A History as Told by Ceciel & Faye Locklar
In the fall of 1947 after 20 years of tenant farming, Bertie & Agnes Locklar decided to venture into a rolling store line of business with their daughter and son-in-law Melba & Tommy Culpepper. The venture required the complete liquidation of their accumulated assets—1 pair of mules, 3 milk cows, a 2-horse wagon, a 2-horse cultivator, a plow and other farm equipment, plus the harnesses & minor accessories.
The Locklars purchased a school bus chassis. An exterior body of corrugated tin was built with a chicken coop on the underside with a trap door underfoot for convenience. This was particularly important due to receiving chickens in bartering. The kerosene tank was placed on a short portion of rail protruding behind the store. The rolling store had the doors built on the right side—this benefited the operators as all roads were still unpaved and dust would follow you down the road.
Ready to Roll
When the rolling store was completed, it was driven around to two wholesale grocery stores in Troy. The Locklars stocked the rolling store with some of everything they had available. The total from both suppliers was $241.00! For 8 years the Locklars & Culpeppers operated the rolling store.
From One Generation to the Next
In February of 1955, Ceciel, third child of Bertie & Agnes Locklar, and his wife Faye took over the rolling store. Ceciel had learned the route, all of the customers, the prices, and requested merchandise. Ceciel and Faye enjoyed working together. Their first son Frankie came along in 1957. He became a fixture in the store, sleeping and playing in a cardboard box. In the fall of 1959, Ricky came aboard, but it was quickly realized they would now require some help as Ricky rearranged the inventory. " Daughter Melita followed in 1963.
Well Deserved Retirement
After 55 years of service, the couple retired on November 27, 2002. The store reaped some divine help as it survived many close calls in the form of near accidents and two armed robbery attempts. The store had served third and fourth generations in both Macon and Bullock Counties and provided a valuable service to country people who were unable to routinely travel to town to buy groceries and supplies.
In 2004 Ceciel & Faye Locklar donated the Rolling Store to the Tourism Council of Bullock County
who refurbished and “restocked” it. The store represented Bullock County in the 2006 State of
Alabama Inaugural Parade. It has been on display at special events in the local community. The
Tourism Council continues to share this unique part of rural culture with visitors to Union Springs.
It embodies a segment of Americana that the Council is committed to preserving.