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Agnes Nestor

Agnes Nestor

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Agnes Nestor was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on 24th June, 1880. In 1807 the moved to Chicago where she went to work in a glove factory.

Nestor became an active trade unionist and in 1898 emerged as one of the leaders during a ten day strike at her factory. In 1902 she helped form the International Glove Workers Union. The following year Nestor joined with Mary Kenney O'Sullivan, Jane Addams, Mary McDowell, Margaret Haley, Helen Marot, Florence Kelley and Sophonisba Breckinridge to form the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL).

Over the next few years Nestor campaigned for women's suffrage, a minimum wage and maternity health legislation. She was also a strong opponent of child labour.

Nestor held several senior posts in the International Glove Workers Union, including vice president (1903-1906 and 1915-38), secretary-treasurer (1906-1913), general president (1913-1915) and director of research and education (1938-1948).

Agnes Nestor died in Chicago on 28th December, 1948.

Nestor, Agnes (1880–1948)

American trade unionist and labor reformer. Born Agnes McEwen Nestor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 24, 1880 died in Chicago, Illinois, on December 28, 1948 one of four children of Thomas Nestor and Anna (McEwen) Nestor attended public and parochial schools in Grand Rapids through the eighth grade never married no children.

Awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Loyola University (1929) was vice-president, International Glove Workers Union (IGWU, 1903–06 and 1915–38) served as secretary-treasurer, IGWU (1906–13) was general president, IGWU (1913–15) was director of research and education, IGWU (1938–48) was a member of the National Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) executive board (1907–48) served as president, Chicago WTUL (1913–48) was a member, National Committee on Federal Aid to Education (1914), Woman's Committee of the United States Council of National Defense (1918), Illinois Commission on Unemployment and Relief (early 1930s), and Illinois Minimum Wage Law Advisory Board (1935). Publications: several articles and an autobiography, Woman's Labor Leader (1954).

When Agnes Nestor began working in Chicago's Eisendrath Glove Factory, she was a frail-looking 17-year-old. Frequently ill, Nestor was soon moved by the exploitative conditions of her industry to lead her fellow women workers out on a ten-day strike in 1898. Under her leadership, the strike was successful. No longer would the workers have to pay "machine rent" to their employer, and the union was recognized. Four years later, in 1902, Nestor was a delegate to the founding convention of the International Glove Workers Union. She would serve the IGWU in a variety of leadership positions the rest of her life.

Agnes Nestor joined the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) in 1906. The WTUL was a cross-class alliance of women interested in bringing trade unionism and education to working-class women, as well as an advocate of legislation protecting working women. Nestor was one of the few working-class women who rose to prominence within the WTUL. In 1907, she joined the national executive board and in 1913 she became president of the Chicago branch. She would hold both positions until her death in 1948. Although she saw trade unionism as the best protection for all workers, Nestor recognized that for a variety of reasons fewer women than men joined unions. Therefore, she was also an advocate of protective labor legislation which would improve the conditions of labor for women regardless of their union status.

In 1909, at the request of national WTUL president Margaret Dreier Robins , Nestor testified before the Illinois legislature on the need for restriction of hours for women in industry. An impassioned speaker, Nestor testified that her own poor health was the direct result of working twelve or more hours a day, six days a week. In 1909, the Ten-Hour bill became law in Illinois, in large part due to the efforts of Agnes Nestor. Two years later, she won the fight to have the bill extended to cover women in retail and clerical work as well as in manufacturing. Nonetheless, the Ten-Hour bill was itself a compromise, as Nestor and other supporters had originally asked for an eight-hour day. The eight-hour day would not become law in Illinois until 1937 and once again Nestor played a key role in seeing that legislation to passage. Small in stature (5′ tall) with delicate features, Nestor would be referred to as a "factory girl" even as a grown woman. She was at the same time recognized

as a tireless advocate for the improvement of working conditions for women.

Today in labor history: Activist Agnes Nestor born

On June 24, 1880, labor and women’s rights activist Agnes Nestor was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. She moved to Chicago in 1897 and started working at the age of 14 in the glove industry In 1901 Nestor was the leader of the successful Chicago glovemakers strike over the constant harassment and injustices the women workers experienced that would lead to formation of the International Glove Workers Union of America (IGWU). Thus she became the first female president elected to head an international labor union –

The leadership role Nestor played in the women’s trade union movement lead her to spend time in Springfield, Ill., lobbying the state government to establish a “maximum work hours for women” law. After some years of lobbying, a law was established in 1909 that limited the work hours of women in factories to ten hours a day. In 1911 Nestor’s work was able to get the law extended to all women workers.

In 1913 Agnes Nestor became the president of the Chicago branch of the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL). Through her work in the WTUL, Nestor created educational courses for workers. Nestor believed that workers needed education to counteract the mind numbing work they did.

At the same time Agnes Nestor was fighting for better working conditions for women workers, she was also an articulate supporter of the establishment of a minimum wage and women’s suffrage.

The lobbying and educational work that Nestor did as a leader of the WTUL eventually lead to an expanded political role. In the late 1920’s prior to the great depression she ran for the Illinois state legislature on the Democratic Party ticket. The campaign was unsuccessful, but it was an example of the amount of political support she had gained over the years.

During the depression years of 1932-34 when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, Agnes Nestor was a member of the Illinois Commission on Unemployment and Relief.

Nestor continued to play a leadership role with in the labor movement throughout her life, even while experiencing serious health problems. She remained president of the Chicago branch of the WTUL until her death in December of 1948, at the age of 68.

Agnes Nestor - History

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In September of 1910, Hannah Shapiro went to her supervisor at Hart, Shaffner and Marx in Chicago to complain about a pay cut. It wasn't just her pay that was being reduced. All the seamstresses had been hit. And it was only a loss of one quarter of a penny per pair of pants, after all. So what was the big deal? The supervisor said nothing could be done.

With permission of the University of Chicago Press.

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones (1837 [1][2] – 30 November 1930) was an Irish-born American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent organized labor representative and community organizer. She helped coordinate major strikes and cofounded the Industrial Workers of the World.

Dolores Clara Fernandez was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, a small mining town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Her father Juan Ferånández, a farm worker and miner by trade, was a union activist who ran for political office and won a seat in the New Mexico legislature in 1938.

For almost 70 years, Lucy Parsons fought for the rights of the poor and disenfranchised in the face of an increasingly oppressive industrial economic system. Lucy's radical activism challenged the racist and sexist sentiment in a time when even radical Americans believed that a woman's place was in the home.

Agnes Nestor’s mother was a textile mill worker. Her father was a machinist and a one-time member of the Knights of Labor who became a city alderman in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The family migrated to Chicago during the depression of the 1890s, and the teenage Agnes went to work in a glove factory. The sixty-hour work weeks exhausted her.

“Stella Nowicki” was the assumed name of Vicki Starr, an activist who participated in the campiagn to organize unions in the meatpacking factories of Chicago.

A native of Texas, María came to Chicago to further her studies, and immediately became an active advocate for the city's Latino community.

Addie L. Wyatt was a leader in the United States Labor movement, and a civil rights activist. Wyatt is known for being the first African-American woman elected international vice president of a major labor union, the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union.

Olga Madar graduated from Detroit Northeastern High School in 1933. After graduation she was hired at the Chrysler Kercheval plant on the basis of her ability as an outstanding softball player. As she worked in factories to earn her way through Michigan Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University), she became aware of sex discrimination in employment.

Joyce D. Miller, an influential advocate for women who believed that equality for them in the workplace could be best achieved through labor unions, and who championed that cause when she broke into the male-dominated leadership of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.

Wendy Pollack is the founder and director of the Women's Law and Policy Initiative at the Shriver Center. She has worked extensively on public benefits and work supports, workforce and economic development, education, employment, family law, violence against women and girls, gender equity in schools, and other issues, on the local, state, and federal level.

Ida Bell Wells (July 16, 1862 to March 25, 1931), better known as Ida B. Wells, was an African-American journalist, abolitionist and feminist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s. She went on to found and become integral in groups striving for African-American justice.

Karen GJ Lewis was elected president of the 30,000 member Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) on June 11, 2010, and re-elected to a second term in May 2012 by nearly 80 percent of the CTU’s rank and file.


In February 1919, more than two dozen women boarded a train to share their story of arrest, imprisonment, and brutal treatment for protesting in front of the White House in support of a federal women’s suffrage amendment.

Although these white women omitted women of color from their claims to the rights of citizenship, their nickname for the train—the “Democracy Limited”—is a reminder that the project of democracy is diminished without full and equal participation of all members of society.

The fight for the vote was a complex movement marked by hope and heartbreak, cooperative action and racist exclusion, hard-fought victories and unmet expectations. It was also part of a longer, ongoing journey by activist women from different backgrounds and varied motivations to build a more just society and create lasting change.

The images that follow offer a glimpse of recent and distant moments when Chicago-area women mobilized for change, part of a long history of activism and protest.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Who Am I?

I am a thirty-six year old mother of four boys (ages 10, 8, 5, 3), spouse to my husband of eighteen years, certified medical assistant, nursing student, and an active member in my community.
Although, I love my family more than anything, I feel I do the best in my career as a medical assistant as my passion is helping people. I love interacting with people and I feel a sense of satisfaction when I know I made a difference in someone else's life. I recently decided to further my education to pursue a nursing degree so I have more opportunity to help patients and their loved ones.
Five things I believe in are: Jesus, salvation, honesty, love, and forgiveness.
My strongest belief is Jesus because without him we wouldn't have the other four. Because he loves us he died on the cross and forgave us of our sins so we can have salvation as long as we believe in him and ask him for forgiveness of our sins. He set an example of how we should be to other people in our everyday lives.
I used to struggle with confidence and low self esteem growing up. It wasn't until the last couple years that I started to feel more confident. I found that the people you spend the most time around influence you the most. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband and great co-workers who give me positive feedback and encourage me to pursue my dreams. I still have negative thoughts and doubts but I know if I don't try I will not succeed. I try to look at the positive things in life and take one day at a time.

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Mrs . Nestor was born on September 18, 1941 and passed away on Friday, January 7, 2011.

Mrs . Nestor was a resident of Cedartown, Georgia at the time of passing.

Mrs . Nestor was married to James.

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Agnes Nestor Pointing & Looking To Her Right, Standing In A Room

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Cora Lynn 1907

The Cora Lynn State School, No. 3502, opened in January 1907 as Koo Wee Rup Central. It was renamed Cora Lynn in July 1907 when the Progress Association requested that the newly established postal service be called Cora Lynn, to prevent the confusion of the name with Koo Wee Rup. Joe Dineen had recalled that it was the Head Teacher of the school, John McGibbon, who proposed the name, after the scenic rocky gorge and popular picnic area on the North Esk River, just out of Launceston in Tasmania (1). The name Cora Lynn comes from the Gaelic coire meaning ‘cauldron or kettle’ and linn ‘pool’ (2).

The original school building was 26 feet by 24 feet and cost 𧷺 (3) . As mentioned, the first head teacher was John McGibbon, who was at the school until September 1909 when he was transferred to Drysdale State School (4) . He was then appointed to various schools across Victoria - Miepoll (north west of Euroa), Emerald, Mirboo North and from 1931 lived at various addresses in Geelong and suburbs. John Barker McGibbin was born in 1883, so he was 24 when he started teaching at Cora Lynn. He married Margaret Emma McLean at the Geelong Presbyterian Church on Christmas Day, 1911. He was teaching at Miepoll at the time. John died in Geelong in on May 23, 1965, aged 81. Margaret had died in 1964, aged 78 (5) .

This is a list of the first pupils from 1907, at Cora Lynn State School, in the order they appear on the roll. Name, date of birth, parent’s name and occupation listed.

ANDERSON, Corrie. 13/4/1893. James Anderson. Gardener.

NESTOR, Mary. 15/12/1893. Martin Nestor. Farmer

NESTOR, Agnes. 15/4/1895. Martin Nestor. Farmer.

NESTOR, Patrick. 29/3/1894. Martin Nestor. Farmer.

FITZPATRICK, Ellen. 27/5/1895. James Fitzpatrick. Farmer.

FITZPATRICK, Margaret. 8/10/1893. James Fitzpatrick. Farmer.

FITZPATRICK, James. 8/7/1897. James Fitzpatrick. Farmer.

FITZPATRICK, Thomas. 27/3/1899. James Fitzpatrick. Farmer.

FITZPATRICK, Annie. 21/6/1901. James Fitzpatrick. Farmer.

JEFFERS, Raymond. 18/1/1893. Alexander Jeffers. Farmer.

JEFFERS, Violet. 10/8/1894. Alexander Jeffers. Farmer

JEFFERS, Evelyn. 17/1/1900. Alexander Jeffers. Farmer

BAIN, Norman. 13/8/1895. James Bain. Farmer.

BAIN, Richard. 13/9/1898.James Bain. Farmer.

QUIGLEY, Bridget. 24/4/1896. Margaret Quigley. Farmer.

QUIGLEY, Agnes. 15/6/1899. Margaret Quigley. Farmer.

EVANS, Grace. 30/10/1898. James Evans. Farmer.

EVANS, Rupert. 27/12/1900. James Evans. Farmer.

WATSON, John. 14/8/1900. Robert Watson. Farmer.

FINNIGAN, Joseph. 22/10/1900. Joseph Finnigan. Farmer.

JEFFERS, Robert.15/1/1900. Robert Jeffers. Farmer.

JEFFERS, Thomas. 28/3/1901. Robert Jeffers. Farmer

DINEEN, Thomas. 7/9/1898. Michael Dineen. Farmer.

DINEEN, Adela. 3/6/1900. Michael Dineen. Farmer.

STRIBLING, Charles. 22/7/1897. Charles Stribling. Farmer.

HUGHES, Ruby.11/4/1897. Thomas Hughes. Farmer.

HUGHES, David. 11/8/1899. Thomas Hughes. Farmer.

JOHNSTON, Frank. 5/4/1899. William Johnston. Farmer.

JOHNSTON, Alberta. 26/2/1897. Henry Johnston. Farmer.

LEVISTON, Caroline. 22/11/1901. Benjamin Leviston. Farmer.

LEVISTON, Emily. 19/2/1896. Benjamin Leviston. Farmer.

TIERNEY, Patrick. 30/12/ 1893. Patrick Tierney. Farmer.

SCANLAN, Joseph. 25/7/1895. William Scanlan. Farmer.

SCANLAN, John. 25/5/1897. William Scanlan. Farmer.

LEVISTON, David. 21/10/1893. Benjamin Leviston. Farmer.

FISCHER, June. 14/1/1897. Walter Fischer. Farmer.

SCANLAN, Evelyn. 4/9/1899. William Scanlan. Farmer.

SMITH, Bertie. 9/12/1895. William Smith. Farmer.

MURDOCH, Arthur. 25/7/1898. George Murdoch. Storekeeper/Farmer.

MURDOCH, Mary. 31/8/1899. Storekeeper/Farmer.

MURDOCH, Hugh. 22/3/1902. Storekeeper/Farmer.

JOHNSON, Tudor. 17/1/1895. Henry Johnson. Farmer.

WALSH, Walter. 19/5/1901. Peter Walsh. Farmer.

JOHNSTON, Edwin. 18/1/1901. William Johnston. Farmer.

JOHNSTON, Esmonde. 5/5/1901. Henry Johnston. Farmer.

CARROLL, Michael. 20/12/1899. Michael Carroll. Farmer.

CLAPPERTON, Leslie. 19/07/1896. Thomas Clapperton. Sergeant of Police.

LEVISTON, Ernest. 03/08/1901. Ernest Leviston. Blacksmith.

The first mention of Cora Lynn that I could find in the newspapers was in the South Bourke & Mornington Journal of July 17, 1907 -
The Cora-Lynn folks are quite jubilant at having a daily mail running from Garfield. The time, I think, is not far distant when there will be a quite a little township at that place (6) .

The following two letters are from The Advocate of July 20, 1907. The Advocate was a Catholic newspaper which reported on and promoted Catholic interests. It was published from 1868 until 1990. The paper had a children’s column run by Aunt Patsy, which published letters and poems from school children. They had a club called the Magic Fairy Boat Club which the children could join. Aunt Patsy referred to all the children as her nieces and nephews, they called her aunty and referred to all the other children in the Club as their cousins.

Cora Lynn, l/7/1907.
Dear Aunt Patsy,
It is a long time since I last wrote to you, so I thought I would write to you again. I am going to a new school now: I like it very much. Our teacher's name is Mr. M'Gibbon, and we all like him exceedingly. There are 38 children going to school. It was opened after the Christmas holidays. I have two sisters and two brothers going to school with me. We are getting a shelter-shed put up at our school. We are going to have Arbour Day at the school on Friday next we expect it will be a fine day. We have got a loose bag from Garfield to the school, and we can get our mail there. I will bring my letter to a close, hoping you and the curly-headed captain are well,
I remain, your loving niece, Ellen M. E. Fitzpatrick

Cora Lynn, I/7/1907.
Dear Aunt Patsy,
This is the first letter I have written to you. I hope you will accept me as one of your many nieces. My parents take the ''Advocate" every week I like reading the Children's Corner very much. My sister has written to you before, so I thought I would write, too. On the 10th of this month, our little twin babies will be twelve months old their names are Michael John and Francis. I go to the Koo-wee-rup Central State School with my brothers and sisters. Our teacher's name is Mr. M'Gibbon, and we all like him very much. The name of our school is going to be changed to Cora Lynn. We have to walk 1¾ miles to school. I will bring my letter to a close, with love to yourself and the curly-headed captain,
I remain, your would-be niece, Margaret Emma Veronica Fitzpatrick (7) .

As Ellen mentioned in her letter to Aunt Patsy, a shelter shed was to be erected at the school and the South Bourke & Mornington Journal of August 21, 1907 reported that -
A dance will be held at the Cora Lynn. Shelter Shed on Friday evening to raise funds to meet the building expenses. As this is a worthy object it is to be hoped that the dance will be a success (8).

On November 16, 1907 this letter written to ‘Uncle Ben’ was published in the Weekly Times, foreshadowing the new store that was to be built in the town.

Cora Lynn, 7th October
Dear Uncle Ben,
This is the first time I have written to you. I would very much like to see my letter published in "The Weekly Times." I go to school every day, and I am in the second class. I have two miles to walk to school. We have a football at school, and we have great fun with it. My father is getting a new store built in Cora Lynn. It will only be about two chains from the school. We are having lovely weather here now. The grass is looking beautiful in the paddocks. My sister has a little pet lamb. There are a good many hares about here. My father shot one yesterday. There are a great many snakes here this season. I killed a small one last week. With love to yourself, Aunt Connie and the little children in the cots
I remain your loving friend, Arthur Murdoch, aged 10 years and 3 months (9) .


Born in Tipperary in 1850, Agnes was one of the millions of Irish who had to emigrate in search of a living. Because British imperialism sought to keep Ireland (apart from a small area around Belfast) as a supplier of cheap food and labour to their empire, there was little industrial development and many had to leave Ireland to find work. Agnes went to London.

She was a student of pre-school education, and together with a veteran of the 1871 Paris Commune, Louise Michel, she ran the International School at 19 Fitzroy Square.

Along with others, including future British Labour Party leader Ramsay McDonald, she lived in a communal house at 29 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury until it closed in 1892. The tenants had their own rooms and but ate their meals together, which was considered far from respectable at the time. According to historian Nick Heath she annoyed other tenants by wanting to discuss anarchism over breakfast! The Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta, then in exile in England, made frequent visits to discuss anarchism with her at this address.

She wrote for the anarchist paper Freedom and conducted speaking tours of England and Scotland making the case for ‘anarchist socialism’. Among her writings are Women under Socialism (1892), Anarchist Communism in Relation to State Socialism (1896) and The Probable Evolution of British Socialism Tomorrow (1896).

Also in 1896 she attended the Congress of the Second International held in London, acting as a delegate for French syndicalists unable to attend.

Towards the end of the 1890s she was one of several anarchists to join the Independent Labour Party, representing some temporary loss of confidence within the English movement. Other indications of this were the decline of both open-air and printed propaganda, with the movement not recovering until around 1903.

Heath’s researches show Agnes Henry was listed on the Roll of Honour of Suffragette Prisoners 1905-1914 (compiled by the Suffragette Fellowship around 1950, based on recollections of participants), and appears to have been one of those arrested during the pre-World War 1 campaign.

One of her last public appearances was in 1912 when she spoke at a rally in Trafalgar Square as part of the successful campaign to prevent the deportation of Malatesta from Britain.

“In anarchism I see the only base for women to escape marriage without love and obligatory maternity, and the degrading laws and servile customs to which women of all classes have been subjected for so long”.

Watch the video: Nastya and the story about mysterious surprises (August 2022).