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Friday, May 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago today in Spokane: Prominent widow dies in Spokane River; plans for Centennial Mill announced

Mrs. Kate Robinson, 72, the widow of a prominent Spokane builder and real estate man, committed suicide by throwing herself in the Spokane River, The Spokesman-Review reported on May 26, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Mrs. Kate Robinson, 72, the widow of a prominent Spokane builder and real estate man, committed suicide by throwing herself in the Spokane River, The Spokesman-Review reported on May 26, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A 72-year-old woman – described by the paper as a “deranged” widow – ended her life in the way she had foretold, by throwing herself in the Spokane River.

She was carried only a short distance before being tangled in the brush near the bank. Her body was found a day later.

Mrs. Kate Robinson was the widow of a prominent Spokane builder and real estate man. They arrived in Spokane in 1879 when it was still a small village.

Her husband died about 10 years before. She had disappeared briefly a month earlier and was found to be visiting friends. She joked at the time that “next time she would end it all in the river.”

A judge, a longtime friend, said that she had lately “been of a restless disposition and never was contented long in one place, showing evidences of senile decay.”

From the business beat: Plans were announced to build Centennial Mill, a large new flour mill, grain elevator and warehouse.

This new mill would have more than twice the capacity of any flour mill in the city and would be the largest west of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and St. Paul, Minnesota, the paper said.

It would mean that “Spokane will become the grain-buying center of the Northwest.”

The site was at Sprague Avenue and Ivory Street – where you can still see the big grain elevators today.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1917: A tornado in central Illinois killed 101 people, mostly in the Mattoon-Charleston area.

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