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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Spokane

100 years ago today in Spokane: German spy said to be plotting base near Spokane

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

California authorities claimed to be hot on the trail of “Madam H,” a suspected German spy.

This development came after an apparent falling-out among German spies, including a spy with Spokane connections, in several remote cabins in the San Gabriel Mountains of California.

Suspected spy John Knox was charged with killing another suspect, Herman Jakoplach. After Knox’s arrest, he spilled information about the mysterious Madam H, telling authorities she was a German woman who lived in a nearby mountain camp with her husband.

She often visited the three cabins of Knox, Jakoplach and Franz Schulenberg, an alleged German spy who was being held in San Francisco. Schulenberg was the man who supposedly conspired with Madam H to plant a colony of spies for Germany in the remote woods north of Spokane, close to the Canadian border.

Knox said that he and Jakoplach quarreled over Madam H on Christmas night, and Jakoplach was found dead the next day.

Authorities searched all three cabins. In Schulenberg’s, they found 50 pounds of dynamite, fuses and detonating caps.

From the ice-making beat: None of the lakes in Spokane had frozen yet, but the superintendent of the Diamond Ice and Fuel Co. said there was no cause for alarm.

“I think there is plenty of time yet for the lakes to freeze enough to get a good supply,” he said.

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