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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in the Inland Northwest: Ephrata attorney gifts President Harding a pair of bear cubs

The bear cubs, gifted by attorney W.E. Southard of Ephrata, were intended to sweeten the pot for President Warren G. Harding to support a reclamation/irrigation bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate.  (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Attorney W.E. Southard of Ephrata was sending a particularly lively gift to President Warren G. Harding: two bear cubs.

The bear cubs “are now being taught the most approved Washingtonian mannerisms and deportment,” said a tongue-in-cheek Ephrata correspondent.

The gift was, in essence, a whimsical bribe to secure Harding’s signature on an upcoming reclamation/irrigation bill which had been introduced by U.S. Sen. Wesley Jones.

The male cub was named Mr. Arid West and the female cub was named Miss Swampy South.

In Southard’s message to the president, he said, “In keeping with my promise for your attention to my bill, I am preparing to ship you a pair of beautiful cub bears for Laddie Boy to practice on.”

Laddie Boy was the president’s Airedale terrier.

From the football beat: Lewis Kienholz, “of the famous athletic Kienholz family in Spokane,” was named the new assistant football coach at Lewis and Clark High School.

Kienholz was a star player at Lewis and Clark in 1913 and 1914. His brothers – Delbert, Lawrence and Leo Kienholz – were also star athletes at various local high schools and colleges.

Today, the name Kienholz is known more for art than for athletics. Edward Kienholz, Lawrence’s son, would become a world-famous creator of sculptural installations beginning in the 1950s.