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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

SATURDAY, AUG. 20, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

Mrs. Edith Ashbaugh offered her professional services for a job that, safe to say, does not exist today: Spokane’s official “court spanker.”

Court spanker?

Yes, she offered to spank naughty children as part of juvenile court proceedings. However, Judge Sullivan declined her offer for some excellent reasons. For one thing, he was not certain that state law provided for this particular “method of handling juvenile delinquents.”

And even if it did, he believed it would be best to have the miscreant’s father “take the youngster into the court library” and administer his own sound whacking. In other words, no designated spanker required.

From the masher file: A young Spokane woman whistled a large rock past the head of a 30-year-old “masher” – a man making unwanted advances.

She and her friend were walking downtown when the man followed them and called them “vile names.” She missed him with the rock, but a passing policeman arrested the man. He was one of several men police were tracking after a number of complaints.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1910: A series of forest fires swept through parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington, killing at least 85 people and burning some 3 million acres.



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