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A Bullock Family History

Retirement of William G. Bullock

Bullock Reminsces, Wife Shown in Background
--Times Staff Photo--
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Retiring Again
Leaf Got Him,
Land Kept Him


     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.

As we look back over the past 20 years, Valdosta has experienced many wonderful changes. Population of our city has greatly increased, new industries, new payrolls and new people have come to our community. Urban renewal, new highways, new schools, a new hospital, and an enlarged 4 year college, just to mention a few of the improvements which have taken place, are now a part of the new Valdosta. We, as Realtors, are proud of these improvements and are proud to have had an active part in many of them. Even more recently, our board made an extensive study of taxation in our county which led to our recommendation to the city and county for a revaluation program which we felt was needed in order to equalize the burden of advalorum taxation.

Throughout the years, our objective has been a better and more progressive Valdosta. We are proud of our city and county and state and pledge to you today that we will continue to work for the good things for Valdosta. This attitude and spirit had its beginning approximately 25 years ago and then as now, Mr. Bullock played a prominent role in these affairs.

In 1943, while World War II was raging, a smaller but intensive battle was begun in Valdosta. A drive to unite the Real Estate Brokers of Valdosta into an effective Board of Realtors was begun by W. G. Bullock and Paul Lilly, Sr. It was an uphill battle, to convince the few Brokers in the business at that time that membership in the National Association of Realtors would be worth all the effort and expense involved. Twenty five years ago, Real Estate Brokers were slow to see the benefits of organization and teamwork; they could not understand how much MORE it meant to be a Realtor than a Broker, and their cooperation was not always 100%. (Aren't we glad they are much different today?)

We all know that Mr. Bullock has all the earmarks of a fighter. It took five years of campaigning, maneuvering, and persuasion, for Mr. Bullock to fight off all the arguments and objections of his fellow Brokers, and finally, in August 1948, the Valdosta Real Estate Board was organized. The Charter was received in November 1948, which means in two months we will officially be twenty years old.

There were nine Charter members; Emory Bass, W. G. Bullock, Henry Hicks, Nelse Holcombe, Paul Lilly, Sr., O. M. McGregor, Henry Rhodes, Grover Stewart and Henry Tillman.

Mr. Bullock was elected President and served in 1948 and 1949. He has been President on three different occasions, was elected Secretary and Treasurer several times (from which position he is now retiring). He has been a Director off an on throughout the lifetime of our Board, and has been active on State Association Committees a number of times.

Probably no member of our Board has been more loyal and faithful to the local, State and National Organization than W. G. Bullock. He attended every State Convention, except when he was out of the state, until 1962, when declining health forced him into semi-retirement. Mr. Bullock was a regular attendant at many of the quarterly Directors meetings (2 of which have been in Valdosta), and he has always brought back to the Board enthusiastic reports gleaned from contacts with successful Realtors throughout the state.

The Valdosta Real Estate Board will miss Mr. Bullock. He doesn't always agree with everything that goes on in our meetings, and he'll let you know it when he doesn't! He is forthright in his beliefs and statements, scrupulously honest in everything he does, and has always taken an active stand for ethics, morality and fair dealings. He has managed somehow to keep us afloat when our finances ran low, and has bolstered our enthusiasm in his strict adherences [sic] to the rules of our Board and the State and National Associations.

Our Board commends Mr. Bullock for his long and untiring service. We appreciate him for his high principals [sic] and beliefs and express our gratitude to him and Mrs. Bullock and wish for them all of the good things in life as he leaves us.
[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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