The History of Bass Agency
Around the turn of the 20th century, The Bass brothers, originally from Dowelltown, Tennessee, who had migrated as young men to Georgia were in the big business enterprises of the day in Carrollton, Griffin, Rome, and Atlanta. For a number of years Charles C. Bass Sr., the youngest son of eight children, owned and operated a mercantile store on Broad Street in Rome, Georgia, C.C. Bass and Company. In their chain of mercantile stores, he along with his brothers specialized in farmers' supplies, retail and wholesale groceries, dry goods, and operated a thriving mule business. Bass who was a contemporary of Martha Berry of the Berry School in Rome helped the founder with many of the school's needs in the early beginnings. The Bass brothers in the post Civil War South also engaged in real estate ventures building stores, warehouses, stables, sawmills, hotels, multi-story office buildings, rental houses, homes, and a resort which was one of the finest of the day, in Borden-Wheeler Springs, Alabama in Cleburne County just across the Alabama-Georgia border on the Atlanta to Birmingham railroad line route. Much has been written in James F. Sulzby, Jr.'s "Historic Alabama Hotels and Resorts" about the over 100-room, 2-story hotel and pavillion in the beautiful mountain setting, a marvel of Southern architecture, surrounded by a village of 20 cottages, a swimming pool, a golf course, and horse stables.
Charles C.(Charlie) Bass, Jr. was born in Lafayette, Georgia in 1918 where his father was in the cotton brokerage business at the time, but the family later relocated to Atlanta where Bass, Sr. managed the DeSoto Hotel on Ivy St. owned by the Bass Brothers. The family later moved to Peachtree Street where Charles and his sister Mary Jane grew up near the Crawford-Long Hospital, the Fox Theater, and the North Avenue Presbyterian Church. Bass was graduated in 1937 from Tech High School after which time he attended the University of Georgia night school while he worked for several years with the U, S, F, & G Insurance Company in the C & S Bank building.
When World War II broke out, Charlie Bass entered the Navy earning his wings as a naval aviator in 1942. Early in the war Bass served as a flight instructor at Whiting Field near Pensacola but later was stationed at Alameda, California in the Pacific Theater with the Naval Air Transport Service (NATS). Returning to his wife's hometown Andalusia, Alabama after the war ended, Charlie Bass established Bass Agency, an insurance agency, in January 1946 with the initial assistance of wife Marge since they desired to live, work, and raise a family in a small town atmosphere. Charles C. Bass, Sr. passed away in Atlanta in January, 1947 at the age of 85. Throughout his life, C. C. Bass, Sr. always wrote letters of encouragement to his sons, Leland, a Georgia Tech graduate and General Electric executive in Ft. Worth, Texas, and Charles, saying "...take things as they come and be ever faithful to the business task before you."
Although Bass entered into partnerships with Bellaire Krudop and C. B. Caton operating for periods of time as Bass-Krudop and Bass-Caton, Bass Agency was incorporated in 1983 at which time two of his children, Sue Bass Wilson, and CC (Tripp) Bass, took over the management of the insurance and real estate business, real estate having been added in 1976 when daughter Sue joined the firm. As the real estate business grew and flourished, it was decided to sell the insurance book of business of 50 years to Davis and Associates in 1996. As the trend became popular to associate with brand advertising, the agency became affiliated with the national franchise Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service for over ten (10) years beginning in 1987 and thereafter with GMAC Real Estate up until the present time. The agency currently offers a variety of real estate services including residential sales; commercial sales; rental management; lake, farm, lots, acreage sales; mini-storage rentals; appraisals; and national referrals. The mini-storage rental division of the business was started in the early 1980's when mortgage interest rates soared to an all-time high. Charles Bass, a "pioneer" in the mini-storage field, built units of eight (8), one complex at a time, in four(4) convenient locations around Andalusia. Tripp Bass and Sue Wilson have added mini-storage complexes at two (2) additional locations with units totaling over 600 of various sizes available for storage rentals at present.
Described in old Georgia newspaper accounts as "strong and shrewd businessmen," the Bass brothers, "men of untiring energy," probably never imagined that they would leave a legacy that would be carried on by future generations of Basses. The Bass family business, Bass Agency, Inc., today is operated by oldest daughter, Sue, and only son of the founder, Charles C. (Tripp) Bass, III .They take much pride in carrying on the over 100-year old tradition. An inherent work ethic is the driving force behind this modern-day business family. Their devotion, dedication, and organization for business, their associations with a staff of dedicated real estate sales agents, and their willingness to change with the times has enabled the present generations to run a debt-free real estate business yielding a proven consistent sales record because of the exceptional service they provide to their customers and clients.
Charles Bass passed away in October 2003 several days before he would have turned 85 years of age. The legacy he left will serve as an inspiration for his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who mourn his death. During his business career, Bass established several local businesses, built residential and commercial buildings, served for many years on a bank board, served two (2) terms on the city council helping develop and establish a city cemetery, airport, a school annex, a school stadium, served as director of the chamber of commerce (pres. 1979), and was a Mason, Shriner, and American Legion Post Commander. Bass believed in education and sent his four (4) children to college and made sure that they all were provided religious instruction with a background of faith to carry them through their days. The agency still follows Bass' business principles that he so carefully instilled in his children. His children say today that had he returned to Atlanta to reside after the war, there would have been several more skyscrapers built and located there today!