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Sunday, August 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago near Plummer, Idaho: Man who testified in favor of Potlatch Lumber found hanging from tree

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Potlatch Lumber Co. laborer named Dan Pavich was called to court to testify in a lawsuit brought against the company by a widow named Mileta Milacich over the death of her husband.

Pavich, described as “Austrian” (a catchall term for anyone from Eastern Europe), testified on the company’s behalf, yet during his testimony he “openly expressed fear that he would be harmed for giving testimony injurious to his countryman’s case.”

The company’s attorney told him not to be afraid and that “his countrymen would not harm him.”

Several days later, Pavich was found hanging from a pine tree near Plummer. His body was suspended from a limb by “two neckties tightly fastened around his neck.”

The company believed that Pavich was indeed the“victim of a plot” stemming from his testimony. The company hired two national detective agencies, who were now investigating the circumstances of Pavich’s death.

From the free speech beat: The question of street speaking was once again hotly debated in a “stormy” Spokane City Council meeting.

An unlikely alliance consisting of the Wobblies (members of the radical Industrial Workers of the World) and Sister Flora Bilkiss, street evangelist, angrily accused the council of trying to restrict their right to hold meetings and deliver speeches on the street.

“We fought the city government six years ago and made it climb down from its position,” said one Wobbly. “There’ll be a change in our methods this next time. We shall ignore the City Council, which is merely the mouthpiece of the moneyed class, and strike direct at the moneybags of the merchants.”

“Amen,” chimed in Sister Bilkiss.

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