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Friday, April 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Children left in France finally mailed back to Lilac City

The Clausen children were on their way by rail to Spokane on Jan. 27, 1920, after spending nine years in Paris with their uncle. (S-R archives)
The Clausen children were on their way by rail to Spokane on Jan. 27, 1920, after spending nine years in Paris with their uncle. (S-R archives)
Jim Kershner

Three children were “shipped by express from Paris to Spokane” at a cost of $507.30.

This unusual delivery consisted of Camille, August and Mary Clausen, ages 10 to 14, who finally, after nine years, were about to be reunited with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Clausen of Spokane.

Their parents had left them to live with an uncle near Paris in 1911. The parents had intended to fetch the kids much earlier, but the world war intervened.

In the meantime, the parents moved to Spokane, where Louis Clausen was working in the Davenport Hotel’s culinary department.

The parents finally were able to comply with all of the complex passport regulations, and they arranged with the American Railway Express company to have the children “delivered” to Spokane.

The journey was “entirely under the supervision of the travel department of the American Railway Express Company.”

A representative of the company “has met the children at each stopping point.”

From the flu beat: A temporary influenza hospital was planned on the St. Luke’s Hospital grounds, with 44 beds, following an urgent meeting of city officials.

Construction was to begin right away.

This reflected new anxiety over a possible repeat of the 1919 flu epidemic. So far in 1920, far fewer cases of flu had been reported than in 1919. However, 25 new cases were reported just that morning, raising fears that a new epidemic was pending.

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