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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Gardner Brothers Saloon in Tekoa, in which four people died, had been a well-known trouble spot for years in the Palouse.

The county prosecutor said it had been the scene of previous assaults and that the Gardners had a bad reputation, especially when they had been drinking.

Which was often. On the day of the shootings, Curly Gardner had been drinking hard for several days and had quarreled with his wife. His brother Ernest “Palouse” Gardner, who shot dead the town mayor, the deputy sheriff and himself, had been drinking absinthe for several days.

Absinthe is a potent alcoholic drink that was believed at the time to have harmful psychoactive effects. It would be banned in the U.S. in 1915.

The prosecutor said he had a solid case against Curly Gardner, who allegedly pistol-whipped a saloon patron to death during a poker game.

The shootings occurred later that day during a confrontation between law officers and Ernest Gardner.

A “pall of gloom” had descended on Tekoa after the deaths.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1920: The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, was certified in effect by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.

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