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Ashe County Oral History

Collection of interviews with notable Ashe County residents

Born in 1892, Gertrude, otherwise known as 'Gert,' Waddell, was one of the oldest Ashe County residents interviewed for the Oral History Project. During this lengthy interview, Mrs. Waddell relates her childhood, life in Bina during the early 20th century, and her career as an educator, along with many other topics. Click here for a copy of Mrs. Waddell's obituary.

Part 1

00:30 James Eller (grandfather) escaping bushwhackers

5:07 Grandfather buying Neal farm in Jefferson

6:35 Donating land in Jefferson for Baptist Church

9:04 Grandfather’s store location / Origin of Berlin / Bina name

10:53 Phoenix Baptist Church

11:30 Early School / Joe Weaver teacher

14:05 Sister in 1899 Greensboro Typhoid epidemic

20:30 Josh Weaver and wife (Campbell family)

22:10 Campbell house fire

24:55 Parents’ families

26:30 1878 Flood

28:00 Description of house


Part 2

1:35 Assisting parents in later years

2:10 Putting up corn shocks with horse

3:05 History of house / R.B. Glen (governor) visiting

4:00 Difficulty of life at turn of century

4:54 Visits from Dr. Tom Jones

6:15 Assistance from neighbors (Cicero Ashley and Cicero Baldwin)


Part 3

0:28 Schools with no grades

1:12 Charlie Goodman as teacher

1:55 Building early school in Bina

2:50 Method of paying teachers

4:20 Earning teaching certificates

6:27 Taking classes in Boone


Part 4

0:00 Teaching at Ashland and Bina

3:35 Camping at Meat Camp on the way to Boone

5:53 Transportation for Greensboro

6:55 Seeing first car

7:24 Early buildings at Boone Teacher College


Part 5

0:00 Marching into auditorium at Boone Teaching College


Part 6

2:03 Early Funeral practices / Badger family caskets

6:05 Laying young girl for burial / making burial clothes

12:25 Reflections on hardship of early days

14:20 Most notable changes


Part 7

0:30 Building railroad

1:37 Doggett Camp

2:45 Bob and Joe Avery (contractors)

3:11 Extent of local labor

4:40 Problems of modern education

8:29 Class sizes

10:00 Marriage and husband

11:50 Thoughts on Oral History project


Part 8

0:00 Grandfather in Civil War in Wilkes County

12:10 David Worth’s safe damaged by bushwackers

14:10 Grandmother preserving corn from bushwackers


Part 9

0:00 Continuation of grandmother story

3:00 Be robbed of supplies after war

4:52 John Neal killing leader of Eller gang (Linville Eller)

11:45 Purchasing supplies for general store