The Texas Legislature designated Lockhart, Texas as the “Barbecue Capital of Texas.” That, you probably knew along with the fact that it is home to five barbecue joints. Kreuz Market, one of Texas’s oldest, opened all the way back in 1900, while Mad Jack’s BBQ Shack is just two years old. Black’s Barbecue, Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Q, and Smitty’s Market all opened in between, but plenty more has happened on the barbecue scene in this town of just over 13,000. Here’s a full timeline:
1875 Jesse Swearingen opened a meat market in Lockhart. An article in the Lockhart Post-Register on 06/12/1930 says “S. B. Swearingen, son of Jesse Swearingen, was perhaps the first man in Lockhart to begin the regular sale of barbecued meats…”
1900 Charles Kreuz bought the market from the Swearingens on January 17th for $200 and named it Kreuz Market
1911 Charles Kreuz sold the market to his sons Theodore, Will, and Alvin. The business was renamed “Kreuz Brothers Co.”
1911 Will Kreuz sold his share of Kreuz Market to Hugo Prove, husband of Amelia Kreuz
1924 The metal building that held the market was torn down and a brick building at 208 S. Commerce St., which Smitty’s Market now occupies, was built.
1929 Charles Kreuz Jr. left the business in Lockhart to open Kreuz Market in Luling. They bought and existing meat market owned by Q. P. Stanger on April 4th
1932 Northside Grocery & Market, the precursor to Black’s Barbecue, opened for business
1936 Black’s Barbecue moved out of Northside Grocery & Market into its own building across the street, in its current location at 215 N Main St.
1942 Charles Kreuz Jr. died on February 16th. He was 45. The Luling location of Kreuz Market subsequently closed.
1948 The market was sold to long time employee and butcher Edgar Schmidt who changed the name back to Kreuz Market. In a 12/16/1948 article announcing the change it was mentioned that Charles Kreuz built the existing brick pits. “Even in his time, the practice of digging trenches in the ground to barbecue meat began to be abandoned and a Kreuz wagon and later truck delivered the hot barbecue of beef, mutton, pork, sausage, and chickens to picnic grounds and other gatherings.”
1962 Edgar Black Sr. died and Edgar Black Jr. took over operations at Black’s Barbecue along with his wife Norma Jean Black
1978 Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Q opened for business. It is owned by Floyd Wilhelm who previously worked at Black’s BBQ
1984 Rick and Don Schmidt purchased Kreuz Market from their father Edgar Schmidt
1990 Edgar Schmidt died and left the Kreuz Market building to his daughter Nina Sells
1998 The feud between Rick Schmidt and his sister Nina Sells made headlines in the Lockhart Post-Register
1999 House Resolution #1024 was adopted by the 76th Texas Legislature naming Lockhart the “Barbecue Capital of Texas” on May 26th
1999 Kreuz Market opened in its new location at 619 N Colorado St. on September 1st
1999 Smitty’s Market opened for business on September 21st
2011 Kent Black took over operations at Black’s Barbecue from his father Edgar Black Jr.
2011 Keith Schmidt purchased Kreuz Market from his father Rick Schmidt
2013 Mad Jack’s BBQ Shack opened for business
2014 Black’s Barbecue opened a second location in Austin, Texas
2014 Mad Jack’s BBQ Shack closed temporarily
2015 Mad Jack’s BBQ Shack re-opened
2015 Kreuz Market opened a second location in Bryan, Texas