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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The case of George and Winnie Brown (sometimes rendered as Brownell) went to the jury in Colfax.

The young married couple were accused of murdering her stepfather, Al Neeves, who had “foully wronged her” while her husband was away. Not only that, but Neeves was accused of inciting neighbor men into wronging her as well.

When George Brown returned and discovered what had happened, he and Winnie took to the hills to track Neeves to a barn in Colfax. They waited for him to emerge and shot him dead. Then they turned themselves in.

When the jury finally returned, they found the Browns “not guilty by reason of insanity.” They were committed to the Eastern State Hospital for the Insane at Medical Lake because the jury believed they were too dangerous to be at large.

They thought the couple might try to harm some of the other men who had “wronged” her.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1861: The first transcontinental telegraph message was sent by Chief Justice Stephen J. Field of California from San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., over a line built by the Western Union Telegraph Co. … 1940: The 40-hour workweek went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

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