Favorite

Bennett’s turns 140 

Camping gear to gas masks for sale.

The few remaining businesses on Main Street are not old. The old-timers fled downtown or went out of business years ago. With one exception. Bennett's Military Supplies at Third and Main is celebrating its 140th birthday May 7 and 8, which makes it one of the oldest businesses in Arkansas. It's easily the oldest on Main Street, where it's been for the last 60 years. And it's been owned by the same family since the beginning.

Two brothers, Max and Isaac Bennett, founded the store in North Little Rock in 1870. They were not selling army surplus from the Civil War. Bennett's was just a dry goods store then. It was during World War I that the family began taking in military surplus property and reselling it.

Sheree Meyer, the current owner, is the fifth generation of her family at the store. Her son, Adam Davenport, who works there part-time, is the sixth. Adam's Marine Corps uniform works at the store fulltime. It's on one of the mannequins in the window. Another Marine mannequin, bare-armed, is heavily tattooed. Meyer had that done at the tattoo parlor a couple of doors away.

People who've been in Little Rock for awhile will remember Meyer's father, Joseph Kaufman, a familiar face on Main Street. They'll probably remember the suit of armor that stood in the window for years. The suit's inside the store now.

Bags, boots, knives, camping gear, battle dress uniforms (called BDU's), backpacks and camouflage netting are big sellers to hunters and oth-ers. Kids come in on weekends wanting knives and dog tags. No firearms are sold, but pepper spray and stun guns are. Also working gas masks.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: 1983 - Jacques and Suzanne

    • The cognac is better served in a glass separate from the souffle. It is vulgar…

    • on July 25, 2017
  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • I'm only 31, still quite a young lesbian by some standards. Born in 1986, I…

    • on July 24, 2017
  • Re: Up and running

    • INTERESTING - However the idea isn't new.........a Major Technology Park was planned for the old…

    • on July 24, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation