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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, October 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Report in S-R about travel record between Latah and Spokane lands driver in front of judge

UPDATED: Tue., May 14, 2019, 6:58 a.m.

A report in The Spokesman-Review backfired on Joseph S. Bain, of the Eldridge-Buick Company in Spokane.

The article told how Bain had broken the time record for travel between Latah and Spokane. He drove a 1919 Buick light six touring car with four passengers from Latah to Spokane in 1 hour and 5 minutes. That was an hour less less than it took the passenger train from Latah.

The article was jammed-pack with details, almost like the writer was along for the ride.

“With top and side curtains up the return trip from Latah was started at 4 p.m. and as soon as the railroad tracks were passed the throttle was opened wide,” The Spokesman-Review reported. “The steep, winding hill north of Latah was taken on high. The eight-mile run from Latah to Fairfield over dirt roads was made in 14 minutes, every hill being negotiated without a shift of gears.”

But three days later, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported that angry readers demanded to know why Bain was allowed to speed.

“Every man who has been punched for speeding in the last two weeks put in his little kick,” said Prosecuting Attorney Joe Lindsley. An arrest warrant was issued for Bain, and he soon appeared in front of a judge.

Bain, “a former sporting news reporter,” admitted that he wrote the article that appeared in The Spokesman-Review.

He pleaded guilty and the judge fined him $15.

The Chronicle poked fun at The S-R with its headline: “It pays to advertise, all right; Joe Bain got ‘speedy’ results.” But the Chronicle didn’t mention its sister newspaper by name, referring to it only as “a Spokane paper.”

From the urban dairy beat: Lawmakers responding to angry city residents over a law restricting the sale of milk from small urban dairies pointed to a provision in the law that had been mostly ignored.

Spokane residents who owned one or two cows were organizing against the law, which they said would force them to stop selling milk to their neighbors.

But the legislators said that wouldn’t be the case because of this provision: “Nothing in the act shall apply to persons selling milk from not more than four cows.”

From the urban farming beat: Spokane would soon “claim the distinction of being the first city in the Northwest to place watermelons on the market.”

A shipment of watermelons from Florida was expected to arrive in three days.

From the good government beat: Spokane County Sheriff George Reid said the county courthouse should be sold to the school district and turned into an industrial school. He proposed a new government building to combine county and city governments. He believed a separate new building should be built for a combined city and county jail.

Meanwhile, a Spokane Chamber of Commerce committee passed a resolution suggesting that Spokane build a $1 million municipal auditorium dedicated to war veterans.

Jim Kershner is on sabbatical.

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