Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 52° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

100 years ago today in Spokane: North Spokane women want protection from evening attacks near Division and Astor street car line

 (SR Archive / The Spokesman-Review)
(SR Archive / The Spokesman-Review)

“Attacks on Maidens Must Stop,” said a headline, and the women of North Spokane adamantly agreed.

They were making plans to hire a private guard to protect young women at the end of the Astor and Division streetcar lines.

This was prompted by a series of late night attacks against young women. In the most recent incident, “a pretty young girl was attacked within a block of her home.” She was able to get away from the man, but she remained “in a highly nervous condition.” It was the fourth or fifth such assault; in only one case was the offender apprehended.

Mrs. M.A. Welsh of the local Mother’s Congress said it was time to take action.

“If the local police force is unable to protect women who return to their homes on the car lines in the evening, and the city authorities are not disposed to agree to the measures we propose to effect such protection, we shall take the matter of hiring a guard on our own,” said Mrs. Welsh.

At a mass meeting at the Hamilton School, the women of the area agreed to take up a subscription to pay for the guard, if necessary.

Mrs. Welsh noted that the city had tried to hire a woman police officer, “particularly to look after girls and young women,” but the department’s exam requirements “are so constructed that it is impossible for a woman to meet them.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.