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Newspaper Page Text
FO?WOM4V NELLIE CONNOR DIED HEROINE
OF GREAT BINGHAMTON FIRE
- By Mary Boyle O'Reilly.
Binghamton, N y., July 29.
"Greater love than this no man hath
that he giveth his life for his
By that final test Nellie Connor,
the heroine of the great Binghamton
factory fire, where scores of girls
perished in the flames, proved, be
yond all doubt, her long, long affec
tion for "her girls." '
For thirty years Nellie Connor
acted as forewoman in the Bingham
ton Clothing Company, balancing
the "rights" of one hundred needle
workers with the best interests of the
As time is measured, she lived
fifty-odd years, but Nellie Connor
never grew old. A tiny little woman,
hardly larger than a well-grown child
of twelve, she unconsciously set fine
standards for ten generations of
"Her girls" honored her power to
control, rejoiced in her merry kind
ness, "loved" the unvarying dainti
ness of her working gown and the
way in which she dressed her beau
tiful blonde hair.
As the years grew more lonely Nel
lie Connor gave more and more of
her leisure to church work and to
reading books of the big, bright
world she should never see. But al
ways her deepest interest lay with
"her girls," THEIR lives, THEIR
problems, THEIR hopes.
"I cannot think what I should do
without them how I shall ever leave
them," she would say, smiling.
Without warning the summons
came on clanging gongs. From their
posts of vantage by the open doors
the forewoman and her deputy saw
that this alarm meant FIRE!
"Girls, go outt quietly," called Nel
lie Connor, standing alert and im-
movable at the second-story stair
head to guide and guard the file.
"Miss Connor, come . . Nel
lie, dear, COME!" cried her deputy as
the last of the terrified workers in the
lower room fled to safety.
The cheery answer pierced a wind
"Nonsense," called the little fore
woman. "I am going upstairs. ... I
must see that EVERYONE is safe!"
A momentary sight of the brave,
small figure climbing the stair, a
glimpse through the smoke-fog of
the bright head passing a wind-swept
tfoorway and Nellie Connor disap
peared into the upper workroom
where a hundred women still fought
For her there was never a chance.