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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘Enemy aliens’ arrested for failing to register

Two brothers were brought from deep in the woods by federal agents, picked up as ‘enemy aliens’ for failing to register. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Two brothers were brought from deep in the woods by federal agents, picked up as ‘enemy aliens’ for failing to register. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Two brothers, George and Leonard Loetz, ages about 45 and 50, were nabbed by federal agents in the mountains north of Chewelah.

They were charged with failing to register as enemy aliens. They had emigrated from Germany 17 years ago and homesteaded, first in Canada and then in the woods near Chewelah. They were both “proficient as millwrights.”

All German-born people were required to register, but it was possible the Loetz brothers did not know that.

They resided deep in the “tall uncut,” said the paper, and had never seen a town bigger than Colville. When officers brought them to Spokane, they “experienced their first ride on an electric streetcar” and “clapped their hands when they saw the Old National Bank building and acted as though there were tickled to death.”

One of them bought $1,300 in Liberty bonds (war bonds) after he was arrested, which would probably count in his favor. Buying Liberty bonds was considered a patriotic act.

From the fire beat: Explosions rocked Cheney at 10:30 a.m. – and suddenly flames leaped into the sky.

The F.M. Martin Grain and Milling Co. was ablaze. The entire plant burned to the ground within an hour, along with massive amounts of wheat, flour and feed.

The cause of the explosions was unclear. Most of the loss was covered by insurance, but a great deal of wheat was lost at a time of international shortage.

Luckily, construction was well underway on a new fireproof building, which had been started a month before. The new building “will be rushed to completion.”

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