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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: 3,000 welcome returning World War I soldiers at Great Northern Depot

Spokane gave a delirious welcome to hundreds of returning World War I soldiers at the Great Northern Depot, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 22, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane gave a delirious welcome to hundreds of returning World War I soldiers at the Great Northern Depot, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 22, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane gave a delirious welcome to hundreds of returning soldiers at the Great Northern Depot.

“Cheers from 3,000 voices. Whistles from dozens of factories. This was the welcome at 10 o’clock this morning,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

Dutch Jake Goetz’s famous cannon also boomed out a welcome.

The soldiers were from the 346th Field Artillery of the 91st Division, which included many Spokane men.

A reporter eavesdropped on one train platform reunion.

“My goodness, boy, how fat you are,” said the wife of B.F. Krause as he stepped off the train.

When asked if she was glad to see him, she said, “Glad to see him? Oh, my, of course I am!”

“You have nothing on me,” retorted Krause. “Now that I am back I don’t want to stay in Camp Lewis any longer than I have to, but want to get home. France, America and soldiering are all right, but they don’t come up to good old Spokane.”

The soldiers were stopping only for a brief liberty visit in Spokane while they continued on their way to Camp Lewis (Fort Lewis), where they hoped to be mustered out. They were given lunch at the Davenport Hotel.

From the war beat: The American Protective League of Spokane, described as an anti-German group, announced that its work was done and it was disbanding.

At its peak, the league had 300 men “actively engaging in investigating and reporting enemy activities.” A league official said the German spy system “was undoubtedly the greatest system of evil intent that has ever existed.”

The league turned over all of its reports and documents to the Department of Justice.

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