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Tuesday, September 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Spokane police arrest men suspected of participating in secret Wobbly convention

Spokane authorities arrested 10 men suspected of being delegates to a secret regional convention of Wobblies in Spokane, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Aug. 5, 1920.  (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane authorities arrested 10 men suspected of being delegates to a secret regional convention of Wobblies in Spokane, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Aug. 5, 1920. (Spokesman-Review archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Spokane authorities arrested 10 men suspected of being delegates to a secret regional convention of Wobblies in Spokane.

A Spokane police detective, identified as Detective Hunt, arrested the men “as they were assembled in a secluded and wooded spot about one-half mile east of the Pend Oreille Highway” 2 miles north of Hillyard.

Officials said this was the “beginning of a wholesale campaign to arrest members of the radical organization.”

Police said undercover detectives had been watching two men in the Mint Bar in Spokane and followed them as they took a streetcar to Hillyard. The two men, joined by others, then proceeded on foot into the woods to the north. The detectives lost the trail, but later fanned out to search.

Detective Hunt was all alone when he come upon them. Other officers soon arrived to assist in the arrests.

Authorities believed more Wobblies were on the way to this not-so-secret convention, despite the fact that it was illegal to hold membership in the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) in Spokane, because of a controversial court injunction.

From the prison beat: Convicted murderers and baseball bats proved to be a lethal combination at a Walla Walla penitentiary prison-yard baseball game.

One convicted murderer, “Black Diamond” Wilson, attacked another convicted murderer, Harold C. Newcomb, and killed him with one blow of a baseball bat.

Newcomb was serving a life sentence for a Tacoma murder. Wilson was serving 10 to 25 years for killing a man in Yakima with an iron bar.

Newcomb was apparently acting as an umpire when Wilson attacked him over a disputed call.

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