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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Four men had been “squatting” at the land office at Spokane’s Federal Building for more than a week, awaiting the opening date for filing on their homestead claims in the “Calispel region of Stevens County.”

“Each man has a light reclining chair that can be opened into a sort of couch,” the paper said. Others brought them food and they passed the time with “newspapers, magazine or pipe.”

They were afraid they would otherwise lose the homesteads they had worked to improve.

“In the case of the man at the head of the line, more than six years of hard work on a woodland farm lies behind his patience and anxiety,” the paper reported.

They were all afraid that the Northern Pacific Railroad would “swoop down and file on their claims if they relax the watch.”

From the baby names beat: A columnist urged readers not to saddle babies with a “hideous first name.”

She said many babies are “saddled with the most awful atrocities.” For example, Georgiana or Ebenezer. 

She also warned parents against giving girls flower names, which “usually imply a certain type of face or coloring which the unfortunate owner does not possess.” Example: “a dark, ruddy Lily.”

She believed “the good old names were best,” such as John, Henry, Robert and William for boys and Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Agnes and Katherine for girls.