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Saturday, August 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Wobbly arrested on suspicion of daring robbery

From our archives,

100 years ago

The Industrial Workers of the World, aka Wobblies, were making news for two reasons.

In the most sensational story, Tom Ray, a Wobbly, was arrested on suspicion of committing three robberies over the last few days.

The most shocking robbery occurred at the Model Bakery. A man walked up to the cashier with a gun, grabbed $75 from the till and “turned his gun toward the diners while he backed out and disappeared in the crowds on the street.” The cashier, a waitress and two guests positively identified Ray as the robber.

He was also suspected of being the man who broke into the Marshall post office, blew the safe and escaped with cash and stamps. Officers found some items resembling those taken from the post office on Ray when he was arrested.

Ray was also suspected of holding up a lodge secretary in her office building. She, too, identified Ray.

Ray was arrested after he got in a fight at an employment office.

From the free speech file: City officials said they reached a peaceable settlement of the “free speech fight” with the Wobblies. The Wobblies agreed to get permits before holding street orations and agreed that they would stay off Main Street. In exchange, police were prepared to release the seven Wobblies arrested for violating the city’s street-speaking ordinance.

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