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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: More than 90,000 register for chance at land on Colville Reservation

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives, 100 years ago

The final tally was in: More than 90,000 people registered for the Colville Reservation land allotment drawing. That was a considerable proportion of the population of the Inland Northwest.

“It is a motley crowd that throngs the registration booths,” The Spokesman-Review said. “Women dressed in the height of fashion brush elbows with the working man, farmer or miner, and carefully groomed clerks and salesmen line up alongside laundresses and scrubwomen. … ‘Treating’ is in evidence, and when two or more friends come together to the booth entrance, they vie with each other for first position at the cashier’s window, so they can ‘buy farms for the crowd.’ ”

Registration cost only a quarter. They were vying for a chance to win reservation lands that had not already been allotted to tribal members. Every tribal member had previously been allotted 80 acres.

From the shipwreck beat: C.J. Vedder (sometimes spelled Vetter) of Spokane received the happiest possible news: His son, Edward Vedder, had not drowned in a naval battle after all.

The younger Vedder was a merchant seaman who had been recruited to serve on the German warship Gneisenau, which was sunk by the British off the Falkland Islands. Most of the crew perished. Vedder was not listed among the survivors, and his father had long given up hope.

Now came word that the younger Vedder had been rescued from the icy waters and placed aboard an American merchant ship. He landed at San Francisco and was recovering from an eye wound. He planned to return to Spokane soon for a happy reunion with his family.

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