8. M.B. Lockett Building (1896)
One of Georgetown’s most outstanding examples of high Victorian commercial architecture, this building featured Mesker Brothers cast iron columns, an oriel window and decorative pressed metal cornice. The structure was restored in 1982, suffered a major fire in 1998 and was restored again as a restaurant in 2000.
Melville Beveridge Lockett (1846-1936) was born in Cincinnati, OH, and moved to Arkansas as a child. After serving in the 24th Arkansas Regiment in the Confederate Army, he moved to Texas and attended the Johnson Institute in Hays County. He married Annie Johnson, the daughter of the Institute’s founder and opened a mercantile in Bertram after teaching school for a short while. He moved to Georgetown in 1888 so that his five daughters could attend Southwestern University. Three of his daughters later married SU professors.
Lockett became a trustee of the university and served in that role for 27 years, helping to beautify the campus and personally purchasing bonds to help finance the construction of the Main Building. Lockett and his family attended the First Methodist Church where he taught a bible class for twenty years.
Annie Lockett died in 1935, and when Melville died in 1936 he was remembered as a “keen and conscientious businessman, a splendid citizen, always interested in and active for welfare of the town…”.
1. This lot earlier housed a 2-story stone building selling dry goods and owned by Emzy Taylor.
2. Lockett bought the property from Mrs. C.C. Price and razed the building for the one you see today. His business was named the Georgetown Mercantile Co.
3. Vacant from 1916 – 1926, a men’s clothing store opened in April of that year.
4. Mesker Brothers Iron Works, of St. Louis and Evansville, manufactured many of the iron storefronts on the Georgetown square. They sold more than 5,000 storefronts nationwide in their twenty-three years in business.
Photo by David Valdez, 2023
Photo taken in 1984