Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Washington Gov. Ernest Lister laid the cornerstone of the Cheney Normal School (which evolved into Eastern Washington University) in front of a crowd of 2,000.

It was the third cornerstone laid in that spot. The school’s main building had burned to the ground twice before in the preceding quarter-century. The new building was erected after the most recent devastating fire, in April 1912.

The event began with a parade from downtown Cheney. The student body gathered on bleachers and sang the school song, “Red and White.” 

Gov. Lister’s talk mostly concerned with the high cost of taxation for the state’s colleges.

“Are we getting our money’s worth?” he asked. “That’s all the taxpayers want. … One of our greatest obstacles to be overcome in this state is the high cost of taxation.”

He said educational work in Washington must be better in the future.

From the accident beat: A Freeman farmer was out in his field when he was struck by lightning and killed.

The lightning bolt broke the hoe he had in his hand, split his shoes in half and set his clothes on fire. His son, 14, was with him at the time and ran screaming to the house for help. But his father died instantly. 

Two small holes showed where the farmer stood when the bolt entered the ground.

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