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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Long trek for would-be enlistee

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

Two contrasting stories with the theme of army enlistment ran side by side in The Spokesman-Review.

The first told of Walter Hosford’s trek of more than 500 miles – 259 miles on foot – to comply with the draft.

Hosford said he was in Aberdeen, Wash., when he realized that he had not received his draft questionnaire from Spokane County, where he was registered.

“I thought I had better start out and get back to Spokane, or I might not get into the service,” said Hosford.

So he started walking.

“I first walked from Aberdeen to Snohomish, which was about a 225-mile hike. I did not get my questionnaire there, so I went on to Everett. There was nothing doing at Everett, and I thought I had better get to Spokane about as quickly as I could. I started out on foot from Everett and made it all right to Gold Bar, where I found the snow was about 20 feet deep some places on the mountains, so I decided to ride on a freight.”

When he arrived in Spokane he told the draft board, “Here I am, and say, I want to get to Camp Lewis or some other place just as soon as they will take me.” The draft board was happy to oblige.

The second story was about the arrest of the assistant postmaster from Reardan, on charges of being a slacker (draft evader). He allegedly lied and said he was above draft age.

Also authorities had evidence that he refused to allow the Red Cross to have a booth in the post office, and refused to take out a membership. This was considered “unpatriotic.”

From the police beat: “Major” J.H. Stern, who falsely claimed to be a wounded British officer, was released by federal authorities after they determined no charges could be filed against him.

However, a city detective immediately rearrested him on charges of attempting to obtain credit at his hotel for falsely claiming to be a British officer.

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