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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Union Park Baptist Church was crowded for the funeral services for Albert J. Williams, 19, the victim of what the minister called “the most atrocious” crime in Spokane’s history.

Four days earlier, Williams had just escorted Miss Ruth Cain, 16, home from a prayer meeting when he was apparently clubbed over the head with a rusty piece of gas pipe on Trent Avenue near Napa Street.

Police said that crime’s perpetrator and motive remained a mystery.

Both Williams and Cain were of good character and their reputations “bore the closest scrutiny,” authorities said. One theory was that another boy murdered Williams because of jealousy, but Cain and her mother said Williams was her “one and only sweetheart.” He had no enemies that police could determine.

Robbery was also a possible motive. Williams’ pockets were rifled and a watch was missing. Some nearby residents reported seeing some suspicious-looking men lurking in the neighborhood that night.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1649: The Maryland Toleration Act, which provided for freedom of worship for all Christians, was passed by the Maryland assembly. … 1836: An army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence.