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Nell Donnelly Reed

2018-12-05 | 🔗

Nell Donnelly Reed built a successful business starting before women even had the right to vote in the U.S. Her story combines fashion, education, workers’ health and safety, kidnapping, and marital scandal. She is, like any historical figure, complicated. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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the kid just a short flight from the? U S and fifty minutes drive from the airport. Baja are isn't easy, get away any time of the year. The book your next vacation have one of the report's three iconic hotels and tourists. Or what you specials, including up to thirty five percent savings on your stay. Yes, thirty five percent visit Mordechai, that's Baja, more Dhaka, Ba H, it may are dot com, welcome to stuff you missed in history class from Housetop works, tat come to allow a muffled comcast, I'm Holly fry and I'm Tracy. Well, then, Episode is about a person who is on my list and then member listener Rich suggested it recently. In that respect, my interest in the topic Nell Donnelly Reed was a woman way
her time in a number of ways. She was creative. She had the business acumen to turn that creativity into a very successful business before women even had the right to vote in the States and her story combines a number of things that make for a fascinating tail. It's almost like a movie manuscript, there's fashion. education, there's kidnapping, there's marital scandal. Now live long life. She belonged. their time, including focusing on workers, health and safety needs. But She is like any historical figure. Complicated She was born Ellen Howard Quinlan. On March Sixth, eighteen, eighty nine in Parsons Kansas, her father John when had moved to the United States from county cork, Ireland and he worked on them.
Rail, road and also farmed. I think the railroad he worked on might have actually been the Katy which we talked about on the crash at crush episode. Who now was born at home on the farm and John and his wife, Catherine Fitzgibbons had thirteen total children Ellen was the twelfth child. fifth daughter- and she was nicknamed now by her siblings- that are really early age no went to school at a convent shouldn't stay there, but they had a school there that she attended during the day and then she went to persons, business college and started working as a stenographer in Kansas City immediately after she graduated and shortly to her move to the city. She met a man named Paul J Donnelly and the pair were soon married, and at this point now was seventeen and Paul was twenty. Three, but now did not fall, oh the normal path for the time of a young woman, to give up her career or education to settle down into the role of wife. Instead, she continued to work and
she and her husband Paul saved their earnings that now could go to college wins, attended classes at linen, would college and Saint Charles Missouri she was The only married student she graduated in one thousand, nine hundred and nine what she was done with school male started to focus on sewing. This was something she had done for her whole life, and it was a skill that she had always excelled at. Naturally, she started making clothes, but for herself and her family when she was still a kid a lot of the time. She also altered clothes that she had had passed down from her sisters. She would remake them for herself once he finished college. She went back to sewing largely because she was pretty dismayed at the very frumpy options that were available for women who were working as homemakers. They are very sack like from that time. The her varies act like shit, Call a mother, Hubbard dress nets, because at that point she had left her stenographer job to go to school, full time,
and when she finish school, she kind of did acetylene to a house wifey role, even though she didn't quite nowhere. Her life was going. but she really really did not enjoy the options for house dresses. She thought tat. She looked smart, and her design ideology was pretty simple and based on that. She just thought that women should have clothing options that looked smart and stylish, even if their work was taking care of house and home and even if no one but family. My see them. She was also really smart about cut. She created dresses that flattered the figure, but they also did not restrict movement, and when neighbours and friends saw now or her sisters wearing dresses that she had designed and made they all wanted their own, and so seven years following her graduation from college, no kind of had a little bit of cottage industry, making custom dresses for women in the community, but she didn't really consider herself a dressmaker at this point. Her clients,
family, though, really urge her to take her business out to a larger market. So in nineteen sixteen, she started getting a lot more serious about a career in dressmaking. After taking a look at the very limited market of play, being available to women in the Kansas City area. She had the confidence to bring some of her ideas to a department store yeah, I love she went out- did kind of her own market research em at something that real he was anyone ingrained part of her work throughout her life. She always tried to continue to learn and when she, I spoke to the buyer at the George see pack Drygoods company, which is where she took her dresses too, to show she was worried she might just be laughed out of the building, even though she knew there were not great options. She still was a little scared, but instead she left with an order for team dozen dresses, Susan She had a new problem which was figuring out how to me
new facture two hundred and sixteen garments really quickly. I think she had a two month window which, if you do any stitching two hundred and sixteen dresses two months, is a lot and now have agreed to this order without really having the means to fill. It says she basically had you start her own business. Lickety split so now, and her husband Paul talk this over Paul. He worked as a manager in the credit department at the Barton. Shoe company had one thousand two hundred seventy dollars and savings, and they use that money to get Nels business up and running. She hired to seamstresses brought to power, sewing machines and then set up shop in the attic of their home. That first batch of dresses had a pretty simple design. They were high wasted, dresses with a waistband yoke and kimono sleeves
They were accentuated by some narrow ruffled details now would say later that she just wanted to make women pretty while they did the dishes and she must have really been onto something they filled the order, but that lead to another problem, which was a good problems, a half but still a problem. All two hundred sixteen dresses. hold out the day they were put on the sales floor here. There's a really interesting paper that I read in preparation for this written by two women and they're kind of examining why these dresses sold out so quickly and why they were so popular. Does it wasn't as though they had no other options for dresses? It's an interesting reed and will have in the show notes the basically cash kind of was under this idea of lake. You could look cute at home and people really like that idea. and so at this point, no and Paul knew that they had to expand their business and they had to do it really really rapidly. They were, of course, still operating
read those two hundred sixteen dresses had sold for a dollar each that was never getting higher than the average price point for a house dress, which I have seen listed as around sixty nine cents, but even so, people snatch them up, but even so that's not anything like they were gonna make back that initial one thousand two hundred seventy dollar investment We both really saw that this business had potential, and so their next step was to find a dedicated factory space and move production out of their attic and get a little bit bigger. They found a spot in Kansas City Missouri on the corner of 29Th Street and Brooklyn Avenue, but they outgrew that space really quickly and in nineteen eighteen they moved into a larger space on 21st and grant Paul left soon. After that's a fight in world where one and now kept things running while he was away by the time he got back, mill had grown the company significantly. She was up to eighteen staff. They were operating in the
and they were bringing in a quarter of a million dollars annually, who understandably Paul quit his credit manager job and the two of them work side by side full time in the garment business. As they reorganized the company to keep, with its growth now became the secretary treasurer and Paul served as president, but now was really the one running things. While Paul took care of the business and administrative details, the net dawn clothing label, which was created by inverting. The name. Donnelly took off like wildfire to keep pace with the fashion industry now started, making regular trips to Europe to see what was trending in Paris in Vienna. She also studied the U S markets and make sure she kept pace with the other designers. She kept track of her customer base to make sure she was serving the needs of the people who actually purchased her clothes and she selected the best possible fabrics and performed rigour.
Tests, I met at the factory to make sure that her garments not only look stylish but would also last yes, she really had a keen sense of the balance between fashion and utility and how you needed both to really be successful in the market. She was now was also really really adamant that the dresses and aprons that they made at the Donnelly garment company were true ready to we're without the need for professional alteration should include little details that can be easily altered by someone at Home Lake Adjustable straps and things like that to make it fit perfect. But she also had samples made in every single size and then she would put each of those garments through their paces, with models performing the sorts of activities that a woman my encounter in an average day. And this was all done to make sure that there is freedom of movement and that, no matter what size, the woman in the clothing, they were always flattering, and a lot of the dress
hers and our audience will also love to hear that her signature, handy bandy, apron line and her dresses had functional pockets. No insisted on this. I am happy to hear- This because, unlike Holly, I dont make all my own group is to have the features I personally warrant, so I'm always excited when I find things to buy the have pockets in them. I feel like it a fashion trader, because I don't really care I know, I'm the only one I just don't pockets, don't do it for me, other them like a place to put my hand unless they have a zipper closure press them to hold things anyway, so that I'm like, I just spoils the line. Sometimes I just always. I always need a chap stick in their near that In my wrist, while it see, I have a controversial pocket opinion, don't attack me throughout the growth of the Donnelly company. Nell took a very, very progressive approach to how their employees retreated.
Said she, I studied the markets and the industry, and in doing so when she really looked at the House, ray of manufacturing and where it was at that point in time, so that she can learn as much as she could maybe find ways that she could make her factory more efficient. She also became we, we keenly aware of the poor working conditions that a lot of laborers face. She did not want the kinds of accidents that often hurt or frankly, very often, killed workers. In other factories to be part of her beneath legacy working conditions. That Donnelly were a lot safer than most other garment factories. The wages were also better. Employees had access to medical care through their jobs and because now knew how valuable her own education had been to her success. She offered night classes and intuition grants to her employees and she started a scholarship programme for her employs children. yeah one of the things she did. That was really unique. Really, for the time is like she had a regular doctor come late. I think once a week and just do check ups people needed them and eventually they could bring your kid
those checkups, the Donnelly's, also really felt like it was important that their employees felt respected and that they were recognised as vital to the success of the business. Now. Some of this, too, is part of building up sort of the forward facing identity of the company, because now was very, very comfortable. Giving interviews- and so part of this was also playing up, how great they were to work for, and she once told a reporter quote. The attitude of our employees toward the executives in the firm is not that they work under others, that they are working with others, Nels business, which started with less than one thousand three hundred dollars and two hired seamstresses turn into a multi million dollar company during the nineteenth twenties by nineteen thirty one. they had a thousand employees and because they made affordable quality clothing, which was the necessity instead of luxury goods, they managed to weather the nineteen twenty nine financial crash in the grate
pressure that followed it. The of non luxury drygoods companies to survive times of financial instability also came up in our Levi Strauss episode. That was not long ago. This year, yeah but though the Donnelly's manage to keep their business in good shape during those turbulent times, their personal lives were a little less smooth,
We talk about that right. After we first pause for a sponsor break. This episode has brought you buy Office Depot Office Depot as supplies and services for businesses of any size. I speak to this personally. As a college student, when I was a business, the size of one office Debo provides twenty four seven tech support. It lets you print your own marketing materials and it can help you design your office with a bunch of furniture solutions. They also have exactly the supplies. Your office needs from your home office to a commercial set up. They ve got the ink I've got. The paper have got the cleaning they ve got the brake room supply. So when I was setting up my home office, I went straight to office depot because I had a ton of stuff I needed to get, and I wanted to get it all in one place, but
I'll take my word for it see for yourself office depots, ready to help your business with knowledgeable associates in over one thousand three hundred stores or online at office depot dot com. So in early in nineteen thirty one now got pregnant and this was a problem for two reasons: one her has Paul had told her that if she ever got pregnant, he would kill himself. It is entirely clear. What his motivation for this statement was. It has been speculated by various historians and people who have studied Nell story that he likely suffered from depression, and he reportedly did have some issues with drinking and infidelity that drove a wedge between the couple and two to be clear. This child was not his. We are going to come back to the paternity of Nels baby. In just a moment.
but to deal with. This problem now came up with a plan, so while she was still early enough in the pregnancy that she was not showing, she travels allegedly to Europe, some versions of this story say that instead, she actually just went to Chicago it's all, because it's all kind of shrouded in a cloak and dagger move. We don't really She was not at home. That's that's solution on in Kansas City, but she had told all that she wanted to adopt a child. So she came home Dick a city with a new baby David in the late fall of nineteen. Thirty one by this point, Nell was already famous. She was well known in Kansas City, as of very successful and very wealthy woman she'd been profiled and magazines as a business leader and an innovator. Her company was a three point five million dollar business at this point and on the night of December 16th, one thousand nine hundred and thirty one that success made her the target of a kidnapping and ransom plot. So after
that might nail got into her car with her chauffeur George Blair and headed home for the evening, and as they approach the drive of the Donnelly home. Another car block their way, three men got out of that second car one jumped in the front seat and quickly tighter Blair, while the other two you got in the back one on either side of now and now fought against them, but they pushed her to the floor. Bore and they held her there. Donnelly and Blair were taken to a house in Bonner, Springs Kansas that was roughly twenty. Five miles to the West of Donnelly's, Kansas City, Home Nell, was kept on a cot and Blair was kept bound and blindfolded. The kidnappers called the home of James Taylor, who was the Donnelly's lawyer that night, but MRS Taylor, who took the call, but it was just a prank- the person on the other end of the line told her that she could find male Donnelly's abandoned car and country Club Plaza
I was wondering when I read about this, why she was like a prank stirs verses. What a weird call! Maybe we should check it out? The kidnappers also sent a ransom note to Paul Donnelly, demanding seventy five thousand dollars, and he received that note the morning after the abduction. Dismissive is a little bit awkward in that it appears to have been dictated to now to write, but the voice changes from that of no writing directly to Paul to that of the kidnappers talking to know It reads as follows: dear Paul, these men say they want. Seventy five thousand dollars use your own judgment. They kidnapped me and Chauffeur Wednesday night. If you do not, pay is directed seventy five thousand dollars in cash, twenty five thousand dollars and twenty dollar bills. Twenty five thousand dollars in tens and twenty five thousand dollars in fifties. If he- and at this point it Sir
legged switched in their referring to Paul. If he or any does not do is directed, we shall take him same as we have taken you, meaning no, if reported to pull or any authorities. We shall blind you meaning no and killed Enemies are racist slur for George Player, Paul Yourself drive the car, meaning our lincoln at all times. If this letter is given to any police authorities, it will be last of me, and they will get you the same way. They got me Paul, called James eating or- and this is when the tailors realised that the call they had gotten the night before was not a prank Taylor called his law partner, James Reed, just to be clear, there's James Reed, there's James Taylor to different James is right,
It was the Donnelly's next door neighbor when he had a long and impressive career. He had been a county attorney a councillor for the city of the mayor of Kansas City and had served three terms as a: U S. Senator NEA James, a red, could be his own episode. He is not a person. I think I would have enjoyed very much we'll talk a little bit about it here, but he definitely had some some outdated views. James, red and now we're very close, while no one all were, as we said, very successful, running a business together, their marriage had become strained and distant. Alan Reed had become involved. Romantically now and Paul's adopted. Son David was in fact reads. Biological chow, and so, when we got word of this kidnapping, He immediately asked the judge of the trial that he was working on at the time if he could have leave, and once he was granted. That leaves
immediately left the court house in such speedy manner that it set off a flurry of gossip and speculation about what might be going on this specific issue. Actions to Paul in that original note had been that he was to park the car that was mentioned in the letter in front of the Mercer Hotel at ten o clock on December. Seventeenth, he was supposed to stay there for fifteen minutes is a signal that he was willing to go along with the kidnappers demands if nobody appeared. He was supposed to repeat this the next day and then, every day after that, until someone communicated with him, he events received another note. This one signed by now authorizing the withdrawal of the money, but though Paul Donnelly had done as instructed and had not contact police himself, The police had heard the rumours that started the day. Reed left the courthouse and the newspapers had picked up some rumours and been covering the story since then as well, even though you didn't have a whole lot to go on a kind of
like somebody at the courthouse, must have blamed when James Reed talk to the judge about meeting two to go as someone involved in that discussion must have blocked the press because they were that mean they. They didn't magically under that she had been kidnapped. They were printing it based on somebody's information. and all of this, this rumour and gossip they were showing up in the press and with the police which they knew could sour. This situation, May James Reed realize he had to make a statement to the Kansas City STAR to address the situation. Reads statement made it clear that if Nell was returned, the kidnappers could have that ransom that they had demanded. But if anything happen, to her. He and Paul Donnelly would quote, spend the rest of our lives, running the culprits to earth and securing for them the extreme penalty of law and sue. John Lousy of a well known, Kansas City Gangster, with a lot of influence in the cities. Politics joined the search la
had known read for some time there many versions of the story. They say that red actually reached out to Asia and said you're gonna do this for me, because after lousy, had told the police that no one from the criminal underworld would kidnap. No, knowing that James Reed was her lawyer, lousy then sent car loads of his associates to look for no Donnelly like twenty five cars of men went out just feels, like a movie about corrupt political figures for sure and with good reason. It Latvia's man, who eventually located now in her driver and the details here, are a little murky too, but now told the police that a group of men forced their way into the house where she and Blair were being held. These men took their captors outside and then told her that they would take her home she and George Bush,
there were free and relatively unharmed. After thirty four hours in captivity, the whole retrieval of them went so smoothly that there were rumours that spread that this whole thing had to spend a publicity stunt reads: reputation. Analysis was also damage because is his relationship with the city's criminal underworld became public knowledge through Latvia's involvement, and all this year was a big, weird mass where, before like wait, this happen, and you seem really interested in, women's welfare. Even though you just turn lawyer and now you have a gangster finding her. That did so because he's your friend what's going on here again, it would make a great man while the kidnappers initially fled and again we don't really know about played out,
were captured. Paul shape was the first man apprehended and brought to trial James, a red served. A special prosecutor in that trial Shite claimed that he believed the kidnapping was arranged by a husband who, here, was in the oil business and that when he realized tat, he had been duped in this whole plan that he had just let the captives go any surprise outcome. The jury completely believed him and shite was acquitted. Martin Depew and Walter Werner had very different outcomes in their court cases. After those two were apprehended both were sentenced to life in prison and then a third man, Charles, I'm, not sure how is less name is pronounced, was mail or malay, perhaps received a thirty five year sentence for his part in the kidnapping plot, although he insisted threw out the entire trial that he had absolutely nothing to do with it. The only evidence against him
that now lay down a fight him. We will talk about now, life after this kidnapping, but first we will take a quick sponsor break situated on the beautiful cable beach by Hamas is a spectacular new resort death. nation in the Bahamas, with your choice of three ocean front hotels, the grand high it s so and rosewood. This is the place to find perfect London luxury relaxation, and a lot of fun, whatever you're. Looking for you can find it. I Baja MAR the Bahamas most exciting Larry destination. The resort is home to over four restaurant bars in judges ranging from casual work tied either too high. End chef, driven, dining experiences, eleven glorious landscape, pools, acres of prestige each front and a soothing esper spot offer endless relaxation while guess find thrills. casino, no array of high energy nights bought and at the royal blew the most acclaimed, legal golf course.
The kid just a short flight from the? U S and fifty minutes drive from the airport Baja are isn't easy, get away any time of the year. The book your next vacation have one of the report's three iconic hotels and tourists or what you specials, including up to thirty five percent savings on your stay. Yes, thirty five percent visit Mordechai that's Baja, more Dhaka. Ba H, it may are dot com. So while Nels return after her abduction, relatively safe and sound, might seem like a joyous end to the tumult home, the Donnelly home, it was absolutely not to suffer a couple months later, Nell divorced Paul in early nineteen, thirty two she bought out half of his business and she became executive director of the company and that same year, James, a reads: wife died.
and so, in December of nineteen, thirty, three no and James Reed we're married in a ceremony that surprised their guests. They had invited friends to Nels home for what the attendees thought was just a dinner party only to find a wedding happening after the meal ended now was forty four at the time, and Reed was seventy two for the next. Several years now Balmly reads: life was pretty smooth. She and James seemed happy and her This continued to thrive, but the same could not be said for Paul dumbly. Sadly, he also remarried to allow a woman who was much younger than he was named Virginia George. They married in February of nineteen thirty three, but then just a and a half later. He died by suicide. That was in September of nineteen thirty four. They had spent most of his fortune by that point in nineteen thirty, seven
The international Ladys garment Workers Union made efforts to get the workers at Donnelly, garment manufacturing to union eyes, but, unlike at many other companies in Kansas City, which had become a huge clothing manufacturing hub at this point, a lot of Nels employees did not see the need for a union. They feel that their working can we're safe in their benefits were excellent, far better than any other factory offered allotted staff. Didn't like a union would be of much benefit to them, but this was definitely not a universally held opinion. On the factory floor, there were of employees who talked to the union about things like tedium and exhaustion in their sections. These sections were small groups of employees who were set up to create garments with each woman working on one specific aspect of the garment and then turning out the garments as a team. So each person had one job, they were
working together to created stress with a handful of women who joined the union faced, lay offs and pressure and harassment from within their jobs, the Isle. W you which had been successful in unionized most of Kansas cities. Other factories took out ads in the local paper, saying that now and her company were unwilling to meet the union's standards and that that was what was really causing all of this refusal to become a part of the union, but between less than ensues, enthuse support for the union among a lot of employees and the few who actually did favorite union facing retribution for it. This whole idea just did not gain much traction to combat the eye algae w you they Donnelly Factory farms, its own union, which was the Donnelly Guard. Workers Union in May of nineteen thirty seven. Although that group was formed under the auspices of management to try to shut down the other union's efforts at wasn't something that the employees decided on their own to form
The Donnelly Union President who was rose, Todd who was a supervisor at the company, started giving statements to the press that they could handle their own advocacy and they didn't need outsiders trying to manage it for them. This union issue dragged on and on the eye, algae w. You continued to try to force unionization under their umbrella on the Danone Factory and also try to dissuade this parliament's stores from carrying the Nellie Don Brand, even rode up. Let all notes that that the department stores could use to explain the situation, and this case eventually was played out in court and went to federal courts. a judge forbade the International Ladys Garment Workers Union from trying to get involved in the Donnelly plan any further. But then that decision was made overturned. The Donnelly factory in this outside and continued to lock horns for years and as the issue continued to be a real thorn in her side, Nelson
to tell people that there was no way an entrepreneur work and start a business to be successful because of all these complications that union's brought about what is one of the reasons that the conditions of the Three we're so so good she likes. He wanted things to be so good that people wouldn't want a union, yes so, like I feel, like I'm doing everything right. Why are people still coming after me? Yeah so dense a compound all these matters, while her husband, James Red, wasn't evolved in the running of the factory, he did have a lot of political clout. He served in a legal capacity for his wife's company and he was pretty openly racist and Anti semitic, including when it came to these labour matters and labour. Organizers? Yes, so the Ile De W you, President David Dubinsky, was a russian born, Jew and Red referred to him as a foreign radical and far worse, when red appeared in court proceedings to discuss the matter red made the case that unions,
dangerous to women, they were run by rapists and violent people. He talked about them being you know like the scum that was scraped from the devil's cauldron. Ultimately, though the injunction against the eye algae w. You was lifted. The Donnelly company had created an atmosphere likely said of of both fee that the these foreign- voles we're going to come and try to unionized them and then make something dangerous and also fear than anyone that actually embraced the union would get in trouble or lose their job that they really It kind of make this bubble that prevented the union from ever penetrating gather ever like they were simultaneously doing things to discourage unionized, and also really inspiring a lot, a lotta loyalty among their employees is complicated world words. You also brought a lot of change
as to the belly Don Brand, as they continued to expand their lines, who appeal to women who have jobs outside the home. So what had started as a business for making stylish dresses and aprons for homemakers had, by the late nineteenth forties, expanded to offer business attire and accessories, the factory was turning out one point: five million dresses a year, making it the largest facility of its kind in the world and throughout all of this journalists and consumers marveled at how managed to keep quality high and prices reasonable yeah. They talked about a lot of details that would be associated with much much higher in the garments like they talked about the depth of the hymns, which, if you know you know if you're looking at a dress from the inside and the him is what is called deep. It means there is a lot of the outside fabric folded up under the create that him and in some places they would cut them shorter, so that you would save that couple inches of fabric which things like not much, but then over
point: five million garments as up to a lot of fabric and it's like a cross cutting measure but merely dawn was not taking no short cuts and the company was so really unique in that it hired women for positions at all levels, Nell, clean that she hired blindly paying no mind to weather the applicant. the man or woman, and focusing simply on whether they were the right fit and could do the job eighteen. Thirty one magazine interview, Nell, told a reporter quote: I've heard someone say: they would rather talk with men have business dealings with men. I I feel that way about it. I have no preference or prejudice in the matter. I like to talk business with a competent person that person is a man or a woman when she saw that somebody was a hard worker and could manage their job really well. She noted them in that way. A lot of women who started in low level positions at the company rose up through the ranks to become executives. Nine out of ten employees at the Donnelly. Factory were women and, unlike in a lot of factors,
we're like the line level, workers would be women and the executives would be men. These women were spread all through all levels of the company in nineteen forty form, as the company was going its growth into new markets, including all this business where Nels husband, James Reed, died of pneumonia. She did not ever marry again in ninety the two she donated seven hundred thirty one acres of land, the Missouri Department of Conservation in honour of James who she had spent many happy hours with out in nature, hunting fishing and just enjoying each other's company. That was something they both really love together James, a red memorial wildlife area remains intact. Today, in nineteen fifty six nail sold offer company shares and retired. She had been in the garment industry for forty years and the Donnelly Garment company became Nellie Don Ink and it became a publicly traded company. Two years after now left
but without her ability to deal directly with textile manufacturers to get the best deals are to streamline production in ways that made the factory at its most efficient. The business really struggled Nellie Don Inguinal bankruptcy, see enclosed permanently in nineteen, seventy eight, but from retirement onward, Nell only read remained very, very active in the Kansas City community. She continued to promote education and she was a boy. Member at Linden would college where she was an alarm as well as at the Kansas City, ART Institute and she also became a member of the City Board of education. She, We really tried to promote a lot of education reform and she was on the board of trustees. At the MID West Research Institute. She died at home on September, ape nineteen ninety one. She was a hundred and two years old. She really long life in two thousand six nels, great nephew tearin. So man made a documentary about her and her business, titled Nellie DAWN a stitch in time and then more than
Becky later in twenty seven team. He started at several years before that, but I think twenty seventy was the first stage reading he had developed her story into a musical likely said at the time now was complicated. Her life was not leg, all sunshine rainbow perfection, but one of the things that really struck me in researching her story was her insistence that when the workday ended it was over something that grows more more difficult, as we all tend to check email late into the night and sometimes on vacation, and she also, you know, wanted people to continue to learning grow, and so I wanted to finish with a quota of hers that I really liked did she gave in an interview where she said you can't be a well balanced person if you insist on devoting all your attention to business, even those details which can be managed by others, leaving no free time for your development as a human being re is
no Donna. We read like we said so complicated. They also have some listener mail. I do have some western mail. This is another one about our USA and Bob Hope episode. This is from our listener, Thomas Genome, who retired in Tracy by women, Juno Alaska, and I was thrilled to hear my hometown of Cordova Alaska named checked in your podcast, about Bob hope in the USA, show it remained me of my family story about my uncle encountering Bob hope. While he was visiting before that hair raising flight, that you mention when Bob Hope came to visit the town of Cordova, which then had a population of less than two thousand people, not including military folk station there. At the time to say it was a really big deal is a massive understatement, was like a minor deity was in town. A massive entourage followed him down the main street on which still stands, the apartment building, in which my Father family then lived my father having not been borne yet when Bob hope passed by the front stupid the building he encountered, my uncle, who was a small child at the time. My dad's family is of
ask a native and cartesian heritage, but my uncle did not really leaned toward the features of my olitic norwegian grandpa or my king. It danish grandma. I'm sorry if I said those words incorrectly instead, fathers. Eldest brother came out with a blend of both of his parents, attributes resulting in Auburn, hair, a ski slope knows and freckles you can see where this is going. Bob hope saw this kid who looked a lot like him and stopped to chat with him thinking it would make for a cute photo op. Sadly, none of us has a copy of this picture if it survived and said, hey son, how old are you for said my uncle and what's your name My uncle's name was George Robert Junior, but he went by you guessed. It Bob Bob hope. After learning, this pause for beet and then he supposedly turned to his compatriots equipped. Now that I think it did come through here about four years ago. My uncle passed away back in the early teeth and that was one of my grandmother's favorite stories that she liked to share about him until she herself passed last year of thank you for it.
Living with me of it and thanks for all the hours of crunching spreadsheets at work that you're lovely show, has been more bearable. That is the cutest family story, and it makes me laugh and laugh. So thank you so much for sharing that time has seen it. If you would like to write to us, you can do so in history by Canada has to work start calm. We are also missed in history across the spectrum of social media, and you can find it missed in history, dot com, where every episode of the shoe is archived and their show notes for Emily episodes. Tracy- and I have worked you can also subscribe to stuff. You missed in history class on Apple podcast, the I hurt radio out or anywhere you get your broadcasts for more on this and thousands of other topics. Visit Housetop works, dot com. This episode brought to you by Office Depot Office Depot, has supplies and services for businesses,
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