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Sunday, August 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: S-R defends Navy’s women clerical workers; Stantons buy shares in Washington Trust

The Spokesman-Review editorial page on June 1, 1919 came to the defense of “yeomanettes” – women hired by the navy for clerical work during World War I. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Spokesman-Review editorial page on June 1, 1919 came to the defense of “yeomanettes” – women hired by the navy for clerical work during World War I. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Spokesman-Review editorial page came to the defense of “yeomanettes” – women hired by the navy for clerical work during the war.

The paper noted that the chairman of the U.S., House Naval Affairs Committee wanted to fire these women, because he believed they were picking up “unwomanly ways,” including playing billiards and performing military drills.

The editors came down firmly on the side of the “girl sailors,” and against those who believed that a woman’s place was in the home.

The SR editors made fun of the chairman by saying that “if woman’s rights do not include three-cushion carom shots and right shoulder arms, the emancipation of the sex is in a bad way.”

“If the (U.S. House) representative was trying prove that the yeomanettes were picking up the habit of chewing tobacco, or that of shooting craps, from the gobs (sailors) on their respective stations, he might have things his own way,” said the editors. “But close order drills and billiards give him little ground to stand on. If the suffragettes want to make an issue of it, they can have some fun with Congress after all.”

From the prohibition beat: Washington State had been “dry” for years, but the prohibition debate was far from settled.

Petitions calling for a new vote on prohibition were signed by 1,000 “wet” proponents in Spokane County, and advocates predicted they would soon have 10,000 signatures.

These petitions were being distributed at cigar stores and similar venues.

From the bank beat: E.H. Stanton, “pioneer Spokane meat packer,” purchased 780 shares of Washington Trust Bank’s 2,000 shares. He joined the bank’s board of directors, and Fred L. Stanton became a bank vice president.

“Our efforts will be to make the Washington Trust company second to none in the Inland Empire,” E.H. Stanton said.

Today, Washington Trust is one of Spokane’s last locally owned banks. Its chairman and CEO is Peter F. Stanton.

From the crime beat: The husband of the landlady accused of killing Henry E. Haley appeared at the police station and declared he would “do everything that he could to assist her.”

Bessie Langer had claimed self defense in the shooting at the Thorslund hotel. But prosecutors alleged she shot Haley because she was in a relationship with him while her husband was at war, and her husband was about to return.

James Langer, her husband, had been in France for 18 months and had been gassed at the Battle of Chateau-Thierry.

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