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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Residents wintering in California had their homes ransacked, then had to go to city hall to identify their belongings

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 19, 2021

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)

Police used the gymnasium on the fourth floor of Spokane City Hall to display a huge amount of loot recovered from a bold gang of house-breakers, which targeted Spokane residents who were wintering California.

More than 100 family members of the victims were invited to visit the gymnasium, look over the items and identify theirs. In one case, a women identified about $200 worth of jewelry belonging to her mother, who was still in California.

The gymnasium was still full of automobile accessories, surgical instruments, revolvers, rugs, clothing and jewelry. Police were confident that most of it belonged to the four families hit hardest.

Three members of the gang had already been arrested. In some cases, they backed a truck up to the vacant houses and stole just about everything they could move. One of the victims returned to find that the gang had cooked in the kitchen and practically made the house their “headquarters” for several days.

Five others were arrested on charges of fencing the loot.

From the health beat: William Anderson, 53, a logger, decided he would try to cure a bunion using “home remedies.”

Those remedies didn’t work, to say the least.

He ended up in Sacred Heart Hospital, where he died several days later of blood poisoning.

The exact nature of those home remedies was unspecified.

On this day

(From Associated Press)

1792: President George Washington signed an act creating the United States Post Office Department.

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