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Tuesday, March 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Vaudevillians bring more than their show to town

 (Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)
(Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)

The touring vaudeville performers at the Pantages Theater arrived with their own special baggage car, containing all of their luggage and props.

And it also contained contraband.

Spokane police raided the baggage car and found four trunks containing 308 pints of whisky.

It was the “largest haul made by the police in some time.”

Police weren’t certain who owned the trunks. They bore no identifying marks and were not necessarily owned by any of the performers. Police raided the baggage car after receiving a tip that someone was bringing in a load of booze from Missoula.

The trunks might have been stowed in the special baggage car by unknown persons in Missoula.

From the marriage beat: Marguerite Johnson, 18, a vaudeville singer, told a vivid tale of domestic strife to a Spokane judge.

She said her husband, Adrian Johnson, also a vaudeville performer, “tried to knock me down” several times and succeeded once.

“You see, he took my rings and pawned them and made a payment on an Overland (auto),” she told the court. “I told him not to take it, but he went right ahead and I grabbed the gun and tried to shoot a tire off. I missed it, though, and he got away.”

When the judge ordered the husband to stay away from her, he responded, “Believe me, I will not bother her any more, your honor.”

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