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Tuesday, August 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: After dodging bullets overseas, 20-year-old dies in a fall

A 130 foot fall onto a concrete pylon killed Charles Fred Eberlin, 20, who had just returned from military service. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A 130 foot fall onto a concrete pylon killed Charles Fred Eberlin, 20, who had just returned from military service. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Charles Fred Eberlin, 20, just returned from wartime service, died after falling 130 feet from the Seventh Avenue bridge over Hangman Creek.

He had just resumed his job as an electrical worker with Washington Water Power Co., and he had gone to the bridge to wind a clock that controlled the lights of the bridge.

He fell into one of the bridge’s hollow concrete pillars.

From the labor beat: Spokane workers, who had gone to Puget Sound shipyards in droves during the war in Europe, were now returning in droves.

Local moving companies reported unusual demand from people moving back, and the city’s landlords reported brisk demand for rental houses and apartments.

From the flu beat: Spokane’s Sunday school classes were allowed to resume after being banned for months due to the flu epidemic. This was part of a larger lifting of the ban, announced the day before.

The city health officer was also working on a plan to reopen card games and billiards rooms, with some new rules to prevent overcrowding.

There was one disconcerting bit of news amidst all of the optimism. Six new flu deaths were recorded, bringing the official death toll to 424.

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