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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago: Wobblies roundup sweeps the region

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

The town marshal of Ione, along with 15 members of his “council of defense,” rounded up 30 Wobblies and forced them onto a train out of town.

“When the train passed through Newport, it was met by the home guard and other citizens, who prevented the men from Ione from leaving the train,” which continued on to Spokane.

Other such roundups and arrests occurred throughout the county. The paper said as many as 100 men had been driven out, and two men were arrested.

The Pend Oreille County logging camps were said to have been “more nearly in the control of the I.W.W. (Wobblies) than any other district of the Inland Empire.” Many of the logging camps had been thoroughly organized and headquarters had been established in Ione.

Citizens of Ione had protested that authorities had not been sufficiently diligent in dealing with the Wobblies. They persuaded the mayor to appoint a new town marshal, who organized the roundup.

One of those arrested was Roy Brown, a former Spokane Wobbly leader who was under indictment by a federal grand jury in Chicago. Brown was a familiar street-corner orator in Spokane, but he fled to Ione after the indictments.

When the raid was made on the Ione headquarters, Brown called the prosecuting attorney aside and told him he was one of the wanted men and was ready to surrender himself.

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