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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Local schoolmarm packs a pistol

Citing concern for her safety, a Spokane schoolteacher had taken to carrying a pistol. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Citing concern for her safety, a Spokane schoolteacher had taken to carrying a pistol. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A schoolteacher near Newport was packing heat – but not for the reasons some teachers are doing so today.

Miss Nan Mason armed herself with a revolver to protect herself from alleged pro-German sympathizers.

Miss Mason was rooming at a boarding house in Newport and became alarmed by what she considered to be the pro-German sentiments of the proprietor.

So she moved out. Meanwhile, the proprietor was arrested under the espionage act and Miss Mason was called as a witness at his hearing. It was “largely upon her testimony that he was bound over for trial in the United States Court,” said the paper.

In the aftermath, supporters of the proprietor “have been annoying Miss Mason and made threats against her.”

Which is why she became a pistol-packing schoolmarm.

From the club beat: Spokane was acquiring a branch of the Hip Sing Chinese Benevolent Association, which the Spokane Daily Chronicle described as “one of the oldest and largest of the oriental ‘tong’ organizations.”

Ying Gong, the secretary of the organization, said it was an order founded on philanthropic principles. It was also dedicated to doing patriotic work during the war.

The new branch, at 323 W. Trent, would be dedicated with a banquet, fireworks and a general celebration.

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