William S. Lockert
William S. Lockert came to Arkansas in the spring of 1815 and settled four miles southwest of Benton at the point where the Military Road crossed the Saline River. In 1831, when Saline Post Office was established about thirty miles south of Little Rock, Lockert was named postmaster and served until the office was closed in 1836. The following year, Lockert was a candidate for the state legislature from Saline County.
Source: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski, Jefferson, Lonoke, Faulkner, Grant, Saline, Perry, Garland and Hot Spring Counties, Arkansas (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889), 133; Arkansas Gazette, July 6, 1831, February 9, 1836, August 30, 1836, August 29, 1837.
Lockert’s became a well-known landmark on the removal route between Little Rock and Fort Towson. It was likely Lockert’s public house was the one described by Featherstonhaugh, who reached there on November 27, 1834:
“In the evening we came to a sort of tavern, 27 miles from Little Rock, built on a rich bottom of land, at the north fork of the Saline, a violent stream in the season of freshets or floods, which then overflows its banks 20 feet. This place was kept by a sort of she Caliban, and the tenement consisted of one room with a mud floor, in the various cornors of which were four cranky beadsteads, upon which were huddled what she chose to call bed clothes. But what bed clothes! Then there was a door that would not shut, a window frame with every pane broken, and some benches to sit on before a broken table, to form the sum total of the furniture and appliances of this hotel. She told us we might choose our own bed, and after we had put our horse up, she would give us some supper.”
Source: G. W. Featherstonhaugh, Excursion Through the Slave States, Reprint ed. (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1968), p. 104.