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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A family couldn’t catch a break after moving to the city, other than when a deputy saved 15-month-old baby Edith from a house fire

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

Quick action by Deputy J.B. Steele saved a 15-month-old baby’s life during a house fire.

The baby, Edith, was home with her grandmother and three other children at the time.

“When I heard Edith begin to cry, I sent one of the little boys upstairs to see what was the matter,” the grandmother said. “He came back and told me the house was afire. I ran upstairs and took Edith from her bed, but I lost my strength and could not get downstairs. Mr. Steele rushed in, took the baby from my arms and carried her out, and I made my way down just as he returned to help me. He surely saved our lives.”

The fire was the most recent in a series of unfortunate events for the family.

“Since we came to Spokane three months ago, there has been no end to our bad luck,” the grandmother said. “My son George, the children’s father, could find nothing to do. His wife became ill after eating canned goods, and after an illness of four days, died. We were given notice that the house had been sold and we would have to move, but before we could get out, we have lost practically everything we have, without any insurance. We don’t know what we will do now.”

From the crime beat: The Spokane Daily Chronicle’s editorial page expressed relief that there had finally been a lull in the region’s spate of bank robberies.

But the editors warned that it would not last forever and it was imperative to make Spokane an unattractive place for yeggs (safecrackers) and stick-up men. First, the area’s law enforcement agencies had to learn to cooperate. Second, banks had to improve their alarm systems.

“Third – by no means the least, is to provide for well-enclosed rock piles where convicted offenders shall spend at least six hours a day at hard labor instead of lying on their backs reading magazines and waiting for dinner to be served in nice, cozy jail.”

On this date

(From the Associated Press)

1965: Rioting and looting that claimed 34 lives broke out in the predominantly Black Watts section of Los Angeles.

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