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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago: Pasco police chief worries about ‘women hoboes’; mom dies attempting to rescue toddler from train’s path

Mrs. C.H. Thiemens, 31, was struck and killed by a train when she tried to rescue her son Walter, 2, from the Great Northern tracks at Espanola, 19 miles west of Spokane, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Oct. 12, 1921.  (Spokesman-Review archives)
Mrs. C.H. Thiemens, 31, was struck and killed by a train when she tried to rescue her son Walter, 2, from the Great Northern tracks at Espanola, 19 miles west of Spokane, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Oct. 12, 1921. (Spokesman-Review archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Pasco was “suffering from an influx of women hoboes.”

At least, that’s what the Pasco police chief said. He claimed that over the last week, an average of two women daily, dressed as men, had been taken from the freight trains.

“The women, who have been working in Idaho and the Coeur d’Alene country, are ‘bumming’ their way back to Seattle for the winter,” said a correspondent. “Many are accompanied by their husbands. Having no adequate jail accommodations, the city of Pasco gives them suspended sentences and so many hours in which to leave the town.”

From the accident beat: Mrs. C.H. Thiemens, 31, was struck and killed by a train when she tried to rescue her son Walter, 2, from the Great Northern tracks at Espanola, 19 miles west of Spokane.

She had raced toward the toddler when she realized he had wandered onto the tracks,

She did not realize that the boy’s uncle, R.D. Thiemens, was on the other side of the tracks and was in a better position to reach the boy. He snatched the boy off the track with less than 2 feet to spare. She was thrown 75 feet by the impact.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1792: The first recorded U.S. celebration of Columbus Day was held to mark the tricentennial of Christopher Columbus’ landing.

1997: Singer John Denver was killed in the crash of his privately built aircraft in California; he was 53.

2007: Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize for sounding the alarm over global warming.

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