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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Prohibition eve not expected to be rowdy since saloons had closed

From our archives,

100 years ago

Police all over the state were preparing to “strictly enforce” the prohibition law, which would go into effect at midnight on New Year’s Eve. They were bracing for one last drunken revel, yet police also had reason to hope that New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be quite as rowdy. Many saloons had already closed and those that were left had sold off much of their liquor stock.

One Yakima prohibitionist said, “Let the ‘wets’ expend all their energy on the last night if they want to; we will go to bed and be ready at daylight January 1 to back up the officials in the rigid enforcement of the law.”

Oregon and Idaho were also going dry at midnight. Nationwide prohibition was still two years away.

From the police beat: Railroad workers found Mrs. Mattie Scribner, 50, curled up in a boxcar in Spokane’s rail yards, almost frozen to death. They revived her and brought her into the shop, but she took off on foot. Police found her in snowy brush, unconscious.

Mrs. Scribner had been reported missing from her home that morning. When she revived, she told officers, “I wanted to get to my daughter, and as I didn’t have any money, I thought I could walk there. I knew it was cold, but I thought I could walk fast enough to keep warm. I didn’t intend to ride in the boxcar, but crawled in to rest while it was dark.” Her daughter lived in Boxelder, Montana – more than 500 miles away.

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