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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Robbers dead, wounded after Davenport safe heist goes awry

Police believed the two “yegg men” (safe robbers), who were shot after a blowing a safe in Davenport, were responsible for long string of robberies.

One of the Spokane men, E.L. Lucas, was dead and the other C.H. Lea was wounded and in jail.

Lawmen in Davenport responded to a jewelry store after hearing an explosion. They saw two men run out of the store. The sheriff ordered them to stop, but they kept running. The town marshal arrived from the other direction and also ordered them to stop. Instead, they fired at the marshal.

The marshal took aim with his high-powered rifle and shot them both.

“The getting of these two is one of the big catches of the year,” said a federal postal inspector. He said “these two have been on most of the robberies in surrounding towns in other weeks.”

The Spokane Daily Chronicle noted a “romance” angle to the story. Lea, while lying wounded in jail, believed he was dying and wrote up an impromptu will on scraps of paper.

He bequeathed all of his earthly possessions to “my sweetheart, Miss Louise Murray of Seattle.” He wrote that he had $600 in a safe deposit box at Fidelity National Bank in Spokane.

Lea had also made arrangements to give $80 to Lucas’s widow, apparently to pay for funeral arrangements.

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