Life of Arthur Bea Williams, a Wichita Falls pioneer who left an impact

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 6:44 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Barry Macha, general counsel president at Midwestern State University, was friends with Arthur Bea Williams for 40 years.

He watched her climb up in her career as a political official and serve the City of Wichita Falls with a strong spirit. Macha said Williams entered the political field in Wichita Falls during a time where there weren’t many Black people. He said her mark in this community will forever be remembered.

“Arthur Bea’s involvement in the community has been huge. She’s left a fantastic legacy of being an outstanding citizen that I’m proud to know and to have been associated with her,” said Macha.

Williams served as Wichita Falls’ first Black city councilor, first Black female Judge and Justice of the Peace in Wichita County.

“She was a lady with fire in her belly, I would say,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said. “Some people were really surprised at how adept she was at her judicial duties. She knew what she was doing. She didn’t hesitate to make a decision. She had her information ready.”

She was also the first Black female mayor, serving as interim following a recall election.

“She stepped out in an era. Unfortunately, racism was still alive and well in Wichita Falls, Texas, not as much so as many other places, but we had it,” said Gossom.

We’d like to offer our deepest condolences to Arthur Bea Williams’ family and close friends. Funeral arrangements will take place Saturday at New Jerusalem Baptist Church at 11 a.m.

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