Tobacco Bag Stringing
Bertha Holsclaw

HOLSCLAW, MRS. BERTHA; married, all children married and away from home; they support two grandchildren, aged 6 and 8 years; wife aged 68 and husband 70 years. They reside in Wilkes Co., N.C.

INCOME: Husband owns and runs a small grocery store which he says nets him around $6.00 a month.

HOME CONDITIONS: They own a seven-room house and 115 acres of land, 25 acres being used for raising corn, wheat, rye, and the vegetables which they eat. The rest of the land is timber and wasteland. Have two cows and about 50 chickens, which supply the milk and eggs. The house is built pretty substantially and kept very clean and orderly. They own several mules which are used in plowing. Mrs. Holsclaw has chronic kidney trouble and states that "one-third of our income is spent on medicine and doctor's bills." She earns around $12.00 a month stringing bags. This money is a great help in buying food and clothes and if discontinued, medical attention and medicines will have to be sacrificed. However, Mr. Holsclaw says that they are not dependent on this bag money. The farm is run by "tenants" who tend to the farming and keeping the place up, giving one-third of the product to Mr. Holsclaw.

[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.]