Jim Kershner’s This day in history

MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Spokane city police detective was indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of fraud related to his work on the 1910 U.S. Census.

The detective was hired by the Census Bureau to count residents in the seedier boarding-house sections of town. The problem: He simply made up names.

According to the indictment, 96 names out of 100 on one of his census sheets were fictitious. In total, he padded his counts with 1,600 invented names. He was paid by the name.

His laziness sometimes worked against him. He missed many houses altogether. His precinct included the city jail, yet he failed to include any prisoners in his count.

From the love and marriage beat: Herbert Simpson, a well-known Spokane businessman, came home from watching a baseball game and discovered that his wife of five years had cleared out and taken the piano.

She and the piano were with her parents in Missoula. Her husband expressed utter surprise at the entire situation.

She did leave him a note, however. It said, in its entirety, “Goodbye.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1507: German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller produced a world map containing the first recorded use of the term “America,” in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci. … 1792: Highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person under French law to be executed by the guillotine.

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