Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 35° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: City boasts low death rate, ‘healthful’ climate

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

Spokane’s death rate for the first half of January 1918 was the lowest of all cities in the United States.

Its rate was 6.9 per 1,000 for those two weeks. By comparison, Seattle’s was 9.2, Portland’s was 9.6, and some cities were as high as 28 per 1,000.

This news made the front page of the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

But why was Spokane’s death rate so low? The story did not delve into that question.

However, in previous years, Spokane’s death rate had also been reported to be quite low and, at that time, the papers speculated that it was because Spokane had a particularly healthful climate.

Or, it may have been that Spokane had a younger-than-average population, since it was a relatively new city compared with most of the country. Or it could have been an anomaly, since this report measured only a two-week period. A report for the third week of January showed an uptick to 7.4.

From the vaudeville beat: Countess Verona, “a chic little person with raven ringlets and beauty of the gypsy type,” was a big hit at the Pantages Theater.

She played a “czymbalom” – or maybe a “czymablom,” the paper spelled it both ways. It was an “instrumental novelty – a sort of baby grand xylophone, full of tinkling and booming tones.”

The countess played it with “lightning speed and artistic appreciation in a manner that made the Sunday crowds clamor for more.”

Her “patriotic encore” was an especially big hit.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.