The town has a population of about 400 residents, with a futher 600 residents living outside the town. It is a service centre for the local wool, cattle and coarse grain farming industries, plus serves as a stopping point for motorists traveling on the main highway between Perth and Albany.
The Williams Gateway Expo is a locally organised event that takes place each year during mid April.
The town has three service stations, one of which is open 24hrs. Plus, the local roadhouse is a stop on the Transwa bus services to Albany and Esperance.
The average annual rainfall in the area is 566 millimeters, with the wettest months usually being between June and August.
A local feature of the area is the Jesse Martin museum, which is a historic village and memorabilia collection constructed by a local farmer on his own property from old shops and post offices that were on the verge of being demolished, plus there are barns which are full of ancient cars and farm machinery.
The town is named
after the nearby Williams River, which was discovered in 1831 by
Captain Thomas Bannister while leading the first overland expedition
from the Swan River Colony to King George Sound (now Albany), and first
appeared on a map in 1833.
The first claims on land in the area occurred in 1832. In 1835 a party led by Governor James Stirling and John Septimus Roe survey a route joining King George Sound with York via Williams to encourage inland settlement. No settlement occurred until after Lieutenant Henry Bunbury explored the region in 1836, despite his assessment that "on the Williams the land is generally very bad and the water brackish."
Armadale Narrogin Wagin Darkan