled in Texas in 1859. The discovery of oil transformed the economy of the state and helped to make Texas one of the wealthiest states in the nation.
Lavaca County, located in southeast Texas, has a rich and diverse history dating back to its settlement in the early 19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Karankawa and Tonkawa people, who thrived off the land's natural resources. European settlement began in the 1820s, following the arrival of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists.

In 1846, Lavaca County was officially established by the Texas state legislature and was named after the Lavaca River, which runs through the area. The county quickly developed as a center for agriculture, with cotton becoming the primary cash crop. Many plantations were established, and slavery played a significant role in the local economy, impacting the social and cultural dynamics of the region.

During the Civil War, Lavaca County supported the Confederacy, with many of its residents volunteering for military service. The county experienced the effects of the war firsthand, including economic hardships and infrastructure damage. In the post-war years, the cotton industry faced several challenges, including the boll weevil infestation and the Great Depression, which led to a decline in agricultural dominance.

In the 20th century, Lavaca County transitioned into a more diversified economy, with the growth of oil and gas exploration. The discovery of oil in the early 1900s brought prosperity to the region, attracting new residents and businesses. Today, Lavaca County continues to be primarily rural with a strong agricultural heritage, while also benefiting from the contributions of the energy industry. The county's deep-rooted history and ongoing development make it a unique and historically significant part of Texas.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lavaca County, Texas.

  • 1846 - Lavaca County is established by the Texas legislature, carved out of parts of neighboring counties.
  • 1849 - The first county seat is established in Hallettsville.
  • 1852 - The oldest known courthouse in Lavaca County is built in Hallettsville.
  • 1856 - The county's first newspaper, the Lavaca Democrat, is founded.
  • 1861-1865 - Lavaca County residents support the Confederacy during the Civil War.
  • 1867 - St. Peter's Lutheran Church, the oldest continuously active Lutheran congregation in Texas, is established in Hallettsville.
  • 1873 - The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway extends its tracks into Lavaca County.
  • 1881 - A new courthouse is constructed in Hallettsville to replace the original courthouse.
  • 1922 - The area around Lavaca County experiences a significant oil boom, leading to increased economic activity.
  • 1936 - The current Lavaca County Courthouse, a Classical Revival-style building, is completed in Hallettsville.
  • 1942-1945 - Many Lavaca County residents serve in World War II.
  • 1997 - The Lavaca County Courthouse is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2010 - Lavaca County celebrates its 150th anniversary since its establishment.
  • 2018 - Lavaca County continues to be a predominantly rural area with a strong agricultural industry.