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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: City’s heaviest cop down in pounds; paper cites wartime austerity

The Spokane Daily Chronicle on Feb. 1, 2018 took a break from war news to write a tongue-in-cheek story about Dan Phelan, “one of Spokane’s heaviest cops.” He weighed only 238 pounds – down by 77 pounds from his prime. (Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokane Daily Chronicle on Feb. 1, 2018 took a break from war news to write a tongue-in-cheek story about Dan Phelan, “one of Spokane’s heaviest cops.” He weighed only 238 pounds – down by 77 pounds from his prime. (Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Daily Chronicle took a break from war news to write a tongue-in-cheek story about Dan Phelan, “one of Spokane’s heaviest cops.”

He weighed only 238 pounds – down by 77 pounds from his prime.

“I’m afraid I’m failing,” Dan groaned with affected sadness. “On the square. I only weigh 238 pounds, the least I have weighed in 12 years. It must be this graveyard shift that did it.”

The paper speculated that he had been “Hooverizing,” which was the wartime term for economizing on food. The term was named for Herbert Hoover, who was in charge of the nation’s food conservation program, but the paper noted that Phelan had apparently “been Hooverizing before Herb Hoover was ever heard of.”

He was down from a peak of 315 pounds (although the headline scrambled the digits and erroneously said 135 pounds).

The 315 number was an estimate apparently, since the police department’s scales were only intended to weigh objects under 300 pounds.

From the war beat: Lewis Wilhelm, a German native, was jailed in Spokane as an enemy alien. He had already served 30 days in Dayton for “unpatriotic utterances” while working as a cook at a camp near Dayton.

Wilhelm denied being disloyal and said he was willing to go into the army.

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