Williams real estate prowess part of early Warner Robins success

October 31, 2012 

Charlie Williams came to Middle Georgia from Lincolnton to attend Mercer University. He graduated in 1927 and started his career in education. Williams would go on to become principal of Bonaire School, where he coached the boy’s basketball team to a state championship in 1941.

But as the construction on the Wellston Army Air Depot began, Williams branched out from education to the world of business.

He started an ice and coal company and then began to venture into real estate. The town that had been Wellston, with a population of about 50, had exploded to about 7,000 people. As the depot brought in workers, the workers and their families needed a place to live.

Williams founded the Williams Real Estate Co. -- he held the second real estate license ever issued in Georgia -- and the Williams Insurance Co.

After World War II, many people wrote off Warner Robins as another war-time boomtown. The local economy nose-dived for a while, but Williams believed in Warner Robins and its future.

He bought up every bit of real estate he could and, with the arrival of the 14th Air Force in 1949 and the start of the Korean War, the slump in Warner Robins was over.

Williams and his real estate company built more than 2,000 houses in neighborhoods such as Miller Hills and Evergreen Park. He established the Bank of Warner Robins and was the president and on the board of directors for many years.

His insurance company was considered a leader in the field and Williams was instrumental in the development of many commercial projects in Warner Robins, including Williams Plaza shopping center.

In the community, Williams was a charter member of the Warner Robins Lions Club and the Warner Robins Rotary Club. He was a member of the Tyrian Masonic Lodge and the Scottish Rite and was an active member of First Baptist Church.

He was given the Greater Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award in recognition of his service to Houston County during his lifetime. Williams was elected to the Warner Robins City Council and served as mayor pro-tem in 1944.

He served in the Georgia House of Representatives from the 31st District from 1951-52 and was a member of the education, agriculture, highway and aviation committees.

He served in the Georgia State Senate from 1952-1958.

Williams died in 1979, after working hard to help provide not only housing but neighborhoods and neighbors for the people in Warner Robins.

His vision helped to establish permanence in a town that many thought was only a temporary community.

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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