100 years ago in Spokane: Police call arrest of 74 at pool hall a ‘general roundup of radicals’
Wed., Nov. 13, 2019
Spokane police raided the Workingmen’s Place pool hall on Trent Avenue and arrested 74 alleged Wobblies in what the chief of police called a “general roundup of radicals.”
Fear of the Wobblies was running especially high after an Armistice Day confrontation in Centralia that left five dead.
Martin Burns, Spokane’s captain of detectives, said his office had evidence that “an Armistice Day outrage” was barely averted in Spokane, as well.
“We have reasons to believe that they planned something here, but it fell through,” Burns said. “The Centralia bunch is the only one that did not lose its nerve.”
The raid was carried out by 14 officers. One detachment entered the front door and the other entered the back door. The Workingmen’s Place, owned by the Finnish Social Club, was long known as an Industrial Workers of the World (Wobbly) hangout.
Sam Crane, a Spokane attorney and radical leader, “attempted to make a speech” while the 74 men were being led to jail, but he also was arrested. The Spokane Daily Chronicle said that “an effort will be made to have him deported,” but did not specify were he might be deported to.
The city’s commissioner of public safety said that the “city will do everything in its power” to “rid the city of the I.W.W.” and “will clean house in short order.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.