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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Wed., Nov. 21, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

The last will and testament of John Enos, known as Portuguese Joe, caused a stir in Spokane when its provisions were announced. The wealthy local land investor bequeathed $200,000 to his wife, $30,000 to the Catholic church in his native Azores, $5,000 to the Spokane YMCA – but only $500 to each of two sisters and the insulting sum of $5 to each of two brothers.

The brothers and sisters were now fighting back. They were contesting the will in a Spokane courtroom, claiming that Portuguese Joe’s “young and comely wife” coerced him into making that will.

A former housekeeper took the stand and testified that the young wife plied the old man with liquor and would not let him sleep off the effects. She would keep him awake, harassing and cajoling him to “make the will, make the will.”

The widow attended the court proceedings with her personal bodyguard from the Azores, described in the news story as “a swarthy, athletic man of medium build with black mustache and piercing black eyes.” The widow was “clothed in deep mourning.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1942: The Alaska Highway, also known as the Alcan Highway, was formally opened at Soldier’s Summit in the Yukon Territory.

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