Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The hat of F. Lewis Clark, a Spokane mining millionaire, was found in the surf at Santa Barbara, Calif. His body had not been found, but police believed he had committed suicide by jumping off a wharf. 

Clark and his wife had been in California for six weeks because of his health, which was described as “broken.” His behavior in the hours before his death was described as “peculiar,” and he was last seen walking away from a train depot near the wharf. 

His wife clung to hope he was still alive. Searchers were combing the beaches.

From the legal beat: City attorney H.M. Stephens filed an affidavit of prejudice against Judge J. Stanley Webster, asking for a new trial in a parks-related condemnation case.

As described in the affidavit, the alleged prejudice was open and vitriolic. The affidavit reprinted the already-famous – at least among Spokane’s legal community – post-court confrontation in which an enraged Webster called Stephens a “white-livered cur” and a “rotten, poor loser.” The judge also offered to “beat your damned head off.”

In fact, during the confrontation, the judge suggested Stephens file an affidavit of prejudice, instead of “inciting and instigating” attacks against him in the press.

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