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100 years ago in Spokane: Business leaders counting how many troops Inland Northwest can muster as war becomes likely

The Spokane Chamber of Commerce ordered a “war survey” to determine how many fighting men could be mustered from the “Inland Empire,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 20, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Spokane Chamber of Commerce ordered a “war survey” to determine how many fighting men could be mustered from the “Inland Empire,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 20, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)

War weighed heavily on the minds of Spokane residents as tensions grew with Germany.

The Spokane Chamber of Commerce ordered a “war survey” to determine how many fighting men could be mustered from the “Inland Empire.”

“It is estimated the Inland Empire can turn out a fighting force of more than 50,000 men between the ages of 18 and 32,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

“Now that war is inevitable, the United States will be compelled to defend her honor on the high seas and prevent as much as possible the destruction of American lives and commerce in violation of international laws,” said a resolution presented to the chamber. “Armed measures wil be necessary and a call to arms is probable. The citizens of the Inland Empire, in their loyalty and patriotic fidelity to their flag, will flock to the defense of their country …”

In a related story, 65 young Spokane men banded together to form an informal military corps. They planned to drill and learn rudimentary military tactics from three veterans of the Spanish-American War.

From the art beat: Meanwhile, young people still were making plans for a more peaceful future. John Cronin of Spokane was selected as a finalist for a three year art scholarship to the American Academy of Rome, “to develop and achieve” the “elevation of American art.”

Cronin was a graduate of Gonzaga University and was taking graduate courses in architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



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