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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Young women arrive from New York, are questioned as potential Wobblies

Three visitors from New York, all young women under 20 years old, were picked up by police in Spokane just as they arrived on this date 100 years ago. They were suspected of being socialist-sympathizing “Wobblies.”  (S-R archives)
Three visitors from New York, all young women under 20 years old, were picked up by police in Spokane just as they arrived on this date 100 years ago. They were suspected of being socialist-sympathizing “Wobblies.” (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

When Mildred Bayne, Esther Mayno and Fannie Isaacson, all 19 and all from New York, arrived in Spokane on a cross-country expedition, they felt welcomed – briefly.

“We had just read a sign on a building which said, ‘Spokane is a friendly city,’ ” said Mildred. “And then a big policeman came up and arrested us.”

They were arrested as “suspected I.W.W. (Wobbly) propaganda peddlers.” This was apparently based on nothing except that the three girls had “advanced ideas.” After being interrogated at police headquarters, they proved their innocence to the satisfaction of police and allowed to depart.

“We think along socialistic lines, but believe me, we have nothing to do with an I.W.W. outfit,” said Mildred. “… Are we mad because we were ‘pinched’? Not at all. It just gives us a fine experience to note in our diaries.”

She added that the police were “real pleasant at the station.”

The three girls, clad in khaki and carrying packs, left New York in June and “made their way this far by auto, hiking and by freight.”

“We came to Rosalia on a Milwaukee freight, riding in a boxcar from Missoula,” said Mildred. “… The brakeman didn’t even see us.”

They spent the night in Spokane at the YWCA.

From the bank robbery beat: George Williams was sentenced to 10 years in the state penitentiary – less than 24 hours after robbing the Farmers and Mechanics State Bank at Rockford.

He fled north through town, but citizens chased him into a plowed field, where he surrendered.

“I’m through,” he shouted. “Don’t shoot.”

He pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced.

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