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Wednesday, January 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A divorce filing in Oklahoma had Spokane readers buzzing. The wife of R.T. Daniel, owner of many downtown Spokane business blocks, was suing him for cruelty and what the paper called “persistent penury.”

Daniel had moved away from Spokane years ago, but was now said to be the richest millionaire in Oklahoma. Despite that, according to his wife, he was an enormous cheapskate.

She said he had given her only $15 in their entire married life; that he notified all stores not to give her merchandise on credit; and that he “carries the key to the pantry and dishes out the daily rations.” She also claimed he had “knocked her down and cursed her in the presence of the children and servants.”

The story was made even juicier by the fact that Daniel had once run for U.S. Congress in Oklahoma, and during the campaign had “published a 26-page booklet that fairly teemed with love of home, fondness of fireside and respect for the womanly and motherly.”

After acquiring his extensive Spokane property, Daniel had gone on to real estate development in Miami, Washington, D.C. (where he met his wife, daughter of a former solicitor general) and Tulsa.

The paper estimated his net worth at over $3 million and said his monthly income from one Tulsa building alone was $25,000.

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