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Thursday, February 20, 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

About 40 Spokane waiters and waitresses descended on the Northern Pacific depot’s ticket booth, requesting free passes to Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks, where they had been promised jobs.

Unfortunately, these jobs were probably bogus. Police arrested W.B. Collins, a Spokane waiter, for obtaining money under false pretenses. Police said he extracted $6 from each of the waiters and waitresses as his fee for obtaining the jobs for them. Police were convinced it was a scam.

After the railroad refused to give the waiters and waitresses free passes, most of them abandoned the plan to work in the national parks. Most had already resigned their Spokane jobs, however. They were also out $6 each.

Collins, from his prison cell, insisted it was all on the up and up. He said he had been authorized by a national park hotel manager to secure the waiters and waitresses. He said he gave them all receipts, but now the “whole world is against me.” 

A hearing was scheduled.

From the driving beat: Local autoists were engaged in the Chicago-to-Seattle relay, which had a goal of beating the best railroad transit time between the two cities.

Harry L. Olive drove the Spokane to Coulee City stretch in three hours and 36 minutes, well ahead of schedule.

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