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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘Pioneer widow’ claims she was framed by police in bootlegging arrest

Mrs. Mattie Frost, a “pioneer widow,” was arrested for bootlegging at a local hotel, but she called it all a police “frame-up,” The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 21, 1917 (SR)
Mrs. Mattie Frost, a “pioneer widow,” was arrested for bootlegging at a local hotel, but she called it all a police “frame-up,” The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 21, 1917 (SR)

From our archives,

100 years ago

Mrs. Mattie Frost, a “pioneer widow,” was arrested for bootlegging at a local hotel, but she called it all a police “frame-up.”

Police said they caught her red-handed. When officers entered the room, she was filling glasses of whiskey for two customers.

An angry Mrs. Frost, however, told reporters a different story after she was released on bail.

“Two ‘stool pigeons’ of the police rented a room and invited me in there four or five times to have a drink,” she said. I was working outside in the hall, and finally stepped into their room. It was a frame-up against me.”

From the funeral beat: A funeral home chapel was filled to capacity for the funeral of Curly Jim (Silkoewoyeh), a well-known Spokane Tribe member. The front part of the chapel was filled with his fellow tribal members, but the rest of the chapel was filled with “white people of Spokane” who remembered Curly Jim as “stalwart and straight.”

Bazil Peone, a fellow tribal member, said that in his last conversation, Curly Jim offered some advice: “Send your children to school: Indians need education now.”

Peone and others were taking up a collection to erect a stone at Fairmount Cemetery, where Curly Jim was buried. This will “not only be a monument to the Indian who made his home in Spokane for so long a time, but a mark of the old home of his tribe.”

That monument never came about. However, in 2006, a 4-foot-tall stone monument was dedicated to him at what is now called Fairmount Memorial Park.

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