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Wednesday, November 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Mayor says increasing population would save streetcar system

Instead of raising fares, Spokane Mayor C.M. Fassett said that increased ridership might soon solve the financial woes of Spokane streetcar companies, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 21, 1919. It also reported that a jury found Clinton A. Lathrop guilty of first-degree murder for shooting his wife during a divorce dispute. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Instead of raising fares, Spokane Mayor C.M. Fassett said that increased ridership might soon solve the financial woes of Spokane streetcar companies, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 21, 1919. It also reported that a jury found Clinton A. Lathrop guilty of first-degree murder for shooting his wife during a divorce dispute. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Mayor C.M. Fassett suggested a possible solution to Spokane’s streetcar crisis.

Instead of raising fares, which the private streetcar companies proposed, Fassett said increased ridership might soon solve the problem.

“I believe 5,000 new people have come into Spokane since January 1,” said the mayor. “Business is picking up on all streetcar lines, especially those of the Washington Water Power Company.”

He expressed the overly optimistic hope that this would put the companies “on a paying basis.”

In fact, streetcar patronage would continue a slow and steady decline, mainly because of the rise in auto ownership.

From the court beat: A jury found Clinton A. Lathrop guilty of first-degree murder for shooting his wife during a divorce dispute.

Lathrop’s attorneys had pursued an insanity defense. When Lathrop took the stand, he vaguely claimed he heard a gun go off but didn’t know who fired it or whether anyone was hurt. After the shooting, he jumped into the Spokane River and unsuccessfully attempted suicide.

The jury deliberated for only three hours.

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