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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A 16-year-old died after cutting his lip on an envelope

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

Arlie King, 16, was working in the mailroom at the Crescent Department Store, when he cut his lip while sealing an envelope.

It killed him.

Arlie went home that night and noticed his lips beginning to swell. Slowly, “the poison spread throughout his system.” He died seven weeks later of pyemia (blood poisoning).

“Doctors say the deadly germ must have been on the envelope flap and when the youth licked the flap, he cut his lip slightly and the germ entered his system,” The Spokesman-Review wrote.

Doctors were conducting lab tests to try to determine the nature of the germ.

From the dance file: A German newspaper accused the delegates of the Paris peace conference of being “an aggregation of pipe dreamers, doing mental gymnastics with figures in the billions, in the same manner that an oriental seems to delight in paradise through opium smoke…”

This inspired Washington Hall, one of Spokane’s big dance halls, to advertise the following event: “Pipe Dream Party, Tomorrow Night … A Stunt Dance – Amusing Souvenirs.”

From the rescue beat: Forrest Johnson, 15, was rescued in the woods near Eureka, Mont., after being lost for seven nights without fire or food.

He became lost while walking to a remote ranch. When rescuers finally found him at the end of a trapper’s trail, he was in dire condition. His clothing had frozen fast to the snow, and he was so weak he couldn’t move. His feet were frostbitten and doctors believed that amputation might be necessary.

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