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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Prohibition-minded deputies nabbed one of the ‘most daring booze runners’ in the region

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 9, 2020

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Spokane County deputies chased a Hudson Super-Six auto for 3 miles before running the fleeing car into a ditch and confiscating 150 quarts of Canadian whiskey.

Frank McCluskey, a Hillyard railroad man, was arrested after he jumped out of the car, ran through a swamp, over a mountain and finally ran out of breath.

“He was about to drop from exhaustion,” noted the deputies, who said he was so winded he was unable to say his name at first.

The entire escapade began when deputies received word that a “booze runner” was driving into Spokane from the Canadian border.

The officers waited for him at a crossroads in the Milan area north of Spokane.

“When he saw us, he gave his car the gas and went by us at about 50 miles per hour,” deputies said. “ We were gaining on the Hudson when the booze runner lost his nerve and, turning his car into the ditch, jumped out and ran into some brush.”

They followed him through a swamp, over Bear Creek, and up onto a mountain. At the top, they saw him on the other side of the slope and rapidly overtook him.

Deputies believed that McCluskey was working for another Hillyard railroad man, described as one of the “most daring booze runners operating between here and the Canadian line.”

Also from the illegal substances beat: The husband-wife owners of the Mechanics Cafe on Second Avenue were arrested and found to be in possession of over $4,000 worth of cocaine and morphine.

They confessed to police that the wife had been making regular trips to Vancouver, British Columbia, or elsewhere on “the Coast,” to buy the drugs.

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