Presented by the Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin, Georgia. For questions and information, please contact Scott B. Thompson, Sr. at dublinhistory@yahoo.com.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

ORIE BOWER


The Lawyer Poet of the Rockies

Orie Bower had a way with words.  Whether in the courtroom or in the composition of poetry, this Wilkinson County native was known across the country in his latter years as the "The Lawyer Poet of the Rockies."

He grew up in the red clay, pine studded hills of the Georgia's Fall Line and lived his latter and most prolific poetry writing time in the magnificent blue hazed Rocky Mountains of the American west.   

Orie Bower penned poems about the grand and glorious armies of the South and the Lost Cause.  He composed poetry in his youth, but was quick to say that those early rhymes were all too  elementary.

Isaac Oren Bower, Orie for short, was born on May 26, 1850 in Irwinton, Georgia, the county seat of Wilkinson County.  His father, Judge James Cuthbert Bower, was an attorney and Judge of the Court of Ordinary, which then had jurisdiction over Probate matters, marriages and county business affairs. His mother, Martha E. Davis, was a daughter of Oren Davis. 

Although his father was opposed to secession,  Judge James Cuthbert Bower was an ardent supporter of the Confederacy after the war began.  Orie, only 14 years of age, would often go on recruiting missions with his father to urge local men who were becoming of military age to fight for the South to stem the rising blue tide of the Union Army as it was steam rolling across the state from the North to the sea.  That tide rushed through Irwinton just after Thanksgiving in the fall of 1864.  The war would later have a abiding impact on Orie, especially in his poetry. 

Orie attended school from the age of six until seventeen, when he graduated from Talmadge Institute in Irwinton.  The leading men of the community hired well educated Northern teachers to teach the more elite children of the community with the most modern educational methods.

But, Orie wanted no part of books and mathematical exercises.  He wanted to fish on sunny days and on cools nights, hunt opossums and racoons.

Living somewhat of a "Tom Sawyer" like childhood, Orie became enchanted with a young mulatto slave, "Wash."   "Wash" was a master teller of tales, ghosts stories and Negro folk legends, much in the style of Joel Chandler Harris's "Uncle Remus" stories.  

Orie desperately wanted to engage in the practice of law.  So, after a year to find himself in the paradise of Florida, he began the study of law in his father's Irwinton law office.  At the age of nineteen, Orie Bower was admitted to the bar in the Superior Court of Baldwin County.    Soon the life he had dreamed of, practicing law along side his father, was swept away by the economic tidal waves of Reconstruction and national financial crises which followed.   

Orie decided that he wanted to go to college in Lexington, Virginia at Washington College, where his hero,  General Robert E. Lee, was serving as president. Bower graduated from the illustrious institution, some six months prior to the death of General Lee, one of the most beloved and revered generals in American history. 

Said to have possessed uncanny abilities to perceive character and determine the behavior of human nature, Orie was often called upon to take on cases all around the country.  In his native home, Orie served as a Master of the local Masonic lodge, Justice of the Peace, a member of the school and Mayor of Irwinton, posts he held before the age of thirty.
  
When his health failed him, Bower reluctantly made the fateful decision to move to a healthier, drier climate.  So, it was off to a new life in Texas with his wife Olive, his four oldest children, his worldly possessions and his law books, in tow. 

From Celburne, Texas, where his 5th child, Bertie was born in 1878,  Orie's travels led him to Old Mexico, Arizona and California.  To help pay the bills of his family, Bower took a job in the newspaper business as a traveling correspondent of several daily newspapers of the West.  He even spent a year working with the Law Department of the Abstract and Title Insurance Company of Los Angeles, keeping track of the ever changing ownership of land in the burgeoning West.  All the while, Orie continued to practice law, from the Mexican Border to the silver mad metropolis of Denver.  

As he grew older and his pace slowed down, Orie's thoughts turned back to the rolling hills of home and of his old friend Wash, telling his tales by the dwindling early morning campfires.  He thought of the good fishing holes and hunting wild game.  He recalled the sounds of the mockingbird's song, mourning whip-poor-wills and constantly chirping katydids - all things that were once wonderful when he was young and carefree. 

Orie's poetical inspirations erupted.  Many in his family had written poetry.  Some say as many of six members of the Bower family had penned published verses.  

Although Orie had written many poems, most of which he thought unworthy of consideration in his youth, it was during his sickly, invalid years when Orie began to turn out one poem after another.  His major work, "T'was ‘64 in Dixie," was a compilation of poems about the War Between the States. It was so long, 8,000 words, that Orie broke it down into subtitles, like "Noble Yankee Dead," "Faded Flowers," "Southern Girls," "The Yankee Cat"  and "Who Wave's the Bloody Shirt?"

It didn't take long at all for Orie's epic poem to be noticed by newspaper editors around the West.  Rienzi M. Johnston, who was born across the Oconee River from Wilkinson, County in Washington County  a year before Orie was born, was the prominent editor of the Houston Daily Post.  Johnston, who would later serve a short term as a United States Senator, published the entire poem in eight issues.  It was Johnston who first penned the moniker of "The Dixie Poet" or "The Lawyer Poet of the Rockies" on Bower.

There is no available space in this column, let alone in this entire issue, to republish the poetry of Orie Bower. To read a compilation of the poetry of Orie Bower, go to: http://www.pdftitles.com/book/15458/dixie-poems.

Orie Bower, who died in Nov. 1901, in  Harrison, Arkansas, spent the last three decades of his life, traveling around the West, looking for a cure for the illnesses which plagued his body,  He never found a physical cure for his maladies.  What he did find was something much more mentally fulfilling and of much more lasting consequence.  He observed and experienced a wonderful introspective life peering at the wonders of nature and writing of  the glories and horrors of war.  From time to time, Orie even took time to speak out on issues which he saw as harmful, the  ways of corrupt politicians for one example.  He even took the time to write about the funny things in the world.

So Orie Bower, may you live forever in the blue hazed mountains of the Rockies and the clear creeks of the green Georgia forests. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

HENRIETTA STANLEY DULL

FORMER LAURENS LADY NAMED

AS A GEORGIA WOMAN OF ACHIEVEMENT

Henrietta Stanley Dull, a native of Laurens County, will be named to an elite list of Georgia women as a member of the Georgia Women of Achievement Hall of Fame. Henrietta Stanley Dull will be inducted, along with Lollie Belle Moore Wylie and Mary Gregory Jewett, in a ceremony to be held in the Porter Auditorium on the campus of Wesleyan College in Macon on Thursday, March 14, at 11:00 a.m..

Since 1992, the mission of Georgia Women of Achievement has been to recognize and honor Georgia women who made extraordinary contributions within their fields of endeavor, and who will inspire future generations to utilize their own talents. Each year three women are inducted into the Georgia Women of Achievement Hall of Fame and the organization now honors over seventy-four outstanding Georgia women.

Long before there was a Betty Crocker (actually she was a fictional person), Julia Child or Paula Deen (of Lady and Sons fame), there was Henrietta Stanley (Mrs. S.R.) Dull. Trained in the art of true southern cooking by former slaves and forced into cooking as profession to support her family, Mrs. Dull was considered by the people of her day as the consummate Southern cook. Her 1928 cook book "Southern Cooking" is still defined by current culinary connoisseurs as the Bible of southern cooking.

Henrietta Celeste Stanley was born on her family's plantation near Chappell's Mill in Laurens County, Georgia on December 6, 1863. Her parents were Eli Stanley and Mary Brazeal. On her father's side, Miss Stanley boasted a fine pedigree which included three colonial governors. On her mother's side of her family, she descended from Solomon Wood, who took an active part in exposing the Yazoo Fraud of 1795.

It was during her early years when she observed the Negro cooks who provided the daily meals for the Stanley family. Born into a wealthy family which had the luxury of a variety of foods, Henrietta was said to have made a hobby of trying each dish she ever heard by duplicating it from memory. In her youth, the women of the house were charged with preparing three meals of day. Leftovers were discarded or fed to pets and there was no such thing as refrigeration. The ladies had to prepare many of the basic ingredients and condiments which we enjoy straight out of a box, jar or can today. Henrietta and her family moved to Flowery Branch, Georgia, where he father worked as a railroad station master. At the age of 23, Henrietta married Samuel Rice Dull of Virginia. The Dulls became the parents of six children.

After a decade of marriage, Mr. Dull began to suffer from mental illnesses. Mrs. Dull found herself in a seemingly overwhelming dilemma. Forced into supporting her children and her ailing husband, Mrs. Dull did the only thing she knew how to do, and that was to cook. Preparing cakes and sandwiches at first for the ladies of her church, Mrs. Dull soon began to sell a large variety of prepared foods out of her home. What started as a way of making ends meet eventually became a successful and profitable venture. Widespread praises led to invitations to plan parties throughout the social circles.

The owners of Atlanta Gas Light Company invited Mrs. Dull to initiate a program of home service to promote the sale and proper use of gas stoves. She always compared a gas range to a husband by proclaiming " you couldn't get the best out of either until you learn how to manage them." Though the theory of home service had been unsuccessful on previous occasions, Mrs. Dull rose to the occasion and championed the program. During this time, Mrs. Dull was chosen to head the Home Economics Department at Bessie Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia. She lent her expertise to establish and develop a Domestic Science Department at Girl's High School of Atlanta and later a department for its night school.

During World War I, Henrietta Dull served as a hostess in the Soldier's Recreation House on Peachtree Street. Affectionately known as "Mother Dull," she was a mother and cook to more than fifty thousand dough boys. Two of her sons, Samuel Rice Dull, Jr. and Ira Cornelius Dull, enlisted in the army. Mrs. Dull believed it was her duty to comfort the boys and young men stationed at nearby Camp Gordon in hopes that some Christian mother would do the same for her boys, wherever they may be stationed.

Her success at Atlanta Gas Light led to an offer from the editors of the Sunday Atlanta Journal Magazine to write and edit the Home Economics page of the magazine section. As with all of her previous efforts, Mrs. Dull became an instant success. Her recipes were found in kitchens throughout Georgia. Her cooking expertise soon spread throughout the South and led to invitations to make cooking demonstrations and conduct cooking schools as far north as Delaware. It has been said that she was the pioneer of cooking schools in the South. Requests for copies of her recipes led Mrs. Dull to contemplate compiling her recipes into a comprehensive guide to Southern cooking.

Mrs. Dull's landmark work with its thirteen hundred recipes was simply titled "Southern Cooking." The 400-page book, which has sold more than a quarter of a million copies, was designed to be a practical guide to preparing dishes with items which were readily available in local groceries. "Not once in the whole book will you discover that I had called for the use of an ingredient that any southern housewife can't get by calling up the grocer," Mrs. Dull said. Mrs. Dull's book emphasized the need for making cooking simple with easy to follow directions with exact measurements and cooking times. In her youth, few recipes were put in writing. Directions were often passed by word of mouth and the amount of ingredients were expressed in pinches, dabs and plenty. "Southern Cooking" also features chapters on sample menus, including seasonal and formal selections, as well as chapters on food selection, table service and kitchen equipment. Thirty five years after her book was published, Mrs. Dull was horrified that she omitted a recipe for that staple of Southern cooking, collard greens. Mrs. Dull's book, which was dedicated to her friends, the women of Atlanta and the South, was sold throughout the United States and seven different countries. It is still a popular selection in old book stores and EBay.

Mrs. Dull recalled a time when as a child she bribed the cook to allow her to make some corn pone. For the rest of her life cornbread was still her favorite food (and mine too.) "You can make it thick, ... thin... with lacy edges that get deliciously brown. Oh, I do love corn bread! I suppose I just love cooking," Mrs. Dull said. Mrs. Dull didn't even mind washing dishes because she figured out that washing them in cold water with little soap prevented "dish pan" hands. Among her best tasting dishes were her angel food cakes, called "archangel cakes" to distinguish them from the run of the mill cakes.

After 20 years with the Atlanta Journal, Mrs. Dull retired in 1938. That same year she was listed as one of the twelve most famous women in Georgia. But she wasn't through cooking. For another twenty years and well into her nineties, Mrs. Dull enjoyed cooking for friends and family in times of celebration and in times of grieving. Henrietta Stanley Dull died on January 28, 1964 at the age of one hundred years. Her life was described as one of unselfish service and outstanding achievements. Her sweet disposition and charm endeared her to everyone with whom she came in contact. She is buried in Westview Cemetery in Atlanta.

Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter came up with the idea to create an organization dedicated to honoring important women of Georgia's history. The first induction ceremony took place in 1992 at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. With this year's new members there are seventy seven women in the Hall of Fame. For more information about The Georgia Women of Achievement, go to www.georgiawomen.org.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

THE SAINT PATRICK'S FESTIVALS



Who’s That Star?


Over the last 48 celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin and Laurens County many celebrities have visited us during the parade and throughout the month long series of Irish events. You often hear, “I see her!” or “There he is!” Or, sometimes someone will ignorantly say, “who is that riding in that car?


Karl Slover, Munchkin 2006



There have been the times when local celebrities and politicians have served as grand marshals, speakers and festival guests. We all know, or should know, who they are. But, then there are the national celebrities, the ones some of us have grown to know and to love, and quite frankly, some we have grown to hate. I’ll let you know about one celebrity in particular later.


Demaryius Thomas

Most of the famous celebrities appear in the St. Patrick’s Parade, sponsored by the Dublin Civitan Club. This year one of our own, Demaryius “Bay Bay” Thomas, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 48th St. Patrick’s Parade. Thomas, a star athlete at West Laurens High and Georgia Tech, was selected to the Pro Bowl in his third season in the NFL. Atlanta Falcon stars William Andrews and Tony Casillas served as grand marshals back in the early 1980s.

Erik Walden, a former Dublin High school football player, was a last minute addition to the 2013 parade.  Originally named a grand marshal, Walden could not commit because of pending free agent negotiations.  Walden, who started for the World Champion Green Bay Packers, signed a 16 million dollar contract to play for the Indianapolis Colts.




Erik Walden
In its early years, the St. Patrick’s Festivals hosted some of the greatest musical talent in the country. Danny Davis, who earned fame as the nation’s premier country music big band leader, brought his famed “Nashville Brass” to town for a show in 1974. Two years later, Brenda Lee, a country music and pop legend, performed on the local stage during the St. Patrick’s Festival. Big band leaders Guy Lombardo, Wayne King, Charlie Spivak, and Vaughn Monroe performed in the late around festival time in the early years.



Music, especially great jazz, was an integral part of the Arts and Crafts Show in Stubbs Park in the 198os. Nationally known jazz artists like Ed Shaughnessy, (left) Yank Lawson, Johnny Mince, Bobby Barnett and Milt Hilton had festival goers tapping their feet and clapping their hands in a 1983 concert.

The 8th St. Patrick’s Festival in 1973 may have been notable for, if for nothing else, a visit from the most vexatious vixen of day time soap operas. The celebrity of the festival that year was Eileen Fulton, who portrayed the constantly scheming, intensely jealous and never satisfied Lisa Hughes. Miss Hughes, who married one husband short of a baseball team in her fifty-year tenure on the cast of As The World Turns, was the hit of the evening as emcee of the Miss Saint Patrick’s Beauty Contest which was then held in the auditorium of the VA Medical Center.

Miss Fulton arrived at the Laurens County Airport to the cheers of large crowd of well wishers. Her uncle, C. Fulton Glenn and his wife, Mildred Leavitt Glenn, hosted the popular soap opera star in their Dublin home.





Former Dublin resident, Cassie Yates, (left) who starred in movies and television shows for three decades, reigned as the Grand Marshal in the 1978 parade. Bobbie Eakes, of nearby Macon and Warner Robins, a former Miss Georgia, and a member of the cast of the CBS Soap Opera, The Bold and The Beautiful and ABC’s All My Children, appeared in the parade in the early 1990s. Donna Douglas, who portrayed everyone’s favorite animal loving, beautiful tomboy, hillbilly girl, “Elly Mae Clampett” on the Beverly Hillbillies has appeared in couple of parades in recent years.





Donna Douglas "Elly Mae Clampett" 2011


Although he never came to Dublin, TV talk show host Joey Bishop was made an honorary leprechaun for the 1968 festival. Bishop saluted the festival for an entire week on his nationally broadcast show.

During the 1960s, celebrity guests were often invited to attend the festival. Some of those who accepted the invitation were the legendary, then very youthful, University of Georgia football coach, Vince Dooley. Paul Anderson, of Vidalia and once billed as the “strongest man in the world,” came too. So did Johnny Boyd, who raced in the Indy 500 from 1955 to 1966.



In 1982, Bill Rodgers, (left)  a four-time winner of the Boston Marathon and the New York Marathon as well as being twice named the #1 marathon runner in world, competed in the 1982 ten thousand meter road race along with former Olympic runner, Jeff Galloway, known as the founder of the Peachtree Road Race.




You probably know that a President of the United States has participated in the St. Patrick’s Festival. As Governor, Jimmy Carter made appearances in St. Patrick’s activities. And as governor, Jimmy Carter signed four St. Patrick’s proclamations for the years 1971-1974. Then there were appearances by United States Senators Sam Nunn and Herman Talmadge, two of the most iconic senators in the state’s history. Of course, there have been a host of congressmen, state officials, and all sorts of government officials who come to town. You usually seen them during election time.


In fact, nearly every governor of the state from the beginning of the festival with Lester Maddox to this year’s Joint Civic Luncheon speaker, Governor Nathan Deal, have joined in on the wearin’ of the green.




Karl Slover, 2007

And of course, there have been local celebrities as well. In recent years, Munchkin Karl Slover, Brigadier General Belinda Higdon Pinckney, (one of the United States Army’s highest ranking female African American generals), and renowned blues singer, E.G. Kight have served as grand marshals of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Although they were not as famous, the veterans of our community, who served with unceasing patriotism and pride with no hope of any reward, were chosen to lead the parade in 2011.



E.G. Kight, 2012




Brigadier General - Belinda Higdon Pinckney, 2009

Local politicians and government officials like six-term congressman, J. Roy Rowland, Jr. and Georgia Supreme Court Justice Conley Ingram were featured in St. Patrick’s activities.

And, you may just catch a glimpse of a celebrity, not in the parade nor on the stage, but sometimes they appear in the crowds. Few, if any people, recognized acclaimed film maker Spike Lee, as he watched the parade incognito while he was in town researching his family’s roots here for the NBC genealogy program, Who Do You Think You Are?.

We really don’t know which famous people have been here during the festivals. You never know, there is always a possibility of a “Honey Boo Boo” sighting. Col. Rusty Henderson has invited her to ride along with him in his Dukes of Hazzard “General Lee’ Dodge Charger. After all, Dukes of Hazzard star, Ben “Cooter Davenport” Jones was here in 1985. So, keep your eyes out, y’all!

So, in the days to come and in the festivals of the future, keep your eyes open. One day, you just may have the irresistible urge to exclaim, “There he is!”

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

HAIL TO THE CHIEF


A New Tradition Begins

Most folks in this part of the South were more than glad to see Woodrow Wilson raising his right hand and taking the oath as the 28th president of the United States of America. After all, Wilson was the first Democratic president since Grover Cleveland left office some sixteen years before and only the second since the beginning of the Civil War. And to make things better for the solidly democratic South, Woodrow Wilson was a native of Virginia and a man who grew up in Augusta, Georgia.

So, it was only natural that many Southerners were overly excited about Wilson's inauguration. No one was more excited than the twenty-five lucky scouts, all members of Dublin Boy Scout Troop No. 1, who were chosen to represent the state of Georgia during the inaugural parade.

The Boy Scouts of America were organized in the winter of 1910 in Washington, D.C. by General Baden Powell. The 1913 inauguration would be the first in which the Boy Scouts would be able to participate. And, President Wilson, a consummate politician, was quick to enlist the helpful, kind Scouts to serve in the inauguration - a practice which continues today.

And, what could be more fitting and proper to have Boy Scouts, who by their nature promise to do their best to do their duty to God and our country. It was part of their creed to help other people at all times.

The Dublin troop, organized in early February 1912, was one of the first officially organized Boy Scout troops in the state.

The exciting announcement of the trip came in January. To be eligible to go on the trip, each scout was given an oral examination on the laws and oaths of the Boy Scouts of America.

The trip to Washington, D.C. was sponsored by Congressman Dudley M. Hughes of Danville, Georgia. Congressman Hughes, who had theretofore represented the 3rd District, began representing the newly created 12th Congressional District of Georgia in 1913. Hughes became an avid supporter of the Dublin scouts after entertaining them at his home on their 50-mile hike to the United Confederate Veterans Reunion in Macon in 1912.

Locally, the trip to the inauguration was sponsored by Judge Kendrick Hawkins, H.W. Knighton, S.V. Sconyers, A.T. Blackshear and A.D. Blackshear.


The Scouts, led by Scoutmaster George W. Fout and accompanied by the Rev. C.M. Chumbley and Fireman W.R. Locke, were assigned to first aid duty during the parade.

The boys and their chaperones didn't sleep much at all on the night before the trip. With all of their gear packed, checked and rechecked, the boys boarded a Central of Georgia train in Dublin on the morning of February 28, 1913. They rode to Savannah, where they transferred to a Seaboard Coastline train to ride in a specially outfitted passenger car for the 24-hour trip up the Atlantic Coast.

The muster roll of the scouts were; Sibley White, Bluford Page, Charles Hicks, Franklin Pierce, Vivian Dupree, Harry Erwin, Lewis Outler, Vernon McGlohorn, Dupree Bishop, John B. Parelle, Ewell Pierce, Theron Butts, Lyman Prince, Henry Carrere, Kyle Scarborough, Guy Scarborough, Clarkston Grier, Sidney Knight, Otis Rawls, Henry Hicks, Farrell Chapman, James Weddington, Fred Geffcken, John D. Prince, Jr. and a Chappell boy from Dudley. Like many Boy Scouts, many of these young men grew up to become trustworthy, loyal and brave leaders in their communities.

The thrifty boys, the first out of town troop to arrive in Washington, were welcomed by Washington, D.C. Scoutmaster, E.S. Martin, who went on serve a long career with the National Boy Scouts Association. Through the efforts of Congressman Hughes, the boys were quartered in the gymnasium at Rosedale Playground on the corner of 17th and Kramer Streets in northeast Washington, not far from the current day Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.

An estimated 1500 friendly and cheerful scouts from across the country were invited to attend and serve. About half of the physically strong and mentally awake scouts were assigned as stretcher bearers for the many ambulances stationed around the city.

The day itself was nearly perfect. There were no bitterly cold, blustery winds nor any blizzards of blinding snow. Only a dreary, typically overcast March Washington sky with a threat of rain later in the day presented a concern to the half million or so people who showed up for the momentous moment in history.

Before returning home the boys toured Frederick, Maryland, the hometown of their scoutmaster. On the way back, the troop was treated to an audience with Governor William Hodges Mann in his office in the capitol in Richmond, Virginia. Gov. Mann, a friend of Rev. Chumbley, was the last Confederate veteran to serve as governor of Virginia.

The boys, who vowed to keep clean thoughts in their heads, arrived back home on March 7. Not a single injury or instance of bad conduct among the most obedient and wholly reverent Boy Scouts was reported. Every boy would tell you that it was the trip of a lifetime.

But there was one more special event to come. In the last week of May, Sibley White, of the Dublin troop, and Julius Harris were awarded a medal from the National Women's Suffrage Association for their meritorious conduct in keeping the lines along the parade route clear.

To make their point, between 5,000 and 8,000 suffragists staged their own parade in front of more than 100,000 people on March 3, a day before the Inaugural Parade. As the women marched from the Capitol to the White House, some of them were attacked, right in front of apathetic law enforcement officials.

The nature of the scouts weren't reported. One might assume the courteous boys may have protected the activist ladies after a few reported scuffles along the parade route.

For as long as they lived, these morally straight Boy Scouts from Dublin remembered the most unforgettable day when they were a part of history. It was that day, March 4, 1913, a hundred years ago when for the Boys Scouts of America, the first time in the history of the country, were part of the inauguration of the President of the United States.