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Ashe County Oral History

Collection of interviews with notable Ashe County residents

Dora Howell Waddell, born in 1893, worked at the Ashe County jail during the early 1900s. During this time she had first hand contact with Will Banks, who was imprisoned awaiting execution. This interview provides a rare first hand recollection of Banks and the hanging that took place in 1907.

Part 1

3:10 age when Banks hung (16)
3:48 prisoner writing love letter
4:30 break out martin ? and will banks caught by Ed Koontz
5:30 why worked at jail
6:49 Graham Witherspoon was jailer
7:23 describing Banks - banjo

Part 2

:46 liked Banks
1:19 wife visited
2:44 avoided hanging / husband went
3:52 crowd of people
5:27 describing Banks
6:30 describing gallows

Part 3
00:00 jury trial
01:05 building scaffold
1:58 working at jail
3:08 Banks wife description

4:15 banjo playing
5:25 after hanging