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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., May 19, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

The three “spinster” Scovell sisters, who lived on a farm together near Republic, Wash., had “the often-expressed wish” that “when death claimed one, the others would soon follow.”

Their wish was granted, due to “a remarkable chain of events.”

First, Laura Scovell, 56, died after a lingering illness from tuberculosis. Laura was buried in a little cemetery near Curlew. Three days later, Alice Scovell, 59, “fell victim to the same malady.”

One day after Alice was buried, Melissa Scovell, 65, was riding in a wagon to Republic with her brother. The horses bolted, and she was thrown from the wagon and died instantly. Her brother was also seriously injured.

And if this weren’t enough, a fourth sister, Mrs. R.E. Otis, wife of the chairman of the Ferry County commission, was ill with consumption and was not expected to recover.

The other three sisters had come to the region eight years earlier from Minnesota, where one was a schoolteacher, in order to be near Mrs. Otis.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1943: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country’s full support of the U.S. in the fight against Japan. … 1973: Secretariat won the Preakness Stakes, the second of his Triple Crown victories.

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