Houston County, named in honor of Georgia Gov. John Houstoun, was created in 1821 through a treaty signed with the Creek Indians. Perry, the county seat and geographic center of the state of Georgia, was incorporated in 1824 as Houston County’s first official town.
Originally, Houston was just one of five huge counties but would lose land when Bibb, Crawford, DeKalb, Pike, Macon and Peach counties were formed later.
Many of the early settlers were land lottery winners. They came from the Georgia coast, Virginia and the Carolinas to take advantage of Houston County’s rich, sandy loam, and grew vegetables, wheat and potatoes. Exports of cotton via the Ocmulgee River supported plantations in the area, and by 1889, Houston was the largest peach-growing county in the U.S.
In the 1920s, Houston County went through spurts of development with the establishment of the Clinchfield Cement Plant that took advantage of rich local deposits of limestone and kaolin, and with a prosperous lumber industry clearing the abundant yellow pine.
The county’s largest city, Warner Robins, was incorporated in 1943 after Robins Air Force Base was established during World War II. Both the city and the base are named after Brig. Gen. Augustine Warner Robins.
The city of Centerville was incorporated in 1958.
Today, Robins AFB drives much of the economy in middle Georgia.