Local news

Jim Kershner’s This day in history

THURSDAY, JAN. 13, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

Two Great Northern passenger trains, headed for Spokane, were snowbound near Glacier National Park and hadn’t budged for four days.

Friends and relatives of the trapped passengers were anxious about reports that the trains had run out of provisions, but a railroad spokesman said that the passengers were being served in well-stocked dining cars and were “having a good time.”

Still, the passengers must have been a little nervous. Less than a year earlier, an avalanche in the Cascades had swept two snowbound trains off the tracks, killing 96.

As it turned out, these passengers were “released from their snow prison” the next day. One passenger reported that they had good food and warm berths and their “happiness would have been complete” if only there had been a barber on board.

“The men had to allow their beards to grow,” said the paper.

From the health beat: The board of health released statistics about what had killed Spokane residents in 1910. The leading culprit was pneumonia, which had killed 129. Penicillin was still far in the future.

Tuberculosis was a close second, followed by cancer, typhoid fever, scarlet fever, diphtheria and whooping cough.

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