Meider, who lives on his 300-acre ranch off Farm-to-Market Road 799 east of Interstate 37, said his friends say he “is good at solving problems, finding errors, and that’s why they call me ‘Meiderstein.’”
“He’s a deep thinker,” said his wife of 57 years, Beverly.
“She was 6, and I was 9 years old when we were married,” he said, smiling.
An inscription on a rock in front of their stone house is this: “I loved you once, I love you still, I always have, I always will.”
Bill and Beverly have huge boulders and lots of rock they’ve imported to their ranch.
Bill said he contemplates what those rocks have seen and gone through.
At 76 years old, Bill won’t talk about it, but something happened to him in the past that changed him. He said that’s really when “Meiderstein” was created.
The only person who he has shared this mysterious and serious happening with was Beverly, 73.
Together, they keep the secret.
Bill started out as a surveyor, but his talents expanded into becoming a successful land developer.
“Some tell me I was born with a gift,” he said. “I can wind up with every tract of land having strong public appeal. I never made a failure.”
His most recent project was Deer Run on Farm-to-Market Road 889.
“I don’t know how many I’ve done – each a couple of 100 acres to 1,800 acres,” he said.
Bill said he gets aerial shots of the land to figure out its best use. With the information, his brain goes to work.
“He wakes up and starts talking to me, and I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Beverly said.
“The brain doesn’t need to sleep. If it hits on a solution, the problem is thoroughly solved,” Bill said.
From his successes, Bill has developed two companies: Rediem (Meider spelled backwards) Investments, and Meiderstein Interests, both based from their home office.
He said he does have a backup system for success.
“Dwayne McWilliams is my attorney friend. He knows me better than I know me,” Bill said.
The attorney is with the firm Schneider & McWilliams in George West.
“I run everything through him for his approval,” Bill said. “Common sense is instinct; enough of it is genius.”
With Bill’s keen sense for finding solutions, he also found within himself many words of wisdom for happiness: “Always maintain the power of self control.”
Beverly said Bill has an enormous amount of patience for everything – people, places and things.
“Love is the greatest power of all. Patience is the next most powerful,” he said.
Retirement: “No, I’m not going to do that,” he said. “Always remember that age is nothing but a number.”
Bill and Beverly raised one daughter who helps with the business. They have three granddaughters: the three K’s – Kali, Kelsi and Kayla.
He considers himself and Beverly as one in spirit.
“I put out the plats. He does the field work. He started out doing everything,” Beverly said.
“He teaches by example rather than telling,” she added. He will tell one person, however.
“What I tell the preacher is that he is in the position to tell someone. I’m always calm and a private person,” Bill said.
“The way I like being is like the bobcat. You’ll never see the bobcat if he doesn’t want to be seen. He sees everything from the brush,” Bill said.
Speaking of the brush, visitors to Bill’s ranch will meet Kermit. He’s the big buffalo ranging on the land.
“We had him since he was little,” Bill said.
Also, evidence exists that buffaloes roamed the land where Bill lives.
“They were here wild. That’s the way I understand it,” he said.
Bill had started out with 15 buffaloes, but he culled the herd and now Kermit is joined by four “teenagers.”
Then there are the four longhorn steers and a female. They have names too, like Texas Turtle, who is “always last for everything,” Bill said.
And at the gate of Bill’s ranch, visitors will be greeted by George. George is the 2,000-pound concrete gorilla there who seems to be looking directly into your eyes.
Johnny Guerra made the stone and rock foundation for George. Guerra is the stone worker making the entrance for the George West Cemetery, and he did all the stone work on Bill and Beverly’s home.
“They painted his eyes to fit the real ones,” Bill said.
“I admire gorillas and elephants because they are very strong and intelligent,” Bill added. And numerous statues of elephants can be found through Bill and Beverly’s house.
Bill’s mother collected elephants.
“When his mother passed away, I thought it was the end of the elephants. No, they doubled,” Beverly said.
In addition to elephants, a wall in the house is filled with Texas company signs, including the five-pointed Texas Star emblem designed in the 1900s by Bill’s grandfather, Charles Meider.
That star became the iconic emblem for Texaco.
No doubt, Bill and Beverly love their family, so they take great interested in the cemetery where their parents were laid to rest.
Bill commented that his mother would say the new George West cemetery entrance – also constructed by Guerra and a project of Unify to Beautify – is really nice.
“My parents are in there, and Beverly’s parents are in there, too. I want to make sure it’s finished and landscaped,” he said.
“There are only two ways to go – love or hate – there is no in between,” he said.
“I don’t look at anybody different than anybody else. They’re all equal in my eyes. I don’t hurt anybody,” Bill said.
And from that respect and compassion for others come Bill’s most powerful, sage and spiritual advice:
“Unbelievable power can come from the most powerful one.”