Poole had chain of three millinery shops

This is the ninth in a series on Milam County women.

E udora “Dora” Rosetta Orr was born May 11, 1860 in

Mississippi, to Mary Jackson Mauldin Orr and Valentine Barry Orr and was educated in the Chickasaw Female Collect in Pontotoc.

In 1882 she moved to Rockdale. She taught school in Bushdale and San Gabriel and told stories of how she was chased by wolves as she rode her horse to school.

In 1886 she established a millinery business with stores in Rockdale, Lott and in Mumford.

Imagine the distance between those three towns in the days when transportation was limited to horse and buggy or maybe the luxury of using the train transportation.

Her Rockdale store downtown was very popular with the ladies, one of whom paid $30 for a hat.

Those were the days when a proper young lady did not go outdoors without a hat and gloves.

Dora’s business prospered until it partially burned in 1911. After the fire, she chose not to reopen.

In 1892 she married William Hines Poole. Four children were born, Hattie Lucile Poole, Mary Catherine Poole and two who died in infancy.

William and Dora were members of t he First Met hod ist Church in Rockdale Dora was recognized in 1935 as the oldest active member of that church. First Methodist Church was then located on East Cameron just east of downtown.

Dora died Aug. 30, 1948 and is buried beside her husband in IOOF Cemetery in Rockdale.

She is remembered for her education, at a time when most young women either could not attend college due to financial circumstances, or chose to marry at a young age.

For her own reasons she chose the field of education. She was an entrepreneur ahead of her time, running a millenary business in three widely-separated towns.

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