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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘A lot of work’ to keep a one-legged man out of the army

A women’s rally drew war-time fervor. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A women’s rally drew war-time fervor. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A group of 200 women, gathered to organize a war bond drive, cheered enthusiastically when a speaker declared, “The only thing to do now is get in and lick H—L out of Germany!”

They also approved of another speaker who said he would rather have a committee of women than men, because the men were enthusiastic at lunches and then went to their offices and forgot about it. But women went out and worked.

From the prohibition beat: Dr. W.Q. Webb, a Spokane pioneer physician, pled guilty to writing 241 prescriptions for whiskey.

Not all of these patients, said the court in an understatement, actually required whiskey for medical purposes.

A contrite Dr. Webb said he would never issue another prescription for liquor again, “except in an emergency case.”

He was fined $50 and released.

From the draft beat: Howard Beaton saw his name listed as a “deserter,” much to his surprise, for failing to show up to his draft call.

He went immediately to the Spokane draft board and showed the commissioner the reason why.

“Beaton, to my great surprise, showed that he has but one good leg, the other being an artificial limb,” said the commissioner.

Beaton said he had received no draft notice and didn’t think he was eligible, in any case, because of his disability.

The commissioner agreed, but said it wasn’t that simple. Beaton would have to fill out forms, apply to the district board, and then apply to the commander at Camp Lewis (Fort Lewis) to get his desertion charge expunged from the record.

“It seems (it takes) a lot of red tape to keep a one-legged man out of the army,” said the commissioner. “But the rules must be obeyed.”

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