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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Fri., April 5, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

A “maniac” named A. Carlson had vowed that every time he met a “rabbit, a lion or a woman,” he must kill them.

His depredations were first limited to Spokane rabbit warrens, where he had caused “wholesale mortality” in the rabbit populations.

But when he left Spokane and went to the small town of Granite, in North Idaho, things turned even uglier. He met Mrs. H.G. Rood walking along the railroad right-of-way, and “without warning or provocation, seized her and began to beat her” with a length of angle iron.

Children playing nearby ran for help. They brought some men who “tied Carlson hand and foot, with no resistance on his part.”

Yet Mrs. Rood was already critically injured.

She was taken to Granite and attended by local doctors and then rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital in Spokane. The bones in her face were broken and she had a serious concussion.

Carlson was taken out of the Granite jail and taken to the county jail because “the danger of lynching by the inflamed townspeople of Granite was so great.”

Carlson was a Swedish immigrant who had been in the U.S. for 11 years and worked on a Northern Pacific section gang.

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