An article written by a staff contributor of the Atlanta Constitution about Green Stowers in 1938.

Georgia Mountain Patriarch Raises All Own Food Except Coffee, Sugar

Dawsonville, GA, August 27th, Green Stowers, 81, patriarch of the mountainous section of north Georgia, is a real plant to prosper farmer.

For more than 63 years he has been one of Dawson county’s principal exponents of living at home and has produced all food necessary on the 90 acres he now has under cultivation, or on other lands which he owned and worked. His entire farm contains 254 acres. He exhibits his gnarled hands as evidence conclusive that “I’ve dug a living out of the ground, and it’s been a good living. All I’ve bought to eat from store since I can remember is coffee and sugar,” he added, “and even that may be too much. Georgia farmers ought to grow and raise what they need.”

Aside from his unusual farming record, Stowers has his own political and personal philosophy. He is a supporter of Georgia. He is an ardent supporter of Senator Walter F George and believes that Georgia’s reelection is necessary if Georgia is to remain a free state. “When I see a man is wrong, I tell him so.” he said “I think President Franklin D Roosevelt was wrong in coming to Georgia and telling us what and who to vote for. We don’t want a flock of “yes men” representing us in Congress. We Georgians think we have sense enough to elect representatives to represent us, and not somebody else. I’ve got backbone enough to say what I think about this matter, and I know that thousands of other Georgia planters feel the same about it.”

Sitting on the ancient porch of his home which is nearly 50 years old, Stowers reviewed his life as a planter. His memory is keen, his eyes flash as he tells of his success, and even his failures have not daunted his fighting spirit. His carriage is erect. There is a spring in his walk. “I have 15 children: eight boys and seven girls. He said “I have 20 grandchildren all boys but two. So, it seems our line is not to run out for a long time. My children and the grandchildren are all healthy, good, upstanding citizens.”

“I have never bought any flour, meal, meat, milk, lard butter or anything else to eat since I can remember, and we’ve always had plenty of it when we sat down to eat. The only thing we have bought in the eating line has been sugar and coffee.” Several years ago when there was a revival of gold mining operations in north Georgia, Stowers was a member of the firm of Stowers Brothers. They contracted to carry the giant boilers and other machinery necessary for the work into the hills, and did the work themselves.

Stowers has his own blacksmith shop and made his own wagons giants which could carry machinery weighing 70,000 pounds at one time. It took 28 mules to pull that 70,000 pound boiler over the mountain trails. Stowers superintended the job and one of his son’s, Homer, was his lead driver, which is an accomplishment.

The blacksmith shop makes plows used on the farm. Repairs to machinery also are made there. All Stowers and his boys need is a piece of sheet steel, a little time, and out comes one of the finest plows which can be bought. He, of course, uses tractors and other modern machinery in his present operations, but he still believes he can make as good as a plow as can be bought anywhere.

The elder Stowers has never been out of the state. He is a home loving person, and one is impressed that, despite the fact that he has grown children, they still respect his views, and he is the boss of his Kingdom in these north Georgia hills.

“The farthest I have travelled away from home was the trip to Atlanta.” he said “I have a daughter there, Mrs. Delia Digby, who lives at 797 Marion Ave.” “I have never drunk any intoxicants, and I never smoked. I had one chew of tobacco and that cured me. I don’t know what soft drink taste like. I might like them if I drunk any, but I don’t have money to spend for that kind of thing, so I don’t feel with them.”

Stowers operates his own sawmill, and he cuts timber for his needs, but takes particular care to conserve the forest on his 254 acres of land. He cultivates only 90 acres of it. “That 90 acres is all we need to make a comfortable living. We do not waste our lands. We change our crops. By we, I mean, Harry, Hugh, Floyd, and I, who run our farm. The others are settled and gone.”

 “One year we grew cotton on one plot and the next year we grew some other crop on the cotton land. That helps the ground. We learn that by trying it out it works. Some farmers plant the same land in the same crop year after year. That is bad for the soil, and they don’t get as good crops as we do. We are under the AAA on our place. They have given me a cotton quota of 20 acres, and maybe even that is too much. You see, cotton is no longer profitable unless there’s a good turnout. If the farmers would plant things to eat, they would not need so much cash, and they could get along on a little cotton and the price might be right.”

“Another thing which helped to make us happy all these years is we have taken the Atlanta Constitution for more than 40 years. It is a habit. We would not know how to get along without it. “

“We breed hogs called Ohio Improved Chester Whites, and nine months after they are born, we butcher porkers weighing 350 pounds. We don’t have any labor problems because we do our own seeding, laying by and harvesting. We don’t have to spend a lot of money, and we don’t need a lot of money.”

“There is a brood mare on our place from which we get our mule. We breed our own cattle and milk cows. We have everything here that we need. We grow our own fruits and raise chickens and ducks.” As Stowers talked, one was impressed by his self-sufficiency. He didn’t need anything he cannot make or get. He has a plentiful and well-rounded life. He is practically self-educated, but he uses good English, and one regards him as a real Georgian who loves Georgia, its history, and its traditions.

In addition to Hugh, Harry, and Floyd Stowers, who helped to operate the farm, his other children are Homer, Howard, Taylor, Tom, Mary, Bessie, Delia, Ollie, Elizabeth, Edith and Elsie. There was another son, Herbert, who is now not living.

The chimney at the present Stowers farm is more than 100 years old. The lower portion is hewn Granite, while the upper portions are of Limestone. Stowers farm lies in Dawson County, off the Gainesville Highway, and the little Etowah River cuts through the land for nearly a mile.

There were two brothers, Green and Dr. Levi Russell. Dr. Russell ran the drugstore but Green Russell, for whom Stowers was named, was a successful prospector. When the California gold rush began, he joined thousands of others seeking his fortune in the West. When he returned, he brought back 150 pounds of pure gold in a saddle bags, according to the story.