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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Doctors suspected of bootlegging prescriptions

 (Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)
(Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane County sheriff suspected that a normally respectable group of citizens – the city’s doctors – were actually in cahoots with bootleggers.

“I am inclined to think there are a few doctors who write out prescriptions and cooperate with some drug store that is supplied with booze,” said the sheriff. “That kind of business is bootlegging. … If we find any doctor is sending a lot of patients with liquor subscriptions, he should be arrested.”

A loophole existed in the state prohibition law which allowed drug stores to supply liquor “for medicinal purposes.” However, some drug stores “seem to have a big demand for whiskey since the state went dry,” he said.

People were getting prescriptions from friendly doctors, who were in cahoots with certain drug stores, and getting all of the whiskey they wanted.

It was, said the sheriff, “making a farce of the law.” He promised to crack down on it.

From the war beat: Spokane bade a brave farewell to 29 men heading off to war.

“Some tears were shed by mothers and sweethearts, but the general tendency was to make the occasion one of joy,” said The Spokesman-Review. “Waving the drafted men godspeed, hundreds of people crowded the waiting room and platform at the station, from which the soldiers left for Camp Lewis at American Lake.”

“I have given up a good job to join the colors,” said Richard J. Barry, a former traveling salesman turned soldier. “When I found that it was up to me to go, I balanced my books, as it were, put my affairs in order and then told Uncle Sam I was ready. I want to go to France at the earliest possible moment and would like to see the whole thing through after I start.”

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