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Sunday, May 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices


Shooting tale evokes memory

Regarding the article honoring Sheriff Floyd Brower about the 1929 shooting in Pend Oreille County (Voices, May 21), I have a somewhat different opinion on what happened having resided on Boundary Road and conversations with local folk close to the scene of “Black Jack” Rowden’s demise.

Your use of the word “chased” would cloud the truth of the matter. But it does suggest that “frontier justice” was the order of that day. It was the local Pend Oreille posse that went to Rowden’s cabin eight miles on up Boundary Road, but Rowden would not surrender.

In 1929, Spokane law enforcement had acquired the Thompson submachine gun, firing 450 rounds per minute.

To that moment the weapon had not drawn blood. This out-of-Spokane County jurisdiction event became that moment.

Called for, the machine gun and its toter crossed out of Spokane County some 100 miles to a spectator crowd assembled to see this gun in action. The machine gun bullets sieved the little cabin with Rowden inside.

For years after, locals stopped at the site to pick bullets out of the trees and logs.

My hearsay here might well be subject to more scrutiny, but there is more to this than the chase.

Harry Bright


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