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Tuesday, October 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Witnesses back up landlady who shot and killed drunken man who brandished club. But she remained in jail.

UPDATED: Thu., May 30, 2019, 1:43 p.m.

Henry E. Haley succumbed to a gunshot wound he received two days earlier at the Thorslund hotel, 226 W. Riverside Ave., the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on May 30, 1919. He was shot by the hotel’s landlady, Bessie Langer (Spokane Daily Chronicle)
Henry E. Haley succumbed to a gunshot wound he received two days earlier at the Thorslund hotel, 226 W. Riverside Ave., the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on May 30, 1919. He was shot by the hotel’s landlady, Bessie Langer (Spokane Daily Chronicle)

Henry E. Haley succumbed to a gunshot wound he received two days earlier at the Thorslund hotel, 226 W. Riverside Ave.

He was shot by the hotel’s landlady, Bessie Langer, known as Babe. She had grown up at the hotel. Her father operated a saloon at the property.

Langer said Haley was carrying a club and threatened to hit her with it. Another man staying at the hotel said Haley had knocked down his door with the club prior to the shooting.

Witnesses also backed up Langer’s claim that Haley had been drunk and violent that night, but she was in jail and the prosecutor planned to charge her with murder.

“He had beaten me before and I knew what to expect,” Langer said. “He had said he would kill me, and I really thought he was going to carry out his threat. But I do wish he could have lived. I hate to think I killed him.”

From the Remembrance beat: Spokane’s cemeteries were decorated with “flowers everywhere” as crowds gathered to pay respects for Memorial Day.

“No Decoration day in the history of Spokane has seen the cemeteries more beautifully decorated than they were today,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

Ceremonies were held at each cemetery commemorating the “unknown dead” and rifle parties of Spanish War veterans were on hand.

At noon armfuls of flowers were dropped from the Monroe Street Bridge into the Spokane River below.

At 2 p.m., a parade marched down Riverside Avenue from Browne to Monroe.

Among the participants were Civil War veterans.

From the independence beat: Meanwhile, Spokane already was preparing for the Fourth of July. Partially as a result of World War I, fireworks were restricted and the city was focused on allowing only “safe and sane” pyrotechnics. Under city law, the largest firecrackers allowed would be 2 inches.

For the Fourth holiday in Coeur d’Alene, Dutch Jake Goetz was planning to bring his cannon to pioneer days at the Coeur d’Alene regatta.

Jim Kershner is on sabbatical.

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