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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., April 1, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

A man was hauled to jail for using a passing woman’s skirt as “a scratcher for his lucifer.”

Translation: For striking a match on her skirt. 

Mrs. St. Lawrence said she was walking past a cigar store when a sidewalk idler swiftly reached out and struck a match on her blue serge skirt. Then he lit his cigarette and tossed the match in the gutter.

She summoned an officer, who arrested the man, “expostulating” and “complaining” all the while.

From the tribal beat: Rev. Father Taelman of Gonzaga College warned that the Calispel Tribe (as it was spelled in those days) was in dire straits. He said that the tribe was almost entirely out of food. He said four children and a woman had died in the past few weeks from malnutrition.

The priest had just come back from conducting services for the tribe.

From the court beat: William Fondren, who gunned down Isaac Coplen in a barn at Amwaco near Lake Coeur d’Alene, was sentenced to 10 to 25 years for second-degree murder.

Fondren said nothing during sentencing except to repeat that he was innocent, but there were several witnesses to the shooting, which was precipitated by a dispute over land.

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