2021 List

Dr. Robert George Williams House

Endangered List: Back To Main Page
City/County/Congressional District: Hamburg , Ashley County ( District 4 )
Location Class: Residential
Year Built: 1093 | Year Abandoned: 1990s
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places 1984
Status: AbandonedEndangered

Located southeast of Hamburg on the eastern bank of Bayou Bartholomew, Parkdale was originally known as Poplar Bluff, named after a grove of Poplar trees at the steamboat landing. Parkdale reincorporated in 1902, and sawmills were constructed to process cut timber that was then shipped on the railroad. The Dr. Robert George Williams House was constructed in 1903 about one-tenth of a mile west of Main Street in Parkdale. The modest, two and one-half-story house was remodeled in 1917 to reflect the popular Colonial Revival style of architecture. Additions were built on the rear of the house, and a two-story, wrap-around porch was added to the front. The porch was supported by seven fluted Doric columns and featured a railing made with decorative wood panels.
Robert Williams was born at Jones, Louisiana, about 12 miles south of Parkdale, and attended high school at Hamburg. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Louisville in 1895, he lived for a short time in New Orleans before opening a medical practice at Parkdale. He was responsible for the founding of the Parkdale Bank in 1910 and served as its president for many years. Dr. Williams also served as president of the Parkdale School Board and played a key role in the funding and construction of Parkdale High School in 1909. Additionally, Dr. Williams maintained his medical practice at Parkdale for more than 30 years. After his death in 1945, the Williams House was occupied by his son and daughter-in-law, James and Dorothy Williams. The home remained in the family until the mid-1970s and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Dr. Williams House appears to have remained in good to fair condition until the mid-2010s, but it is currently vacant and the porch structure is failing. At least one small hole in the roof is resulting in water damage to the interior as well. The once manicured lawn is now overgrown, with vegetation encroaching on the house itself. The house was recently acquired by a nonprofit organization based in southeast Arkansas.