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100 Years Ago in Hillyard: Farmer’s plea’s for leniency go unheeded

“I would do anything to atone,” Hillyard farmer C.E. Wendell Jr. said during his sentencing. (SR archives)
“I would do anything to atone,” Hillyard farmer C.E. Wendell Jr. said during his sentencing. (SR archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Hillyard farmer C.E. Wendell Jr. begged and pleaded with the judge not to send him to the penitentiary for larceny of an auto.

“Judge, I had crop failures in Montana and have tried to care for my wife and four children and save the home,” he said. “I purchased a little farm northeast of Hillyard and paid $400 down. The interest on the balance was due and I thought I would get the auto and sell it and save the property. When I think of it now, I do not see why I did it. The drouth (drought) in Montana was what brought me to this.”

The judge said he sympathized, but had to give him the minimum sentence of six months in the penitentiary.

“My God, judge, must I go there?” he said, burying his face in his hands. “My wife and children will be on the county. I would do anything to atone.”

The judge said the statute was clear: six months in the state pen.

From the war beat: Father J. DeKanter, formerly pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Spokane, wrote home from Europe and described the devastation in the former battlefields of Belgium and Flanders.

“Conjure up in your mind a vast area, as far as the eye can reach, plowed up and harrowed up by bombs and shells, dug up and turned up, covered with innumerable small marshes of various sizes, 2 by 12 feet deep to 3 by 20 feet in diameter, bordered with a luxuriant growth of reed. … Fancy that vast field studded with crosses marking the graves of the brave and cut up by numberless snake-like trenches and dugouts, and with all this you can get a faint idea of a scene which would make Nero, the past master of destruction and desolation, weep with joy and envy.”

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