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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A county judge suggested a novel solution to the “lazy husband” problem: A “lazy husband wood-cutting pen” next to the Spokane County Jail.

Men convicted under the “lazy husband” ordinance – which made it a crime to fail to provide for one’s family – would be set to work sawing a vast quantity of timber the county had harvested from its honor ranch.

Justice Fred H. Witt said he “was spurred to action when he discovered he has sentenced half a dozen husbands to jail, but none are employed.”

The men’s families would be given 50 cents per cord for the wood sawed.

From the swimming beat: Miss Miriam C. Baldwin performed a daring feat at Twin Lakes, Idaho – she swam across the lower lake from Excelsior Beach to Hock’s Hotel in 28 minutes.

A large crowd gathered to cheer her on. The crowd got nervous when a strong breeze sprang up about halfway through the swim. One wave washed the bathing cap from Baldwin’s head.

The rescue boat was near at hand, but she refused to give up. Five other swimmers started with her, but none finished.

A year before, a woman from Chicago had crossed the lake at the same point, but her time was 35 minutes. These two women were believed to be the only two who had ever swum across the lake.

Miss Baldwin used the side-stroke almost exclusively, and she said only that she “felt a little fatigued at the end.”

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