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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Montana: Spokane girl dies after suffering from diptheria on a stalled train

A family returning to Spokane from a visit in Duluth when the train became stalled for 24 hours outside of Harlowton, Mont. That’s when the parents learned that their 4-year-old daughter’s seemingly harmless sore throat was, in fact, diptheria, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on April 20, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A family returning to Spokane from a visit in Duluth when the train became stalled for 24 hours outside of Harlowton, Mont. That’s when the parents learned that their 4-year-old daughter’s seemingly harmless sore throat was, in fact, diptheria, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on April 20, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Mr. and Mrs. Chester Styff, of Spokane, were compelled to watch their daughter, Violet, 4, suffer the ravages of diptheria – far from medical help.

They were returning to Spokane from a visit in Duluth when the train became stalled for 24 hours outside of Harlowton, Mont. Only then did they discover that her seemingly harmless sore throat was, in fact, diptheria.

“Nothing could be done for the child until the train was able to proceed,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

The train finally proceeded to Deer Lodge, Montana, where she was taken to a hospital. The entire train car was quarantined. Doctors gave her “10,000 units of antitoxin” – yet Violet could not be saved.

Her parents returned to Spokane with her body.

From the graduation beat: The senior girls of North Central High School voted to abolish flowers at their June commencement exercises.

The money they would have spent on flowers – about $50 – would instead be donated to the Red Cross for war relief.

The girls had previously voted to wear roses at the ceremony, but that was before the U.S. entered the European war.

The girls’ faculty director, Miss Jessie Gibson, “highly commended” the decision by the girls.

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