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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Bridget Kelly, caretaker of the J.W. Witherop home, was enduring a frightening stretch.

First, her employer went on a rampage with a gun, firing at her several times, and then taking his own life.

The widow asked her to remain in charge of the property until the estate was settled, and she agreed.

Then came a knock on the front door. An armed, masked man rushed in the door and Mrs. Kelly, nerves still fragile, fainted dead away.

When she awoke the masked man was holding a gun to her temple and an accomplice asked her where the jewels were. She said they had been given for safekeeping to a Mr. Rutter. This was untrue – they were actually hidden in the stove.

At that point, the men took Mrs. Kelly’s cash, ring and a few other items and fled.

Police were seeking the robbers, and doctors were treating Mrs. Kelly for hysteria.

From the accident beat: James Owen Black, 6, was racing down the Monroe Street hill on his Flexible Flyer sled. 

The surface was as smooth and icy as “that of a frozen pond.”

F.C. Farr, the president of the Spokane baseball club, was coming up the hill in his auto with his wife. He saw the young sledder racing down the hill toward him at high speed.

Farr drove as far to the side of the road as he could and stopped. The out of control sled kept coming and struck the car. The boy was killed instantly.


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