Mattoon, Illinois, Feb. 18, 1914 [to: Mr. Carl Warfel, Rose Hill]
I received your welcome letter yesterday and was so very glad to hear from you. It seems a very long time since you were here. You said that it was fine sleighing when you wrote, but I think that it would be better boat riding now.
I got my valentines and chewing gum all right. The gum was fine and the valentines were just as pretty as they could be. I got your card too.
You said that you didn’t suppose that I had worked at the factory during the bad weather last week, but I went every day. I came home at noon on Mon., I got too sleepy and tired to sew, but I went every day the rest of the week. Men take one horse and snow plows and clean some of the snow off the walks, but we girls always had to go too early for them. We almost froze at work all last week, they couldn’t heat the factory, and we worked with our coats on all the time, but our fingers would get so cold that we could hardly use the scissors. I didn’t go to work at all this Monday, it was so cold early in the morning that I supposed it would be that way all day.
Clara Reed (the girl right across the road in that house in front of us, you know) works at the factory, and she walks to work with us and we have some great times. This morning the walks were covered with ice, and Bonnie kept falling all the way to work. Clara and I laughed at her until I know all the people between here and the factory will know us by the way we laugh all the time.
I wrote Vena a card since she went home, but I haven’t heard from her yet.
A janitor at the North School here in Mattoon fell and broke his back this morning, when he was carrying ashes out of the building. Gladys Howard fell on the walk and struck her head on something, and came to work crying. So many people fall on the walks and hurt themselves when there is so much sleet and freezing. Well I know that you will not want to put in all your time trying to make out what this scratching is so I will close. I will have to sew some tonight and it is now 8:30 so I guess that I had better get to work. I didn’t sew much last week at night. Answer real soon. I hope that it will not be so very, very long before I see you. Bonnie and I have just been learning a song “The Factory Girl” that we found in one of our papers and mamma knows the tune, and nearly all the girls in the factory are crazy about it. I will try and sing when you come up. Its just about all right, I think. I will stop writing this time. I guess I’ll not sew tonight. I’m most too sleepy.
From Your True Friend, Bessie.