A community and civic leader and longtime businessman of McDuffie County died Feb. 21. Bill Eubank was president of Culpepper Lumber Co. from the late 1950s until his retirement in 2003. Mr. Eubank took the company, which was heavily in debt when he acquired it, to a well-positioned enterprise with 6,000 acres of property and no debt.
"He had the unusual, uncanny ability to work the market to his advantage, and he did it the old-fashioned way," said Lem Brooks, current president of Culpepper Lumber Co. and Mr. Eubank's son-in-law.
Mr. Eubank was a member of the McDuffie County Board of Education from 1961 through 1976, serving as chairman the last six years. He also served on the Board of Directors of First National Bank and SunTrust Bank, was a member of the Dearing Lions Club and the Thomson Kiwanis Club, the chairman of the McDuffie County Development Authority and a board member of the McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce.
"Bill Eubank was a fine man and a tremendous public servant," said former Thomson Mayor Bob Knox Jr. "He was involved in anything positive going on in the community for many, many years. He was always upbeat, and he always looked for the best in people. He was a good friend, and we're going to miss him very much."
Mr. Eubank also was mayor of Dearing from 1962 through 1998. The town's city park is named in his honor. Mr. Brooks said the town had a low flat-rate for water fees during Mr. Eubank's tenure.
"He ran a tighter ship. He was a frugal, hands-on kind of person," Mr. Brooks said. " He would get out and fix the water lines and have me right beside him digging ditches to keep the costs down."
In January 2010, Mr. Eubank was awarded the Darrell Johnson Award by members of the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce. The award is given yearly to a person who puts service above self in the community.
"He was very conservative, and he was good with people," Mr. Brooks said. "His greatest asset was his ability to build relationships with people. He was a genius at relationships with people."