A Bullock Family HistoryRetirement of William G. Bullock
Leaf Got Him,
Land Kept Him
by KAY De HART
Tobacco brought W. G. Bullock to Valdosta from Raleigh N.C., in 1926 and the real estate business has kept him here for 42 years.
Now, at 75 years of age, Bullock is reluctantly retiring from the real estate business and moving to Decatur.
He has retired from his work before, once when he reached Social Security age of 65. At 72 he went back into business and retired again a year later.
"For the past two years I haven't done any business," said Bullock, sitting in a swivel chair in his office at his residence at 207 E. Gordon St. "I'm resigning now because I just can't run the office anymore."
Though Bullock and his wife are moving to Decatur to be near two of their six children, the long-time real estate man may not be moving away from his work.
"Possibly I'll be able to get into the real estate business up there," said Bullock, who has been in poor health for the past few years. "It all depends on if I improve. I never did want to get out of the business. And I don't want to get out now."
When Bullock moved here in 1926 he was in the tobacco planting business. He went into real estate in 1930 when the tobacco business went bad, he said.
* * *At that time, he was one of three legitimate real estate men in town. But there were a lot of street walkers in real estate. Bullock said street walkers were men dealing in real estate who did not have an office and would "go around and pick up what they could."
During the depression, said Bullock, "I sold more real estate than I've sold lately. There were plenty of people in Valdosta that had money and were looking for bargains. Land was cheap then. " [sic] I could advertise a house in the morning and sell it before the paper came out."
It was not until the 40s that the real estate business here started growing and bringing in opposition, said Bullock. In 1943 he and the late Paul Lilly Sr. started trying to organize some sort of control board for the real estate business here.
Five years later, in August of 1948, Lilly and Bullock and seven other real estate men formed the Valdosta Real Estate Board. Bullock was its first president and served two more terms as president.
"We felt the need for it," he said of the board. "It's just like any other organization. It's better to work together instead of pulling against each other." Today the board has 19 members, he said.
Monday, members of the Valdosta Real Estate Board honored Bullock at their meeting . Paul Lilly, Jr. son of the original co-founder of the board, presented him with a plaque citing his 20 years of service to the board and a life-time membership on the board.
The president of the Georgia Association of Real Estate Boards, Walter Scott of Decatur, presented Bullock with a life membership plaque in the state association.
His retirements "didn't make me mad," said Bullock, "because I can fish most of the time.
"I'm crazy about it. I never fished before my first retirement."
Though he doesn't really want to leave Valdosta, he doesn't mind moving to Decatur. "They have got some of the finest fishing there in the world," he said.
[Source: Original newspaper clipping, [Valdosta] Times with photo, not dated but likely 1968; courtesy of M. Griner.]
Transcript of a speech given in honor of William G. Bullock
Mr. Chairman, Guests, and fellow members of the Valdosta Real Estate Board, this is a very special day for us. We are here to honor one of our oldest and most valued members, W. G. Bullock.[Source: Typewritten (2 1/4-page, double-spaced) copy of speech, presenter unknown, date estimated to be September, 1968; courtesy of M. Griner]
Posted November 5, 2003
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