Martyrs Memorial L.O.L.No. 213 Oxford

 

Who was William Perkins Bull?


William Perkins Bull
[1870-1948]

William Perkins Bull left a legacy for his fellow Ontarians through his writings and his personal achievements.

Born in 1870, in Downsview, Ontario, Bull was the quintessential "Renaissance man".  

His remarkable life was filled with many firsts.

He practised law successfully, becoming Timothy Eaton's personal solicitor and, by 1908, becoming the youngest King's Counsel in the British Empire.

He was an astute businessman.  He was president of the Okanagan Lumber Company; founder and director of the Canadian Oil Company (which proved to be one of the most successful ventures in the Canadian petroleum industry); president of the Sterling Oil Company; founder of Red Deer Investments, which controlled some 500,000 acres in and around the Alberta town; and founder, director and treasurer of the Mississauga Lumber Company.

As Bull's fortunes rose, so did his political influence.  He advised Laurier on Indian Affairs and on the development of the Northwest, and discussed policy with Sir Robert Borden.

During the first World War, in London, Bull established an "open house" for Canadian officers overseas that in time led to the opening of the Perkins Bull Convalescent Hospital in 1916.  The hospital was legendary and was home to such illustrious patients as Billy Bishop and Georges Vanier.

Bull was also an avid Freemason and served as Master of an important lodge.  As the son of a Wesleyan preacher, he remained an avid churchgoer and was fascinated by religion throughout his life.

In 1931, Bull was involved in a serious car accident.  During his convalescence, he decided to try his hand at writing a brief family history to help pass the time.  It was then that the Perkins Bull Historical Series was born.  The modest project grew into a massive undertaking comprising of over a dozen volumes.