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Monday, November 11, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in the Inland Northwest: Inmate escape thwarted; Irish ‘president’ plans visit

Lloyd H. Woodress had managed to pick a padlock with a wire and then wrench an iron pipe from a railing. This he used to dig a hole through the brick wall of the jail. (SR archives)
Lloyd H. Woodress had managed to pick a padlock with a wire and then wrench an iron pipe from a railing. This he used to dig a hole through the brick wall of the jail. (SR archives)

Lloyd H. Woodress had been arrested for burglary in Latah County and was being held in a large steel cage at Moscow’s jail, The Spokesman-Review reported.

But he managed to pick a padlock with a wire and then wrench an iron pipe from a railing. This he used to dig a hole through the brick wall of the jail. He had already thrown his coat, hat and trousers through the hole, and “in a few minutes more would have been a free man.”

But a deputy, sleeping in a room adjoining the jail, heard a noise. He grabbed his pistol and switched on the light, and saw Woodress poised to hit him with the iron pipe. But Woodress “wilted” when he saw the pistol, and the escape was thwarted.

From the Irish beat: Eamonn de Valera, “president of the Irish republic,” was on the way to Spokane to make a speech at the Auditorium Theater on freedom for Ireland.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle put quote marks around the words “president of the Irish republic,” because independence from Britain had not yet been achieved. De Valera was currently a fugitive from British law.

His visit was sponsored by the local Sons of Irish Freedom group, who issued the following statement: “There is not a jot of difference between the effort of America to be free and the struggle of Ireland to be free …. Mr. De Valera asks only a fair hearing from the people of Spokane.”

He was scheduled to arrive in three days.

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