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100 years ago in Spokane: Woman, hailed as hero, dies from injuries sustained weeks earlier in buggy crash

Miss Ella M. Long, 44, of Bluestem, Wash., died from injuries she sustained in a buggy crash, but she was credited with saving the life of a 2-year-old, The Spokesman-Review reported on Aug. 25, 2016. (The Spokesman-Review)
Miss Ella M. Long, 44, of Bluestem, Wash., died from injuries she sustained in a buggy crash, but she was credited with saving the life of a 2-year-old, The Spokesman-Review reported on Aug. 25, 2016. (The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives, 100 years ago

Miss Ella M. Long, 44, of Bluestem, Washington, saved a 2-year-old girl – but paid for it with her life.

She was driving a buggy between Bluestem and Davenport when the horse panicked and began to run. She knew the buggy was about to wreck, so she took the 2-year-old – the child of a friend – in her arms and jumped.

The baby “alighted safely” but somehow Miss Long’s leg was caught between the spokes of the wheel and was fractured in several places.

Miss Long’s injuries were severe and she lingered at Sacred Heart Hospital for six weeks before she finally succumbed.

She was described as a prominent resident of Bluestem, about 11 miles south of Davenport, and was successful in business. She, along with a relative, managed the ranch where she lived.

From the escapee beat: Charles Turpin, the 15-year-old escapee from the Spokane County juvenile detention ward, was back in Spokane and told a story of a plan gone bad.

He said his rope blanket broke at the first knot and he fell 30 feet. He ended up with a broken jaw and a “tooth driven into the bone.” He was foggy about what happened next, but he thinks his fellow escapee, Orphel Jones, 13, carried him away before he finally regained consciousness.

Somehow, Turpin managed to make it all the way to the Canadian border before he was caught. He was currently in Sacred Heart Hospital recovering from his injuries. He vowed he would “never be in trouble again.”


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