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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Cooperative effort brought Irish war orphan to Spokane aunt

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane was celebrating the arrival of little Nanette Harvey, 5, a war orphan who made a 7,000-mile journey from her native Ireland.

Her father had been killed onboard a British warship a year ago, and her mother died soon after. Her aunt, Mrs. Gerald Delaney of Spokane, “decided to make a home for her little niece.”

But how to get her here? She did not know anybody in Ireland who would undertake the journey with the little girl.

So she consulted the local assistant city passenger agent for the Northern Pacific railroad. The agent then managed the whole expedition “magnificently,” Delaney said

He arranged for Nanette to cross to New York on the Cunard steamer Tuscania. “All the passengers and crew were kind to the little orphan” and made sure she was safe.

Then, on arrival in New York, she was met by a Spokane man sent there by the passenger agent. He placed her onboard the westbound train. The train officials “paid every care and attention to her needs and comforts.”

After arriving in Spokane, she was silent until she saw the Red Cross headquarters in the Paulsen Building and exclaimed, “Look, look, the Red Cross!”

“This broke the ice and made her feel at home, as the Red Cross is displayed on every street in Belfast,” said the paper, presumably with slight exaggeration.

After arriving at her aunt’s house, she was soon happily playing.

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