Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Martin J. Egan, 24, boarded a train in Butte, stepped off in Spokane, bought a revolver in a pawn shop, marched directly to the offices of the Pacific Mutual Film Co. on First Avenue and fired five shots at salesman J.C. Cloes.

Why? Because, he said, Cloes had enticed his sister to leave her husband in Butte and run off to Spokane.

“He wrote to all of our friends in Butte and bragged about it,” said Egan, from jail. Egan was arrested immediately after the shooting and regretted only one aspect: all five shots missed.

“On the square, did not one of my shots reach him?” he asked a reporter. “I don’t see how I could have missed him. You can say for me I am only sorry I did not kill him. I came all of the way from Butte for the purpose of getting him.”

Cloes, for his part, said the talk about how he wronged Egan’s sister was “all bosh.” He said she stopped in Spokane on the way to the coast and that she “went her way and I went mine.”

From the religion beat: The Episcopalian bishop of Montana, speaking at the church’s Pacific Coast conference in Spokane, assailed the poolroom, the dance hall and the moving picture show as “nurseries of vice and evil.” He also thundered against the establishment of “restricted districts” – areas where prostitution is allowed – as anti-Christian and atheistic. He said it leads only to “paralysis, blindness and the myriad diseases which fill our hospitals.”



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