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100 years ago today in Spokane: Washington State’s famous football coach ‘Lonestar’ Dietz pursues acting career

From The Spokesman-Review archives. (S-R)
From The Spokesman-Review archives. (S-R)

W.H. “Lone Star” Dietz, the famous football coach of Washington State College, was planning to pursue his other career: movie actor.

He signed a contract with the Washington Motion Picture Corporation, the new movie studio founded in Spokane by Tyrone Power.

Dietz had already appeared in a number of movies in California, often playing Indian characters. He said he was signing with the new Spokane studio because he believed it had the potential to create “a true screen portrayal of the interesting features of Indian life.”

This proved to be an optimistic prediction, since the studio would fizzle almost immediately. Meanwhile, Dietz’s own contention that he was of Native American heritage would later be challenged in court.

From the Idaho beat: First, the Coeur d’Alene River country had been devastated by floods, caused by rain falling atop several feet of snow in the mountains. Thousands of dollars in damage were reported. The railroad line between Wallace and Harrison was cut, because nearly every bridge had been washed out. More than 400 miles of highway were damaged and retaining walls along Placer Creek in Wallace were largely destroyed.

Now, the weather had turned and the region was “in the grasp of the coldest weather experienced during this winter.” Temperatures had plunged to zero.

While the frigid temperatures brought their own problems, it also provided relief from the floods and allowed some repair work to proceed.