John E. Tillman was awarded the Excellence in Agriculture award at the 63rd annual Baxley Appling Chamber of Commerce Banquet held on Jan. 25 at the elementary complex. James Clark presented the award to Mr. Tillman. John Elbert Tillman was born October 22, 1930 on South Main Street in Surrency to Elbert and Nora Tillman. He is a Surrency High School graduate of the class of 1947. Tillman joined the U.S. Army in May 1953 and completed his tour of duty as a sergeant in May 1955.
He married Dartha Ann Dixon Sept. 11, 1955 and they have three sons, John Alan (Christina) Tillman, Anthony (Tonya) Tillman and Christopher (Anna) Tillman and three grandchildren and one great-grandson.
He served as treasurer and one of the founding fathers of the Appling County Stockman’s Association in 1968 along with Jimmy Mayers, A.D. Garner, Stevie Mills and Roy Herrington. The Stockman’s Association played a vital role in agriculture programming for 35 years or more. In the 1970’s Tillman had one of the largest swine farms in the county utilizing the latest technology available. He has had a thriving farm growing 22 acres of tobacco, 300 acres corn and timberland.
Tillman joined the Southeastern Gin Board and in 1987 he got into the poultry breeder egg houses, and in 1975 he received the Soil Conservation Man of the Year Award.
Tillman became the first Republican to be elected in Appling County in 1984 since the Reconstruction. He was elected to the County Commission and served 22 years.
John Tillman’s priorities include the 911 system, rural fire departments, forestry and roads and bridges. He has served in agriculture and Appling County for a long time.
Clark presented the award saying it is my pleasure to present him this award.