Retired Navy Captain
Coleman Landers was born in Monroe. He grew up in a neighborhood known as Stand Pipe, a black community off Broad Street and Marable. His grandfather, Bill McCoy, worked in the Felker Cotton Mill and Coleman can trace his roots on his mother’s side back to 1812 along the Walton County line all the way back through the slave era. At age five, he moved with his family to Ash Street and began attending first grade at a school building behind his house around 1955. They moved to the Projects when they were constructed in Monroe, which he always tells people “was a step-up for us because we had indoor pluming and indoor gas heat.” His father was a general laborer and worked at the chicken processing plant in Monroe. His mother was a maid for a couple of families, including George Felker who ran the textile mill. Coleman graduated from Carver High School in 1966 at age 16 and went on to Fort Valley State College where he obtained a degree in education. He received a draft letter two weeks after he graduated at age 20 and enlisted in the Navy in the nuclear power field where he studied engineering. He went on to became the Captain of his first ship in 1950. He served for 30 years and returned to Monroe in 2000 by way of Virginia (from the Navy Think Tank) when he retired. After retirement he was recruited to head up human resources for Walton Fabrics (a place where his grandfather and brothers and sisters had once worked) for two years. He served as the Chairman of the Board for the Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of the Economic Development Authority; helped start the Monroe Boys and Girls Club, and currently serves on the Walton County School Board and Hospital Board. He and his wife have two grown children.