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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Tue., Dec. 4, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

The town of Hillyard (not yet part of Spokane) re-elected Socialist party candidate Jared Herdlick as its mayor.

This heavily working-class town gave Herdlick 395 votes, compared with 308 for his next-closest opponent.

Hillyard also elected J.C. Harkness, another Socialist, as city attorney.

As it would turn out, Herdlick’s second term proved eventful in an unexpected way. In 1913, Herdlick disappeared.

The City Council didn’t know where he was. Even his wife was baffled.

Three months later, he surfaced in the woods outside of Portland, claiming that he had suffered amnesia and had no idea where he had been for those months. He had even, he said, forgotten he was mayor of Hillyard.

However, once his memory was jogged, he showed up in Hillyard and requested his job back. His only explanation of what had happened to him was that “the horrible gray wolf called capitalism drove me plumb bugs.”

The City Council declined to give the office back to a man who was “plumb bugs.” Herdlick tactfully withdrew his request.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1912: Medal of Honor recipient Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, the Marine Corps pilot who led the “Black Sheep Squadron” during World War II, was born in Coeur d’Alene.


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