Lockhart is located in south-central Covington County in south-central Alabama just northwest of Florala on the Alabama-Florida border.
Jackson Lumber Company Lockhart was founded around the turn of the twentieth century by the Jackson Lumber Company, which was attracted to the thousands of acres of longleaf pine used for turpentine, resin, and lumber. Many of the investors were from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and the venture attracted many workers from eastern North Carolina who were familiar with processing turpentine and resin.
The company built a mill and a town named for Pittsburgh financier Charles Lockhart that included a general store, a multi-denominational church, and an electricity-generating plant. The town was laid out in a grid and modeled after a typical northern industrial town; many of the streets are named for Indian tribes of North America. By 1907, the town had expanded to 1,220 residents and by about 1912, the mill was one of the largest in the United States, boasting about 1,000 workers who reportedly ran the mill day and night. Indeed, the Jackson Lumber Company provided flooring for many notable buildings in New York, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
W. S. Harlan School W. S. Harlan built a one-room school house and the present elementary school, established in 1924, is named in his honor. Lockhart was incorporated in 1931, but the mill closed in 1940, and historical accounts offer two reasons. Military enlistments prior to U.S. entry in World War II caused a labor shortage, or company officials sold their holdings and the land to the residents after cutting all the timber in the area and deciding not to wait for replanted timber to mature. Jackson Lumber Company also donated a large tract of land to the state that was replanted and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps into Geneva State Forest in neighboring Geneva County.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Lockhart recorded a population of 200. Of that number, 83.5 percent identified themselves as white, 16.5 percent as African American, and 3.0 percent as Hispanic or Latino. The median household income according to Census estimates is $30,625 and the per capita income $27,659.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the Lockhart workforce is divided among the following major industrial categories:
- Manufacturing (21.9 percent)
- Retail Trade (17.8 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (12.3 percent)
- Construction (9.6 percent)
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (8.2 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (8.2 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (6.8 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (5.5 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (4.1 percent)
- Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (2.7 percent)
- WholesaleTrade (2.7 percent)
Florala City Park Public schools in Lockhart are administered by Covington County Schools; the town has one elementary school.
Lockhart is accessed by State Highway 55 that runs east-west. Florala Municipal Airport lies approximately four miles to the northeast.
Events and Places of Interest
Florala City Park, which features camping, fishing, and swimming, is located approximately two miles east of Lockhart. Nearby to the west is the Conecuh National Forest that features boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and picnicking facilities.
Covington County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2003.
Bryan, Gus J. and Ruby R. Covington County History, 1821-1976. Opp, Ala.: Opp Historical Society, 1983.