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Letters from Radford’s past to appear on “Antiques Roadshow”

Courtesy Sue Bell
Sue Bell, great-great-granddaughter of Gen. Gabriel C. Wharton, with the binder of Wharton documents she took to the “Antiques Roadshow.”

Everyone dreams of making it to the PBS “Antiques Roadshow” and appearing on a televised segment. For Sue Bell, descendant of the City of Radford’s Gen. Gabriel C. and Nannie Radford Wharton, this dream became a reality. Her segment will be televised Monday, May 21, at 8 p.m. on local affiliate Blue Ridge PBS in Roanoke.

Bell, who is from Massachusetts, will share three letters that illustrate intriguing aspects from the history of the United States in the mid-1800s. They also reveal details about the life of her great-great-grandfather, a Civil War general who lived in Radford from 1865 until his death in 1906. Considered one of Southwest Virginia’s leading entrepreneurs in the late 19th Century, Wharton was also a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, where he sponsored legislation to establish the land grant institution at Blacksburg, now Virginia Tech.

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