Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Bear attacks man at Interstate Fair

An animal attendant was injured at the Spokane Interstate Fair when he was attacked by a bear, The Spokesman-Review reported on Sept. 4, 1918. The newspaper also reported that Spokane Mayor C.M. Fassett would be the main orator at the funeral of James M. Comstock, a former Spokane mayor and one of the founders of the Crescent department store. (Spokesman-Review archives)
An animal attendant was injured at the Spokane Interstate Fair when he was attacked by a bear, The Spokesman-Review reported on Sept. 4, 1918. The newspaper also reported that Spokane Mayor C.M. Fassett would be the main orator at the funeral of James M. Comstock, a former Spokane mayor and one of the founders of the Crescent department store. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A caged bear at the Interstate Fair turned on Mike Welch, animal attendant, when Welch unwisely entered the cage without a club.

Welch was trying to drive three bears from one cage into another. Two of the bears moved into the second cage, but the third turned and jumped on Welch.

He tried to fight off the bear with his feet and hands. “but it finally got hold of the fleshy part of his arm below the elbow.” The bear’s teeth badly lacerated his arm before the bear was driven off. Two nurses who were at the fair treated his wounds and then he was taken to St. Luke’s.

From the crime beat: Cleopus Viens, 36, the kidnapper of Catherine Pluyms, 11, faced a new and more serious charge: criminal intimacy with a child.

After extensive questioning, Viens confessed “to intimacies with the child,” dating from last May.

Meanwhile, the Spokane Daily Chronicle was taking credit for helping capture Viens.

Mrs. M.W. Kosch of Cavendish, Idaho, near Elk River, had read the stories about the missing girl in the Chronicle.

“I had seen a man and a girl with a footsore, worn-out horse hitched to a buggy, she said. “I sized it up as queer.” Then she went back and looked at the Chronicle story, and “got busy with the wires (phones).” Shortly afterwards, Viens was apprehended in Elk River.


Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com

You have been successfully subscribed!