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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Usk, Wash., was shocked by the brutal murder of Joe Mathews, 50, a well-respected farmhand. His body was found 50 feet from a country road, behind a burnt log. His head had been bashed in.

A Masonic “charm,” known to be worn by Mathews, was found in the nearby roadway.

Robbery was a possible motive. Two suspects were under arrest.

Mathews was described as “sober, quiet and reserved.”

From the reptile beat: A rattlesnake hunter shipped 100 rattlesnakes from North Yakima to Boston. He caught them in the Cowiche Valley and sent them to the lab of a Boston drug company for making antidotes and other products. The hunter said he was on his way to the lower Columbia Valley, where he hoped to catch more rattlers.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1777: British troops occupied Philadelphia during the American Revolution. … 1789: Thomas Jefferson was confirmed by the Senate to be the first United States secretary of state; John Jay, the first chief justice; Edmund Randolph, the first attorney general. … 1991: Four men and four women began a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure in Oracle, Ariz., called Biosphere 2. (They emerged from Biosphere on this date in 1993.)

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