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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Eastern Washington: The suspicion surrounding Ferry County’s sheriff peaked in his arrest for aiding bootleggers

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Ferry County Sheriff Thomas Barker was arrested with three other men for conspiracy to aid the rum-runners in the county.

Ferry County was notorious as the main route for bootleggers between British Columbia and Spokane. Prohibition agents had long maintained that Ferry County law officers were uncooperative. These arrests suggested that the sheriff had gone beyond uncooperative, and was actively aiding and abetting the bootleggers.

The Ferry County prosecutor said he would ask the county commission to suspend the sheriff, pending these charges.

A fourth Ferry County man, alleged to be the sheriff’s “collector,” was at large. Federal officers were “scouring “the hills and brush of Ferry County for him.”

From the bank robbery beat: A gang of yeggmen (safecrackers) forced their way in to the Apple Way State Bank at Dishman at night, pried the lock off the vault, and made off with some gold and silver.

The bank president said he saw two men hanging around the bank when he departed for the day at 9 p.m. He did not know the bank had been broken into until he arrived the next morning.

He believed that it was the work of the same men who tried, unsuccessfully, to break into the bank three weeks earlier. They used the same methods, this time with more success.

Also on this day


1993: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

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