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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Skeletal mystery perplexes cops

The discovery of a skeleton buried in a site near East Sprague was perplexing Spokane’s police. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The discovery of a skeleton buried in a site near East Sprague was perplexing Spokane’s police. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane police were trying to unravel the “Mystery of the Skeleton.”

Workers excavating a new mill site on East Sprague Avenue had unearthed a skeleton that had been there for 10 to 20 years.

Police were called in and finished digging up the bones. Officers immediately began speculating about the identity of the skeleton.

“Murder,” said some.

“Gypsy bands are said to have lived near here,” said others.

“I should not be surprised if he had been a railroad worker, buried there during the construction of the Northern Pacific,” said the coroner.

Police were looking into lists of all of the men who had disappeared in the last 20 years under suspicious circumstances, but so far none seemed to match the details of the skeleton.

From the entertainment beat: Harry Lauder, one of the world’s premier entertainers, thrilled Spokane audiences at the Auditorium Theater.

“Harry Lauder is still the king of entertainers, with his Scotch songs – the same old, light-hearted Harry who keeps his audience roaring with laughter,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle reviewer. “But now there is something different about him. Not once, but many times last night, persons all over the big auditorium stopped laughing to wipe tears from their eyes. For Lauder laughs when his heart is broken, for the only son who was killed ‘over there.’”

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