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Friday, February 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘War’ brewing between rival bootleggers

Local bootlegger gangs were at war, squabbling with each other, robbing each other, and informing on each other to authorities. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Local bootlegger gangs were at war, squabbling with each other, robbing each other, and informing on each other to authorities. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane’s bootleggers were at war with each other, said a local prosecutor.

The war came to light after two Spokane police officers were suspended when they made an unauthorized trip to Chattaroy, reportedly on a tip to catch some bootleggers.

The prosecutor claimed that one bootlegging ring was headed by a man “prominent in Spokane life.” He was “clever enough to have avoided all the traps set by the police, who have known about him for several months.”

The rival rings were squabbling with each other, robbing each other, and informing on each other to authorities.

From the theater beat: The Auditorium Theater had already sold out every ticket for the appearance of Harry Lauder, legendary Scottish music-hall performer, scheduled a week hence.

The theater manager was hoping to place 150 chairs on the stage, but had not yet been given permission to do so.

Lauder was said to be the highest paid performer in the world. He was known for such Scottish-themed songs as “Roamin’ in the Gloamin’,” and “I Love a Lassie.”

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