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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Tue., June 3, 2014

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane physician Dr. Wilbur H. Appleton testified in a divorce hearing that his wife, the actress Adelaide Laird Appleton, was addicted to whiskey and cigarettes.

He said there were frequently “whiskey bottles under the bed, in the bath room, on the couch and littering the floor.”

Appleton, who ran the Spokane General Hospital, met Adelaide when she was in the Jessie Shirley company, a well-known Spokane theatrical group. When he married her, he had no idea she had a problem with whiskey.

But he found out on their honeymoon, when he went fishing on a lake and returned to find his whiskey flask partly empty, some of his beer missing and an inebriated wife.

They lived in residences at the hospital, and he testified that she frequently “caroused with some of the nurses” and was once so drunk while she was present at a surgical operation, she had to be removed from the room. 

Adelaide’s side of the story had not yet been presented.

From the orchard beat: A disease called fire-blight was threatening the Spokane Valley’s vast fruit orchards. About 80 growers gathered at Otis Orchards to appoint a committee to study remedies. The state commissioner of agriculture said it “required prompt and drastic action.”


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