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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Fort George Wright soldiers were quarantined over one illness, while a Spokane girl died from another

Dec. 1, 2020 Updated Fri., Dec. 2, 2022 at 3:50 p.m.

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)

All of the soldiers in Company C of the 21st Infantry at Fort George Wright were quarantined in their barracks after one soldier was diagnosed with diphtheria.

His case was considered mild, but a strict quarantine was necessary to prevent the spread of this dangerous disease.

Today, diphtheria has largely been controlled through vaccination.

Also from the disease beat: Gladys I. Lindsey, 11, became the first known Spokane victim of the dread disease known as sleeping sickness. She first exhibited symptoms weeks earlier when she “went about the house only half awake, complaining of pains in the head.” For the next 12 days she was in bed, only partly conscious. Then she slipped into a coma and died without regaining consciousness.

From the crime beat: Police were hunting for escapee Louis Steurnagle, the leader of a band of safecrackers, who was thought to be in hiding somewhere near Spokane.

Steurnagle had been arrested in Ephrata, Washington, a month earlier and locked into the county jail. Two weeks later, he put his safecracking skills to work and picked two heavy locks. He hadn’t been seen since.

The public was warned to be wary of him because he was considered a “habitual criminal” who is “always armed.”

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