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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane County: Deputies discover cache of booze snuck in from Montana tossed from trains

Spokane sheriff deputies found a cache of 250 quarts of liquor in a snowbank next to the Great Northern railroad tracks near Colbert, The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 24, 1917. (Jonathan Brunt / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane sheriff deputies found a cache of 250 quarts of liquor in a snowbank next to the Great Northern railroad tracks near Colbert, The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 24, 1917. (Jonathan Brunt / The Spokesman-Review)

From our archive, 100 years ago

Spokane sheriff deputies found a cache of 250 quarts of liquor in a snowbank next to the Great Northern railroad tracks near Colbert.

Two men were found near the cache and arrested for bootlegging. The two men, however, said they were innocent.

“They insisted that they were ordinary hoboes and not engaged in illegal liquor importation.”

The deputies were acting on a tip that someone had seen the liquor tossed from a freight train.

Local residents said that they believed that bootleggers had discovered an ingenious method of importing liquor from Montana. They hop a freight car in Montana with gunnysacks of booze. Then, they wait until the train has to slow to a crawl at a grade near Colbert, where they toss their liquor into a snowbank and jump out after it.

Prosecutors were investigating.

From the trial beat: James Weston delivered more chilling testimony in trial of Robert A. Hood, accused of murdering hotel landlady Mrs. Margaret Braun.

Weston was one of two other men who accompanied Hood to Braun’s room in hopes of stealing $75 from her. They bought a few drinks from her – she was also a bootlegger – and then Hood put his arms around her neck and began choking her.

Then Hood tried to force a cloth into her mouth to keep her quiet. When he had trouble, he tried to “force the cloth into Mrs. Braun’s mouth with a chisel.” Then he threw the chisel to Weston, who used it to try to break the lock on her trunk.

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