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Tuesday, May 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Census revision shows slight growth over previous decade

The final census number in the 1920 Census put Spokane’s 1920 population at 104,437, which was 37 over the 1910 number, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on May 21, 1920. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
The final census number in the 1920 Census put Spokane’s 1920 population at 104,437, which was 37 over the 1910 number, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on May 21, 1920. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Spokane’s boosters were breathing a sigh of relief after more than 200 names were added to Spokane’s 1920 census, thus putting the 1920 population slightly above the 1910 number.

This was mostly a symbolic victory, since it still meant that Spokane’s population had essentially stagnated between 1910 and 1920 after three decades of booming growth. Yet Spokane avoided the ignominy of actually having lost population.

The final census number would put Spokane’s 1920 population at 104,437, which was 37 over the 1910 number.

Spokane boosters were also happy about one other detail. Tacoma’s census came in at 96,965, which meant that Spokane retained its status as the state’s second-largest city.

From the heist beat: Express railway clerk Harry Peterson was arrested as the “inside man” in the robbery of a Spokane express office.

Justice moved swiftly for all three men after they confessed. Peterson was sentenced to one to 15 years in the reformatory at Monroe. A.B. McGirt and George Cole both received sentences up to 15 years at Walla Walla. All of the $10,000 stolen had been recovered, with the exception of $142.

Officers also found a large quantity of cocaine and morphine in McGirt’s possession, and they implied that he was the actual ringleader. The prosecutor said the entire heist was the deluded “dream of a dope fiend.”

McGirt admitted he had been a drug addict for the past 10 years.

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