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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 75 years ago

A trio of nervous, agitated bandits held up the Security State Bank at 619 N. Monroe St., shot a customer and fled with $5,000.

One witness said she saw three men loitering on the corner. Then one said, “Come on now, it’s time to go in.”

A banker said he didn’t know anything was amiss until he felt someone force his head down on his desk. Then he felt a prod of a gun in his back and a man told him to stand up and raise his hands. The robbers herded the employees and five customers into a bank vault.

“He (a robber) was cursing fearfully all the time, even after he had us back into the vault,” said a bookkeeper. “I never heard such language in my life.”

Then, W.E. Walker, a restaurant man, walked into the bank to do some business. One jittery robber said, “I’ll take care of him.” Walker was taken to another part of the bank and shot. He was in critical condition.

The robbers fled in a stolen car that was later found stuck in a snowdrift.

Detectives theorized that one of the robbers was a drug addict, because he was “pasty-faced and thin-faced and acted just like one.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1937: Dr. Wallace H. Carothers, a research chemist for DuPont who’d invented nylon, received a patent for the synthetic fiber.

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.