Jim Kershner’s this day in history

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 23, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

Passengers on a train near Murray, Idaho, were witnesses to a wild spectacle. A yearling bear was spotted near the tracks and the train stopped “while the crew, passengers and all persons in the neighborhood went on the hunt for the bear.”

The bear climbed a tree and a big lumberjack named Bill Nelson climbed up after it with a rope. Somehow a branch broke and Nelson and the bruin fell into the swamp. A mad scramble ensued and the bear escaped.

The bear then climbed a telegraph pole. Nelson got a rope around the bear, but when it fell, the rope came loose and the bear escaped again.

Everyone hunted for an hour and finally found the bear in some brush.

The bear clawed one of its pursuers, but they finally tied it down with a rope. They dragged the bear to the train “and the journey was continued, not one of the passengers regretting the delay.”

From the jail beat: John McGinty, 40, needed a place to sleep so he went to Spokane police headquarters and asked if he could spend the night in the jail. He was told that was contrary to departmental policy and that he should “hustle up a night’s lodging for himself.”

So McGinty did the logical thing: He went straight to the Cleveland Bar, smashed a window and got himself arrested for disorderly conduct.

He spent a happy night in jail.


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