Friday, April 26, 2013




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


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:

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. 


Emissary from Emanuel

William Rountree made his life as he  traveled around the world seeking peaceful relations with the United States.  This native of Swainsboro served for more than a quarter of a century as one of our country's diplomats and  ambassadors to countries in the Middle East, Africa and South America in a time when the Earth was a ticking political, social and military time bomb.  This is his story.

William M. Rountree was born in the capital of Emanuel County on March 28, 1917 - a son of Clerk of County Court William M. Rountree, Sr. and his bride, Clyde Brannan. 

William's father died when he was still a toddler. The Rountrees remained in Swainsboro until 1923, when they moved to Atlanta, where William graduated from high school.  

After graduation, Rountree moved north to Washington, D.C., where he landed a job with the United States Treasury Department -  thanks to the assistance of Georgia Senator, Walter F. George.

In 1941, Rountree was appointed to a task force by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to formulate plans for the creation of an agency to administer the lend-lease program.  To top off his education, Rountree graduated from Columbia University just before the beginning of World War II. 

Rountree made his first major trip overseas in 1942 to Cairo, Egypt, where he worked with the British for the remainder of World War II.  It was during the war years when Rountree began to travel to most of the counties in the Middle East.

"I came back to Washington as special assistant and economic advisor to the Director of the NEA Bureau," recalled the newly appointed diplomat, who began to receive impressive assignments in Greece and  throughout the countries of the Mediterranean Sea as the United States assumed her role as the leader of the Free World. 

"I had not viewed our role as being the world's policeman, nor do I think President Truman did. But I think the responsibilities that were thrust upon us at the end of World War II required that we do many things in many parts of the world that were new to our philosophy," said Rountree in an interview with Niel M. Johnson of the Harry S. Truman Library.

In 1948, Rountree was directed to return to Washington to serve as  Deputy Director and later as Director of the Office of Greek, Turkish and Iranian Affairs. Later as Director of the Office of Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs, the Emanuel Countian worked with the British and other countries in stabilizing the region militarily, politically and economically.  In particular, he helped to stabilize the Middle Eastern oil industry from political agitation emanating from within and from outside the region. 

The ascent up the chain of command in the State Department  came quite easy to Rountree, who served as Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission in Tehran from 1953 to '55 and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs from 1955-59. Rountree's region included Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Ceylon.

President Dwight Eisenhower appointed the Georgian as Ambassador to Pakistan in 1959.  After three years, Ambassador Rountree was named by President John F. Kennedy as the new ambassador to the North African country of Sudan.  After another three-year term, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Rountree as our country's ambassador to South Africa, where he served until 1970.  Rountree's last three years of this 15-year tenure as an ambassador were spent closer to home in  South America as United States Ambassador to Brazil. 

As The Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, Mr. Rountree was deeply involved in the 1956 Suez crisis and in the 1958 uncivil tumult in Lebanon. Just before Christmas in 1958, a roguish mob threw eggs, mud balls and rocks at him in effort to force him out of Iraq. Of all of situations which Ambassador Rountree had to deal with, the most difficult was the tense relationship with Iran.  

"We always had influence with the Shah, but not a compelling influence. That is, the Shah always valued his relations with the United States, and enjoyed, during his life, remarkably good relations with every American administration," Rountree recalled. 

"Many people overestimate the extent to which American influence can be effective in any given country. Our advice to the Shah over the years could have been better, but on the other hand, if the Shah had adhered to the advice which he received from us, Iran would have been in a much better position at the time of the his demise. In other words, I do not go along with the idea that his failure was the result of the lack of good advice from the United States," the Ambassador concluded.

While serving as Ambassador to South Africa in the late 1960s,  Rountree had to deal with the bitterly divisive issue of Apartheid.

"The United States has strongly opposed Apartheid, and every administration has voiced that opposition in one form or another. Certainly, when I was there during the Johnson and Nixon administrations, part of my duty and responsibility was to make clear United States objection to Apartheid and the principle of that kind of discrimination. We joined with the international community generally in imposing certain restrictions in relationships, and in refusing to ship military or police equipment to South Africa. Our opposition was reflected in the United Nations, at the International Court, and elsewhere," Rountree asserted in the Truman Library interview.

Rountree had favorable opinion of the way in which the United States instantly recognized the State of Israel in one of the more momentous foreign relations matters of the 20th Century.

"President Truman made some of the most courageous and correct decisions of any President dealing with international relations. I have nothing but admiration for his decisions on Greece and Turkey, which we've discussed here, and also on NATO, the Marshall Plan, Point IV, and Korea," said Rountree in reflecting on his career in the 1950s.

After retiring in 1973, Ambassador Rountree, who became a close and trusted  aide of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, retired to Florida.  He died on November 3, 1995 in a Gainesville hospital.