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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Thu., March 17, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

It was like a romance novel, of the secret midnight elopement variety.

One of Spokane’s most eligible bachelors whisked his sweetheart from her parents’ home just a day before she was supposed to marry a man she didn’t love.

The beautiful, dark-haired bride, Roberta Hinckley, 27, had just finished having a pre-wedding dinner with her fiancé, a man she agreed to marry solely to “appease a stepfather’s wrath.”

Yet she truly adored John Campbell, 32, a well-known Spokane clubman, real estate man and bicycle racer.

That night, Hinckley pretended to retire for the night. Instead, at about 11 p.m., she slipped downstairs and out through a door she had left ajar.

Campbell was a half-block away, waiting in a cab. The cab “broke all speed limits” racing to the home of the county auditor, then to the home of a Presbyterian minister.

“The bride, garbed in her spouse’s overcoat, hatless and crying, stood before the minister and plighted her troth and brushed the tears of nervousness from her face,” reported The Spokesman-Review.

Then the newlyweds boarded an early morning train to the coast.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1762: New York’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place. … 1941: The National Gallery of Art opened.

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