Caldwell (population 4395) County Seat of Burleson County (population 18,443) centers around a brick courthouse. Small shops, professional offices and service businesses line the town square.
The community was founded in 1830 and named after Matthew “Old Paint” Caldwell, veteran Indian fighter, Texas Ranger, and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Cotton was once king here. Oil and gas have also played an important part in the community’s development. Caldwell remains primarily a rural trade center for the surrounding farms and ranches, and a bedroom community for nearby SMSA’s (standard metropolitan statistical area). Citizens enjoy the best of both worlds, close to the greater Austin and Bryan-College Station areas with their cultural and recreational advantages, and yet content with the rolling green countryside near Lake Somerville amidst the trees, flowers, horse farms, and small-town lifestyle.
Industry is diversified. Major employers include Non-Ferrous Extrusions, Allied Precision (precision metal fabrication), Caldwell ISD, Wal-Mart, BASF, and City of Caldwell.
The Kolache Festival, an event celebrating Czech heritage, features the delicious fruit and meat-filled pastry of the Czech people. It is one of the many pleasant annual attractions, along with the Burleson County Fair. In addition, the residents enjoy hunting and fishing, golf at the greens of Copperas Hollow Country Club, horseback riding, the youth rodeo, historical highlights, and water sports on nearby Lake Somerville. Politics and church activities are integral parts of community life. There are 50 churches in the surrounding area.
In addition to major highways, Caldwell serves two railroads and a municipal airport with a runway 3,252 feet long and 50 feet wide equipped with pilot controlled medium intensity lighting and PLASI. The automated weather observation system can be accessed on 118.350 or by phone (979-567-6784). UNICOM is 122.900; AVGAS (credit card only) and terminal building are available 24/7. The airport is located 1 ½ miles west of the courthouse off SH 21 West on Hull Street. Easterwood Airport at Bryan-College Station is 25 miles away and offers daily flights to Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth.
CALDWELL CITY OFFICIALS
Mayor: Norris McManus
City Councilmen: Jim Wilde, Kavon Novak, Allan Willis, Janice Easter, & Cameron McClure
City Administrator: Camden White
Police Chief: Charles Barnes
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Caldwell is located in South Central Texas, west of the Brazos River, the County Seat of Burleson County at the crossroads of two important
State Highways; Texas 36 and Texas 21. Twenty-two miles southwest of Bryan, 100 miles northwest of Houston, 85 miles northeast of Austin, and 175 miles south of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Caldwell is located within 200 miles of 85% of the population of Texas.
Snook (population 545) is located in the southeast section of Burleson County between College Station and Lake Somerville on Farm to Market Road 60. This small community was incorporated in 1972 and continues to thrive today.
Czech and German immigrants settled in the areas surrounding Snook around 1880 and established their own community including a church, school, and lodge just west of present-day downtown Snook. At that time the community was called “Sebesta’s Corner” or “Sebesta” after one of the early families.
During the 1890’s the community wished to establish a specific identity for their town and decided the best way to do this was to obtain a post office. There was already a post office in the nearby community of Dabney Hill. A law was in existence that precluded two post offices being within a certain number of miles of each other. Through the aid of John S. Snook, Postmaster at Caldwell, the Dabney Hill post office was relocated halfway between Sebesta’s Corner and Dabney Hill. The “new” post office was then name Snook, in recognition of the man who arranged the move. As time passed, the community began to cluster around the post office, and nothing remains of the original settlement at “Sebesta’s Corner” one mile west.
There are a few businesses that have their specialties such as Sodolak’s Original Country Inn known as Home of the Chicken Fried Bacon and large size steaks. If you want to wet your whistle stop by the Snook Watering Hole located in downtown Snook where it has a laid-back atmosphere and believes in supporting the local community. The Snook BBQ Co is a newly open business with years of experience of hometown BBQ, cook over live coals by pit master Robert Collins. Slovacek Foods LP Store has a bakery known for the kolaches, pie and their fresh cut meat.
ANNUAL EVENTS – Chilifest attracts some of the biggest names in country music for a two-day chili cook-off and concert. Attracting more than 30,000 people each year. Chilifest gives back to area organizations such as Burleson County Go-Texan, the Boys & Girls Club of Brazos Valley and the Snook Volunteer Fire Department. In August, Hospice Brazos Valley’s annual Hog Splash is a muddy volleyball tournament sponsored by Slovacek’s Sausage. All proceeds support the continued care of Hospice Brazos Valley’s patients and families. The Snook Volunteer Fire Department holds a barbeque and auction the fourth Sunday in August to raise funds for improvements of the Department.
MAJOR EMPLOYERS – Snook ISD, Slovacek Sausage Company
SNOOK CITY OFFICIALS
Mayor: John See
City Council: Sheila Orsak, David Kovar, Edward Green, Marilyn Ruback & Jared Snow
City Marshal: Mike Burkhalter
Somerville began in 1880 when the Santa Fe railroad was being extended north from Brenham in Washington County, the higher land north of the Yegua Creek (approximately midway between Brenham and Caldwell) was designated as a new town site. The town was named for Albert Somerville, the first president of the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad Company.
Somerville is home to the world’s largest railroad tie treating plant. The Santa Fe Tie and Lumber Treating Plant was built in 1897 and was leased to the Texas Tie and Lumber Company until January 1905. In February 1906, Santa Fe Company resumed control and the plant has been in continuous operation since that date. In March 1995, Kopper’s Industries purchased the plant.
Somerville is home to beautiful Lake Somerville, which affords guests a total of seven parks (four Corps of Engineers Parks, two State parks, one privately owned park) to choose from. Lake Somerville has 85 miles of shoreline, encompasses an area of 33,000 acres of land and water. Fishing, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, sail boating, swimming, hiking, and camping may be enjoyed. Lake Somerville attracts a great number of visitors annually.
MAJOR EMPLOYERS – Somerville ISD, Kopper Industries, Citizens State Bank, B&B Grocery Store, Rhodes Building Systems, City of Somerville, and Corps of Engineers.
SOMERVILLE CITY OFFICIALS:
Mayor: Tommy Thompson
- Jeff Schoppe
- Amanda Flencher
- Deonna Moses
- Erik Kline
- Debra Coleman
City Administrator: Danny Segundo
Police Chief: Jake Sullivan
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Somerville is located near the southern border of Burleson County. The city is bordered to the west by Somerville Lake, a reservoir on Yegua Creek, part of the Brazos River basin.
Texas State Highway 36 passes through the city, leading northwest 17 miles to Caldwell, the county seat, and southeast 15 miles to Brenham.