The late Rinehart Chewning was a correspondent for The Times and Democrat who wrote fondly of his Holly Hill home.
In a 2004 column titled “The Greatest Little Town in South Carolina,” Chewning stated: “Holly Hill is still one of the friendliest towns anywhere. One might think people don't care but it's when you have a need for friends, such as in sickness and death, that people come running to help you any way they can.”
One of the most notable of such people was James Witte Bull Sr., who died Monday at age 79.
For nearly 40 years, he owned and operated Bull's Drug Store where customers affectionately called him “Dr. Bull.”
As noted in his obituary in The Times and Democrat, “He was not a doctor, he graduated with a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of South Carolina in 1960, but his role was no less vital in the lives of so many. In an era long before the Internet, he was a source of caring advice and expertise to all. No one went without medicine they needed, regardless of whether they could afford it or not.”
Chewning wrote: “He would fill your prescription, handing it to you across the counter not knowing when or if you would pay.”
Bull was always on call. And for decades, he was known for opening the store each Christmas morning for anyone who needed medicine or simply forgot batteries for a special gift for a child. Any time, day or night, he would answer the call.
Bull also played an important role in the community as a whole.
• He served on the board of directors of Farmers & Merchants Bank of South Carolina for 41 years, including several terms as bank chairman. He was named “Board Member Emeritus” in 2017.
• He was a longtime deacon, chairman of the deacon board and treasurer of the First Baptist Church of Holly Hill.
• He was a founding member of Holly Hill Academy and served on the board of directors as treasurer for 19 years.
• He was a longtime member of Holly Hill Country Club, serving on the board of directors for decades including several terms as president.
Chewning’s column was titled “Reminiscing with Rinehart.” He wrote fondly of Bull’s Drug Store and lamented its loss. On the greater loss of “Dr. Bull” himself, we echo the Chewning close to each column: “Lest we forget.”