Tobacco Bag Stringing

WAGONER, MRS. ELLA, aged 50; married; two children; resides in Wilkes Co., N.C. Children: Stalley, aged 12, in school. Rolley, aged 18, at home.

INCOME: Husband works on government park project, and earns about $20.00 per month. The work is only temporary.

HOME CONDITIONS: They own three-room house and about a half-acre of land. They have been living in a one-room shack but the husband has just competed the new house which is built from wood cut in the forest. Very poorly constructed. Raises beans, onions, potatoes and corn in the garden. Other food is bought and amounts to about $15.00 a month. One of the children is in very bad health, having Bright's disease, and needs frequest [sic] medical attention and medicing [sic], but if the bags are stopped they will not be able to afford it. She walks about four miles to get the bags. Has been doing them all her life and enjoys it. Earns about $6.00 a month at it and it all goes for medicine, material for clothes, and food. Husband states he will have to go in debt if the bags are taken away from them. His work is only temporary. No electricity, running water or inside toilet facilities. Walks about 1/4 mile for spring water.

[Source: "Tobacco Bag Stringing Operations in North Carolina and Virginia." Richmond, Va.: 1939. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]