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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago: Local troops stop briefly in Spokane after leaving Camp Lewis on way to Europe

Two long trains puffed into the city carrying four cavalry troops from Spokane, The Spokesman-Review reported on Sept. 12, 1917. They had been training at Camp Lewis and were now headed east for deployment to Europe. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Two long trains puffed into the city carrying four cavalry troops from Spokane, The Spokesman-Review reported on Sept. 12, 1917. They had been training at Camp Lewis and were now headed east for deployment to Europe. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Word spread through Spokane – the “boys” were coming through for a brief visit.

Two long trains puffed into the city carrying four cavalry troops from Spokane. They had been training at Camp Lewis and were now headed east for deployment to Europe.

Relatives and friends dropped everything and headed to the Spokane Armory. One of the troops, Troop D, marched to the armory, where “the boys greeted their families and lunched. They returned to their railcars after two hours.

The other troops remained at the depot, where a crowd gathered.

“Nobody came empty-handed to see the troops,” said the paper. “There were cigarettes, candy galore from the girls, baskets of fruit and hampers from home with mother’s pies, cakes and cookies. It seemed too bad that the poor fellows who had no friends had to go and purchase these luxuries and judging from the boxes which heaped every seat, there was enough for a whole army.”

Some of the visitors actually figured out ways to sneak on the train.

“Sometimes a mother or a sweetheart slipped into the train, the latter ofttimes via window and a pair of strong arms,” said the paper. “When the the order finally came releasing the privates, there was a miniature stampede.”

From the booze beat: A Spokane doctor was arrested for prescribing whiskey for his patients for “no good reason.”

The doctor argued that he certainly had good reason for prescribing whiskey. For instance, he gave one prescription to a man “with a broken leg, a pain in his shoulder, a pain in his stomach, and liver trouble.”

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