A Family Trade

For nearly six centuries our heritage can be traced back to eighteen generations of powerful entrepreneurs. Merchants, real estate owners, international traders, large-scale farmers, and political revolutionaries, many of which served under the royal crown and presidential office.
1421 - Andrew Hawkins
Yorkshire estate owner, owner of Nash Court and property in Boughton. Andrew married Joan de Nash, an heiress, by whom the Hawkins became possessors of Nash Court, and from whom the Hawkins of Devon are descended.
1465 - John Hawkins Esquire
Plymouth estate owner and Sergeant-at-Arms to Henry VIII. The Sergeant at Arms carries the mace during the opening of Parliament and is also responsible for security during debates in the House of Commons, escorting Members out of the Chamber if ordered to do so by the Speaker. They’re traditionally the only person allowed inside the House armed.
1539 - "Old Master" Captain Williams Hawkins
Officer in the navy of King Henry VIII, Captain of the “Great Galley”. Trader/Merchant to Guinea, Brazil, and the Americas. Receiver or Treasurer to the Corporation of Plymouth. Elected member of Parliament in1539 and Mayor of Plymouth. Owner of the Manor of Sutton Valletort.
1552 - Admiral Sir John Hawkins
English naval commander and administrator, merchant, navigator, shipbuilder, privateer and trader. Official Treasurer (1577) and controller (1589) of the Royal Navy. Attributed with building the modern Royal Navy. Knighted for gallantry. Negotiator in the marriage of Mary I of England and Philip II of Spain. Personally knighted by the King of Spain for his service to Spanish ambassadors. Voyager to the Caribbean, west African coast, Venezuela, Borburata, French colonies in Florida, Dominica, and Margarita island. Member of Parliament for Plymouth. Founder of The Hospital of Sir John Hawkins. Treasure hunter. Credited as the first to import potatoes to Ireland from the Spanish colonies. (Cousin of Sir Francis Drake)
1570 - Admiral Sir Richard Hawkins
English seaman, explorer and Elizabethan “Sea Dog”; the son of Admiral Sir John Hawkins. Company to his uncle, William Hawkins on his voyage to the West Indies. Captain of a galliot in Drake’s expedition to the Spanish main. Commanded of a queen’s ship against the Spanish Armada. Company to his father on his expedition to the coast of Portugal. Owner and Captain of the discovery ship Dainty, in which he sailed to the West Indies, the Spanish Main and the South Seas. Knight. Mayor of Plymouth. Founding charter of the Spanish Company. Member of Parliament for Plymouth and Vice-Admiral of Devon, a post which, as the coast was swarming with pirates, was no picnic. Author of “Voiage into the South Sea” the most famous Elizabethan adventure.
1604 - Captain John Sidney Hawkins
Father of ten children. Sea captain and naval voyager. Alumni of Wadham College – one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. Inheritor of the manor of Poole, in Slapton – which is now Slapton Manor Farm Bed & Breakfast.
1643 - John Hawkins of Great Milton
John, born in 1643, settled at Great Milton in Oxfordshire in 1682 having married Mary, daughter of Edward Dewe, of Islip. (Edward was the son of Richard Dewe of Abingdon, son of Elizabeth Tesdale, descendant of Thomas Tesdale, a founder of Pembroke College at Oxford.) John Hawkins of Great Milton, by Mary Dewe, had 14 children, born between 1681 and 1698.
1690 - Philemon Hawkins Sr.
Settled in King William County, Virginia (formerly Todd’s Bridge County). Philemon emigrated to America with wife, Eleanor, to Virginia near relatives who had preceded him in 1719. Philemon Hawkins emigrated to the colonies along with five brothers…Nicholas, Joseph, John, Lieu Dolphus and another whose name is unknown. Anne was the daughter of Captain Howard of Plymouth, England. The family of Howard in England is a prominent one, including Sir Thomas Howard, who commanded the Armada and who recommended that Philemon Hawkins’ ancestor, Sir John Hawkins, get knighted after that victory.
1717 - Lt. Colonel Philemon Hawkins
High-ranking Officer in NC during the Revolutionary War, rural settler, mill owner, friend of the poor. Appointed Lt. Colonel of the Bute County Regiment of Militia under Col. William Person in 1775. Commandant over the newly-created 2nd Battalion of Militia in 1776. Chose to be Captain of Militia during 1778, but was soon returned to his Lt. Colonel rank. Lt. Colonel of the newly-created Warren County Regiment of Militia under Col. Thomas Eaton from 1779-1783. Click here for a list of battles the militia engaged in during the war. He lived with his wife Delia at his estate, Pleasant Hill in Riven Oaks.
1754 - Col. Benjamin Hawkins
American planter, statesman, and U.S. Indian agent. A delegate to the Continental Congress and a United States Senator from North Carolina, appointed by George Washington as General Superintendent for Indian Affairs. He studied French at the College of New Jersey (currently Princeton College) and remained there until the Revolutionary War suspended classes, at which time he was in the senior class. General Washington pressed Colonel Hawkins into his service as his personal French translator and delegate, where he remained for some time. Hawkins was released from federal service in 1777 and returned home where he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1778. He was at the battle of Monmouth with Washington in 1779 before beingelected as a member of Congress from 1781-1783. He would be elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives for a second time in 1784, and in the following year he was selected to be the representative for Congress in negotiations over land with the Creek Indians of the Southeast. He learned the Muscogee language, was adopted by a tribe and “common-law” married a Creek woman, Lavinia Downs, having seven children. Recognized by Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and other national figures for his ability to navigate Indian and state negotiations, he is said to be responsible for the Treaty of Paris in 1790 and the end of the War of 1812. In 1813 tensions between the Creek Confederacy erupted into the Red Stick (or Creek) War. The federal government got involved and a combined force of Cherokees, Creeks, and Americans, led by Andrew Jackson, defeated the Red Sticks. Hawkins was disheartened, dispirited, and deeply depressed by the cutting away of Creek country. He tendered his resignation on February 15, 1815. A year later Hawkins died in his home at the Creek Agency Reserve. (The city of Hawkinsville, the seat of Pulaski County, is named in his honor.) (Fort Benjamin Hawkins, built in Macon, GA –the historic Creek Nation– was also built in his honor by President Thomas Jefferson.)
John Bascom Hawkins
Lucinda was a Cherokee woman, she and John had two children. Unknown history of John’s and Lucinda’s life together.
Pvt. Greenville Hawkins
Confederate soldier in the Ninth Malone’s Cavalry during the Civil War. Married to Sarah Ann Coffey, no children. Later a common law marriage to a Cherokee woman called “Polly”, unknown number of children.
John Benjamin Hawkins
Owner of a family farm. Caretaker of his blind wife, Emily. Owner of a successful general store and grist mill.
James Walter Hawkins
Owner of a 500+ acre farm and cattle range in Chatsworth, GA.
Reverend Clifford Edgar Hawkins
Ordained minister, pastor of Deep Springs Baptist Church in Whitfield Co. for 20 odd years. Attendee of Ridge Rd. Baptist Church, and a self-employed barber.
David Lamar Hawkins Sr.
Patricia and David Lamar Hawkins moved from Dalton to Warner Robins Georgia in 1962 with their six week old first born son, David Lamar Hawkins Jr. Lamar quickly opened a barber shop, although his passion for electronics inspired him to later open another business, Hawkins Electronics. Horse trading was a favorite pastime for David Sr. and his son: buying, selling, and trading.

David Hawkins Jr. was born in 1962 to his parents, David Lamar Sr. and Patricia Hawkins. He, along with his younger brother Bruce and sister Leta, grew up in their family home in Warner Robins, GA.

Since the age of five David’s father, Lamar, taught him the art of horsetrading and enlisted his help with contract work at the [Warner] Robins Air Force Base. At fourteen he developed a love of electronics and began working for his father at Hawkins Electronics –with the knowledge and skills he acquired working with his father, he began selling and installing car audio out of his parent’s garage on the weekends. Later that same year, his dad arranged an apprenticeship for him at a local body shop, which he biked to every day after school.

His true entrepreneurial journey began two years later he started his own side business painting and customizing cars in addition to working as an apprentice and selling-installing car audio.

At eighteen shortly after graduating from Warner Robins High, David was hired at the Dyno-miser Automotive Tune-up Shop as a mechanic. A year later he left Dyno-miser and picked up two jobs: one as an insurance agent for Etna Life and Causality, and the second, an automotive technician for Datsun. News of David’s work ethic and creative expertise spread in the local automotive scene and a connection at Chevrolet offered him a transfer and master technician certification; a transfer that he promptly accepted.

In 1983 he bought his first new house and went back to Nissan (formerly Datsun) as a master technician. Nearly four years later he founded AutoSound, opening his first brick-and-mortar business –AutoSound was located near Commercial Circle in Warner Robins and was painted in it’s trademark neon pink color. When David was 27 he left Nissan to pursue his business full-time, opening two complimentary businesses, AutoSound Distributors Inc. and Lazer Industries; a private label for his retail store. David started competing in USAC, NACA, IASCA Car Audio Competitions and from that experience began tweaking the designs of the Lazer products.  Soon outside sales reps were added and the product began being shipped internationally.

David’s sister, Leta, arranged a blind date between her brother and Sandra Simmons in 1990 –which is funny because when he met her, she wasn’t blind after all. It’s okay, you can laugh. The two dated for three years and were married in February of 1992. Sandra prayed for twins; David prayed for a healthy, beautiful baby, and soon both of their prayers were answered. I’ll let you guess which one is the pretty, healthy one. In September of ’95 they were blessed with two girls, Alexandria and Victoria. And a boy, David III.

In 2000 David founded Cars of Macon automotive shop where he worked until 2005.

Shortly after he retired from Cars of Macon, David became business partners with a childhood friend in an upscale pawn shop. His main focus was car audio although he was able to learn a fair amount about the daily-to-day pawn business during his time there as well. David and his friend worked together for a year before he decided to focus solely on two of his growing passions, building street rods and internet marketing with his life-long friend Brian. Later his friend Brian would get married, move, and settle down with his new family.

In 2011 the business plan for Pawn Smart USA was written on the back of a napkin. We opened our doors December of 2011, just in time for Christmas. To say that it was a humble start would be generous, but we started together with heart. Our family has built this business on a foundation that has been passed down from generation to generation: treating others as we want to be treated.

Our biggest blessing has been the customers that have come back later and explained how we had helped them and their family through some tough times. Financially things were not always so great for our family and during the financial struggles we saw a real need for a better pawn shop environment, a different way of brokering, and a dedication to helping the customer that just needs a leg up. Yes, we are in business to make a profit, but we are in the people business first. The money is just a way to track how many people we have been able to help.
The Hawkins family motto is “toujours pret” which means “always ready”, and we believe in maintaining a constant focus on the needs of you, our customer, and being ready to help you however we can. We love the unusual and if you have been following our social presence online for very long you’ve seen some of our finds. We’re always out picking, looking, and finding stuff on our own, aside from the items that walk in our front door or come off of pawn. This has been an amazing journey for us and we look forward to waking up early and getting to the shop to start a new adventure each day.