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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Sun., Sept. 18, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

Nell Pickrell was well-known to police for one particular trait: She liked to pose as a man.

“As a man, she acts the part to perfection,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle. “She frequents saloons, drinks and smokes cigarettes.”

She also got herself into trouble a lot. She had previously been arrested by Seattle police under the name of Harry Allen and surprised officers by revealing herself, so to speak, as a woman.

More recently, she had been in Tekoa working on a threshing crew. But Nell landed herself in trouble again when she was arrested on a bootlegging charge, having sold whisky to an Indian. She was being held in federal court.

She told officers that 10 years ago she had separated from her husband and had to make a living on her own. She apparently found that it was easier to get a job by impersonating a man.

From the accident beat: An officer saw a 42-year-old miller leaning silently over the railing of the Post Street bridge.

The man started to climb over the railing, slipped and fell backward on the bridge. The officer grabbed him just before he rolled off the bridge and into the foaming waters.

The man was booked as a drunk.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1759: The French formally surrendered Quebec to the British.

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