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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Man shoots, kills store owner

A man shot and killed the owner of the Star Millinery store on Riverside Avenue in a dispute over getting paid, The Spokesman-Review reported on June 7, 2016. (The Spokesman-Review)
A man shot and killed the owner of the Star Millinery store on Riverside Avenue in a dispute over getting paid, The Spokesman-Review reported on June 7, 2016. (The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives, 100 years ago

Alphonso Pansiera, 29, an Italian, walked into the Star Millinery store on Riverside Avenue and demanded to speak with the owner, Theodore Tobiason, a Norwegian.

Pansiera claimed that Tobiason owed him money from work he did as a roaming salesman selling clothes and hats to his fellow Italian miners and loggers. Pansiera claimed that he had tried several times to get Tobiason to pay what he was owed.

But this time the argument grew heated. Tobiason asked Pansiera to step out on the sidewalk to discuss the matter further.

Then, in Pansiera’s own words to a reporter, “I guess I pulled my revolver and shot.”

Tobiason tried to run back in the door, but Pansiera pursued and shot him four times. Tobiason died of his wounds. Pansiera fled.

A bystander ran after Pansiera and pinioned his arms until police arrived and arrested him for murder.

From the beer beat: More than 70,000 petition-signers made their position clear: They wanted their beer back.

The “beer bill” petition called for an initiative that would make the manufacture and sale of beer once again legal in Washington. Beer and all other forms of alcohol had been banned under the state’s current prohibition law.

The petition, not surprisingly, had been sponsored by three brewing companies in Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia. Yet the sponsors apparently had little trouble finding willing signers.

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