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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Fri., Oct. 4, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

Elial Ketchum, 14, the son of a railroad freight agent in Spokane, had vanished for five days. Bulletins were issued, asking people to be on the lookout for the missing boy.

Then a telegram arrived from Seattle that read: “Dear Dad: Am at Hatt’s. Will remain here till I get word. Please wire money as soon as you get this. Your loving son, Elial.”

His parents were relieved – but also a little miffed. They said they had no idea how he managed to get to Seattle, since he had only a dime in his pocket. They suggested that maybe he talked some train-men into giving him a free ride, or hitched a ride in an auto.

They said that “outside of his wanderlust,” he had been a model son. They were on the way to Seattle to bring him home.

From the immigration beat: A Swedish Methodist minister said he expected an influx of Swedes in Spokane for one reason: the Panama Canal. 

The canal recently opened, and the reverend said it would make it much easier for Swedes to get to the West.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1957: The Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into orbit. … 1991: Twenty-six nations, including the United States, signed the Madrid Protocol, which imposed a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in Antarctica.

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