The Clarke Williams Story

The Clarke Williams Story

by Leo Honeycutt

ISBN: 9780578148564

Publisher The Lisburn Press / W2G

Published in Business & Investing/Biography & History, Nonfiction, Business & Money

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Book Description

When Clarke Williams returned from World War II, his parents gave him their 75-customer Oak Ridge Telephone, an albatross of wires tacked to trees and fence posts. Few believed he could turn it around, even his hometown bank refused to loan him money. In desperation, he prayed for an answer and a local farmer drove up offering to invest. He kept prayer as part of his decision-making, treated everyone as he would like to be treated, and put others first.

As a result, Century Telephone grew through a series of phenomenal miracles. This book is about miracles...

Sample Chapter

Army lilfe behind him, duffle bag on the floor, civilian Clarke McRae Williams seized control again of his destiny. The three-year hiatus from reality felt like a lifetime, but now reality was back: Nobody had made Oak Ridge Telephone profitable while he was gone. Wires, switchboard, and phones had three years' more wear with virtually no maintenance.

Clarke had begun preparations for the next phase of his life on his last furlough when he asked Mr. George Leroy "Roy" Lee face-to-face for the hand of his daughter. The potential father-in-law like the Williams boy, knew he would come knocking as soon as the war was over, and knew his daughter loved the sergeant, but the businessman in Roy Lee remained skeptical of Oak Ridge Telephone. In the sixteen years the Williamses ran the operation, the phone system had never supported one family, much less two. Another economic pressure he feared for Oak Ridge and Oak Grove was how the war had spoiled America's youngest generation with a taste of the big world. To Roy, that meant young people would flee to the cities and leave small towns to die. Oak Ridge at best would stagnate.

Clarke explained earnestly his plans for growing the operation, very unlike his father's strategy, thought Clarke was careful not to find fault. Banks had continually rejected Will Clarke's appeals for capital because loan committees saw telephones as a fad, the first nonessential to go the moment an economy hiccupped.


Excerpted from "The Clarke Williams Story" by Leo Honeycutt. Copyright © 2014 by Leo Honeycutt. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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