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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Woman infected with smallpox escapes isolation ward

Doris Dunn, who had contracted the pox and been confined to an isolation hospital, escaped and was at large. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Doris Dunn, who had contracted the pox and been confined to an isolation hospital, escaped and was at large. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Doris Dunn was confined to the smallpox ward at the isolation hospital – but not for long.

Dunn climbed through a window and dropped 18 feet to the ground. She had not been seen since.

It had been an eventful few weeks for Dunn. She was the landlady of the Midway Hotel at 31 W. Main, when police raided it. She was arrested on charges of vagrancy and running a disorderly house.

While she was awaiting trial, she was sent to the Rivercrest Hospital for treatment of an unspecified malady. While there, she developed a case of smallpox and was sent to the contagion, or isolation, ward.

Police believe her escape was aided by friends, and they believed she was hiding somewhere in Spokane.

From the circus beat: More than 16,000 people attended multiple performances of the Sells-Floto Circus.

A reviewer was particularly taken with Beatrice Sweeney, who “appears from the top of the tent when a small trunk opens,” and who hung by her teeth high up in the air and “spins like a gyroscope.”

Seven elephants “toss pretty girls about as if they were straws.” Miss Minnie Thompson rode on the tusks of an elephant, which was walking on its hind legs.

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