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Friday, October 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Army recruiters had plans for city’s unemployed

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 16, 2020

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Spokane’s army recruiters had their eyes on the growing throngs of men crowding the employment agencies on Trent and Main avenues.

Those men were usually looking for work in the area’s mines, lumber camps, farms and railroad construction sites. Yet the recruiters believed they could make those men a better offer.

“With the decrease in the demand for labor, and increase in unemployment, recruiting is being stimulated to a great extent,” said Col. James N. Pickering, in charge of the drive. “… We hope to average 150 recruits a month for the next three months. … Last week, we secured 35 enlistments.”

Men willing to sign up for three years were given a $90 bonus.

From the farming beat: An advocate for the vast Columbia basin irrigation project made a promise that would prove difficult to keep.

Chief engineer A.J. Turner said that watering the huge areas west of Spokane would prevent the dust storms that periodically plagued Spokane.

He blamed the dust storms on the dry land west of Spokane. This was certainly one factor. Yet as current residents can attest, large-scale irrigation in Central and Eastern Washington would not prove to be sufficient to totally prevent dust storms.

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