Marguerite Neel Williams’ advocacy for historic preservation ensured the survival of many landmarks throughout the state, and her civic activism created a safe space for the children of Thomasville. Throughout her life she provided leadership for civic, political, and educational organizations throughout Georgia.
Marguerite Neel Williams (1917 – 1999) was a tireless, lifetime supporter of history, historic preservation, and education in Georgia. She was a member of Thomasville Landmarks and founded several groups dedicated to preservation, including the Thomasville Genealogical History and Fine Arts Library, the Thomasville Cultural Center, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. She was a member of the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society and was instrumental in helping that institution to grow its capacity. In her hometown of Thomasville, she was instrumental in the restoration and preservation of the Thomasville Cultural Center, the Neel House, and All Saints Episcopal Church. A passionate advocate for education and the arts, Mrs. Williams served as a member of the University of Georgia President’s Club and as an advisor for the Georgia Business Committee for the Arts, the Georgia Fine Arts Academy, and the Fine Arts Committee for the U.S. State Department. Her civic activism further included the founding of the Community Foundation of Southwest Georgia and the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Thomas County, which bears her name.