January 15, 2011 in City

Jim Kershner’s This day in history

By Correspondent

From our archives, 120 years ago

An 1891 letter to the editor described some underhanded dealings that contributed to the dismantling of Shantytown, a squatters village near Spokane’s railroad yards.

A letter from a man claiming to know all the facts said that 10 prominent residents of Shantytown went secretly to the railroad companies and offered to use all of their influence to “break up the squatters’ union” and to identify which recalcitrant squatters needed persuasion from the “heavy hand of the law.”

In exchange, those 10 were given their own lots, or money, once Shantytown was cleared off. He said these men, who “sold out their companions,” were formerly thought to be “above such perfidity and had figured high as friends of labor and the laboring men.”

He called them, sarcastically, “the noble ten.”

From the religion beat: The Spokane Daily Chronicle reported that the city’s Jewish citizens were raising money to build the first Jewish temple in Spokane – and in the whole state. A year later, in 1892, Temple Emanu-El was dedicated at Third Avenue and Madison Street.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1943: Work was completed on the Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of War (now Defense).

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