Houston County was created in 1821 from land ceded to the state by the Creek Indians in the Treaty of Indian Springs. For nearly fifty years the farm community was known as York, after the federal post office located in a country store. After the Civil War (1861-65) the Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad planned to connect the rail line between Macon and Perry. The chief engineer, William H. Wells, became friends with a plantation owner, Henry Feagin Jr., who donated 100 acres on which to build a train station. When the job was completed, Feagin named the station and the community Wellston, after Wells. For the next sixty years the area remained a whistle stop surrounded by dairy farms, corn fields, peach orchards, and pecan groves. In the early 1930s middle Georgia, like the rest of the state, bent under the grinding poverty of the Great Depression.
Creation of a Military Town
Interested in attracting jobs, some area business leaders embraced the growing defense industry. Led by
Wellston town leaders, led by postmaster Charles Watson and his brothers, helped win the contract, at least in part, by donating land for the town's first school and other civic buildings. Area leaders also obtained a promise from Wellston Housing Company to construct 2,000 affordable homes in 1942 and more later. Construction of Robins Manor began on July 30, 1942, and over the next three years,
The first depot commander, Colonel Charles E. Thomas, sought to rename the depot for his late mentor and one of the air corps' first logisticians, Brigadier General Augustine Warner Robins. Since depots were named after the nearest town or city, Thomas lobbied to change the town's name. The citizens agreed, and on September 1, 1942, Wellston became Warner Robins. The following March, Warner Robins was incorporated.
Today, Robins Air Force Base is the largest industrial complex in Georgia, and a great number of Warner Robins's residents
According to the 2010 U.S. census, the population was 66,588, an increase from the 2000 population of 48,804.
Claire M. Dixon, Warner Robins: The Second Twenty-five Years (Alpharetta, Ga.: W.H. Wolfe Associates, 1993).
William P. Head, Through the Camera's Eye: A Photographic Survey of the Origins of Robins Field, 1941-1945 (Robins Air Force Base, Ga.: Office of History, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, 1988).
Bobbe Hickson Nelson, A Land So Dedicated: The History of Houston County, Georgia, 2d ed. (Perry, Ga.: Southern Trellis, 1998).
A Pictorial History of Robins Air Force Base, Georgia ([Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio]: Air Force Logistics Command; [Macon, Ga.: produced by University Press of the South], 1982).
William P. Head, United States Air Force
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.