Tobacco Bag Stringing Operations
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J 3 c
I N D E X
General Statement of Sherlock Bronson,
President of Virginia-Carolina Service
Corporation, Richmond, Virginia, of
the circumstances and conditions under
which, the survey of industrial conditions
in the tobacco bag stringing area was
made, and certain conclusions derived
Letter of March 16, 1939 from Sherlock
Bronson to Hon. Graham A. Barden ..........
Letter of March 30, 1939 from Mrs, H . S.
Jones, Agent, Leaksville, N. C
Letter of September 6, 1938 from Luther
Dyson, Supt. Public Welfare, Alexander
Co., N C • ................................
Letter of October 6, 1938, from L. L.
Smitherman, East Bend, IT. C. (Yadkin Co.)..
Letter of September 6, 1938, from Charles
C. McNeill, Supt. Public Welfare, Wilkes
County, M. C
Letter of September 7, 1938 from Mrs. Lee
C. Taylor, Supt. Public Welfare, Granville
County, N. c
Letter of October 4, 1938, from W. T. Matt ox,
Supt. Public Welfare, Orange County, N. C.
Letter to Chase Bag Company from 0. L. Crabtree,
Chairman Dept. of Public Welfare, Orange
County, N. C.
Letter of March 31, 1939 from Walter Childers,
Taylorsville, N. C.
Letter of March 6, 1939, from Mrs. Eva Randall,
Richmond, Va. •*....'
Letter of April 6, 1939 from L. L. Godfrey, Agent,
Southern Bag Stringing Co., Inc., N. Wilkesboro,
Letter of April 1, 1939 from Mrs. Kate Pulliam,
Leaksville, N. C.
Letter of April 7, 1939, from Rosebud. Morse
Garriott, Agent, East Bend, N, c.
I N D E X (Cont'd) Page 2.
Reports of investigators on conditions
of cotton tobacco bag stringers in
'Wilkes County, N. C
rteports of investigators on conditions
of cotton tobacco bag stringers in
Re ids vi lie, 1L C. ..................
Reports of investigators on conditions
of cotton tobacco bag stringers in
Reports of investigators on conditions
of cotton tobacco bag stringers in
South Richmond, Virginia ...........
Group and selected individual picture
of North Carolina distributors
Group and selected individual pictures
of Virginia distributors ...........<
Proposed amendment to the Fair Labor
Standards Act ,
VIRGINIA-CAROLINA SERVICE CORPORATION
1413-15-17 EAST FRANKLIN STREET
April 13, 1939.
Hon. Graham A. Barden,
House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. Barden:
Upon my return to Richmond after my inter-
view with you in Washington on March 16th, it was deter-
mined that a survey of the bag stringing conditions in
North Carolina and Virginia would prove helpful in con-
nection with the contemplated amendment to the Fair
Labor Standards Act. -For this work I selected Mr.
Carleton Stutz, a graduate of the University of Richmond,
a young man of unusual intelligence, who has determined
to make social welfare his life's vocation, and Mr. Peter
A. Maxfield, another outstanding young man, who hopes to
devote his life to welfare work. Both of these young
men were instructed to go into the homes of workers who
supplement their income by stringing bags, to interview
these persons, and to record exactly what was found,
irrespective of whether or not it was helpful or hurtful
to the cause of bag stringing in the home. The photo-
graphs were taken by these young men, the idea being to
portray home conditions as they found them. It is
obvious from a reading of their reports that no attempt
lias been made to alter, or change, or shade the findings
in any respect.
I have spent a sufficient time to read each
report with care; the reports as a whole are typical of
the conditions of the people in North Carolina and
Richmond, Virginia, who engage in this type of home work.
Their plight is almost unbearable, and while it is true
that the amount earned by each stringer is not large,
in the community in which they live it pays the rent,
the light and heat for the home, and in many cases pur-
chases other articles as essential as food and clothing.
To the man who lives in the city and who, by reason of
his vocation, is required to maintain a certain social
standard requiring the payment of $50 .00 a month rental
for an apartment, the sum earned by these stringers is
VIRGINIA-CAROLINA SERVICE CORPORATION
1413-15-17 EAST FRANKLIN STREET
equivalent to more than :j;.50.00 a month to this latter
type of individual.
If you will study the survey, so far as
it pertains to negro workers, you will find that they
are capable of and do string many more bags than the
white stringers. In at least one of the cases herein
included the negro stringers earn as much as $110.00
a month. Many other negro stringers earn comparable
sums. A fair interpretation from this would lead me
to believe that even if it be assumed that the string-
ing of bags could be done in factories, the work would
be confined by the employer entirely to negro labor.
Further, to eliminate home work would take away the
only supplemental source of income that many people
in the mountain districts of North Carolina have; the
only work which they are capable of performing, and
would deprive people who are required to take care of
aged parents and relatives and children of tender years
of all opportunity of giving to them the benefit of
We believe most earnestly that the string-
ing of bags is helpful to many people who receive these
bags from distributors. While it is true that the cor-
poration itself does not know who these stringers are,
we are advised that the distributors give the bags, as
far as possible to needy people. We most respectfully
and earnestly Buggest that some provision be made by
Congress to eliminate all doubt concerning the status
of home work in the stringing of cotton tobacco bags;
that if it is felt that any further information is
desirable on this subject that both Mr. Stutz and Mr.
haxfield be summoned and interrogated, and that addi-
tional and independent social workers be sent into the
districts to obtain reports on the conditions of the
people who do this work.
/L,/o<:t fronton, cfortr yZcmfcr* J)<*n& JImM^
March 10, 1939
lion, rahaia .. jarden,
louse of representatives,
daahington, j. J*
In \o: fair Labor ..:-uamards ^.ct,
^iear r. . ^uitleni
I am deeply grateful bo you for the time
extended to me this morning and the opportunity afforded
to discuss uhe wage and ..our law and its relation to the
stringing of cotton tobacco baga. Just before .1 left
t »aabin,^ton f my partner, Congressman datter field, trans-
mitted to you a copy of an amendment to the law, which we
feel will cover not only our situation but others similarly
situated, and I am enclosing an additional copy of the
amendment in order that it may be appended to the brief
statement herein contained and made in support of the
iiaall cotton tobacco bags are used as con-
tainers for granulated smoklnc tobacco. The bags are
made by machines, and all work in connection therewith
conforms with the .air l^bor standards ^ct, The insertion
of the draw etrlng and the tag appended thereto is done by
hand, except in the case of one manufacturer, who ia
•quipped with machines, but not to an extent sufficient
to string its entire output, There are only tlirce
companies in the United .itatea engaged in the manufacture
of these cotton bags - -
olddn Jolt I 'anufacturin ■■ Company,
havin- its plant a: jurham, North Jarolinaf
illhiaer ^ag Company, having ita
plant at Richmond* /Irginlaj and
^ v v ^V>\^V:
...,■■. - ■.
\ \ \ ■' ■
Jhaae atg Company, having its plant
at Keldsvllle, North Carolina,
The >oldan Bait Manufacturing Company, a
subsidiary of /uaerlcan tobacco Company, Is the only
company equipped with machines to perform Its stringing
operations* This company rills all the requirements of
the American Vobacco Company for ull L>urhaia Smoking
Pobacco, The machines are patented, and the Golden tielt
Company has been unwilling to license the other two
companies to use the patented machines.
It Is reliably estimated that approximately
1,000,000,000 bags annually are made by the three
companies, This involves directly the use of approximately
25,000,000 yards of cotton cloth, and indirectly requires
10,000 bales oC cotton and the processing of this cotton.
The bags when ready for stringing and
tagging are delivered to distributors, who place the bags
with hundreds of householders In Virginia and "orth
Carolina, These distributors do not receive any portion
of the price paid to the party stringing the bags. The
situation is not comparable in any way to the distribution
of home work in Porto Rica as reflected in the hearings
on January 4, 5, 0, 17 and. 18, 1939, before the honorable
Merle D, 71; ..cent upon the question of regulations on
record to be kept by employers of industrial home workers
in the United States and j . orto idea.
The only implement needed to effect the
stringing is a small needle, which costs approximately
one penny. The home worker is allowed almost u limited
latitude: with respect to the time of return of the
finished bags. The rate of compensation which usually
prevails is from 50^ to 7Sj^ per 1,000 bags.
The actual work of stringing is performed
by various members of the family at moments of leisure.
The hoxae workers In the vast majority of cases are white
and are engaged in agricultural pursuits, ffio one is
permitted to work unier the age of 10 years In spite of
the fact that the work is ef such a beneficial nature as
to be terms "institutional," .doctors prescribe it for
extreme nervousness. It is so simple a performance that
so 4 e of the largest producer:: servin; the industry are
totally blind. The home Is in no respect converted into
a factory, the nebere of Ike family stringing Individually
or collectively at their leisure, usually while attorn?
to other duties, such as cooking or nursing or earing for
aged parents and relatives. It would be difficult to
suggest any economic or human© reason for the dlaconra.
mont of the stringing of ba.^s in th© hone, or, under the
guise of the regulation of iabor, to Interfere with the
Instinctive habits of family Industry and thrift.
It is conceded that the hone worker engaged
In the stringing of bags cannot earn 26/ per hour. It is
conceded chat -he Industry cannot effectively check the
number or hours the home worker engages In this pursuit.
It Is a fact that In many Instances parties whose names
are unknown engage in the stringing of bags, as it is not
an unusual practice for a community store to distribute
the ba s to customers desiring to supplement their income.
. xcept in the rarest instances the amount earned from
stringing and tagging of bags is entirely supplemental to
other primary income, usually derived from farming. While
$he individual amount of money involved is not great, the
I'illhlser cag Company and Case Bag Company paid 'the
folio amounts in 1937:
: lllhlser ;aa Company
Itorth Carolina Virginia
310, 300.00 v71,200 # 00
.■Tease i.'&fc Company
'■■orth. ..arcllna Virginia
This is a total of ; 159,789.98. Ko flares are available
for the Golden uelt i ; .]8nufaeturing Company, whose operations
were .fully as extensive as those of the other two
companies combined, for the reason that only the perfectly
made bag can be strun by a machine, ana approximately
20 o:: the bags made are imperfect for machine stringing.
The individual family often earns aa much
as ,i3G0.00 a year from this source, ".bile this sum f as
previously at&tei, is not large, when the plight! of th©
people engaged In this work Is taken into consideration,
it beeo\.o3 alarmingly large. In the report of the
National aaergemcy Council to th© .-resident of the United
states rendered on July 25, 1938, and entitled "Report on
•economic Conditions In th© .South", there appears in
Section 5 thereof this statement i
• sa . W
ver since the -ar etween the states the
gcgth hiaa been tho poorest; section of the nation. 'fhe
nichest state in the south ranks lower In per capita
income than the poorest state outside the region. In
1937, the average income in the south was 314.00. Xn
the rest of the country it was 604.00, or nearly twice
as much. hven in prosperous 1929, southern farm people
received on average cross income of only 160.00 a year,
as ooxnparec with s? fi88.0O "or farmers elsewhere, out of
that ,.186.00 southern famers had to pay all their
operating expenses, tools, fertilisers, seed, taxes and
interest on debt - so that only a fraction of that sum
was left for the purees© of food, clothes and the
decencies of life. It is hardly surprising, therefore,
that such ordinary items as automobiles, radios and books
ar<# relatively rare in many southern country areas. or
more than balf of the -Jouth f s farm families - the 54 % who
are tenants without land of their own - Ins Wat ■ are far
lower. boj thousands of them are living in poverty
comparable to that of the poorest peasant in Europe,
recent study of iouthern cotton plantations indicated that
the average tenant family received an income of only
Vd.O'J a person for a year's work, earnings of share
c -op; ers range from .00 to ,87.00 per nerson, and an
income of ;>38.00 annually means little more than 10j^ a day."
Again in section 15 of the same report:
"A study of souther farm-operating; white
families not receiving relief or other assistance shows
tliat those whoso Income averaged ,,390.00 spent annually
only ;49.<> : on the foot! they bought* .,31.00 on clothln.; ;,,
- • >, on Medical care, ,1.00 on recreation, .1.00 on
reading, £.00 on education. « • * ■ # * Southern people
The iuaerican people have never been willing
to permit any of Its peojile to go hungry irrespective of
the tax burden created in order that these people might be
fed. fegsj and Hour ill, no natter bow commendatory the
purpose of its passage night be, was never intended, to
deprive th* people of /iorth iaroilna and Virginia of
supplemental income, which would result in denying them
of the "decencies of life* and would tend to lower the
standard of living of a class of people whose standard
Is already pathetically low*
, • ■ '■
I am quite confluent that It is not your
desire to uavo iae in this letter treat witl"; the legal
questions involved. consequently, fch* issue will toe
dealt wltr. on a broad oasis, an wt desire a
memorandum of authorities In support of our contentions,
this jaeweranduia will bt promptly :orthcomln .
Broadly speaking, the Act applies to
employees of all concerns either engaged in Interstate
commerce or In producing goods destined for sldpsment In
the stream of such commerce. If the parties stringing
bags are employees, then the work performed falls
within the purview of the Act and the Act should be
amended to peinuit this character of home work. It Is
our belief and contention Ciiau a stringer of cotton
tobacco bags under the prevailing conditions Is an
Independent contractor* answerable only for the results
obtained and not for the means thereof #
Therefore, the act is Inapplicable, tout
in view of the attempt on the part of the Administrator
to cover by regulation all home work, It is highly
desirable to clarify the situation by the amendment
enclosed herewith, it sincerely trust that the
vdmlniatrafcor will not object to the contemplated amend-
ment, which will eliminate all-inclusive rulings which
are necessarily legislative in character, and therefore
illegal, and which tend t . engender unnecessary animosity
toward the Act and ultimately lead to its repeal or to
c state or confusion in regard to its administration,
which makes for uncertainty of uniform enforcement*
•rthQr, by this amendment all undesirable
home work is banned, and under the ^resent law It is
very doubtful wh ' any home work of any cliaraoter
falls within its purview.
.; :,, :
Leaksville, N. C,
March 50, 1939.
Mr. Sherlock Bronson
In response to your request that we as
distributers of cotton tobacco bags for stringing write
you our experiences, whether the work has been detri-
mental or helpful to our community, I would like to say
it has been very helpful here, and I as agent, as well as
the stringers din this locality, appreciate this work more
than mere words could ever say.
For one thing it has been a spare time work
and could be carried on in conjunction with other occupa-
tions. A mother with young children, who could not leave
home to work, if any work was to be had, could string bags
at home in spare time and earn enough to provide herself and
children with sufficient clothes. Even provide money for
school books and hot lunches for children in school. One
mother is stringing, bags to provide money for her daughters
business cotirse. Another is buying a sewing machine with
money she earns stringing bags. Two mothers that I know
of ha.ve bought scout uniforms and provided vacations for
their children which they could not have had any other way.
One mother of a large family of working age (only one of
which has been able to secure employment ) strings bags and
provides medicine for her husband who is now a hopeless
paraletic. She tells me she keeps all insurance premiums
paid, as well as buying medicine, clothes, food and other
necessary things that the one at work cannot provide.
A school teacher at Leaksville graded school
strings bags in her spare time to buy books for the under
privileged children in her grade who haven't been able to
b them before.
Then there are a number of blind, crippled,
and handicapped people here, who could not find work in
regular fields. If work was plentiful. These people have
to live some way, probably they have families who do all
in their power for them. Yet there are always things
needed that cannot be provided. Now that they can get
bags to soring, they not only can provide the necessary
things for themselves, but it gives them a new outlook,
a feeling that they are now useful citizens, instead of
These are only a few instances of the real
conditions here. But if you will send some one to Investi-
;ate I can take you to dozens of homes where these bags
are not only appreciated, but where they are a real necessity.
The mills here have been running short time
for several years now. And I believe less than one half of
bhe people normally employed are now at work. Boiled down
I ' s means there probably is one in each household partly
Loyed. So every day I have hundreds of requests for bags
above that I am able to provide. They come at me from
every angle, telephone, doorbell and since my business is
in my residence, they'll even go around the §iouse and come in
the back door just to tell me how needy they are, and ask me
to please get them some bags to string to help out in the little
they now receive.
Those fortunate enough to get the bags tell
me they have been greatly benefited and often tell me they
have no idea how they could have managed to live without
them. So since the work is really an easy simple pastime,
enjoyable as well as profitable, I cannot feel it has ever
harmed any one.
Mr. Bronson, what we people of "North Carolina
need is more work, an encouragement of private industry, and
certainly not a cecession of the little we have left. So
won't you please send this letter to our Congressmen and
ask then to plead our cause for us? Tell them we prefer to
make an honest living by the sweat of our own brows rather
than let our government suprort us. But how can we do this if
private industry is discouraged to closing its doors? Time
was when we needed spare time to rest and play, but now all
we have is spare time. So we need some good honest work to
live on. I for one vastly prefer being worked to death to
doine nothing and starving to death. And I'm sure many
others feel the same way. Then please tell our Congressmen
if they cannot do anything to encourage private business,
so it can open Its doors and put men back to work, then
don't stand by and let the Wage and hour Bill take what
is to some of us the "last hope".
Just now there are a great number of our
people living altogether on welfare. And If our bags are
taken from us the government will have quite a few more
families to take care of, either in welfare or government
work for something would have to take Its place at once or
these people will suffer.
So far I haven't been able to work out any
way to keep time on bar stringing. I rather thought of it
as a contract, pa; Lng so much For su many finished bags,
regardless of whether the work was finished in an hour or in
lonth. lave been leaving that entirely up to the stringer
as to what amount, of time she wanted to devote to hag
stringing. Wow, in studying the matter I wonder if I
wouldn't he defeating more than helping anyone by keeping
time on the work. No way could be provided for that except
to gather the stringers under one roof. And in doing that
our mothers with young children, our blind and crippled
and handicapped ones who now so happily earn for them
selves would be left oub again. Just as they are in all
other occupations. So I feel that the only way I could
handle this work is the way I have been doing in the past.
Trust our work and its conditions will be
thoroughly investigated before it is taken from us for even
.if business was good and there was a job waiting for every
able bodied man and woman in this community, our bags would
still be needed and appreciated for the extras it provides
and for the hope it gives those who are handicapped and
who never will be able to work in regular fields of
endeavor. So please put me on record as one who has found
this work beneficial with not one instance of its ever
having hurt anyone.
Mrs. H. B. Jones, Agent,
Leaksville, N. C.
IXANDER COUNTY DEPA1 ; ! : OF PUBLIC WELPA
TAYLORS VI LLE , N . C .
September 6, .1958.
|;1 r. 0, L. Crabtree,
Hillsboro, N. C.
Dear Mr. Crabtree:
I have been informed that the stringing of
bags in the county may be discontinued. i/Ve have approxi-
mately 500 stringers that received about !§>10, 000.00 an-
nually . The majority of these workers are small farmers,
and depend largely on this money for their income. I
feel If this would be discontinued a majority of these
families would be forced to apply to the Welfare Department
for aid. We now have a tremendous case load in this
county, and it will be impossible for us to render assist-
ance to these stringers.
I personally know what the stringing of bags
means to these people, for having been reared in the coun-
try I can very well remember how when I was a child my
own people depended upon the stringing of bags for food
I am sure that anything that can be done to
keep this little business running will be greatly appre-
ciated bv all concerned.
Very truly yours,
(Signed) Luther Dyson.
Luther D^y-son, Superintendent
Department of Public Welfare,
LD : vm
East Bend, N. C. (Yadkin County.)
October 6, 1938.
TO WHO!.; IT MAY CONCE :
It has lust been brought to my attention
that there is a possibility that the women of Yadkin
Go. are likely to lose the work of stringing tobacco
bags. At present I am serving fadkin County as one of
their three commissioners and feel It is my duty to
call your attention to this fact. For years I have
owned and operated two grocery stores in this county.
I fully realize the true benefit this home work has
been to the many families I have served. This county
is altogether a farming county and since the past few
years have been bad farm years I can mention any number
of families that have entirely depended upon the string-
ing of tobacco bags to provide groceries and other things
necessary for their families. In many cases they have
kept families from asking the county for help. The bag
stringing in most cases is done by the mother of the
family who cannot leave home for outside work.
Tobacco bags have been strung in this county
as home work for thirty-five years or more and it would
be a very distressing blow to the families that have de-
pended upon them for years to lose this work now.
Trusting you will see this situation as I
know it to be and give It due consideration, I am
Very truly yours,
L. L. Siiiitherman.
THE WILKES COUNTY
Y >ARD OF CHARITIES AND PUBLIC WELFARE
WILKESBORO, N. C.
September 6, 1938.
: r. Q. L« Crabtree,
Hillsboro, N. c.
Dear Mr. Crabtree:
It has just been called to my attention
that the Bag Companies will likely have to go out of
business should It be decided that they must come
under the Wage and Hour Bill which goes into effect
In this connection I would like to state
that the bag industry here in Wilkes County has been
of untold value to our people. This business has
given an income, even though small, to a large number
of families that otherwise wouid not have had any
Income except from some charitable organization. I
have found that in dealing with charity cases here in
Wilkes that a large number of them tie tobacco bags
which does give them some Income. The greatest trouble
here is that the people have not been able to secure as
many bags as they are able to work,
I have talked with our bag representative
here in Wilkes County and he tells me that they have
not been able to secure as many bags as they are able
I have talked with our bag representative
here in Wilkes County and he tells me that they have
been paying out around ^100.00 per day to the people in
this section for working tobacco bags. I feel sure that
this has been a great help to our people.
Yours very truly,
(Signed) Charles C. McNeill,
Supt. Public Welfare
C WELFARE DEPARTMENT
MRS. LEE C. TAYLOR, SUPT.
OXFORD, N. C,
September 7th, 1938.
Mr. A. E. Fletcher,
Commissioner of Labor,
Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dear i;i r. Fletcher:
It has been brought to my attention that
there is some possibility of the Wage and. Rour bill
preventing people in Granville County from stringing
tobacco sacks. Mr. E. L. Gresham, the local distribu-
tor, gives us the information that he carries a list
of approximately four hundred and ninety-two regular
workers. This industry brings into the county approxi-
mately twelve thousand dollars a year. A large portion
of these sacks are distributed among farm families,
thus providing necessities for the family which would
probably have to be provided by this department If this
work was not available.
I wish to add this recommendation in behalf
of the people of Granville County.
fours very truly,
(Signed) Martha F. Taylor
Mrs. Lee C. Taylor,
Supt. Public Welfare,
C ORANGE C( E] IT I FT OP PUBLIC lRE
Y . 1 • MATTOX
SUPT. PUBLIC WELFARE
HILLSBORO, N. C.
October 4, 1038.
Mr. A. k. Fletcher
Commissioner of Labor
Raleigh, -■• C.
Lear Mr. Fletcher:
It has been brought to my attention that
there is some possibility of the Wage and hour Bill
preventing people in Orange County from stringing to-
I would like to state that the bag indus-
try has been of untold financial value to a consider-
able number of Orange County people. While the amount
seems small it affords most of these people about all
the ready cash that they have. Should this source of
income be cut off from them it would mean the multi-
plication of calls upon the welfare department in our
county and with our limited money we would not be able
to meet near all these calls. The people who string
bags, as a rule, are unable to do public work and most
of them are aged and infirm.
I trust that you will see fit to allow
these people to continue to string bags in their homes.
Doing the work in their homes as they do, means that
they use time, for the most part, that would be spent
as leisure time were it not for the fact that they had
this little work to do by which they can earn a very
small pittance but which to them means a great deal.
Thanking you In advance for your considera-
tion in this matter, I am
(Signed) W. T. Mattox,
Supt. Public Welfare.
ORANGE COUNTY DEPAR T OF PUBLIC
Y IV. " ! . MATTOX
SUPT. PUBLIC WE]
Chase Bag Company,
jew York, IT. Y.
Attention Mr. Sheldon:
Mr. Richardson has requested that I forward
you letters I have pertaining to the possibility of dis-
continuing the stringing of bags in the homes and the
effect it will have on the 'Welfare Department in the
event this work is stopped.
This stringing agency was started three
years ago to help people who had a small income but not
quite enough to exist. Without help from somewhere these
are tenant farmers, partitiine housekeepers, laundresses
and older persons living with married and son-in-laws
whose income is not enough to keep their own families, in
fact no person I have stringing bags (and I have about
four hundred) could possibly compete with laborers in
public work as most of them are unable to do public work
but can do this kind of work.
I can remember thirty years ago my grand-
mother and most of the people in the neighborhood strung
and tagged bags in their homes.
This is not a sweat shop business but part-
time labor done mostly at night while gathered around the
family circle, the same as fancy work or old-time quiltings,
and if taken out of the homes it would work quite a hard-
ship on these people as it could not be replaced.
I hope you will have success in continuing
this work as it has been done for forty or fifty years.
(Signed) 0. L. CRABTREE, Chairmen,
Taylorsville, N. C,
March 31, 1939.
•• Shlerlock Bronson
Dear Mr. Bronson:
I am deeply grateful to you and to all others
who have made it possible for us to carry on this work ;
The Stringing Of Tobacco Bags, in our county. It is
our greatest desire that you continue to fight for us
and our people who so greatly need and depends on this
We would feel so keenly the loss of this work.
And may we urge that you do all you can in keeping and
supplying us with bags.
I have been engaged in this
years and have paid out an enormous
work for nearly four
amount of money
monthly to these stringers who did this work at their
leisure time. Hundreds of our stringers depend entirely
upon tnis work for their sole income. They live on
small farms and are unable to live without the help of
aid elsewhere. Our welfare problem is so great that the
relief funds cannot take care of many others.
Should this work be taken away from us, there
would be nothing to substitute in the place of bag string-
ing. These people will have to be cared for. We are
pleading with you to help us and
relief problem any more burden.
let us not make the
In my own personal experience, I have been reared
on a small farm and have known just how much we depended
on bags to buy our clothes and help us to get an educa-
And In conclusion, may we ask that you. strive
earnestly and long to win this fight for our poor people.
(Signed) 3 CHILDERS, Agent.
1720 Perry Street,
Please do all you can to help us have our
bags to string in our hones. I have been an agent for
bags, for the past eight years. I had a home well fur-
nished and was just starting in the store business eight
years ago when I was burned out and lost everything I
had, stock in store, furniture, clothing and everything
I possessed, including valuable jewelry* My husband had
no .job and could not get any. He is old and unable to
work. I had two little children to support, when Millhiser
Bag Co. gave me a position as agent, in handling bags for
them. I bought furniture and furnished ray home, paid my
rent, water and light bill from the money I earned through
the bag agency. Since I haven't been able to get the bags
to supply my bag-stringers, my husband I string bags all
our spare time. That is the only way we can earn money
to pay our rent, water and light bill, and help pay for
food. The city give us $2.50 per week for groceries, to
fee three, that amounts to about 83 cts. apiece per week.
You know it is impossible for me to buy substantial food
for that amount. I have over two hundred ladies that
string for me when I can get the bags to supply them.
They all need the money they earn from stringing bags. If
the bags are discontinued being strung in the homes there
will be great suffering among the people throughout
Richmond, Petersburg and the surrounding counties. Most
of the peonle stringing bags consist of old ladies that
could not get work m any factory, crippled ladies that
are not able to earn money any other way. Besides it is
a pleasure for them to have the bags to string to keep
their minds occupied. Ladies that have infants or small
children that _ they could not leave to go out to work in
factories. If the bags are taken away from the people
more expense will fall on the government, for the people
cannot find work and besides so many are disabled to work
on anything but stringing bags. Their rent have to be
paid, besides food and other necessary things. The
people are perfectly satisfied with their home work of
Please do all you can to help us keep the work
in our homes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for
you kind and generous cooperation.
(Signed) MRS. EVA RANDALL.
L. L. GODFREY, AGENT
SOUTHED BAG STRINGING CO., INC.,
. r L ■ ■ ORO, N.Co
April 6, 1939.
'. : r oris on,
In regards to tobacco bags, I was our of
regular employment for three years until I got in con-
tact with the Bag Co. and have been able to have work
the most of the tine which I sure appreciate. If the
bags is stopped at this time it will not only leave me
with any income at all but thousand of others will be
in the same fix. Do hope Congress can see fit to let
us continue our work and not cause us to suffer as we
will surely do if they will not let us have the bags.
(Signed) L. L. GODFREY.
BOX 132, h. #1,
Leaksville, il • C.,
Rpril, 1, 1939.
Mr, Sherlock Bronson,
I am kindly writing asking you please not
to take the stringing of bags away from Mrs, -Jones,
our Agent for our community.
For two years I have oeen stringing bags.
If the bags were taken away from us I would not be
able to pay my insurance. I have two children and my-
self to clothe. I am too old to get a job in the mill.
The bags help my children and me In every way.
Stringing of bags is a big help to our
community. It helps the older people who are too old
to work on public job. There are young girls stringing
bags, they keep them at home off the street. There are
several blind- people stringing bags that can't get any-
thing else to do.
The stringing of bags is a great helpto
our community and we will appreciate all you will do
for us to keep the stringing of bags in our community.
(Signed) Mrs. Kate Pulliam.
p ! AG COMPANY
2ast Bend, North Carolina,
April 7, 1939.
Mr. Sherlock Bronson,
Dear Sir :
In compliance with your request of March 23th,
I am glad to give you an idea of my experience in working
with tobacco bags. My mother and father, as far back as I
.can remember, have worked with tobacco bags. The work has
been a great help to us and it has been a wonderful help to
the people living in the county in which we live. I know
personally the families that do this work and know of
mothers that have to solely depend upon the work for the
spending money for their children. This county does not
provide any industry in which the women can make any money.
It has two small basket factories and saw mills that give
work to a few men. Most of the people that string these
bags own small homes or rent farming land from other
farmers and the only money crop we have is tobacco. This,
you see, Units the income of the renters as they can only
have small acreage. I do not know how some of the people
could meet their demands without the bags to help them.
There are years when the tobacco crop is a failure and
then the bags help the farmers to supply necessary groceries
and quite often they have told me that in bad crop years
the; ave saved their bag monev to pay the tax on their
property. The women in the families use the bag money for
their own money and to buy necessary things for the children
they could not have without this extra money. They are not
complaining about the price of the work as they do it at
times when the farm and other work does not require their
help. They are only begging for more of the work to do.
en we do not have work for all the stringers to do we
have to quite often give it to those that we feel need it
the most and quite often a customer will say to me, "I can
make c rat any bags this time but please let my
neighbor have them for they have had so much sickness
lately. Doctor bills to be paid, you you."
I would be sorry to lose this work but it
would be terrible, I think, to take it from people who need
it 30 badly.
Very truly yours,
Rosebud Morse Carriott, Agent
MRS. KUHN, North Wilkesboro, N. C, married and has one
child, who is also married. She is 68 years old and
her husband is In his s ixt 1 e & C*-*^f* fr-*± si, ■
INCOME: Husband works in furniture factory about six
months out of a year at thirty cents an hours. Only
other income is from bag stringing, from which wife can
make $10,00 to $12.00 a month. They own their home, so
there is no rent. Water and electricity cost $2.00 per
month. The wife has occasional doctor's bills. All the
rest of their money is spent on food and clothing.
HOME CONDITIONS: Husband and wife are only occupants of
two room house. The house has electricity and two sinks
with running water. There are no inside toilet facilities,
The house is in poor shape and is not very well kept,
since his wife is crippled. The house Is badly furnished.
They have a radio. She has been stringing bags for
about thirty years and does about 5500 a week. This
is the only work she can do besides her hou.se work
because she is crippled in her legs and can only hobble
around. She enjoys doing this work because it keeps
her occupied and brings in additional money which is
desperately needed. She has only been to a doctor three
times in the last four years and should see one much
more frequently. Bap; work hinders her in no way. She
can't afford to spend much money on amusements, and this
simple type of work is done in spare time when she is
MRS. EVIE WINGLER (widow), about 70 years, married and has
two children living with her. Live at Reddies River, N.C*
IKCOME: She rents her land to her 3on who gives her a third
of what he makes. She has another son who has a job
occasionly and helps her out.
EXPENSES: Her taxes are $1.50 a year. Speinds everything for
food because she can't raise any herself.
HOME CONDITIONS : House has two rooms and she owns 37 acres
of land. The house is in very ppor condition and they
have no conveniences or comforts. She owns a cow and a
dozen hens. Stringing brings about $11,50 a month and this
money keeps her from starving. Since she is unable to do
any other kind of work she strings bags as much as possible.
She has never suffered any 111 effects from this work.
--.-—- — Jt;s?j
STAMPER, MRS. DAtoij a^ou: -a^j iiic^i-i-xi^a;, 1713110-170-1x^-011)-
resides in Wilkes County, IT. G .
Children: Anna, aged 21.
Ruby, aged SO.
Edward, aged 18.
Georgie, aged 13.
Bob, aged 11.
CD., aged 7.
Pauline, aged 4.
Virginia, aged 1.
INCOME: Husband works on Government park project at
about -$20. 00 per month.
HOME CONDITION'S: Live in a one -room house (has small
back room in which the cooking is done, and the corn,
potatoes, etc. are stored. Have only a small garden
in which a few vegetables are raised. One dollar a
month is spent on burial insurance. The house was very
delapidated and unsanitary. The walls had big cracks
in them and were partially covered with paper to keep
out the weather. The children were very shabbily clothed
and filthy. The room in which they all slept was very
ill-smelling and dirty.
All the money earned by the husband is spent on
food and clothes. The bag money is needed for* food
and to pay the burial insurance or fee. Since the
bags have been temporarily discontinued they have had
to borrow money for food and the insurance. They cannot
make a go of it if the bags are cut off. They earn about
$14.00 a month stringing bags. The house and land belongs
to her father who pays the rent on it. She is in bad
health and should receive medical attention and have medi-
cine, but it will be impossible to have either if the bags
BLEVINS, MRS. CORA, married, aged. 55, North ^ilkesboro, N.C.
Children: Beverley, aged 11,
Cecil, aged 9.
Mura, aged 6,
lie 1 ley, aged 4,
Dorothy, aged 1.
They rent a one room shack and about 8 acres of land,
by tending this land they pay one -third of the produce to
its ovrner as rent. &11 of the eating, sleeping and cooking
is done in one room. The house is in a very delapidated state
and unfit for housing. The children were all barefooted and
very dirty. The money which is earned from bags amounts to
about $10 a month and is spent for food and seed. They own
nothing. The husband is in very poor health. He has high blood
pressure and for this reason has been unable to hold a job. He
is in need of medical attention but is unable to afford, a
doctor. All that he can do Is to work the farm when he is able
to be out of bed. The family is in desperate circumstances and
will be unable to exist if the bags are taken away.
MRS. ALICE JOHNSON, Wilkes Count:/, N. C, has 4 children.
She is 33 years old and her husband is about 40.
INCOME: Husband works for P.W.A. 16 days a month for
.'25. The P.W.A. gives them a small food allowance,
but this is their only income besides earnings from
stringing bags, which is about ;j>15.00 a month when
there are any bags to do. Rent is $3.00 a month.
They don't raise any food; therefore their food is
£10.00 a month which is all they can afford. There
has been a good deal of sickness in the family so
they owe quite a few doctors bills. They aren't able
to get ahead financially on account of bills,
I E CONDITIONS: The house has 4 rooms and is kept in
good condition. However, there are no conveniences
or luxuries. All in all they would be fairly well off
if they didn't owe any money. There is not enough
land to do any farming but they have a cow and 8
chickens. Wife has been stringing bags since she was
a child and gets restless when she has no bags to
work on. She doesn't vet cash for this work, but
takes it out in trade. She earns about £25.00 a
month. Some of the storekeepers who act as
distributors for the bags do not get paid for doing
this; therefore, they will only pay the stringers in
goods and collect cash from the local agents for
themselves on the bags they deliver which the;/ have
collected from the stringers.
MRS. M. 1.1. ANDERSON, Vifilkes County, N. C, has 7 children
living with her.
INCOME: Husband works for ijpll a week with W.P.A. One
of their sons has an occasional job with a sawmill at
: 11 a week and he helps. out with expenses. They won't
admit it, but they are on Relief. Electric bill is
$>1.50 a month, taxes are $9 a year and groceries are
about $8 a month which includes feed for stock,
j, CONDITIONS: Owns a brand new home having six rooms;
there are 10 acres of land around it. They have a
horse, 2 cows, 12 hens and 25 chicks. They raise some
of their food, particularly meat. They have a radio
but no other conveniences. Rome is well kept. Fuel
is wood which they get by cutting wood for other
people and keeping part for their work. Likes to do
bags in winter but has to work on farm in summer and
doesn't find Lime then to work on bags. She can string
10,000 bags a week, out does not suffer any ill effects
from it. This money naturally. raises their income
considerably and .means a lot to their welfare. Since
this money is used for any expenses that come up, it
would be dlrely missed if they weren't allowed to do it.
WAGONER, MRS. BARBARA; married; two children; aged 20 years;
resides in Wilkes Co., Ha C.
Children: Jacob, aged one year.
Buck, aged 9 - child by husband's first wife.
INCOME: About $'20.00 per month. Husband is laborer on govern-
ment park project in this section. However, this work is to
be discontinued in a short while.
HOME CONDITIONS: They own a three-room house and about forty
acres of land. Host of this land is forest and rocky, only
about l/2-acre being suited for raising crops. Alltthe food
has to be bought except corn and potatoes. The house is very
dirty and untidy. She makes all the clothes except husband's.
The children were very dirty and clothes ragged. They own a
cow and a few chickens which supply the milk and eggs. No
running water, electricity or inside toilet facilities. The
water is gotten from the creek. 50^ a month is paid on burial
insurance; the rest is spent on food and necessities. She
earns about $8.00 a month stringing bags. She enjoys doing
them, and says they are absolutely necessary to maintain the
MRS. BROOKS, Wilkes County, N. C, has 8 children, but
only 5 live with her, one of whom is married,
INCOME: Husband makes $18 a week at the tannery. She
owns a farm of 37 acres which she rents out at time.
She can also make about $10.00 a month by stringing
bags. Electric bill is $52.50 a month and grocery
bill is about $550'.00 a month. The rest of their
income is vised for clothes and payment for various
comforts they have bought for their home.
HOME CONDITIONS: They own their home and 2 acres of
land. The house has 7 rooms and Is well kept and
furnished. They also have a radio, an electric
refrigerator, and an electric washing machine. They
raise a little food, have a cow and a few chickens,
and get all their fuel on their place. She does
5000 bags a week and uses money from them for
childrens ' clothes. \'I'aen there are no bags to be
done, she feels the lack of money badly. She wants
to work on bags as much as she can and whenever there
are any to do.
JOHNSON, ISS JANIE, aged 40, lives by herself, at Reddles
Lver, Wilkes Co., xi . C.
: DITIONS: She occupies a small two-room, shack and
seven acres of land. Could not determine whether she
owned it or was a squatter. The roof leaked very badly
and the shack was generally delapidated. She washes
clothes and since this the only source of livelihood
other than bag stringing, when the bags cannot be obtain-
ed she lives with her brother, who cannot afford to support
her. She has been stringing bags for about five years to
supplement her other work, earning therefrom about f>7 a month
Before the death of her mother, who was totally helpless,
she strained her back in moving her mother, which, badly
interferes with her washing and vail necessitate her in the
future doing more bag stringingi
KEMP, MRS. BESSIE, Hunting Creek, N. C, aged. 25, husband 50;
three minor children.
INCOME: Husband works in a local furniture factory, receiv-
ing $15.00 a week. They have no other income.
... CONDITIONS: : They own a new two-room home and 129 acres
of land. They have no stock on the place with the excep-
tion of a pig. All the fuel for the house is cut from the
farm. The family appears to he very much better off than
most people in the vicinity. The taxes on the farm amount
to |l7.00 a year. The family spends about $10.00 a week on
groceries. The wife has strung bags for five years and
makes about $11 a month. She is not forced to do the work
and states that she can get along without it but she rather
likes doing it and it enables her and. the family to live a
little better and to give to the children things which they
c could not otherwise have. The children look very alive and
alert and indicate that they have been well cared for.
3S, MRS. C. C, aged 41, husband 58, eight children, all
living with family at Hunting Creek, Wilkes Co., ii; . C.
ONDITIONS: This family owns an 8-room house and 90
acres of land. The;/ own a cow, 4 calves, 3 hogs, a mule
and about 125 chickens. They also have a few hives of
bees. The house Is fairly new but very poorly kept. ± n
addition, the family owns another farm which they rent
for 100 bushels of corn per year. The taxes on both
places amount to $560 a year. The family produces most
of the food and have very little to sell. The groceries
which they are required to buy, as well as food for the
chickens, averages about $5 a week. The wife has been
stringing bags for five years and used to average about
$21.50 a month. Recently she has been sick and has dis-
continued all work until her recovery*
HUFFMAN, MRS. FRANK, aged 22, husband 32, one infant child,
resides at Reddles River, wilkes Co., IT. C.
CONDITIONS: The husband either owns, or is a squatter,
on a two-room shack and 50 acres of land. The house is very
old and has holes in the walls for windows. It i s very
dirty and poorly furnished. They own two steers, a cow,
a hog, s.nd 16 chickens.
INCOME: Husband wqrks for P'-YA 16 days a month, making ',,24.00.
At the present time he is only working 8 days, as he is
putting in his crops. The wife has only been stringing a
very short while and is very inefficient. She states she
does not mind stringing bags. She averages about ill a
ELEER, MRS. C, aged 41, husband 60; three children, living
with Tamil:/ at Reddies River, Wilkes Co., N. C.
HOME CONDITIONS: The wife owns a half interest in a three
room cottage, which Is in fairly good condition, and a
small acreage of land. 'They also own a cow and calf, a
steer, two pigs and a dozen hens. The family has a small
garden but the wife is unable to assist in the farm work
on account of rheumatism.
INCOME: Husband works for PYiTA sixteen days a month, receiving
24. The family spends about $5 a week for food. Apparently
one of the wife's brothers pays the taxes on the home. On
the death of the wife's father he left the farm to the wife
and her brother. There has been no division of the property.
The wife is sick most of the time. In spite of this. fact,
she has been able to earn an average of acour .11.00 a month
from bag stringing and states that the money is essential to
their welfare. Nother known type of work can be done by
JOHINES, MRS. MAGGIE, aged 46, widow; one child living
with her at Reddies River, Wilkes Co., i; . C.
EE CONDITIONS: She rents a snail 3-room cottage with
38 acres of land. The only other possession is one pig.
Her daughter used to work for PWA but has lost her posi-
tion and is now living with her mother. When the above
picture was taken she had a visitor who was included in
the picture, her groceries cost about $>6 a week. She
pays half of her crops as rent for the home. She is
heavily indebted to the local storekeeper, who has been
advancing supplies In order that she might eat. She
has "oeen stringing bags for about five years and has
been averaging about $22 a month. She apparently has
no other means of livelihood. She states that the work
gives her headaches and that it has hurt her eyes. Con-
ditions under which she does the stringing are very bad,
The cottage has ooor light in the day and totally in-
adequate lighting at night.
DANAY, MRS. FAY, aged 24, husband's age 54, two minor chil-
dren living with them at ReddiesRiver, Wilkes Co., N.C.
INCOME: Wife used to teach school but lost her position
some tine ago. The entire family lives with the hus-
band's mother and father but neither he nor his father
are able to work* The husband's mother receives $10.00
a month old-age pension.
HOKE CONDITIONS: They live in a six-room cottage on a 54-acre
tract of land, a small portion of which is cultivated. They
own two cows, two hogs and a few chickens. They are miser-
ably poor but their home is maintained in the best condi-
tion possible under existing circumstances. They produce
most of their food and their grocery and feed bill is only
.^6.00 a month. Taxes are iplo a year. The wife has been
stringing bags for about six years and earns about $11 a
month. At the present time the bag money is absolutely in-
dispensable as a means of insuring food for the family, as
they have been required to purchase food from the local stores
of the minimum amount of approximately ;;|>6.00 a month.
IWMMn %■■& — r-
1 Ok -m
7 f*, '
ER, MiiS. ANNIE, c. ed :--; widow: one infant son living,
with, her, at Reddies River, Wilkes Co., N. C.
INCOME: Her only income is uncertain, derived entirely
from work for other people, principally in their homes.
E CONDITIONS: She boards and in the majority of cases
she works for the people with whom she boards, paying for
her board with her work. When she is at hone her grocery
bill amounts to about ^5.00 a week. This usually is paid
by working in the grocer:^ store. She owns ten acres of
land and a small two-room shack thereon. Her sole posses-
sions other than the home are a few chickens. She has been
stringing bags for about five years supplementing her income
derived from other sources. She earns about $7.00 a month
from bag stringing. This is the only cash income that she
ever has. Some time ago she had measles which affected her
eyes and any kind of sewing or needlework, including bag
stringing, bothers her e; ; T es at times •
&-'. .JU,-*8 «*•-,.: i-1- f iWUR-fcv.
ROYALL, MRS. LULA, aged 19; husband aged 27; two infant
children; reside in Reddies River, Wilkes Co., N. C.
INCOME: Husband works for WPA, making JJ524.00 a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: Apparently the family owns the home and
35 acres of land but this fact could not be verified.
None of the land Is cultivated. The house has four
rooms, no toilet facilities, and is in a very delapidated
condition. The taxes on the property are §2.50 a year.
The only other income the family has is derived from string
ing bags. The wife is young and has to devote most of her
time to the care of the house and children, but in her odd
moments she strings bags, deriving therefrom approximately
$7.00 a month. The entire income from WPA and from bag
stringing is used to buy food,
..!^4^ J ^ .; ,.
JENKINS, MRS. LILLIE, aged 52, husband 46, 7 children, all
minors and living with family at Reddles hiver, Wilkes Co.,N.C
INCOME: Husband works for WPA, receiving $24.00 a month.
He has not worked for the past month. They have no income
from any other source with the exception of the income de-
rived from string bags, from which she averages about $11.00
NOTE CONDITIONS: It could not be ascertained whether or not
the parties own the home shown in the picture but they pay
5.00 a "rear taxes thereon. The house has three rooms, Is
very dirty and delapidated. Other than a small amount of
furniture, the family owns nothing with the exception of two
cows, a steer and 16 chickens. -The family Is badly In debt
for food. The ground which goes with the home produces very
little. The total income of the farm, including the string-
ing of bags Is inadequate for the food requirements of the
family and if the stringing of bags is discontinued, further
relief will be necessary to prevent starvation for the family.
MRS. ROY ANDERSON, Wilkes County, N. C., has 8 children
one of whom is in a C.C.C. Gamp.
INCOME: Husband works in tannery and gets $18 a week.
He has a steady job. The son in the G.C.G. Camp will
"be through in April. She gets about $3.00 a week
stringing bags. Rent is $8 a month. Electric bill is
$1.25 a month. Grocery bill is about $10.00 a week.
Husband has industrial insurance.
HOME CONDITIONS: House nas 4 rooms and a garden which
produces some of their food, but they have to buy
most of it. They have a radio but no other conveniences
or comforts. Water comes from a well. house in fair
condition. Family is comparatively well off, cur any
additional expenses would be a great burden. She has
been stringing for a long time and can do about 1000
bags a day with her other duties. Enjoys earning the
extra money which is used to buy clothes for the
children and fuel. She strings whenever it is possible.
MRS. COMBS, Wilkes County, N. C, has 7 children
living with her, one of whom is her grandchild.
She is 50 years old and her husband is 58.
INCOME: Husband hauls bags for Mr. Godfrey at 10/ for
5000; his income from this depends entirely on
output of bags. He rents some of his land out for
a share of the crop. His only cash income is what
he makes for hauling bags and what his wife makes
stringing. Expenses are very few, since husband owns
his home and raises almost all his food. Taxes are
$9.00 a year, electric bill is $1.00 a month and
telephone bill for 2 phones is 25/ a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house is in good condition, has
7 rooms and is fairly well furnished. There are
9-3/4 acres of land, 1 horse, 2 cows, 2 hogs, 90 hens,
9 roosters, and 500 chicks. Husband owns a pick-up truck
which he uses for hauling bags. He gets his fuel off
of his land. This family is considerably better off
than the majority of families living in this section.
The;/ seem to be more literate and happier. Wife
doesn't have to string bags but wants to earn some
extra money. She doesn't mind doing it at all and
does it when her other duties tire her. She earns
about $10. 00 a month if she hasn't got much else to
SOOTS, MRS. R. P., married; seven children living with
her j resides in Wilkes County, N. C.
INCOME: Husband is a carpenter, works pretty steadily,
and earns on an average of |12 a week. One of their
daughters makes §11 a week in the hosiery mill and helps
out with expenses. Mrs. Soots sometimes makes as much
as v5.75 a week stringing bags.
HOLE CONDITIONS: Oms home of four rooms and 1-g- acres of
laud. Husband is his own doss. They have one cow and
a few chickens; water is supplied by a well. They have
a radio and the house is in good condition. Wood for
fuel is obtained on their land. Electric bill is $>1»25
a month. It takes everything they make to live; they
hardly ever have any extra money. She has been string-
ing bags for eight years, and she really gets pleasure
from the satisfaction of doing this work. It occupies
her time to good advantage. She is able to do 7,500 bags
a week if they are available. The money earned from this
work is used for general exoenses.
ANDERSON, MRS. COY, married and has seven small children
who live with her; resides in Wilkes County, N. C.
INCOME: Husband gets !;;'o0.00 a month for working in an orchard
belonging to a Mr. Moorehouse. They are on relief but won't
admit it. Mr. Moorehouse owns place and husband works out
rent. Electric bill is about $>1«00 a month. Most of their
food is bought and costs around $5.00 a week. There are
no other expenses except a little for clothes.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house is in poor condition and has only
three rooms. They have a hog and a few chickens which supply
their meat needs. She likes to string bags and does 5,000
a week when she can get them. This doesn't upset her routine
at all, and provides most of the money for their food. It
it a great comfort to her to be able to do bags and to make
MRS. ELIZA SMITH, age 65 years, 2 children and five
grandchildren; reside in Wilkes Co., N. C.
0] ILDREN: Vernice 38 years
Ruby Cox 22 years (Married-husband
unemployed and living with them)
Grandchildren: Pauline 19 yrs.
Hazel 17 yrs.
Roy 9 yrs.
Jerry 4 yrs.
Margurite 15 months
Ruth 13 months
DITIOHS: Own a three room house and 75 acres
of land. Only 15 acres of this is fit for cultiva-
tion. Riane corn and potatoes and other vegetables
necessary. However, the land Is very poor and she
states that It will be necessary to buy additional
corn and potatoes at the market. Since the bags have
stopped they have not been able to buy any clothes.
They had to sell all their chickens except about 13
a few weeks ago In order to buy material for clothes.
Her husband is too aged to do any work and Ruby's
husband is in too poor health to hold down a job.
Rheumatism keeps him in bed most of the time. Pauline
has had tonsil troiible for about a year but they
cannot afford medical attention for either of the two.
Vernice and Ruby have tried to locate work but have
been unable to do so. They all enjoy stringing the
bags and earn around $10 or $12.00 a month at it.
The house is scantily furnished but is kept very
clean and orderly. They are able to just exist when
they have the baga and since they have stopped coming
in it has been necessary for them to go in debt in
order to have enough to eat.
-BILL, MRS. PEARL, aged 42; married; resides In W6rEH. '
Wilkesboro, II. C.
Children: Gladys, aged 19.
Claude, aged IS.
Clyde, aged 14.
Leola, aged 12.
•"'alter, aged 10.
J. C, aged 7.
Madylin, aged 5.
Willis ftose, aged 5.
INCOME: Gladys works on N.Y.A. work at school, earning
.14.00 a month.
HOLE COBDITIOKS: They own a two-room house and forty acres
of land, 7 acres being tended, the rest is in a run down
condition and not fit for cultivation. Mr. Bell states
that more money will be needed if the seven acres are to
be kept in shape. The house was in a very delapidated
state. Mrs. Bell was ill with flu. The room was very
cold, since several boards of the wall were out, causing
an awful draft. The husband is in ill health, being rup-
tured and suffering from rheumatism. Be formerly worked
on WPA but was discharged on account of his health. They
have been, unable to run the home on their daughter's income
and have found it necessary to go in debt. They owe the
hospital $65, grocery store $18, and have other small debts
amounting to about } p30. Since Mr. Bell will be unable to
do any other work off the farm, the bag money will be abso-
lutely necessary in order that the family be fed and clothed.
LSON, MRS. SUSAN, aged 60; married, North Wi'lkesboro, -'. C.
Children: Betty, Johnson, -ellie, Junior, all of the ages
HOIvEE CONDITIONS: They own a two-room home, thirty acres of
land, only 5 of which is used for cultivation of crops. The
rest is wasteland. The house is well constructed but prac-
tically empty inside and very dirty. Their stock stock con-
sist of one cow and a few chickens. The income earned from
bags, amounting to about $8.00 a month, all goes for food
and clothes. Since the bags have been discontinued tempo-
rarily 1 ^: they have not been able to buy or make any clothes
and have had to go In debt for food. The children were very
dirty, poorly clad and apparently mentally Incapable of hold-
ing a .job. The five acres of land being used for cultivation
Is in a very -run-down condition and Mr. Nelson states that it
will be impossible to raise crops on It another year unless
money can be secured to put It in shape. The family is in a
desperate condition and will not be able to get along without
the bag income*
HOLSBROOK, MRS. BESSIE, aged 37; married; resides in
North Wilkesboro, u * C.
Children: Shirley, aged 17.
Edna, aged 14.
Graham, aged 13.
Walter, aged 12.
Cora Bell, aged 3.
INCOME: Husband is a ranger in the new Government National
Park and earns $52.00 a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent a four-room house and 90 acres
of land. Fifteen acres is being tended and one-third of
the jproduce is paid as rent. The home is nicely built,
fairly well furnished and is kept very clean and neat.
There is no electricity, running water or any such neces-
sary f aailities. The money earned from bags which amounts
to around $10 a month is spent on food and clothes. They
own two cows and around 30 chickens which keep them supplied
with milk and eggs. About $300 is owed for hospital bills.
She states that the bags are not absolutely necessary but
this income is very helpful in paying of past due hospital
CRABBE, MRS. FLOSS, widow, aged 48, North Wilkesboro, N.C.
Children; DeWitt, aged 23.
Oland, ■ aged 18.
Raymond, aged 8.
Jack, aged 14.
William, aged 9.
INCOME: She receives $7.00 per month from the Government
for dependent children.
HOME CONDITIONS: They own a four-room house and 56 acres of
land, only ten acres being cultivated. The rest of the land
is timber and wasteland and not fit for cultivation. They
own two cows and about 30 chickens, which supply them with
milk and eggs. The two. eldest boys are unable to work since
they have to take care of all the farming. -Jack Is in very
poor health but Mrs. Crabbe does not feel that she is able to
afford the necessary medical attention. All of the money goes
for food which she thinks is very insufficient within needs.
Since the bags have been temporarily discontinued it has beer-
necessary for them to go in debt with the grocery store, and
they have not been able to spend anything on clothes. She
states that It will be necessary for her to have other
relief if the bags are taken away, it being impossible
to run the family on $7.00 a month. She has been string-
ing bags for around five years and would feel lost without
.IRS. ZORA JARVIS, Wilkes County, N. C, has 9 children
living with her.
[E: "usband has a stead;/ job at the tannery and makes
,;,18 a week. She can make about ijplO.OO a month on bags
when there are any to string. They make a little money
off of chickens. They are gradually buying their farm.
Electric bill is $2.60 a month. They burned .,26 worth
of coal this winter for heating. Wood for cooking costs
about $>4 a month. Food costs about $10.00 a week. After-
all expenses are paid there is very little money left.
E CONDITIONS: They live in a nice home having 7 rooms.
There are 2 acres of land on which they raise a good
deal of their food. They own a few hens, 300 chicks,
I pig, a radio, an electric refrigerator, and are
considering buying a horse. This family is well off
in comparison to other families in this section.
Stringing: Wife is 52 and can't remember ' when she
didn't string bags. In the winter she strings about
5000 bags a week, but has to work on the farm in the
summer and can't give much of her time to bag stringing.
Just does this work in order to have a little cash on
hand. She is not affected in any way by this work.
JOHNSON, MRS. SAM, aged 4-9, husband 67; two children living
with family in Hunting Creek, Wilkes Co., N. C.
HOME CONDITIONS: The family either owns or leases a six-
room cottage and 200 acres of land. It is in good con-
dition and the family is generally better off than their
income would indicate. They own a car and a snail truck.
They also own two cows, two pigs, and quite a number of
chickens. They raise all the food they use and have some
left over crops for sale. They spend about !$3 a week for
things that they do not raise. Their taxes amount to $18
a year. In addition thereto, the wife owns a farm, taxes
on which are $12 a year, but she rents this for a very small
sum, sufficient in amount to pay the taxes and repairs. She
has been stringing bags for 27 years, averaging therefrom
about $7.00 a month. Her present condition is such that she
has about determined to discontinue entirely the stringing
of bags. In the past, however, the bag stringing has been
Instrumental in helping her secure a lot of the things which
today makes it possible for her to ease up on her work.
MRS. MARY 3HEPARD, aged 61, married and has 2 children living
with her. Husband is 68. They resides at Reddles River, N.C.
INCOME: Husband is unemployed but one son works for P.W.A.
and helps them out. Although the husband farms, he can
only raise a few of their needs.
EXPENSES: Taxes are $5. They spend everything they make on
food and are still in debt to the store.
HOME CONDITIONS: House has 4 rooms and there are 35 acres of
land. He owns a cow, a mule, 2 pigs, and 7 hens. He gets
his wood from his own land. She is incapable of working on
the farm and likes to string bags to occupy her time. She
makes $11 a month doing this work.
MRS. LEACEY ROYAL, aged 27, married and has 4 children.
Husband is 29. They reside at Readies River, N, C.
INCOME: Husband works on P.W.A. sixteen days a month and gets
$24. They have no other income.
EXPENSES: They use everything they make for food. Taxes are $2,
HOME CONDITIONS: House has 2 rooms and there are 35 acres of
land. He owns a cow and 2 steers. The house is like all
the rest in this section. They own a sewing machine and a
new stove. She has been stringing bags for about 5 years
and makes about $7.50 a month. This work sometimes hurts
her eyes but she likes to make this money which she needs
MRS. OSCAR WINGLER, aged 29, married and has five children.
Husband is 35. They resides at ^eddies River, Wilkes Co., N.C.
INCOME: Husband works 16 days a month for P.W.A. at $24 a
monthj however, he can only go to work when he can find
a ride. They have no other income.
EXPENSES: They spend $13 a week for food and groceries.
They owe the dentist $5 for pulling ten of wife's teeth.
HOME CONDITIONS; House has three rooms, and they rent land
from her mother to farm. They own 1 cow, 3 pigs and
about 10 chickens. The house is falling apart and they
can't afford to repair it. She makes $2,50 a week by
stringing bags. She has been unable to do other work
for quite a while on account of sickness.
MRS. RUDY SHEPARD, 64, married and has 8 children but only
one of them lives with her. Husband is 68. Lives at Reddis River,'
N • C .
INCOME: Husband owns small store and is an agent for issuing
bags to stringers. He makes enough from the store to live
on. His bag agency doubles his income from the store.
EXPENSES: They get all their food from the store, therefore,
they have very few expenses.
HOME CONDITIONS: They own a house with 5 rooms and 65 acres of
land. Husband has high blood pressure and cannot work on
the farm. His wife Is not able to work either. They own
one cow, a horse, about a dozen chickens and a hog. House
is in bad shape and has no conveniences. She can string
about 500 bags a day. This is the only work of any kind
that she can do. The money she makes from this keeps them
from going in debt. She does not feel contented unless
she can do this work.
MRS. J. C. SHEPARD, 24, married and has three children.
Her husband is 50. Resides at Reddis River, N. C.
INCOME: Husband works for P.W.A. 16 days a month for $24. He
also owns a store that issues bags and farms a little.
Profit on the store is about $20 a month, half of which
comes from bags.
EXPENSES: Owes $160 on goods in his store. His taxes are
about $21 a year, and he has no other expenses because he
gets all his supplies from the store.
HOME CONDITIONS: They live in the back of the store, which is
new. They own 30 acres of land but only farm 6 acres. He-
gets his wood on his place. He owns a small truck, a cow,
2 calves, one hog, and a few chickens. His bag agency brings
business to his store because he pays for stringing with
goods from the store. He family does not do much stringing
JOHNSON, MRS. FREELAND, married and has 6 children
all of whom live with her. Her age is 57 and her
husband's age 59. Reside at Hunting Creek, Wilkes Co., N,C
INCOME: Husband farms "but can only raise of few of
their own needs. They have no other apparent income.
Groceries cost $3 a week and taxes are $11 a year.
HOME CONDITIONS: House has 5 rooms and there are 60
acres of land. They own 2 cows, 3 pigs, 45 chickens
and a horse. Although their house is in poor
condition they seem to have enough to live on. They
have been stringing for 5 years and make $20.00 a
month. Three of her daughters help her. They use
this money to buy all their clothes. They enjoy
MRS. PIDELL SHEPARD, married and has 3 children. Reddis River,N.C.
INCOME! Husband works for P.?/. A. 16 days a month for $24.
He has to spend $4 of his salary to pay for his trans-
portation to work.
EXPENSES; Spends all he makes on food and owes the doctor
about $12. He also owes money to his father who runs a
store. They cannot afford anything for clothes.
HOME CONDITIONS: House has three rooms and there is an acre of
land around it. They raise a little of their food and they
get their wood from their father's land, The house is new
but is not well kept. They have been in debt for a long
time and not able to get ahead. They own a cow, pig, 10
chickens. She can string 500 bags a day. They would have
a hard time getting along without this money.
MISS JETTIE BROOKS lives with her mother, sister, and
brother and is 34 years of age. Resides at Hunting Creek, -.C
INCOME: Her mother gets $20 a month insurance for her
son who was killed. They have no other income, but
her mother has quite a bit of money in the bank.
EXPENSES: Their grocery bill is $5 a week, and their
taxes are $17 a year. They rent out some of their land
but the income from this is very small.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has 7 rooms and there are 95
acres of land. Her mother owns 2 farms, which she rents
out and this allows them to live better than others in
this section. Although they can raise a little on their
land, the house is in very good condition. They have a
few chickens and 2 pigs.
STRINGING: Although she doesn't have to string bags, she has
been doing this work for 5 years and makes $11 a week.
She is unable to do any other kind of work because of a
recent operation which left her very weak. Although this
work hurts her eyes, she likes to do it to use up her
MRS. CORA WINGLER, aged 52, married and has 4 children living
with her. Husband is 57. Resides at Reddies River, N.C.
INCOME: Husband works for P.W.A. sixteen days a month at $24
EXPENSES; He pays $4 a month to ride to work, taxes are $2
a year, grocery bill is about $18 a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: House has three rooms and there are 35 acres
of land. The house is in better condition than others in
this section. He owns 1 cow, 2 steers, 1 pig, and 14
chickens. She makes about $1.75 a week stringing bags.
They could not get along without this money. It does not
bother her at all to do this work.
MISS E. L. HAYES, aged 36, lives with her father, aged 82.
Kesides at Hunting Creek, Wilkes Co., w C»
INCOME; She is crippled and can do no work, and her father
can only farm a little. Their only income is rent from
some of their land,
EXPENSES: Food costs them about $3.50 a week. Taxes are $6
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has 4 rooms and there are 60
acres of land. They own a cow, 2 pigs, and a few chickens.
They are able to live comfortably. ' Although their income
is small, their expenses are few, and they do not have to
string bags for their living. She has been stringing for
5 years and only makes $1.75 a week as she strings very
little. This work has never bothered her and gives her a
small income of her own.
HAMBY, MRS. H. M., married and has seven children but
only five of them live with her. Mrs. Hamby 46
years old and husband 83. Reside at Reddles River, H.C.
INCOME: Wife washes clothes for other people and makes
a little money and their son gives them $15.00 a month.
They also make a little money by selling chickens
and eggs. They have no other income. They spend
$15.00 a month for groceries and $8.00 a year for
HOME CONDITIONS: They have 18 acres of land and the
house has four rooms. The house Is in good condition
but is poorly furnished. They can only raise a
little in their garden. She makes about $11.00 a
month by stringing bags, and they couldn't get along
without this money. He eyes are very weak but it
doesn't bother her to string bags.
STAYLEY, ,MRS. B. P., married and has 14 children but
all of them are away from home. Pier age is 65;
her husband's age is 69. Reside at Reddis River, N.C.
INC QMS : Husband makes all his money by farming and by
lending money. They have one son who is a school
teacher and who stays with them when school is out,
but he only pays his board.
HOME CONDITIONS: They raise practically all their needs
and only have to buy things occasionally. Wife just
borrowed $1400.00 on her home. They own 200 acres
of land and the house has 8 rooms. They also have
2 steer, 2 cows and a calf, 35 chickens and 450
chicks. They owh a new car. She just strings bags
for a past time and makes :jpl0.00 a month and it
doesn't bother her at all to spring.
S. EASON, Wilkes County, N. C#, widow, lives with son
who is married, and has 3 children.
INCOME: Son has steady job with a glass factory and
makes between $315 and A20 a wee,,. This is the
family's only income except what she makes stringing
bags. Rent is $10.00 and electricity $1.50 a month.
C n ?l for the past winter was $12 and wood was about
-.52. Although they raise a little food, their grocery
bill is nearly :'J50 a month.
CONDITIONS: They have a nice house, well furnished
and well kept. A radio and electricity are their
only modern conveniences. Since they don't have a well
they must get water from their neighbor's well. They
own 1 cow but no other animals or fowls. This family
is well fixed in comparison to their neighbors. Mrs.
Eason is the only one in the family who strings and
she only does it to earn extra money and to occupy
her time. She earns about $22.00 a month but thinks
higher prices should be paid for work.
MRS. (Iff. H. BRYANT, Wilkes County, N. C, has 9 children,
one of whom is married and also has 1 child and lives
INCOME: Husband works fairly steadily at the furniture
factory for $10 to $15 a week. Only other income is
$2.50 a week for stringing bags when there are bags
to string. Rent is $4 a month. Wood for cooking
costs $1,50 a week. Coal for heating the house costs
about $14 during the past winter. Grocery bill is
about $10 a week if they have that much money.
SOME CONDITIONS: House has 3 rooms in poor shape. The
house is very dirty, and there is very little furni-
ture. There are 1-g- acres of land on which they raise
some of their food. There are also 2 pigs. There
are no comforts or conveniences in the house. She
has been stringing for about 30 years and is supposed
to be very rood at it. She earns about $10.00 per
month working in Idle hours. The money Is greatly
needed and is used for any expenses that arise. She
says she becomes nervous if she strings bags steadily
all day, but she hates to be without some to do when
she feels like it.
MRS. E. M. ADAMS, has had eight children, but only two
of them live with her. She is 67 years old and her
husband is 66. They live at Worth Wilkesboro, N. C.
INCOME: Husband works for the P.W.A. for $11,00 per
week, but his job is liable to be taken aYray from
him at any time. Wife makes about $10.00 a month
from stringing bags. The rent is $15.00 a month and
water and electricity, food and clothing use up the
rest of the income to such an extent that they can't
afford an operation for their son who has cataracts
in both eyes.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent a flat of six rooms. It is
fairly well furnished and well kept. They have
running water, toilet facilities and two radios. The
flat is heated by coal stoves, Wife has been doing
bags for a long time and does 5,000 a week, as well
as all of her house work. This work doesn't affect
her physically or mentally in any way.
MRS. WATTS, Wilkes County, M. C. , widow, five children,
but only one lives with her, who is 38 years old.
■ INCOME: Daughter works in hose mill for $11 3. week, hut
it is rumored that she will be laid off. Daughter has a
son who lives with her; he is 20 and has a steady job in
a grocery store at between $8 and $10 a week. He helps
them out a little with expenses, but spends most of his
salary on himself. Income from bags is about .32.50
a week when there are bags to string. Rent is $6.00 a
month. Electricity is $2 a month. Water is $1.00 a
month. They have to buy about two loads of wood at
1.75 a load, a week, in the winter. They money thai; is
left is used for food and clothes. Income, including
money for stringing bags is sufficient for their present
needs. Any extra expense or the loss of part of their
income would work a hardship on them. They are healthy
and rarely have to pa*y doctor's bills.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has four bare rooms which are
kept very nicely. Ever, thing is clean. There are no
inside toilet facilities, and their water comes from a
spigot out in the yard. The rooms are heated by fireplaces
and wood stoves. The cooking is done on wood stove. She
does most of the housework herself, "but her daughter
helps when she comes home from work. Her husband has
been dead for 12 years and she has practically raised
her family with money she gets for stringing. She is
nervous by nature, but stringing composes her and
" p "its her mind at ease." She can do 5,000 bags a week .
■completely together with her domestic work. The money
she gets for this is used for an?/ expenses that might
arise. She couldn't work in a factory because of home
MRS. R. A. RASH, Wilkes County, N. C, married twice
and. has no children.
INCOME: Husband has a steady job with the furniture
factory at $11 a week. There is no other income
except $1.75 a week from bags when she i£an get them.
There is no rent since they own their horn and 8 acres
of land. Electric bill is $175.00 a month. They use
2 tons of coal a winter at $4.00 for heat, and a load
of wood a month at $15.0 for cooking. They raise most
of their groceries and meat; only nave to buy coffee,
flour, sugar and feed for stock, which can be almost
entirely paid for with money earned from stringing.
HOME CONDITIONS: house has three rooms well furnished and
kept. They have a radio and an electric refrigerator.
They also have a cow, a calf, a hog and 16 chickens.
They raise garden vegetables and a lot of corn. Husband
has been working for 8 months and they seem to be well
off. There is a well for water. She been working on
bags for 32 years. She likes it although she has
rheumatism in her arms,- and it tires her to do it
steadily. She can do 500 baga a day. She doesn't like
to be without them. Couldn't possibly work in a factory,
JOHNSON, MISS GRACE, lives with her father and mother
and 6 brothers and sisters. She is 28 years old.
They reside at Hunting Creek, Wilkes Co., N. C.
INCOME': They raise practicall all their needs and are
able to sell some of their crops. She says that
they have no other income. Groceries cost $53.50 a
week including feed for the cattle. The taxes are
$18.00 a year.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has seven rooms and there
are 150 acres of land. They have 2 cars, a truck,
3 cows, 2 mules, 5 pigs and some chickens. The
hou.se is iri good condition and the land is richer
than other land in this section. This family Is
quite well off in comparison to their neighbors.
She has been stringing for 5 years and makes about
'10.00 or $11.00 a month. She only does this work
to make a little extra money for herself. She likes
it and it has never affected her health.
REID, MRS. P. M., widow, and lias 4 children and one
grandchild living with her. She is 52 years old.
They live at Hunting Creek, Wilkes Co., ^. C.
INCOME: She owns a store and makes enough from this
to live on. They have a small garden but get most
of their food from the store. Their rent is $100.00
a year. She owns a mill and 3 other farms. The
rent from the mill is enough to pay her rent and the
taxes on the three other places.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has 4 rooms and is like
the rest of the places in this section. They own a
cow, 2 pigs and a few chickens. She lias been
stringing for about 4 years and makes between $10.00
and $20.00 a month. She doesn't have to do this work
but likes to make a little cash to be used as
TAYLOR, MRS. DILLARD, has five children, but only 3 of
them live with her. She is 40 years old and her
husband is 53. They reside at Reddles River, II. C.
INCOME: Husband works for a furniture factory at fll
a week. They have no other Income. Taxes are
$8.00 a year, owe doctor $165.00, they spend about
10.00 a week on groceries.
HOME CONDITIONS: They own 30 acres of land and the house
has 5 rooms. They have a cow, 2 hogs and a dozen
chickens. They raise very little on their farm. The
son owns a car. The house is new and well furnished
and is well kept. She has been stringing for five
years and make about $20.00 a month. She likes to
string bags and does it very well.
STAYLEY, MRS. SAMUEL, has five children living at home.
She is 83 years old and her husband is 84. They reside at
Reddies River, Wilkes Co., N. C.
INCOME: The whole family works on the farm and they
make just enough to live on. They income from
farming is enough to "buy all their needs. Taxes
are $14.00 a year. Their grocery bill is |3.00 a
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has 3 rooms and there are
92 acres of land. They own a horse, 2 cows, 2 hogs,
and quite a few -chickens. The hoiise is in pretty
good condition. The old man is crippled but all the
rest of the family are able to work on the farm.
They have been stringing bags for 5 years and make
about .^20.00 a month. This is about uhe only cash
income that they have and they need it right badly
to buy things that they can't raise.
MRS. BET RASH, Wilkes County, N. C, 60, widow with 3 children
living with her. One, a girl of 22, is maried to a man 70.
They all live together. Children are between 13 and 23.
INCOME: Daughter's husband gets $1 a day working on another
man' 3 farm when he is able. He gets $10 a month old age
pension. Earns $2.50 a week on bags is there are any to
string. They are also on relief but won't admit it.
EXPENSES; Owns home, but taxes are about $4 a year. When they
have the money, they spend $5 a week on groceries, their ex-
penses are minimum, but they cannot pay their back taxes.
HOME CONDITIONS: There is | acre of land and the house has only
2 rooms. There are absolutely no conveniences whatsoever.
They own no animals or fowl of any sort. Water comes from
a spring. They are able to grow a little to eat but have to
buy most of their food. The house and grounds are in terrible
condition and are not kept up at all. The people are degraded
and live in a degraded state. Despite the condition and atti-
tude of these people, they are good stringers and do 5000 bags
a week. The money they get for this work constitutes a large
percentage of their total income, and if it was taken away from
them, it would, leave them with next to nothing. They find
this work easy and harmless.
MRS. ROXY TEDDER, Wilkes County, N. C, married and has 6 young
children. Both husband and wife are in their thirties*
INCOME; The only actual cash income besides a little relief,
which they do not admit, is money made by stringing bags.
A Dr. Herbert owns the farm and the husband works out the
rent in his orchard.
EXPENSES: The only expenses are for food that they can't raise
and clothes. The family is almost self-sufficient. They
are of the economic status of "share-croppers".
HOME CONDITIONS: Although they have no modern conveniences or
comforts and just live simply and frugally, they are not in
debt, and their needs are satisfied. The house and farm are
in good condition, and they raise most of their food. Water
is obtained at a spring and the wood they use for fuel is
taken off the land. The house Is small but there is enough room.
They own 2 horses, 1 hog and 10 hens. The only actual cash
this family gets Is bag money. She can do 5000 a week with her
housework and without harming herself in any way. This money buys
almost everything that they have to pay cash for. She couldn't
possibly string bags anywhere but in her home.
MRS. SARAH CALL and MRS. OAKLEY, Wilkes Co., N. C, are both
widows. Mrs. Call and Mrs. L. L. Oakley are Mrs. Oakley's
daughter and daughter-in-law respectively. Mrs. Call has
2 children living with her. Mrs. Call is 45 and her mother
INCOME: The only other income they have besides the money from
stringing bags is a little they get by renting out the land
for other people to farm. The latter is very unprofitable.
EXPENSES; Taxes are about $6 a year, but last year's haven't
been paid. They don't know what they spend on food, but it
takes all they have and they owe some besides. They very
rarely buy clothes or anything else but food.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has 5 rooms and 34 acres of land. These
2 widows are practically destitute; therefore, their house is
in about the same condition as the rest of the people around
who are in the same situation. They have to buy most of their
food and have no money for it, so they go in debt and remain
there. If it wasn't for the money they make stringing bags,
they would be much worse off, if possible. They get their
fuel off of their land, and they own a cow and a few chickens.
They have been string as long as they can remember, and Mrs.
Oakley is still able to string at her age. They can do 5000
a week; it doesn't tire them at all since they mix it with
their other work.
MRS. L. L. OAKLEY, 46, Wilkes Co., N. C, married and has 4
children. Husband is 50.
INCOME: The only cash income this family has is from bags, and
since there have been no bags in this section since November,
they are in bad shape and owe a lot of money. The husband farms
some but doesn't make anything out of it.
EXPENSES.: About the only expenses are $10 or $15 a month for food
a and about $1.50 a year taxes. If they happen to have a lot
of bags to string and there is a little extra money, it is
all used for clothes. Fuel costs nothing because he gets a
cord of wood for cutting two for another man.
HOME CONDITIONS: Naturally this family lives in poverty since
they make so little money. Their home has 2 rooms and an acre
of land around it, on which they raise a few of their needs.
They get water from a spring and have no conveniences whatso-
ever. The furniture consists of only beds, chairds and tables
and is in poor condition. The house is likewise in ppor shape
and no attempt is being made to improve it. She has been
stringing bags since they came to this part of the country.
With some help she can do completely 10,000 bags a week,
which means $5. This is their only means of making money.
She does not mind stringing at all but wouldn't like to do
it steadily all day.
MRS. BILL ANDERSON, 64, married and has one daughter of her
own and a daughter of her husband's first wife lives with
them. Husband is 62. Lives in Wilkes Co., N. C.
INCOME: Husband gets $35 a month pension as a Spanish War
EXPENSE: Taxes are $4 a year. Food costs about $10 a month.
Electricity costs $1 a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: Owns 12 acres of land, a mule, 2 cows, 2 hogs,
and about a dosen hens. They own their own wood. Their house
is in pretty good shape, is well furnished, and is well kept.
They have no conveniences except an electric iron. Their
water comes from a well. They still owe money on their house.
She can string about 2500 bags a week. She does not absolutely
need the money she makes from bags. She is not at all affected
by this work.
MRS. EULAH SAUNDERS, 28, married and has 4 children living
with her. Husband is 33. Lives in Wilkes Co., N. C.
INCOME; Husband works about 3 days a week at the foundry and
makes 30<^ an hour. They have no other income except money
from stringing bags.
EXPENSES: They own their home but haven't paid for it. Their
grocery Mil is about $25 a month. Taxes are $6 a year.
HOME CONDITIONS: They own 16 acres of land. They just raise
a little food to eat. They have their own wood. House is
in good condition and is fairly well furnished. House has
4 rooms and is well kept. Two of the children have scarlet
fever. She has been stringing bags for about 5 years and
strings about 5000 a week. It does not bother her in any
way to do this work. She could get along without this money
but it helps to pay the debt on the home.
PARKER, MRS. J. L., married and lias two children; her
age 39; husband's age 49; 1 child lives with her and
the other lives with her grandmother. Reside at Hunting Creek, N,
INCOME: Husband has T. B. and is not able to work
regularly. He has a car and Is able to work a few
days a week as a salesman. He can only make $4,00
a week at this job. They are on relief and she has
to stay with her sister part "of the time in order
to live. They have to spend $5.00 a week on
groceries and |1.50 a year for taxes.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has 3 rooms and there is
only 1 acre of land. The house is In very poor con-
dition -nd is very dirty and poorly kept. The place
belongs to his mother and she lets them live there
for nothing. This family is destitute and would be
unable to exist at all if it wasn't for bags. She
has been stringing for 4 years but only makes $57.00
or 58.00 a month because she has so much work to do
around the home.
AHDERSON, MRS. PEARL, married and has three grand-
children living with her. She is 44 years old and
her husband is 57. Reside at Hunting Creek, N. 0.
INCOME: They raise all their food and enough to sell
a little. They have no other income. Groceries
and feed cost about $5.00 a week. Taxes are about
'11.00 a year.
I0NDITI0NS: House has 4 rooms and there are 100
acres of land. They own a cow, 2 hoi's, 1 steer, and
30 hens. They have their own wood. This family
is fairly well off but although their house is in
'ood condition it is not well kept. She has been
stringing about 35 years and makes $5.00 a week.
She has been sick a lot but her doctor said she could
keep on stringing ba.::s. She uses the money she makes
for her personal needs and she strings bags as much
as possible in order to make this moneyl
SOWERS, MRS. FANNIE, aged 43; widow, North Wilkesboro, N.C.
Children: Glenn, aged 27 4
Edgar, aged 14.
Raye, aged 15.
Earl, aged 12.
June, aged 7.
INCOME: She receives $12.00 a month from the government for
dependent chi 1 dr en .
E CONDITIONS: They rent a three-room house, and forty
acres of land, ten acres being tended. Mrs. Bowers is in
poor health and states that she should have a doctor but
cannot possibly afford it. All the money earned on bags
and that received from the State is spent on food and clothes,
The bag money amounts to about tlO.OO a month. Since they
have 'oeen discontinued temporarily she has had to go in debt
in order to buy food. They have no stock at all. The house
is kept very neat and clean, but it is very scantily furnish-
ed. Mrs. Bowers enjoys doing this work and states that she
does not know what they will do if the bags are talc en away.
5 J i-l-r-L J-I T J. I ^ F fc ZTJL-^K. J
North Carolina, has three children whose names are
Rosemary 8 years
Kelly 5 years
Betty 2 years
INCOME: The husband works on WPA work making $12.30
a month. He works only two weeks out of the month.
ilOME CONDITION'S: They rent a 2-room shack and one acre
of land. They raise corn, potatoes and other garden
vegetables which takes care of about §■ of the food
consumed by the family. All of the husband's Income
is spent on food. Mrs. Adams was sick in bed with
flu and needed a doctor but said she could not afford
one. She states that the money she earns from bags
clothes herself and the children and helps buy food.
This income amounts to about $5 a month. The
children were clean but wore rather ragged clothes.
The house was very clean but barely furnished. They
own a cow and a few chickens, but they do not give
enough milk and eggs to supply the family needs. Mrs.
Adams is in rather poor health and is confined to the
house a good deal of the time. She finds that bags
help keep her mind occupied and does not interfere with
her housework or children.
$*' E l •
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 completed the new house which he
built from wood cut in the forest. Very poorly constructed.
Raises beans, onions, potatoes said 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 medical attention and medicing, 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, mate rial for clothes, and
food. Husband states he will have to go in debt if the bags
are taken away from them. Hi s work is only temporary. No
electricity, running water or inside toilet facilities. Walks
about 1/4 mile for spring water.
BILLINGS, MRS. WINNIE, aged 42, married, North Wilkesboro, N.C,
Children: Oakie Lee, aged 16, (infantile paralysis).
Wallace, aged 15.
Lawrence, aged 14.
Ida Lee, aged 12.
Virginia, aged 9.
Maiden, aged 7.
Verne, aged 6.
Betty Anne, aged 5.
SOME: Husband works on WPA road work, earning $12.80 a
month. He works only two weeks out of the month.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent a two-room shack and eight acres
of land which they tend, paying one -third of the crop to
its owner. Their stock consists of two cows and a few
chickens out this does not supply them with the milk and
eggs needed. She earns about $>6.00 a month from string-
ing bags. All this is spent on food and clothes. They
had to go in debt in order to buy the necessary food for
the children. She has been stringing bags for years and
finds the work very enjoyable as well as necessary in
o order that the children be fed and clothed.
HOLSBROOK, MRS. ETHEL, aged 33; married, North Wilkesboro, N.C,
Children: Mozelle, aged 16.
Estelle, aged 15.
Effie, aged 10.
Adia, aged 5.
HOME CONDITIONS: The husband has oeen out of work for over a
year and being In poor health it is not probable that he
can hold down a Job. They have no personal possessions or
property. They rent a four-room house which is kept spot-
lessly clean. They also rent four acres of land which they
tend, giving one -third of its produce to its owner. The
husband and one of ' the children, Mozelle, who has heart
trouble, should have medical attention but it cannot be af-
forded. The girl's tonsils have been giving her trouble
for around a year but an operation cannot be afforded. The
money made from stringing bags all goes for food, which is
still not sufficient for their needs. Since the bags have
been discontinued temporarily they have had to go in debt at
the grocery store. They are unable to buy clothes for the
children. She states that she earns as much as $25
a month on the bags which does not interfere with her
housework and finds them very enjoyable as a spare time
job. This income is absolutely necessary.
ELLIS, MRS. .; widow; aged 57; husband died six years
age; resides in Wilkes County, N. C.
Children: Rufus, aged 23, at hone, unemployed.
Claude., aged 20; works government park project
at $20.00 per month.
Noah, aged 10, in school.
Yvonne, aged 17, at home.
Minnie, aged 14, at home.
Ted, aged 11, at home.
INCOME: Claude works on the government park project at
$20.00 per month.
HOME CONDITIONS: Owns four-room house and fifty acres of
land, ten acres of which is cultivated. They raise a
little over half of what they consume, the rest being
bought. They own two cows and some chickens, which supply
the milk and eggs. The house is rather neat' inside but is
a very substantially built structure. Practically no fur-
nishings at all. The children were clean and neatlv
dressed, as was the mother. She is very sickly, being
confined most of the time to the house. She has been re-
ceiving medical attention for the past five years and.
has been paying .for it with the money she earns from
stringing bags. It will not be possible for them to
eat and keep the farm going if the bags are discontinued.
Bag stringing brings in about fl2»00 per month. She
says the bags keep her mind occupied when she has to stay
in the house and she feels lost without them. She has
been doing them for about twenty-five years.
WYATT, MISS CARRIE; single, lives with sister; age 20 years;
resides in Wilkes County, R. C.
IRC ORE: Rone.
HOME CONDITIONS: Mother dead ten years and father about three
months, leaving her and a sister with fifteen-months old
baby. They have a two-room house and a small patch of ground
which is used as a garden. The house Is very badly construct-
ed, the walls being only boards nailed to the upright rafters
and having many wide cracks In them, which makes it very hard
to keep warm in winter. The only furniture is two beds, a
couple of chairs, a small table and dresser. Her sister's
husband has left with nothing. They both do the gardening
and supply themselves with vegetables. They have no elec-
tricity, running water or inside toilet facilities. Cooking
is done by wood stove, as is the heating. All the wood is
gathered from the forests. Water is gotten from the creek.
She earns about $10.00 a month on bags and it all goe3 for
food and personal necessities, clothes being made at home
out of bag cloth and other which Is given her. She and
her sister say they enjoy sitting down after the house-
work is done and stringing the bags. If the bags are
taken away they will go hundry, she says, because she
has been unable to find work of any kind.
BROWN, MISS MAY; aged 30; single;lives with mother and.
father; father aged 60; resides in Wilkes Co., iJ » C
INCOME: Father receives $7.00 per month on his old-age pension.
HOME CONDITIONS: Her mother is in very poor health and has
been sick in bed for five months. Doctor's care and medicine
is needed "out it is Impossible for her to receive this atten-
tion since the bags have been discontinued. Income from these
bags amount to about $2.00 a month. The house and land they
occupy is "rented" from its owner. No money is paid in rent,
but the one acre of land yields some corn and potatoes and
other crops which is grown and taken care of by Miss Brown.
About one -third of this crop goes to the owner of the land.
This constitutes the rent. The balance of the crops are used
by the family for food. However, over one-half of the food
has to be bought. She states that all of pension money is
spent on food and she still thinks it insufficient for their
needs. The house consists of only one room, very crowded
and untidy. Mother and father are both confined to this room
and are neither able to do any work. N inside toilet facili-
ties, no running water, no electricity. All clothes are made
made at home. Since bags have been stopped, they
hardly exist. The storekeeper had to give them flour
and other necessities in order that they might have
It will be impossible for this family to exist if
the bags are taken away, because Miss Brown cannot leave
her mother and father for work on the outs5-de. Has been
stringing bags for about fifteen years and really enjoys
PULLMAN, MRS. KATE, aged 54, married; resides j_ n Wilkes County,
Children; Ray, aged 18.
Walter, aged 13, in school.
INC OME : None .
HOME CONDITIONS: Mrs* Pullman owns a three-room house and
one and one-half acres of land, one -half of It being tended.
The rest is in a run down condition and she hasn't the money
to improve it. She raises corn, potatoes and garden vege-
tables. She earns about $14 a month by stringing bags, all
of which is spent for food and clothes. Her daughter has
tried to find work but has been unable to do so and her
husband has to stay home to tend the field. The house is
very old and delapidated but the inside Is kept very neat
and clean. They have no stock which will help them with
their food. She states that if the bags are taken away it
will be necessary to find other means for relief.
WOOD, MRS. PHOEBE; aged 38; married, seven children; resides
in Wilkes County, N* G.
Children: Dorothy j aged 16.
Henry, aged 14 .
Rosalie, aged 12.
Ruth, aged 10.
DeLoss, aged 7.
Roger, aged 6.
Lawrence, aged 2.
INCOME: Husband works on PWA or WPA road work relief. Earns
$12.80 every two weeks. Only two weeks are worked in a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: Own a two-room shack and ten acres of land,
only three acres being suitable for cultivation. Raise a
small crop of corn, potatoes, cane, peas, and beans. Have
two cows and eight chickens. Rooms very neatly kept and
clean but just a loosely constructed shack not high enough
for a man to stand up In. Newspapers kept the air from com-
ing in between the wallboards. Husband has very bad stomach
trouble, sometimes falling out en the job. They cannot afford
the services of a doctor. Bag money would enable him to buy
medicine for this trouble, she says. She loves bag stringing
and earns about $12,00 a month at it. This money is absolutely
necessary in order they exist. She makes the children's
clothes from material bought with bag money. She finds
time to help on the farm, do housework and still work on
FLETCHER, MRS. I LA, (colored), aged. 30; married; three
children; resides in Wilkes County, N« C.
Children: Flossie, aged 18 (mentally afflicted).
Clarence, aged 12.
Dorothy, aged 6.
INCOME: None, nusband unable to secure any work in past
HOME CONDITIONS: Own a two-room shack and one acre of land.
This land is two-thirds waste, only a snail garden being
cultivated. They would like to clear and fertilize the
rest of this land but it requires money which they cannot
afford to spend. They "rent" 'a little land on an adjoin-
ing on which they raise a bit of corn and potatoes. They
money she earns stringing bags is all spent on food. She
says they haven't had enough money in months to buy clothes,
The children were in rags. They own no cows, chickens, or
other stock which would help provide food. She has just
had pneumonia and is in a very bad state of health. She
said that she will not be able to have the doctor any more
because there is no money to pay him. The owe doctor about
:;.:50,00 for the services she received during her recent
illness. This family will not possibly be able to
exist if the bags are taken away. She earns around
$12«00 a month stringing bags. Since they have been
stopped recently, they have to live on what the local
storekeeper has let them have free.
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.
Hoi sclav/ 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 produce to Mp Holsclaw.
CLARY, MRS. FLOSSIE, sjg ed 42, married, North Wilkestioro, N.C.
Children: Norma, aged 17.
Ros ie, aged 15'
Metta, aged 14.
all are in sahool
Clay, aged 12.
Annie, aged 10.
Lillian, aged 8.
Income % The husband works on W. P. A. road work. This work
employs men two weeks out of each month but Mr. Clary finds
it impossible for him to work but one week out of the month
s ince he has to tend to the farm*
H OME CONDITIONS: The hous e they occupy is entirely unfit
for housing purposes being in a dilapidated state. It is
impossible to hea t it in cold weather. They have about
30 acres of land located on the side of a mountain, only
2 acres being suited for raising cr ops. The rest has
been practically wa shed away. They ow n neither the
house nor the land, both being taken over by the county
because they were unable to pay taxes for the past three
years . The property has been offered for sale three
times but has not been sold so far, it being practically
worthless. Mrs. Cla ry had flu about 2 years ago which has
left her in ill health. She is very much in need of medical
attention but cannnot afford it. She states that the income from the
bags pays £or all the clothes and a good deal of the fooI»
Since the bags have been temporarily discontinued, she has been
unable to buy any clothes at all.
STAMPER, MRS. NOLA, married; ten children; aged 56; age of
husband 45; resides in Wilkes County, il. C.
Children: Verdie, aged 18.
Verna, aged 16.
Fred, aged 15.
Delia, aged 11.
Ted, aged 10.
Lula, aged 8.
Ray., aged 6.
James, aged 4.
Olley, aged 2.
Von, aged 15 months.
INCOME: Husband works on government park project at
20.00 per month.
HOME CONDITIONS: Own three-room house and twenty acres of
land, of which about three acres is cultivated. Corn,
potatoes, and beans are raised. All the money is spent
on food, which Is not nearly sufficient and of nourish-
ing value for the children. All their clothes are made
at home, flour and sugar bags and other odds and ends
being used for material. The children were very poorly
dressed and very dirty. The house is practically
devoid of furniture except beds which were very dirty.
They have a well at the house, but no electricity or
inside toilet facilities. Stringing of bags is abso-
lutely necessary. 85$ a month is paid into the burial
insurance. lj -as been doing bags for twenty years and
would do it just for the pleasure of doing it. She
earns about $18.00 a month from this work.
WILES, MRS. LURA; aged 36 years; married; eight children;
resides in Wilkes County, N. C.
■Children: Stacy, aged 16.
Reba, aged 15.
Velno, aged 12.
E. R., aged 11.
L. D., aged 9.
Josie, aged 5.
Bryce, aged 2.
Billie, aged 5 days.
INCOME: Husband works PWA relief road work. This pays
$12.80 every two weeks, only working two weeks out of
the month. This is full time pay, but it is seldom
that he is able to work full time because of bad weather.
HOKE CONDITIONS: They rent two-room house and land by tend-
ing the land and giving one third of the crops to the
owner. The house is just a shack and is devoid of any
furniture except two beds and a couple of chairs. There
was no sign of a stove for heating in the bedroom or
means of lighting at night. The room was very cold and
airy, newspapers being used to close up the cracks in
the walls. Mrs. Wiles was sick in bed, having given
birth to a baby five days ago. She said, that she kept
the children clothed with the bag money, her husband's
income being all spent on food. Even then, the food
was insufficient for the family's needs. They owe the
doctor around $80.00 for medical services. Apparently
there were no cups or drinking glasses because she and
the children were drinking from tin cans during the
interview. "The bags mean everything to us, and I don't
know what we'll do if they are taken away" she said.
She has been doing them for years and enjoys the work,
and says they don't interfere with her household duties.
CLEARY, MRS .EMMA, married; two children; aged 30; husband
aged 60; resides in Wilkes County, No C.
Children: William, aged 12, in school.
Vassie, aged 8, in school.
HOME CONDITIONS: Own two-room log cabin and forty acres of
land. Only five acres can be cultivated. Husband is
barely able to raise the crops on this land as he is in
very bad health, suffering from plagary which keeps him
in bed under doctor's care a good deal of the time. He
owes doctor about syl50 but cannot pay on it. He cannot
afford to buy medicine, since the only mo ney c oming in is
from the bags, and has to be spent on food. The house is
roughly furnished but neatly kept and clean. There is no
electricity, running water or inside toilet facilities.
Water is supplied by a well. If the bags are taken away
they will not possibly be able to exist. He cannot hold
a job on account of his health. The storekeeper has been
giving them food since the bags have stopped coming in.
BILLINGS, MRS. ALLEN; aged 60, married, resides in North
Wilkesboro, i ". C.
Children* All are mai^ried and living away from home
except one, Faye, who is 31 years of age and a mental
invalid. She has a child living at home with them.
HOIS CONDITIONS: They rent a five-room house and six acres
of .land. The husband suffers from stomach trouble and is
unable to work. He has oeen employed on WPA but his health
was responsible for his discharge. He is in need of medi-
cal attention that cannot be afforded. They own nothing but
a cow and a few chickens. She has a bad case of heart
trouble and is unable to do any other kind of work other
than the stringing of bags. The income earned from these
bags amounts to around $>5»00 a month. All food and clothes
are bought with this money. The family will be unable to
exist if the bag work Is discontinued, as neither she nor
her husband are able to do any other work.
BOWERS, MRS. CORA, aged 47, married, North W&lkes> oro, N.C.
Children:; Flos sie, aged 26..
Lester, a ged 22.
John, aged 20.
Van, aged 18.
M. L., aged IS.
Ordelle, aged 14.
Ruth, aged 12.
Margie, aged 9.
Burr, aged 7.
HOME CONDITIONS r They own a three room home and 45 acres
of land, only about 8 acres are suited for cultivation.
She earns about $15 a month from stringing bags, which
all goes for buying food and clothes. Her has been un-
able to locate work for the past 6 months. There is no
furniture at all in the home excepting three beds and a
table and a few chairs. They own 2 cows, 2 horses , and
365 chickens. T hey have been able to secure a little money from
the sale of these chickens. It will be impossible for
this family to exist if the bags are taken away. She
states that she has been doing bags for years and really
enjoys the work. She further states that they do not
make her nervous cr interfere with any of her household
LYONS, MRS.. BETTY, aged 63, ma rrled, N orth Wilkesboro, N.C.
Children: Mrs . Lyons has one child, Faye McKann, age 32
who is married and living with her husband at
HOME CONDITIONS* They rent a 6 room house and 160 acres of
land, only 12 acres are worked, the rest being marginal
and timberland. T hey own a cow and a few chickens which
keep them supplied in eggs and milk. The husband is in
111 health and has also been in bed about two months with
phneumonia and pleurisy* H e should have medical atten-
tion, but Mrs. Lyons states that they could not afford
it. B ag stringing being their only source of income,
is all spent on food and clothes. T his income amounts to
febout $10 a month but is not sufficient to take care of
food, clothes, and seeds , etc. necessary to run a farm.
H er son-in-law has been unable to locate any work and
she and her husband are too (bid to do any other work ex-
cept on the farm. They will be unable to exist if the
bags are taken away from them.
MCBRIDE, MRS. PEARL, aged 43, widow, Forth Wilkesboro, N.C.'
Children: B elna, aged 15.
Murrell, aged 13.
Elmore, aged 10.
Diana , aged 8.
Rosalie, aged 17.
She als o takes care of her aged nother-in-law.
INCOME: She receives $12 per month from the Government
for her dependent children.
H OME CONDITIONS: They own a three room home but have to rent the
land consisting of 10 acres , one third of its produce
being given the owner as rent. The house is fairly well
furnished and kept in a very neat order. Bag money,
w; ich amounts to about $6 a month all goes for buying
f ood and clothes . She states that she is in too poor
health to be able to do any other work than bags since
she is confined to her home most of the time. She also
s tat ex that she does not know what they will do if the
bags are taken away.
STAMPER, IvIRS. ALICE; married, nine children; aged 49; age
of husband 53; resides i n Wilkes County, N. C.
Children: Arnold, aged 50, at hone - unemployed.
Early, aged 26, "
Mary, aged 16, "
Charlie, aged 18,"
John, aged 15, "
Lee, aged 12, "
OME CONDITIONS: Husband unemployed for three years. He
and the boys help to keep about two of the forty acres
which they own plowed and the crops cultivated. The rest
of this land is woody and rocky and unfit for raising any
vegetables, etc. on. They own one cow and a few chickens
which supply them with milk and eggs. About one half of
the food has to be bought, but since bags have been dis-
continued they have had to charge the little they have
gotten from the store. If they do not receive bags any
more they will not be able to exist, -ncone from this
work averages about 18.00 a month. Taxes have to be caid.
There are three rooms to the house, which is kept very
clean. Furnishings are very scanty. Makes the girls
and her clothes, the men's being bought. She has been
doing bags about thirty years and states that she is
lost without then. They have no electricity, running
water or inside toilet facilities^ water is brought
from a nearby spring. Nothing has ever been spent on
recreation, all being needed for necessities.
WALKER, MRS. NANCY, aged 36, married, iiorth Wilkesboro, N.C.
Children: Yudy, aged 16.
ri -attie, aged 12.
Corday, aged 9
Russell, aged S.
Billy •Jo, aged 6.
Shelby Jean, aged 3.
One infant •
Mr. Walker's brother, Freeman Walker and sister, Sarah
Walker, live with then.
INCOME: The husband works on WPA road work earning $12.80
a month, working only two weeks out of the month. Mr.
Walker's sister has been in very ill health for the past
four years and is in need of medical attention but has not
been able to afford it. Freeman is also in ill health and
unable to work.
HOME CONDITIONS: They own a five room home and 18 acres of
land, only four acres suited for cultivation. The house
is very crudely buil<& and has practically no furniture in
it all, but is kept very clean. The husband's income is
all spent on food and clothes, which, at the present, is
not sufficient for their needs. The bag money, amount-
ing to about $10 a month also goes for food. . Mrs. Walker
was sick in bed with flu, but has not been able to have a
doctor. She states that it will be necessary for the sister
to have medical attention immediately and will have to rely
on the bag money to pay for the doctor's services.
DICKENS, MR. THOMAS, aged 55; married, resides in Reidsville,
N. C, is blind. He has one child who is married but
separated and living with him and his wife.
INCOME: He receives a blind pension of ?520.00 a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent a three-room home at $7.50 a
month, which they state is in very poor condition. They
are unable to keep the house warm during cold weather;
Their expenses are: water bill, $1.00 a month; electricity,
$1.10 a month; and food, $>6»00 a week. Mr. Dickens has
been blind for thirteen years and states that if he does
not have the bag work to occupy his mind, he will go crazy.
He earns about $12.00 a month stringing bags. This amount
all goes for food and rent. Mrs. Dickens was operated on
for hemorrhoid trouble about a year ago, this hospital fee
being paid for by the county. The operation ha3 not improved
her condition at all. Local doctors state that she is in
need of an immediate operation but they are unable to afford
it, the cost being around ^175.00. Mr. Dickens says that if
he can receive bags regularly it may be possible to afford
an operation. Bag money has paid for medical attention re-
ceived so far except the operations,
MRS. HATTIE MAYNARD (colored) has 1 grandchild living
with her, whose mother and father are dead. She is
66 years old and her husband is 79. Reside at Eeidsville,
INCOME: They have no income except what they make by
stringing bags. Food coses them about $2.50 a week.
Rent is Si a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house is just a cabin and has 4
rooms. They only have enough land for a small garden.
They own a cow and a few chickens. They have a
sewing machine and an old piano. Although the house
is small it is very well kept. She has been stringing
bags about 35 years and makes $17.00 or $18.00 a month.
This is their only income and they couldn't live without
this work. Since she is so old, this work bothers her
eyes a little.
MAYNARD, MRS. C-ERTRUDE, (colored) married, and has 9
children, all of whom live with her. She is 39
years old and her husband is 44. Reside at Reidsville, N»C
INCOME: Her husband farms and two of her daughters
have- jobs at $3.00 a week a piece. Her husband
raises 8 acres of tobacco and 15 acres of corn, all
of which he sells. lie rents his place for half of
what he makes. Pood costs about $53.50 a week.
HOME CONDITIONS: Rouse had 5 rooms and there are about
30 acres of land. The house is in good condition
but is noo well kept. They own a cow and use the
owner's mules to work the farm. She has been
stringing bags for 30 years and makes $16,00 or
• ; 1?.00 a month. This money is badly needed and is a
large percent of their income.
MITCHELL, MRS, EMMA, (colored), aged 44; husband 58; have
ten children, all of whom live with them at Reidsville. N.C
INCOME: Their income depends on farming and bag stringing.
They raise practically all their food and only have to
buy about <j?8.00 worth a month. faxes are s; j 25.00 a year.
E CONDITIONS: The house is new and has ten rooms, is
well furnished, and well kept. They own a car, two
mules, two cows, three pigs, and some chickens. They
also have a piano, a battery radio, and a sewing machine.
She has been stringing bags for o5 years and could make
her living by this work alone. She makes about ^25.00 a
week at this work, iier husband makes enough on the farm
to support them but she likes to do this work and make
extra money, her eyes are weak but it doesn't bother her
to string bags.
ALLEN, MRS, EUGENIA, (colored); married and has three
children and four grandchildren living with her; aged 51;
husband aged 59. Reside at Reidsville, N. C«
INCOME: They raise corn and tobacco to sell, and all the
food they need. Taxes are about CS5.00 a year and they
only have to buy food occasionally.
HOME CONDITIONS: House has six rooms and there are 102
acres of land. They own a cow, two mules, four pigs,
and a few chickens. The house Is well kept and is In
good condition. This family could get along without
stringing bags but this money helps a lot when they have
a bad year on the farm. She has been stringing a long
time and makes about $8.00 a week. Her eyes were weakened
by sickness but it has never bothered her to string bags.
MRS. PATTIE WILSON (colored) has five children. She
is 48 years old and her husband is 60. Live in Reidsville N.C,
INCOME: They have no income except money made by
stringing bags, but they do raise most of their needs
on the farm, and 8 or 9 acres of tobacco. ■ Their
taxes are about $45 a year. They only have to buy
food occasionally. They are trying to buy the place
and they spend all their extra money to meet the
HOME CONDITIONS: Mouse has 4 rooms and there are 100
acres of land. They own 2 mules, a cow, a pig and
a few chickens. They own their own wood. The house
needs a new roof but is in good condition otherwise.
She has been stringing for 23 years and makes between
$11.00 and $18.00 a month, depending on how much work
she has to do on the farm. This money is badly
needed and she likes to do this work.
BELL, MRS. ROSA, (colored) has 12 children, all but
one of whom live with her. She is 45 years old
and her husband is 47. They reside in Reidsville, N. C.
INCOME: The whole family farms and raises most of their
food. They also raise tobacco and corn to sell. His
aunt owns the place and husband rents additional land
for farming. He pays l/4 of what he makes for the
use of this land. Groceries cost $>2.00 a week.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has 5 rooms and there are
33 acres of land. They own 2 cows, 2 mules, 3 hogs
and 25 chickens. They also have a sewing machine.
The house is like the rest in this sect: on and is
poorly kept. She has "been stringing bags ever since
she can remember and makes about $15.00 a month.
She likes to do this work and it has never affected
NEAL, MRS. CORNELIA, (colored), age 66, husband 70; two
children and four grandchildren living with her.
INCOME: They raise some of their food and a little tobacco,
home conditions; The house has eight rooms and there are 62
acres of land. They own 2 mules, a cow and about 50 hens.
House is in bad shape but is well kept. Pood costs them
$3#50 a week and taxes are $41 a year. They have had to
borrow money on their home and are trying to pay it back.
She has been stringing for 35 years and makes about $26.00
a month. They need this money badly. It tires her a little
to string bags because she i s so oldo
BOLDEN, MRS. ANNIE, (colored, Ri&idsville, N. C, married and
has eight children living with. Her age 45, husband in his fifties
INCOME* They make their living by farming and stringing bags.
HOME CONDITIONS: They raise most of their food hut still have
to spend about $12 a week on groceries. Their taxes are $30
a year. They own another place which the:/ rent for half of
what the man raises. The house has 5 rooms and there are 54
acres of land in this place and 114 In the one that they rent.
They own 3 mules, and 3 cows. They also have a VIctrola. The
house is in good condition and is well kept. She has been
stringing bags for thirty years and makes about $68.00 a month.
She likes to do this work.
GRAVES, MRS. CORA, (colored), aged 56, husband 38; have
6 children and her mother-in-law living with them at
Reidsville, N. C.
INCOME: Their income is from farming and stringing bags.
HOME CONDITIONS: House has five rooms and there are 104
acres of land. The house is about to fall to pieces but
is clean. They own 2 mules, 2 cows, 3 hogs, and a few
chickens. They rent the place for half of what they
raise, and spend all the money they make stringing bags
on food and clothes. She has been stringing bags 25
years and makes about |7.00 a month. She has high blood
pressure and can do very little work but It doesn't bother
be r to string bags. They need this money badly.
-^fc — .ri tl
JOHNSON, MRS, FlfflSSIE, (colored), Separated from husband and
has 7 children living with her, at Reidsville,^. C. Her
brother and wife live with her. Her age 34.
INCOME: They raise most of their food but their only income
is what they make by stringing bags.
HOME CONDITIONS: House has 6 rooms and there are 40 acres of
land. They own a radio and a mule, a cow, 2 calves, 5 pigs,
and about 50 chickens. House is in good condition but is
very dirty. Food costs $56 a week and taxes are $23 a year.
She has been stringing for twenty years and makes about
$110 .00 a month. She Is absolutely dependent on bags.
MRS. MARTHA BELTON, Spray, Forth Carolina, age 69, has
one child 27 years of age who lives at home,
INCOME: Anna, the daughter, works in the Spray mill doing
part time work and earning about $5 or $6 a week.
Mrs. Belton gets $12 per month on the old age pension.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent a house at $18 a month.
The home is fairly well furnished and neatly kept.
The money earned from the bags which amounts to $10
a month is spent on food and doctor's bills. She
and her husband are both in very poor health, and
have gone in debt with a doctor, being unable to meet
the bills. Mrs. Belton has to have special food
which makes their grocery bill rather high. They
daughter, Anna, is in bad health and really should
not work, having had two operations during the past
year. She states that the bags are a wonderful help
and says that they will have to have other relief if
they are taken away. She enjoys doing them as it
helps occupy her mind.
MISS MILDRED JONES, Leaksville, North Carolina, age 23,
single, but lives with four brothers and. sisters
INCOME: Her mother works in the Spray mill making $29.44
per month. Her sister's husband works on W.P.A. at
$16 a week.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent a four room house at $15 a
month. She earns about $10 a month on bags, but
states that she can do without them If necessary.
The income from these bags Is spent on her personal
necessities. Her home is fairly well furnished and
kept very orderly and. clean.
KIKKMAN, MRS. HOWARD, aged 27, married; resides at Spray, II. C.
Children: Maynard, aged 6.
Wayne, aged 4.
Shirley, aged 2.
INCOME: The husband has part time work in a Spray mill,
earning around $7 and $10.00 a week.
HOME CONDITIONS': They rent three rooms at |6.00 a month.
The grocery bill is about $>5.00 or |6.00 a week. The
husband's income is all spent for the food and rent. The
money earned from bags which amounts to about SS5.00 a month
is needed for the children's clothes, the electric light
bill and insurance amounting to So. 50 a month. The house
is fairly well furnished and is kept clean and neat. She
enjoys doing bag work and says it is absolutely necessary
to keep the children clothed and for buying personal neces-
sities. If they are taken away it will be necessary to cut
down on the amount of food consumed.
MRS. MYRTLE KIRKMAN, Spray, North Carolina, age 30, has
J. D. 8 years
Melroy 2 years
INCOME: Mrs. Kirkraan's husband works in Spray mill
doing part time work and averaging about l;;7 a week.
HOME CONDITIONS: The family rents a home of 4 rooms
at $58 a month "but has been unable to meet the
payments being over $200.00 behind. All of the
husband's income goes for paying grocery bill,
insurance (which amounts to $53 a month). Bag
stringing, which she enjoys doing brings her about
■06 a month and all goes in paying back rent. She
states that this work will be necessary if she is to
keep the family going. It never interferes with her
house work or tending of the children.
GRIFFIN, MRS. LESSIE; aged 48, married, resides in Spray, li .C.
Children: Irene, aged 27, works part time In Spray mill.
Lena, aged 25.
Effie, aged 24.
Marion, aged 17.
Mary, aged 14.
Maxine, aged 11.
Dorine, aged 11.
Billy, aged 6.
INCOME: Irene earns about $14.50 when she works full time.
; CONDITIONS! They rent a six-room house at S12.00 a month.
The house has electricity, which costs about 31.80 a month.
All the money earned on bags is spent for doctor's bill.
This income amounts to about .;?20.00 a month. The husband
had a stroke of paralysis about one year ago and requires
frequent medical attention. He is confined to his bed.
She states that the medicine cost is around ^37.00 a week.
All of the money earned by Irene goes for food and clothes.
She sayys that it will be impossible to have the required
medical attention for her husband if the bags are taken away.
The house is very crowded and disorderly. The children wear
very scanty clothes. The insurance, which amounts to about
VO.50 a month is paid out of the bag money.
MARTIN, MRS. SUSIE: aged 55; married; resides in Spray, W .C.
Children* Russell, aged 22. He and his wife live with her.
INCOME: The son works part time in the Spray mill, making
6.50 per week when he is working. His reason for working
part time is due to poor health. During the past year he
only worked about six months out of the year.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent their home at ^12.00 a month. It
is very scantily furnished but neatly kept. The money re-
ceived f rom b ags which amounts to ^6.00 per month is spent
on food and clothes* She has been unable to meet her groc-
ery bill since the bags have been discontinued temporarily
and has had to go in debt. She feels that it will be impos-
sible to run the home on her son's present income since It is
only part time work. Sickness also requires frequent medical
attention, but she is unable to have a doctor because of the
expense. She finds that the bag work Is enjoyable and does
not have to neglect her house work to do them.
MRS. SALLIE SHILBEY, Spray, North Carolina, age 21.
Children: Douglas 5 years
Betty 14 months.
INCOME: Husband works at a local mill making $15 per
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent 2 rooms at $4 a month. They
are nicely furnished and very neatly kept. The house
has electricity. She states that she clothes herself
and the two children with the money she earns from
stringing bags. She also states that It never
interferes with her house work, and that she really
enjoys doing it. Her husband's salary goes for
paying rent and groceries. The groceries amount to
• '10 a month and payments on debts amounting to about
GO. The bags are not absolutely necessary but they
are a great help.
MRS. NANNIE SCOTT, Spray, North Carolina, age 40, lias
INCOME: She receives $20 a month from the state for the
] S CONDITIONS: The husband lost a limb about a year
ago and is unable to work. Money received from the
State pays the rent which amounts to $56 a month. The
house has absolutely no furniture except for 3 beds,
a few chairs and a table. The children are very poorly
dressed as was the mother and father. The money
earned from bags which amounts to about $10 a month
is all spent on food. This work Is absolutely neces-
sary In order that the children may be fed and clothed.
Mrs. Scott is in bad health and fears that, she will be
unable to do work out of the home. She finds that
stringing bags is enjoyable and helps quiet her nerves.
They do not interfere with the tending of the house and
HODGES, MRS. JENNIE, aged 44; married; resides in Spray, N.C.
Children: Grady, aged 11.
Iris, aged 9,
Melvin, aged 7.
(All children except Peggy
Albert, aged 16. and Myrtle are in school.)
Peggy, aged 4.
Myrtle, aged 19 months.
INCOME: The husband works in Spray mill at i;S12.00 psr week.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent a three-room house at |>6.00 per
month. Prior to about two weeks ago the husband was work-
ing only part time and was unable to meet the rent bill with
which they are about $100 behind in. The groceries amount to
around $3 or $4 a week, but she says that the food Is insuffi-
cient for the children's needs. They were unable to pay the
electric light bill so the electricity has been taken out.
Bag money which amounts to $10.00 a month keeps the children
clothed, their school supplies and lunches paid for and their
insurance amounting to about $4.80 a month. The house is
fairly well furnished and kept spotless and clean. She says
that the bag stringing is only done in her spare time and that
it never interferes with her house work. If the bags are taken
away, she will have to have some other form of relief.
BROWN, MRS. JESSIE, aged about 45; married, resides in Spray, N.C
Children: Annie, aged 17.
Patsy, aged 12.
INCOME: None. Mrs. Brown's husband was laid off about six
months ago and he has been unable to locate work since
that time .
HOME CONDITIONS: The money earned from these bags pays on the
rent amounting to $6.00 a month for three rooms. They are
practically devoid of any furniture.. The food bill runs
around $3.00 a week but she feels that it is Insufficient
for their needs. The money earned from bag stringing runs
about $>15«00 a month. This family is in a desperate con-
dition and will not be able to exist if the bags are taken
away. Both she and the children were very poorly clad.
GARRETT, MRS. EMMA, 38 years of agej married; seven children;
resides at 3011 Williamsburg Ave., Richmond, Virginia.
Children: Charles, aged 13, in school.
Lottie, aged 12, in school.
Evelyn, aged 10, in school.
Robert, aged 9, in school.
James, aged 7, in school.
Lily, aged 5, in school.
Edward, aged 4, at home.
INCOME: Husband is on relief, receiving $39.20 per month.
HOLE CONDITIONS: Rents three downstairs rooms for w5.00 a
month. The rooms were very dirty and scantily furnish-
ed. They consist of two bedrooms and a kitchen. Only
one of the bedrooms is furnished, having a bed, two
small wooden chairs and a table, and a large chest which
was filled with clothes and odds and ends. This room
is occupied by her husband and herself. The furniture
in the other bedroom consists solely of two broken-down
beds; four children sleep in one and three in the other.
All of the children were at home at the time of inspec-
tion and three of them were without shoes or socks, as
was the mother, who stated that she only had two dresses.
She spends a total of #30.00 a month on food for the
seven children, her husband and herself. She states
that they cannot buy milk. The children drink tea and
coffee. Two of the children had very bad colds. She
stated that she did not have money for medicine. She
has no icebox and perishable foods are used as soon as
they are bought. A wood stove is used for cooking.
Electricity and coal costs about $4«00 a month. She
is unkempt and unable to work in a factory on account
of her children, as well as lack of training. ^n ad-
dition to cooking and caring for the children, she
supplements her husband's relief payments to the extent
of about $9»00 a month from the stringing of bags, which
she uses to pay the rent, coal and electricity. She
states that "she enjoys stringing bags and if they are
taken away from her she will have to have some kind of
outside relief because she will not be able to work
away from home." She has been stringing bags for thir-
teen years •
GRAHAM, MRS. GEORGE, age unknown; separated from husband;
no children; resides at 512 N. 53rd St., Richmond, Va.
INC OME : None .
EMPLOYMENT: Has never been employed."
HOME CONDITIONS: Has been blind for ten years. She came
from Newport ^ews, Virginia, with her husband, who
deserted her in June 1935* She has had no trace of him
since. She lives at the home of her father and mother,
Mr. and Mrs. 3. F. Mann. The father is employed by the
City of Richmond but the amount of his income is small. •
She states that she enjoys stringing bags and earns from
such work as she does about $7.00 a month. She cannot
get bags except periodically. This is her only source
of income. She uses it for clothes and necessities.
She states that she is in dire need of this money, since
her father cannot afford to do much for her other than
provide shelter and food. She has made many efforts to
locate her husband with the help of out-of-town court
authorities and the ^olice Departments.
GAMBILL, MRS. ELIZABETH, aged 28; married, resides at No.
1004-g- N. 26th Street^ Richmond, Va.; has four children.
Children: Dora, aged 10, In school.
George, aged 7, In school*
Mary, aged 5, In school.
Ann, aged 3, at home.
INCOME: When the husband works he earns around $16.00 per
week. Only worked about four months within the past year.
HOME CONDITIONS. The family lives with the wife's sister,
occupying two rooms, which are very small and crowded and
extremely dirty. They pay !Jp7.00 per week which covers all
living expenses. The husband has been employed with wall-
paper firm, but his work has been very unsteady and they
cannot afford to rent a place of their own. She makes all
of the children's and her clothes. She and the children
were very unkempt and dirty. Income from bag stringing
averages only about §4.00 or $5.00 per month, as she can-
not obtain a sufficient number of bags to occupy her spare
time. Insurance costs them about $1.20 a month. She
states that the money derived from bag stringing is
absolutely necessary and if they are taken away it
will be necessary to have relief from some other source.
However, she would rather work, if possible, than go on
NEGAARD, MRS. FAY; aged 32; married, two boys, aged 9 and
5, both in school.
INCOME: Her husband earns $70.00 per month from WPA.
HOLE CONDITIONS: They rent two rooms in basement at
$10.00 per month, which includes light and water. The
grocery bill runs about $16.00 per week. Insurance Is
about fl.40 per month and coal fl.55. She earns about
$8.00 a month from stringing bags, and states that if
the bag stringing is discontinued she will need other
work because every cent is spent In clothing and feed-
ing the children. They have been working on bags for
about six years. The house is kept very clean and
neat and is nicely furnished. The children were fairly
well dressed, as was the mother. She makes all the
clothes for herself and buys the children's. She does
not find that bag stringing interferes with her house-
keeping, but sometimes makes her nervous.
J iVia i ;V'« i ;*SJ'S*'1Sf
REDFORD, MRS. ROSA; widow, aged 75; lias four children,
all of whom are married and living out of town;
resides at No. 529 N. 21st Street, Richmond, Va.
INCOME: Receives $11.50 monthly old-age pension.
HOME CONDITIONS: Rents two rooms for §7.00 per month;
both are kept very clean and orderly. She spends
about $8.00 a month on food but cannot afford milk
and special foods which her doctor says she should
have. She has high blood pressure and a bad case
of heart trouble. One of her daughters resides in
Washington, D. C, and she has been helping her with
the rent money but has been unable to do so for the
past two months as she is In very bad health and
requires constant medical attention, which is very
expensive. She receives bags periodically and
strings them in spare moments, earning about $3.00
a month. Prom this she pays the electric light
bill amounting to about $1.00 a month and uses the
balance for food. She states that it would be impos-
sible for her to get along without the bags, as
she can do no other type of work.
MARASLE, MRS. VICTORIA; aged 68 years; married, but separated
from husband about eighteen years; resides at 918 North
25th Street, Richmond, Virginia.
HOME CONDITIONS: She lives with her daughter who pays her
board and lodging. She does the bag stringing for enjoy-
ment and for something to keep her mind occupied more than
for the benefit she receives. However, she clothes her-
self with what she makes from bag stringing. Earns about
$5.00 or $6.00 a month doing it. She is in good health
and does not find that bag stringing affects her nerves or
health in any way.
WOOLDRIDGE, MRS. ; widow, aged 68; no children;
resides at No. 318 u . 21st Street, Richmond, Virginia.
INCOME: §15.00 a month old-age pension.
HOME CONDITIONS: Rents one room at :»;6.00 a month. Furnishings
are modest and room kept in order and clean. Mrs. Wooldridge
is on a special diet prescribed by her doctor and has to have a
quart of milk a day and other special foods. $4.00 a month
has to be spent on medicine as she has heart trouble and
high blood pressure. Oil for the stove costs about $3.00
a month and wood $2.00. She makes her own clothes and other
household linens. She says that the church helps her in pay-
ing her rent and buying food. Income from bag stringing
amounts to $3.00 a month and is absolutely necessary. She
is able to buy her oil with this. She has had to drop her
insurance policy, being unable to make further payments.
She Is a shut-in and enjoys doing bag work as It helps occup;/
her mind, as well as supplement her income. She says she
will have to make other money if the bag work is discontinued
in homes. She cannot get a sufficient number of bags to
occupy her spare time.
HOWELL, MRS. BESSIE; married; has not seen her husband for
fourteen years; resides at 907 North 25th Street, Richmond, Va,
One child, Nellie, 14 years old, and in school.
HOME CONDITIONS: She lives with her brother and a sister,
and her mother, who is a cripple and can do no housework.
The brother's work is unsteady, only working about six
months out of the year. Els income is unknown. Mrs.
Howell earns around -iH.OO a month on bag stringing and it
all goes for clothing for the child. She states she will
be unable to buy clothes for the child and supply her with
school supplies and carfare if she does not have this
income from bag stringing. The house is scantily furnish-
ed but is kept clean and neat. The bag stringing does not
interfere with her housework. She finds that it helps her
DICKMAN, MRS. ALICE, aged 40; widow; seven children; resides
at 907 N. 24th Street, Richmond, Virginia.
Children: Dorothy, aged 16, in school.
Catherine, aged 14, in school.
Frances, aged 11, in school.
Elvira, aged 10, in school.
Charles, aged 6 in school.
Betty Ann, aged 3, at home.
INCOME: $65.00 per month relief money from City.
HOME CONDITIONS: She rents the upper flat of three rooms
for £12,50 per month. Furnished very shabbily and sparsely,
but kept orderly and clean. She earns about $6.00 per month
from bag stringing, with which she pays all of her insurance
amounting to f,2.60» The rest is used for clothing for the
children. She finds it difficult to keep the children in
school supplies and carfare. She states that they have had
to miss school several dsys because she has 'oeen unable to
buy them the necessary supplies. She spends ^40.00 per
month in groceries but feels that it is insufficient to feed
the children properly. She is absolutely dependent on the
bag work, which never, she says, keeps her from her
housework or child- caring. Other relief will be
necessary if the bags are taken away, but will not be
able to leave home to work because of the children.
DUNCAN, MRS. 3. C, aged 42 years; married; two children;
resides at 3414 East Marshall Street,, Richmond, Virginia.
■ Children: Boy, aged 15.
Girl, aged 14.
INCOME: Eer husband is a painter; works about six months
out of a year; earns $20.00 a week, but has not worked
for three weeks.
HOME CONDITIONS: They own their home, and we were unable t;o
determine If there is any mortgage on it. It is nicely
furnished and kept spotlessly clean inside and out. They
have a radio, refrigerator and gas stove. Electric and
gas bills are about $6.00 a month; insurance about $8.00;
groceries average $40.00 a month. They spend about ^8.00
a year on recreation for the children. She states that
stringing bags is a pleasure and does not interfere with
her housework. She earns about $5.00 a month from it.
She cannot* get bags except occasionally. The money Is
needed for the children's carfare, food and necessi-
ties, since her husband's income is so indefinite.
She has been stringing bags for four years and will
have to get some other work which must be done at home
if the bag work is discontinued.
LIVESEY, MRS. ANNIE, 68 years of age; widow; no children;
resides at 518 N. 24th Street, Richmond, Virginia.
INCOME: Owns an old home in the negro section of Richmond,
from which she receives #12.00 per month rent. Prom
this rent the taxes and repairs must be paid. She
formerly lived in this home and only vacated it when
the section became occupied by negroes.
HOME CONDITIONS: She lives by herself in one room, for
which she pays $>5»00 per month. She has no stove nor
icebox. It is heated by a snail fireplace, the room
was very cold when inspected. She spends about $1.00
a week on groceries, eating only cold canned food. The
only hot food she ever gets is an occasional cup of
coffee or tea which the people who live downstairs send
her. There Is no running water in her room nor toilet
facilities; she obtains her water from downstairs and
keeps it in a pitcher. Her room furnishings consist
of a broken-down bed, two delapidated chairs, a medi-
cine chest and a table. The room was very dirty.
She has one thin quilt as cover on the bed. She is
apparently in very bad health, being afflicted with
heart trouble and a bad case of rheumatism but states
that she has not enough money to buy medicine even if
a doctor prescribed. Her clothes were very thin and
ragged; she cannot afford to buy clothes and makes
such as she wears from what pieces of material which
are sent to her by neighbors. She does not use the
one electric light in her room except when she is
required to sew at night. She spends #2.00 a month
on insurance. All people in her circumstances seem
to have a horror of not leaving enough to bury them
in event of death. She has been stringing bags for
thirty years. At her present age and in her condition
she is only able of stringing bags at odd moments. For
this service she earns between $4.00 and $5.00 a month,
enough to pay the rent. She would be capable of earn-
ing more than this but recently she lias not been able
to obtain bags. She states that "she did not know what
she would do without this money, and her doctor told her
that bag stringing was advisable, since it kept her mind
occupied." She has to stay in her room practically all
the time because she cannot walk much, and stated that
"she really enjoys sitting by the window stringing bags."
WAC-NER, MRS. ; 55 years of age; married; no chil-
dren; resides at 5005 Williamsburg Avenue, Richmond, Va.
INCOME: Husband works intermittently; has been employedoonly
six months out of past year; earns around $12.00 or &15.00
a week when he works.
HOLE CONDITIONS: They rent 5 rooms at ^10.00 per month,
which are very scantily furnished and extremely dirty,
and very delapidated. Everything they earn is spent.
They sometimes get food from the church and charity.
The husband states that if it were not for these bags
they would be out on the street. At present they are
in arrears in their rent and electricity. They have been
doing this work for forty-five years and feel that it
would be impossible to get along without it. They do
not find bag stringing hard work but it makes them a
little nervous. The income from the bags is about $8»00
to $10.00 a month. Both were very poorly dressed and she
states she has only one dress and no shoes or stockings.
ZIMMER, MRS. EMMA, 50 years of age; married; thirteen
children, five are living, and eight dead; resides at
3009 Williamsburg Avenue, Richmond', Virginia.
Children: George, aged 19, mentally afflicted and
unable to work.
Ann, aged 13, in school.
Catherine, aged 11, in school.
Louise, aged 9, in school.
Harry, aged 7, in school.
INCOME: Her husband is a painter, on relief at present,
making approximately $70.00 a month. Pay varies with
job. Only works about 8 months out of the year, with
a total income of about $550 or $600 a year.
HOME CONDITIONS: Rents a six-room house at about $10.00 a
month. The rooms have very little furniture but are
kept very clean and tidy. She spends about $64.00 a month
on groceries; |4.00 for electricity; $2.50 for insurance;
$1.75 for coal and wood. Nothing is spent for recreation.
None of the house is heated during the day with the excep-
tion of the kitchen. She makes all of the children's
clothes; she and the children wore very ragged ones.
In her spare moments she strings tobacco bags, making
about $4.00 a month, which she spends on necessities.
She has been stringing bags for about thirty-five
years. She states that sometimes it gets on her
nerves but she doesn't mind it. The bag money is not
absolutely necessary but it is very helpful.
VALDRIG-HI, MRS. A; widow; aged 45; five children; resides
No. 514 N. 21st Street, Richmond, Virginia.
Children: Julia, aged 19; laundry employee; earns
about $40.00 per month.
Pearl, aged 17, at home, unemployed.
Annie, aged 14, in school.
Mary, aged 12, in school.
Alfred, aged 9, in school.
INCOME: Julia's salary is the only source of Income,
which amounts to $40.00 per month. One-half of this
amount Is given to her mother, with which to run the
home. Mrs. Valdrighi receives a monthly grocery order
from the City of Richmond for $16.00.
HOME CONDITIONS. Husband died two years ago and left
$750.00 mortgage on home. It is doubtful if the home
can be sold for the mortgage. Interest payments aver-
age about $5.50 per month. The house Is kept unusually
clean and neat and is nicely furnished. There is no
electricity, gas being used for lighting and cooking.
This amounts to around $4.50 a month. The children
were very clean and neat in appearance, as was the
mother. Julia has trouble with her hands and feet
and has to spend about $10»00 a month on medicine
and in medical treatments and, therefore, is unable
to give her mother more than one-half of her income.
Mrs. Valdrighi, after caring for the home and the
children has only a small amount of spare time which
she utilizes in stringing cotton tobacco bags. She
cannot obtain enough to occupy her spare moments but
she earns about *4.00 a month therefrom, using $1.40
each month to pay insurance and the balance for food.
She states that bag stringing never interferes with
her home work and that while it is not absolutely
necessary, it is a wonderful help to the family,
enabling her to protect her insurance and buy addition-
WILLIS, MRS. HELEN; married, but separated from husband;
no children; aged 32, resides at No • 712 N. 26th St.,
HOME CONDITIONS: She has been separated from her husband
for several years and receives nothing from him. She
lives with her mother and father. Father works on WPA,
receiving $39.20 per month. There were three brothers
and a sister living with her parents also, and none of
these were employed. The house is neatly kept and
fairly well furnished. Mrs. Willis does all the house-
work. She states that the bags do not interfere at all.
The rental of this house of six rooms amounts to $12.50
a month; groceries $28.00, and electricity S3. 00 per
month. Mrs. Willis earns about $6.00 a month on bags,
some of which goes to her father for food and the rest
being used for personal necessities. She had to drop
her insurance policy as she was unable to keep it up*
Her income from bag stringing is absolutely neces-
sary and she will have to have other relief if it is
discontinued in homes, as her father cannot support
the family on his present income.
TYEEE, MRS. AGNES, 51 years of age; married; has three
children; resides at 2905 Williamsburg Avenue, Richmond,
Children: Henry, aged 22; employed by W. P. A.
Paul, aged 15; unemployed,
Alice, aged 14: in school.
Her husband is a mental invalid, not capable of working.
He has been out of the State of Virginia for eight years.
INCOME: Henry, the oldest child, receives $39. 20 per month.
HOME CONDITIONS: She rents a house of five rooms for $10.00
a month. These rooms have prs.ctically no furniture and
are very dirty and disorderly. All rooms unheated except
the kitchen has a stove. There is also a stove in the
front room but it is only used at night after supper.
She spends $24.00 a month for groceries; $2.00 for elec-
tricity, and $3.60 for insurance. She states that when
medicine and medical aid is needed money obtained from
the stringing of cotton bags is indispensable. By
doing this work in odd moments she earns about w5.00
a month. Cannot always get bags when desired. The
two children at home were poorly clad and unkempt in
appearance. She states that bag stringing sometimes
makes her nervous but she must have it for food and
necessities. Outside help will be needed if bag
stringing in the home be discontinued.
WILLIS, MRS. BERTIE; widow, aged 57; five children, all
of whom are married and living away from home;
resides at 525 North 21st St., Richmond, 7a.
HOME CONDITIONS: She has been living with her daughter,
Mrs. L. A. Palmer for about one year. Prior to this
time she supported herself entirely on her income from
stringing bags, which amounts to about $7.00 per month.
Her daughter has eight children, all at home or In
school. The daughter's husband's work is very Irregu-
lar and the income is not known. However, she states
that they are hardly able to take care of her and the
eight children. She Is attempting to find outside work
at present. The money she earns from bag stringing
pays for her clothes and insurance. She feels that this
income is indispensable. Her daughter said that Mrs.
Willis has a tendency to worry and brood and finds that
this work is a great help In keeping her mind occupied.
Unfortunately Mrs. Willis cannot get as many bags as she
is capable of stringing, as the tobacco Industry does not
demand production of sufficient bags to take care of all
the stringers desiring this work.
BURNETT, MRS. GLADYS, 817 N. 24th street, Richmond, Virginia;
aged 29; married, three children.
Children: Roland, aged 9, In school.
Garland, aged 7, in school.
Virginia, aged 2, at home.
INCOME: They have a monthly grocery ticket of $20.00 from
the City. Husband is unemployed. His average wage was
$30.00 a month when he was working, but he only works
about five months In the year.
HOME CONDITIONS': They rent three rooms at $9.00 a month.
$20.00 a month is spent on food but she does not feel that
it is sufficient for the children. Electricity costs about
$1.00 a month. She earns about §6.00 a month from bag string-
ing. This money is necessary and she will have to receive
other relief If this work is discontinued, but will not be
able to leave home to work on account of the children. She
says bag stringing does not affect her health nor make her
nervous. The children's clothes are given by the Social
Service bureau. The rooms are very crowded, poorly furnished
and dirty, but she still says that the bag stringing
does not interfere with her housework or attending to
the children. The money from bag stringing is also used
to pay insurance of $>2,50 a month.
ALLEN, MRS. JENNIE, married; three children; aged 71;
All children are married and live out of town except
one daughter, with whom she and her husband live, her
husband is 80 years of age.
HOME CONDITIONS: She and her husband live with her daugh-
ter, Mrs. Lillian Shurm, whose husband is an employee
of The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company. His salary
is not known but he gives Mrs. Shurm $90.00 per month
on which to run the house. Mr. Shurm feels that he is
able to board hev and her husband and pay the insurance
but is unable to clothe them and take care of their
other personal necessities. She feels that she must
help take care of herself and finds bag stringing enjoy-
able as well as helpful financially.
BRYANT, MRS. NELLIE, aged 31; married; no children, resides
at No. 2609 "ft" Street, Richmond, Virginia.
INCOME: Husband employee of American Tobacco Company, earn-
ing between <$18#00 and $20.00 per week. Only works around
six months out of a year.
HOME CONDITIONS: Mrs. Bryant is not in good health and re-
quires frequent medical attention. Has also been in
hospital several times where she has a large bill. She
rents a six-room house at $11.00 per month. Groceries
amount to around $28.00 per month. All of the money
which she earns stringing bags goes for paying insurance,
which amounts to tylO.OO a month. Since she is in ill
health she would be unable to do other work to replace
money earned from bag stringing if it is discontinued in
homes. Her husband feels that this extra money is neces-
sary since he only works about half-time. iU rs. Bryant is
very nervous and finds bag stringing a great help for this
SANBORN, MRS. LUCY, aged 62, ma rried, '2601 E. Leigh St., • .
INCOME: B oards four people for $45.00 a month.
HOME CONDITIONS r She states her husband is doing independent
work out of town and does not -"ake enough money to send
her any. She rents five rooms at $20*00 a month and boards
four persons* Spends about $8.00 per week on groceries,
$2.00 on insurance and around $5* 00 a month for gas and
electricity. The house is modestly furnished and very
clean. She says she does 'nt know what she'll do if the
bags are taken away. They bring her about $8*00 a month ,
and pays all her insurance. Does'nt mind the work at all,
and will take all she can get. It will be necessary for
her to get other home work if the bags are discontinued*
S r . i -
SEAY, MRS. KATE; aged 68, married; her husband is 72; lives
at 1100 N. 23rd Street, Richmond, Virginia; no children.
INCOME: $30.00 per month pension which ivi r. Seay receives
from Virginia Electric and Power Company.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent three rooms at $12 .00 per month.
She has tried to work for other people on the outside
but finds she is too weak and sickly to do it. She is
more or less confined to her rooms and finds that string-
ing bags not only earns her around $6.00 a month but it
keeps her mind occupied and she enjoys doing it. Her
house is kept spotlessly clean and fairly well furnished.
Bag stringing does not interfere with her housekeeping.
She has been doing this work for five years. She spends
$10.00 a month in groceries, $1.00 a month for electricity
and about $2.00 a month for gas. Her insurance amounts
to <P7.50 per month and she uses all of the money that she
gets from bag stringing to pay this insurance. She states
that the money earned from this work is absolutely neces-
sary and that they will have to receive other relief as
they are unable to work.
CARTER, MRS.3ARAH, 301&| Williamsburg Ave., Richmond, Va.,
aged 46; two children. She is married.
Children, Claude, age 9, in school.
Sarah, aged 8, in school.
INCOME: Husband earns $59.20 a month on WPA.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent six rooms house at $10 a month,
it was very shabbily furnished and rather cold. The
children were very clean and neat. $5 a week is spent on
food which she 3a.js is not nearly sufficient for the family's
needs. She earns about $12 a month from stringing bags
which she has been doing- for thirty years. She said that
if it weren't for this income, they would go hungry. All
of this money goes for food and material for making the
children's clothes. it will be absolutely necessary f or -
her to have other relief if the bags are taken away. She
enjoys doing the bags and does not find that they Interfere
with her household duties or affect her health in any way.
BRADSHAW, MRS. DAISY; aged 60; married; resides at No.
1007 N. 26th Street, Richmond, Virginia; no children,
but they support their granddaughter, Margaret Bigger,
19 years of age.
INCOME: Mrs. Bradshaw receives ¥20.00 per month from old-
age pension. She has a monthly grocery order of #6.00
supplied by the government.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent a house of six rooms, at $12,50
per month. They have been stringing bags for five years.
She Is assisted by her granddaughter, Margaret. The house
is very neat, well furnished and clean. She has electricity
which costs about $>1#30 per month, coal stove for heat and
oil stove for cooking. Both together cost about $12.00 a
month. She does all of her housework and the bags are
done in her spare time; in fact, she cannot obtain enough
bags to occupy their spare time, and the income from bag
stringing amounts to only about $5.00 a month. She feels
that the bags are not absolutely necessary; however, they
constitute a great help in supplying her with necessities
and in taking care of emergencies.
TYLER, MRS. L. F.; aged 71; widow for twelve years, resides
at No, 913 N, 25th Street, Richmond, Virginia.
INCOME: $14.00 per month from old-age pension.
HOME CONDITIONS: Rents three rooms for $5.00 per month,
which are moderately furnished and very neatly kept.
She is very weak and sickly and cannot get around at
all. Her income from bag stringing is about $2.00 or
$3.00 a month, as she cannot work very much. Her
insurance runs about 50^ per month. Oil for cooking
costs about $2.00 a month. The doctor requires her
to have a special diet which makes her grocery bill
higher than the average. She has to drink a quart of
milk a day.
N1JNNALLY, JOSEPH E.J aged 73 years; married; nine children;
resides at No. 1097 N, 23rd Street, Richmond, Virginia.
Children: Charles, aged 47, resides out of town.
Hazel, aged 43, residing out of town.
Aubrey, aged 38, residing out of town.
Eleanora, aged 36, residing out of town.
Earl, aged 34, residing out of town.
Joseph, aged 45, living at home, unemployed.
Lev/is, living at home; has unsteady employment.
Cecil, living at home, WPA employee.
INCOME: Cecil makes $39.20 on WPA work; Lewis' 'salary cannot
be determined because the work is intermittent.
HOME CONDITIONS: The two, man and wife, are supported by the
three sons. The husband is in good health but the wife is
blind, in poor health, and is completely confined. Noth
have been stringing bags for about five years. He states,
"I enjoy sitting down stringing bags." He makes about
:j;'4.00 per month. This money is used for necessities
which they feel their children are incapable of giving
them. The wife requires special food as her doctor has
prescribed a diet which necessitates special and expen-
sive foods. The home is kept very neat; they have elec-
tricity, costing about $1.70 per month; gas which costs
about v2.00 per month. Groceries for the family average
about $12.00 per month. They feel that the bag money
comes in very handy for food. If any extra money comes
in it is spent on food. They both feel that the income
from the stringing of bags is very necessary. Mr. and
Mrs. Nunnally have applied for old-age pension but neither
have received it.
BELLAM, MRS. MILLER; aged 64; resides at No. 818 N. 25th
Street, Richmond, Virginia; married; husband is 74;
INCOME: Receives $10,00 a month from old-age pension.
HOME CONDITIONS: They live in one room, very crowded, but
kept neat and clean. They keep two children in the
afternoons for which they receive $1.00 per week.
Each one of them eats one meal per day with them.
They rent this room for |>5.00 per month. The money
they receive from stringing bags is spent on food and
to pay insurance. She stated she did not know what
she would do without the bag money, which brings her
from -^4.00 to $5.00 per month. She must have outside
help if the bags are taken away from her.
COLEMAN, MRS. LILLIE, aged 32; married; one child, Betty
Ann, aged 5; resides at 800 N, 26th St., Richmond, Va.
INCOME: Husband employed at Hermitage Cold Storage Company,
at $30 .00 a week.
HOME CONDITIONS: Rents five rooms at s ?15.00 per month.
House is very well furnished; they have a gas stove
and electric refrigerator. Gas bill amounts to around
$3,00 a month and electricity : .?2.00. She spends $50«00
a month on food. 0nl;y does bags in spare moments, earn-
ing about $3.00 a month. This income is not necessary
but helps on the insurance, which amounts to about $5,00
a month. She enjoys doing the work to pass away the
WHITLOCK, MISS ALICE; aged 69; resides at No. 513 N. 24th
Street, Richmond, Virginia.
INCOME: $20.00 per month from rental of house which she
owns. Do not know if the house Is mortgaged.
HOME CONDITIONS: She owns her home and rents the upstairs.
Lives by herself. House is kept very neat and clean and
is fairly well furnished. She pays about $12.00 per
month for groceries; .$2.00 a month for insurance and
about sp2.00 a month for gas. She Is in bad health, has
heart trouble and has to have the doctor frequently. She
takes care of the house unassisted. Says she needs every
penny she can make as she has to keep up all the repairs
on the home. She likes the bag work. Finds that it
makes her nervous at times but does not mind it. The
doctor advised this work to keep her mind occupied at
night, since she cannot sew at all. She has been doing
it for fifty years. Her income from the bags is about
$5.00 per month. She states that she needs every penny
she can possibly make, although she will be unable to
work at anything else if the bags are taken away from heri
3UKRUSS, MRS. E. E., married, no children, resides at 2601
E. Leigh Street, Richmond, Va. Aged 32.
INCOME: Hush and is a painter and works about six months
out of the year. Earns as high as |25.00 a week when
HOME CONDITIONS: Rents two rooms at $8»50 a month. Keeps
them very neat and clean. Spends about $20.00 per month
on groceries. She earns about S;8«00 a month stringing bags
and uses all of it to buy food and clothes and to pay the
rent. This income is necessary to take care of them during
the time the husband is not working. Every cent counts, she
says, and If the bags are taken away it will be necessary
for her to find work elsewhere. She enjoys doing this bag
work and It does not affect her health or interfere with
GERRARD, MRS. FLORENCE, 2617 East Franklin St., Richmond, Va.;
aged 63; no children.
INC OLE: None.
HOME CONDITIONS: Her husband ran away about a year ago and
left her nothing. She lives in one room in the basement
and has to do the housework In order to pay for her room
and board. She has applied for relief work but has been
unable to obtain any. It has been suggested that she go to
the City Home but she prefers to work as long as it is
possible for her to do so. The money she earns from
stringing bags, which amounts to 34.00 a month, all goes
for buying her clothes and personal necessities, and
medicine* She is in very poor health and feels that bag
stringing is the only work she can satisfactorily do,
since she has to stay indoors most of the time. She
desires more bags than are supplied her.
SMITH, MIS BEULAH, aged 24 years, single, resides at 5013 #*
Clay St*, Richmond, Virginia*
INCOME: Lives with her sister who earns $15.00 per week.
HOME CONDITIONS: H er sister rents three rooms at $12*00
per month. She has a 12 year old boy who is In school*
About $7.00 per week is spent on food; $4.5 a month on
gas and elect eicity; and $4.50 a month on insurance.
Nothing is ever spent on any recreational activities
since It cannot be afforded.
The house is nicely furnished and kept very clean and
nea t. Mis s Smith does all the housework and cooking and
still finds time to string enough bags to bring her about
$6 .00 a month. 1'his Income pays for her insurance ai d
her personal necessities* She has been stringing ^aags
about four years and enjoys the work. If it is d iscon-
tinued she says she will have to obtain other home work*
MRS. ETHEL GRIFFIN, married, one child 21 years mentally
defective, 3011 E. Clay St., Richmond, Va.
INCOME: Husband works on WPA at $50.00 a month.
HOME CONDITIONS: Rent a five room house at $20.00 a
month. She keeps it orderly and clean. The food
bill runs about $35 a month; gas and electricity $5 and
life insurance $3 a month. The husband Is in ill
health and needs frequent medical attention. This
means that the money that would be spent for food
and clothes has to go to the doctor. She says that
the money she earns from stringing bags is a wonderful
help. This amounts to around . u j>7 a month. She says
she will need other help if the bags are taken away
but will be unable oo leave the home because of her
helpless daughter . She finds that the bags help
her take her mind off her worries and does not inter-
fere with her other duties.
GODSEY, MRS. J. N., 915 Perry St., South Richmond, Va., aged
63, widow and lives with her son and daughter ( who is divorced
from her husband).
INCOME. Her daughter works but is unable to contribute to her
support. Social Service Bureau gives her $16 a month and she
has to support her son. She makes a little by doing house
HOME CONDITIONS: She has one room, for herself and her son. The
house is in good condition and is well kept but there is no
electricity and few conveniences. Groceries are iA a week,
pays her daughter $4 a month rent, coal oil is 60^ a week
and water is 33^ a month. Insurance is 9|/ a week. Coal costs
1 a week during winter* She has heen stringing bags for ten
years and makes about $8.00 a month. Her health has never
been affected by this work, and It enables her to live on her
own. °he uses most of the money to assist her son who is un-
employed and cannot obtain relief.
DUNNAVANT, MRS. INEZ, 1722 Porter St., South Richmond, Va;
wife aged 48, husband 50; they have one child living with them.
INCOME: Husband is a stove -moulder and gives her $15.00 a week.
HOME CONDITIONS: The house has seven rooms, is very well fur-
nished, and very well kept. They have a radio and a washing
machine. This family is much better off than others in this
section. Groceries are ^5.00 a week, insurance is $4.42 a
week, taxes are $35.00 a year, lights $1.50 a month, gas
1.20 a month, and water 66^ a month. She has been stringing
bags for eight years and makes $7.00 a month. Although she
doesn't have to, she likes to do this work. Her e7/es are
weak but it doesn't bother her to string. She could string
more bags but she sews practically all the clothes she uses
and doesn't have more time.
COTTRELL, MRS. MATT IE, 915 Semes Ave,, South Richmond, Va.
a ;e 36, widow and lives by herself.
INCOME: She house cleans and makes a little money, but her
main Income is from stringing bags.
HOME CONDITIONS: She has two rooms which are fairly nice and
v/ell furnished* The house Is kept very clean and neat.
She wouldn't be able to live without the help of bags. A
lot of her food is given to her, and she only has to buy
about ipl.50 a week. The rent is f>5«50 a month, including
lights and water. Coal oil is 40^ a week, and coal is 50^
a week in winter. She can't afford insurance. She has
been stringing bags for six years and makes about $6.75 a
month. She does all the work herself. This work takes up
her spare time and she uses the money for food and rent.
BEASLEY, MRS. PEAiiL, 506 Decatur &t«, So. Richmond, Ya., age
50, husband 57, has no children living with her.
INCOME: Husband has a steady job sweeping floors at the Dixie
Flour Mill at $14 a week; however, he has had to have an
operation for ulcers of the stomach and vail be unable to
work for two or three months. His job is being held open for
him, but in the meantime they have no Income except what she
makes by stringing bags.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent three rooms in a house which is in
good condition. They have a radio and an electric Iron and
fairly well furnished. "When the husband is working they
live well enough but now their existence is very uncertain.
When the husband is working their grocery bill is $3.50 a
week but now they only have enough to barely live on. The
rent Is $12.50 a month; water Is 66^, electricity is lfl.00 and
insurance is 50c' a week. She has been stringing bags for three
years and makes $5.75 a month. If she does this work steadily,
she becomes a little nervous. Since her husband has been sick
she is absolutely dependent on this work for their living. If
it was taken away from her at this time they would have to go
NEWTON, MRS. LUCILLE, 6 E. 9th St., South Richmond, Va.
aged 22, husband 24; has one infant child and her mother-
in-law living with her.
INCOME: Husband has a part time job at the Leepwater Terminal
and gets 50^ an hour when he is working. He only works when
the weather is good and his job is almost over. They have
no other income.
HOME CONDITIONS: They rent one large and one small room. They
cook and eat in the small room and live in the large one.
Although the furnishings and general condition of the place
is good, it is ill kept. There is a radio. This family will
be able to get by as long as husband has job, but after that
they will be dependent on bags for their income. Groceries cost
,5 a week, rent is ?6 a month, water Is included in the rent,
and the electricity has been cut off for non-payment; they also
cannot afford Insurance. ^he has been stringing for two years
and with the aid of her mother-in-law she makes about $59.00
a month. This work has never bothered either one of them. At
present they can get along without this work but if her husband
gets laid off they will be dependent on ito
TYLER, MRS. ELLEN, 6 E. 9th St., South Richmond, Va.j age 26,
husband 27; three infant children living with her.
INCOME: Husband works 3 or 4 days a week for a plumbing supply
company. He makes $16 a week if he works a full week, but
he hasn't worked a full week for 5 months.
HOME CONDITIONS: The apartment has three rooms which would make
nice quarters if they had decent furniture and were kept clean.
The grocery bill is $5.00 a week, rent $>12 a month, light bill
was $2,40 a month, but the lights have been cut off for failure
of payment. Water is included in the rent. She has been
stringing bags for five years and makes about f7.00 a month,
this money is spent on clothes for the children and is the
only possible means she has of keeping them clothed.
WATKINS, MRS. LILLIE M», 1425 Semmes Avenue, South Richmond, Va.,
aged 34, husband 46, they have four children living with them,
INCOME: Husband works five days a week for WPA at #10 a week.
HOLE CONDITIONS: The house has four rooms, and is in very poor
shape; however, it is kept neat and clean. They have a radio
and a washing machine. They live behind a filling station
and have to get their water from it. Rent is $10.00 a month,
groceries $6.00 a week, light $1.10 a month, coal oil is
48^ a week, insurance 75^ a week, and coal last winter cost $8.
She has been s tringing for four years and makes $4.50 a
month. This money Is badly needed, and is used for necessi-
ties. She likes to do this work and it doesn't bother or
interfere with the household duties and care of the four
CROWDER, MRS. SUSIE, 901 Porter St., South Richmond, Va.,
aged 31, husband 35; has one child living with her.
INCOME: Husband was working for :;;2.50 a week but now works
for a garage doing piece work, but only gets very little
HOME CONDITIONS: Apartment has two rooms which are well kept,
but the house is in need of repairs. she has been sick
and has to go to the clinic twice a week, and is, therefore,
unable to work. Groceries cost 02.50 a week, rent ^3.00 a
month, lights have been cut off, insurance had to be dis-
continued, and water is 66 cl a month. The City has been
giving them coal and coal oil. She has been stringing for
six years and makes $1.50 a week. She has to have this work
in order to live. This doesn't bother her, and she likes to
DAVIS, MRS. MAUDE, 516 W« 7th St., South Richmond, 7a.; aged
39, husband 52; three infant children living with her.
INCOME: Husband works for the filler Manufacturing Co., making
window frames. Ke gives her $18 a week.
HOME CONDITIONS: THEY have 4 rooms which are fairly well fur-
nished and kept. The house is in good condition and they
have a radio and a washing machine. This family could live
fairly well if their debts were paid. Since they owe these
debts, they are only allowed to spend $7 a week on groceries,
she would ordinarily spend ;'ilO a week for this. Rent is $10
a month, lights are $5 a month, water Is 66c^ a month, Insur-
ance is fyl.45 a week, and wood is $5.00 a month in the vv'inter
She has been stringing bags for six years and makes about
. :3.75 a month. She likes this work and it doesn't hurt her.
This Is the only money the;y have for clothes for themselves
and the three children.
SPROUSE, MRS. HATTIE, 714 Perry St., South Richmond, Va-. ;
age 22, husband 31; three infant children living with her.
INCOME: Their only income is a $5 a week relief meal ticket.
HOME CONDITIONS: They have three rooms which are well furnished
and clean, but the house itself is in bad shape. They seem
to be getting enough to live on with the help of bags. She
pays water bill of 66^ a month, the rent and lights are
given to them and fuel and food come 'from relief. She has
been stringing for three years and makes -f?7.00 a month. Her
Eyes are weak and if she does this work at night it makes
them tired. Since this is the only cash income they have,
it Is all they have to buy clothes and other things that are
not given to them.
JENKINS, 25 W. 9th St., South Richmond, V a ..; age 67; widow
and has two infant grandchildren living with her.
INCOME: One grandaughter works and gives her $5 a week and
she rents the second, floor of her house, but the rent only
pays her taxes; she has no other income except money maete
by stringing bags.
HOLE CONDITIONS: She has three rooms of the house for herself.
The whole house is In need of repairs which she can't afford.
Her rooms are poorly furnished but well kept. She has a radio,
Can't afford to insure the house. Groceries are $5 a week,
lights $1,20 a month, and water 66p' a month. Taxes are about
vlOO a year and so is income for renting part of house. She
has been stringing for three years andis unable to do any
other work. She makes $11.50 a month, this money enables her
to keep off relief. She uses some of it for her light and
WILKERSON, MRS. ALieg,*-23 W. 9th St., South Richmond, Va.
age 61, wodow and has a daughter and a granddaughter
living with her.
INCOME: Her only income besides what she makes by stringing
bags Is $10 a week that her daughter gives her.
HOME CONDITIONS: There are three rooms in her apartment which
are well kept and fa lily well furnished. She owns an
electric refrigerator and a radio. This family is not de-
pendent on bag stringing, but it allows them to live a little
better. She has done this work for five years ^nd makes
$11 a month. She likes to do this work because she is too
old to do anything else and it occupies her spare time. She
would have been unable to buy coal last winter had It not been
for the money she made by stringing bags.
DUKRETTE, MRS. JOSEPHINE, 210 ft. 8th St., South Richmond, Va.
aged 50, widow and has six children living with hero
INCOME: A son makes £8.50 a week on WPA but this is the family's
only income except money derived from bag stringing.
HOLE CONDITIONS: The house has four rooms and needs repairs
badly. There is no electricity, but they have a battery
radio. The house Is well furnished and clean. Groceries
are §8.00 a week, rent $15.00 a month, water 66^ a month.
Insurance is 30^ a week. She has been stringing bags for
eighteen years and with the help of the children that are
old enough she makes about $41 • 00a month. This work has
never affected their health and without It they would not
be able to live without outside aid.
NORTH CAROLINA DISTRIBUTORS
John E. Slater,
Miss Nora McNamara, who
has been stringing hags
for more than 4b years,
and Sherlock Bronson,
Carolina Service Corp,
It Is declared to be the policy
of this Act not to displace the use of cotton or
cotton materials and the administrator shall by
regulations or by orders exempt any work where
the application of the provisions of Section 6 may
result in the use of other materials in substitu-
tion for cotton materials, provided, however,
(a) that the work is performed by hand and is per-
formed entirely in the home of the worker and at
times convenient to the worker, (b) that the income
derived from such work is supplemental to income
derived fr©m othe'r and regular employment,
(c) that the rate of wages or compensation per
numler of pieces shall be not less than the direct
labor cost for the same number of pieces if the
work is performed by machine, and (d) that the work
cannot be performed by machine or that machines
for the performance of such work are patented and
are not made reasonably available to competing