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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Chinese community concerned after gang members reportedly flee from Portland

Police were on the lookout for three Chinese tong members – meaning, members of notorious Chinese gangs – who were believed to be hiding in Spokane after fleeing from Portland, The Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 5, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Police were on the lookout for three Chinese tong members – meaning, members of notorious Chinese gangs – who were believed to be hiding in Spokane after fleeing from Portland, The Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 5, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Police were on the lookout for three Chinese tong members — meaning, members of notorious Chinese gangs.

They were believed to be hiding in Spokane after fleeing from Portland, “where two of their countrymen have been killed in a tong war.” Now, police were worried that the tong war would spread to Spokane.

Spokane’s Chinese community “fear that their lives are in danger and a half dozen of them have called at the police station and asked protection from the local department.” One man told police he was afraid to leave his home and has forbidden his wife from even going to the front door.

“All of the local Chinamen are using every precaution,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle. However, they refused to tell police how they learned that the three tong members were hiding in Spokane.

The paper reported that two Chinese had also been killed in “a similar uprising” in Seattle.

From the missing persons beat: Three Spokane girls still were missing after vanishing from their homes two or three days earlier. Police said they now believed that one of them, Mildred Peters, 13, had been kidnapped.

The other two girls, said police, were last seen “entering a large automobile in which two young men were passengers.”

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