Ft. Valley, Ga. Biographies

William J. Wilson

11 March 1910 - 9 April 1991

William J. Wilson was born on March 11, 1910.  He grew up in Fort Valley.  His father, Cap, was a farmer with extensive acreage in peaches and pecans. Bill went to college and studied agriculture.  When he graduated full of ideas on how to change the way they were doing things, his father had the sense to give him a bit of land and he could practise what he had learned.  Bill soon found out that his father knew a few things about raising crops that they didn't teach you in college.  

Bill was sitting in a friends livingroom while the family was eating.  Louise Bowen was visiting from Tazewell, Va. He was very taken with her but didn't want it to seem apparent so he picked up the newspaper.  He used it to allow him to see her around the paper.  He got caught tho, because he was "reading" the paper upside down.  He didn't let that stop him.  He married Louise and they lived a long life together in Fort Valley.  

He was well known all over the state for the Magnolia Farms brand.  He had a large packing house which could ice down the fruit to help preserve it on the way to market.  The train came right up to the packing house and peaches, dwarf apples, plums, pecans, chestnuts, and walnuts were shipped from there. He never lost his curiosity and improved his crops.

He and Lou never had any children.  But that wasn't necessary - they were surrounded by family and church children. Bill had one brother  and one sister living nearby and when the boys grew up they could be found at the kitchen table most mornings along with Bill's brother, Clyde, discussing what needed to be done that day.

Bill and Lou loved each other very much and they were partners in life in the greatest sense of the word.  Lou worked right beside Bill in the packing house. They both were very active in the Methodist Church.  At meal time often there was a knock on the back door and Bill would go to talk with one of the workers.  Often it was to borrow money against next payday. They had a tremendous sense of humor. They gave a lot of themselves to friends and strangers alike.

Bill's brother, Clyde, worked with him in the family business.  

As they grew older the office became their bedroom downstairs.  Bill died April 9, 1991 and is buried in Oaklawn Cemtery, Fort Valley.  As in life, Lou is now resting beside him.         .......FS

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