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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Tragedy at swimming hole on Hangman Creek

From our archives,100 years ago

The swimming hole on Hangman Creek, not far from Riverside Avenue, was the site of a tragedy.

Joseph Brenner, 8, and his brother John, 9, were clambering down the rocks to the pool. Joseph slipped on a rock and fell into the 10-foot-deep water. He started to swim to shore and made some progress. John ran out on a short diving board and extended a hand, but Joseph’s reaching fingers were just a few inches away. Joseph almost made it ashore, but he disappeared and did not come back up.

John ran to the their home a few blocks away. Their father, a baker, called police and ran to the swimming hole with some neighbors.

The patrol wagon went careening to the scene, but the driver lost control a few blocks from the scene and the wagon plunged down an embankment. A policeman suffered a serious back injury.

Meanwhile, a teenage neighbor dove into the pool and found Joseph’s body on the bottom. Strenuous attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful.

From the army beat: The Women’s Auxiliary of the Washington National Guard prepared 48 care packages for the local soldiers on the Mexican border.

What was in the packages? Tobacco, and lots of it.

Preparations were also being made to send books, writing paper and mirrors (presumably for shaving).

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