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faHY JANE WHITAKER IS FIGHTING FOR LIVIN&
WAGES FOR CHICAGO WORKING GIRLS
Being the Story 'vf the Furnace Through Which She'
Herself Came, Told-By Herself,
v By Jane.Whitaker.
So that the girls. .for whom The Day Book is .fighting may know that
thereftt&real Jane,Whitaker, and that there .isn't any' phase of your, side;
of the question, she doesn't understand, lam going to.tell you as briefly as.
I canofmyllife. '. s
I was the second child of very .poor parents, arid of-my life until I was
nine -I. remember very. little except that I never, had a doll, or a. Christmas
tree, and that, one-Christmas we had stale .bread soaked in warm water,
with a. salt and pepper seasoning as a dinner, and that mother had three
children after I entered the worlds each one of which. I helped .to nurse.
The tragedy of-the. wage question did "not make any impression upon,
me until I. was nine years old- My father, who is a very brilliant man, was re-
ceiving a wage of. 514.00 a-week, just
$5.00 more than he received when .he
married my mother. Not only was
he trying to carry along a family of
five children, but also to build up a
business college. "It's was shortly be
fore this time that my older sister,,
a veryvbeautiful girlf.was put to work
in the milLon piece work that brought
a return of three or four -dollars a
week I remember so clearlyjthat she
- had to be at the mill at 7 and worked
until 6. And even then, we were not
- having enough to eat.
i One day, just a week before she
was 12 years old, she came home in
the middle of the afternoon, and comr
plained that she felt sick. That night,
we summoned a doctor. Father, was
paid- by the month- and tie college
was not-meeting expenses so there,
was practically no money cpming.'in.
Father explained this to the physician
and sometimes I think he meat. to
be good to us in. what he did, thought
it .might -have saved a great many
regrets had he been truthful, instead.'
He pronounced, my sister,'s disease as
quinzy; it was diphtheria.- She lived
five days, and, the last day beforeshe
died, she pleaded, with mother for
- some oysters. Itfotherwouldnft beg
and oysters were a luxury-'They .were"
denfed. The next morning at ten
o'clock she strangled to' death.
You girls to whom I am' talking,
do you remember.the bitterness with,
which you. reppghized'that, there, is a
p'pverty sq dire, that existence is al
most impossible, and, a. wealth, so im
mense that;no. want-goes "unsatisfied.?.
kl realized it then at the age of nine ,
iqc the. first time, and that ungranted. '
request of a dying child for oystersi
changed, the . entire current, qf my;
mother's life. t
She loathed the city now; she de
manded that we go to the country
so that her children might have Iresh
air, and we went to afakir village,
practically owned and run by a fakir
who had a fakir park- We rented an
immense house from, him' and took
his fakir performers to board. They
were a medley,:, snake charmers,
sword eaters and, the rest. ,
But they, often forgot to. pay their
board and we began going, into debt.
We moved into a little cottage.
Then life seemed, to settle' down into-drab.
Father had been compelled
to give ,up. his struggle with the busi-.
college- He was still receiving $14 a
week, and had discovered a. formula;
'of .a powder to. increase the bi