Unraveling Workers’ Letters: The Voices behind Nelly Don

Iris Callowick



Iris Callowick


Letter by factory worker expressing her belief that the workers at the Donnelly Garment Company do not need an outside union and that the workers could find a capable leader from within the organization to represent their interests.




Date Original

July 15, 1937


Kansas City, Missouri

Collection name

James A. Reed Collection, K0443


Box 34


The State Historical Society of Missouri-Kansas City



Access Rights

The Donor hereby gives and assigns to the University all rights of copyright which the Donor has in (a) the Materials and (b) in such of his works as may be found among any collections of Materials received by the University from others.






July 15 1937

I like the Donnelly Garment Company because you can depend on it for a square deal always.

When a difficulty arises the worker is given every consideration without ringing the whole dept. or factory into an “uproar”

Mrs Reed is one employer that has not forgotten the Golden Rule. Any fair minded Person would love and reskect [respect] here [her] Her appearance at any time always brings a smile of Welcome from her workers and not Fear and trembling that some workers feel for their employers

I seriously object to becoming [becoming] affiliated with outside unions because I see no point in becoming involved in the troubles of employes of other companies. If there are those that feel the need of outside help such as the C.I.O A.F. of L. that is their business but there are more than a thousand employees in this organization and I’m sure many of them are Just as capable of leadership as anyone we could find on the outside. Certainly a person we would choose from our own ranks would be interested in our better welfare and not some one trying to capitolize [capitalize] on the working Person while they have the chance. As I am afraid some of these “Bigshot” union leaders are.

I could say more but that’s all the time I have

Iris Callowick