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Thursday, October 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Milkmen demand 1 day off in 7

Spokane milkmen were on the verge of a strike, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on April 30, 1919. They were demanding one day off a week, overtime for more than eight hours work in a day and better pay. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane milkmen were on the verge of a strike, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on April 30, 1919. They were demanding one day off a week, overtime for more than eight hours work in a day and better pay. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane milkmen were on the verge of a strike.

They were demanding one day off a week, overtime for more than eight hours work in a day and better pay.

“Our wages are low enough now to make it difficult to support a family so we can not accept a reduction in order to secure reasonable hours,” said Carl R. Meserve, of the Milk Wagon Drivers’ union.

Dairies weren’t sympathetic to milkmen working less than every day.

“The milk business must run seven days a week. The cows give milk on the seventh day the same as any other day and babies need it then just as they do on other days of the week,” said Fred Martin of the Hazelwood dairy. “Just as long as these men remain in the milk business they must expect to work seven days a week.”

Meanwhile, the Teamsters’ and Chauffeurs’ union delayed a strike to allow for more negotiations.

From the mystery beat: There was more news on Lillian Davis, the 19-year-old “mystery girl” who was booked into jail after being accused of stealing a coat. She had said that her father was wealthy and living in Juneau, Alaska, but that was appearing unlikely.

Police suspected she might “be a member of a clever ring of shoplifters.”

“A theory that she is a kleptomaniac has been advanced by the police to account for the great cache of jewelry and clothing found in her room in the YWCA,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported.

From the estate beat: Smith Hilliard, the president of Farmers’ State Bank in Uniontown, left a significant estate to his wife and daughter. Hilliard died April 15 as a result of suspected food poisoning along with his son-in-law, William H. Button, and Button’s father, C.W. Button. Others who had eaten the “hearty dinner” had gotten sick. Investigators suspected the ice cream or the Belgian hare.

His estate was estimated at $350,000.

Jim Kershner is on sabbatical.

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