William Conan

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

William Conan Davis was born in Waycross, Georgia back in 1926 to Kince and Laura. He would spend his summers with his maternal grandfather Jonnas a Sioux Indian at the Okefenokee Swamp. He graduated from Dasher High School in Valdosta, Georgia. He continued his education at Talladega College in Alabama.

He was drafted to serve in the Korean War commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After being discharged he received his Master of Science degree in organic chemistry from Tuskegee in 1958. Being an African-American back then the University of Idaho was the only university to accept him as a research-track graduate. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1965. He retired in 2009, becoming a professor emeritus of St. Philip’s College. He resides in San Antonio, Texas.

What you may not know about William is that he discovered arabinogalactan (you’ll need to look that up). That ingredient was used to create instant mashed potatoes, it also improves potato chips causing them not to burn and is used in soft serve ice cream. Recently he co-developed the formula for Dasani water. One other thing he developed an organic glue for use in particle board.

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CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

How amazing is William Conan Davis! I think I might go see if he is still at St. Phillips. My granddad went to St Phillips and then graduated from Texas A&M

Thank you for sharing.


Sep 07, 2019 02:57 AM #1
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James - As DuPont used to say he brought us better life through chemistry.

Sep 07, 2019 03:57 AM #2
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

I have had the potato chips and soft-serve ice cream but not the instant mashed potatoes.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Sep 07, 2019 04:33 AM #3
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, James... another one of those individuals who had impact on things we use daily but about which we've never thought about their origins.

Sep 07, 2019 05:18 AM #4
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Thanks to William. I took Organic chemistry in college and left it to the brainiacs. Enjoy your day!

Sep 07, 2019 05:24 AM #5
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning, James - forget about the definition.  I am wondering about the leap from instant potatoes to particle board.  Hmm...

Sep 07, 2019 05:42 AM #6
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray  that discovery is amazing.... but I wonder what the negatives are that run with it!!!

Sep 07, 2019 05:52 AM #7
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Due to being an avid consumer of the products Mr. Davis contributed to the World I say THANK YOU. As for travels through the Okefenokee Swamp I believe everyone should experience it at least once!

Sep 07, 2019 06:09 AM #8
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That is a great story of success and he should not have had that many obstacles to overcome to achieve them.

Sep 07, 2019 06:16 AM #9
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning James. Clearly a very creative and smart guy. Enjoy your day.

Sep 07, 2019 06:30 AM #10
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi james

I not only looked up what arabinogalactan is, I looked up how to pronounce it! 

Sep 07, 2019 07:12 AM #11
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Well he sure was a busy guy love to read how these items come to be.

Sep 07, 2019 07:15 AM #12
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


That was a long word, and I am glad that William Conan developed so many things including organic glue.  Cheers.  A

Sep 07, 2019 07:33 AM #13
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello James, Yes I would have to look the work up for sure but glad he discoved this for ice cream.


Sep 07, 2019 09:10 AM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- I had trouble just trying to pronounce the word!!! we have a friend who will only drink Dasani bottled water when he drinks water. 

Sep 07, 2019 02:12 PM #15
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing the amazing story of William Conan.  Such great discoveries that help make our lives more enjoyable.  

Sep 07, 2019 07:32 PM #16
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

William COnan was diffinatly a very brilliant man with a doubt 🧐 James Dray  

Sep 07, 2019 07:59 PM #17
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Thank you, William Conan Davis, instant mashed potatoes, when raising our 9 hungry kids years ago, saved me many times.  Haven't made those in years, but back 'then,'  yup!!

Sep 09, 2019 07:26 AM #18
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

Wow, he had a pretty significant impact, and in some diverse ways. I'm not an instant mashed potato fan these days but remember them as a kid a few times!


Sep 10, 2019 05:15 PM #19
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

It is amazing to read these snippets of a smart person's life, who has created worthwhile inventions, and most before the mid-1950s.  Thanks as always, James!

Oct 06, 2019 04:53 AM #20
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