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Wednesday, August 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Altman family learns of second son killed in World War I

For the second time in a month, a messenger delivered bad news to the home of Mr. and Mrs. M. Altman of Spokane. Their son, Sgt, John Altman, had died of his wounds in battle.

A month before, they had received news that another son, Sgt. Theodore Altman, had died in France. A third Altman son, Pvt. Peter Altman was lying wounded in a hospital in France. Two other sons were also in the army.

The Chronicle said that the Altmans’ record of sacrifice was “unequaled by any family in Spokane.” This did not make the news any easier to take.

“We didn’t even know that John had been in action when the telegram came telling of his death,” said Mr. Altman. “It makes it so much harder to receive such a telegram, now that the fighting has stopped.”

From the transportation beat: A new Spokane corporation planned to put Army veterans to work in a relatively new method of transporting goods: motor truck lines.

The Highway Motors Transportation Co. intended to launch a 15-truck fleet “on nine routes radiating from Spokane and embracing the principal close-in towns of the Inland Empire,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle. The destinations included Moscow, Newport, Coeur d’Alene, Creston, Ritzville and Rathdrum.

This was a harbinger of a new era in which trucks would increasingly draw freight business away from railroads. The company offered a service that railroads could not match: “door to door delivery.”

The company predicted that they would soon be adding more trucks to the fleet.

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