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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A ‘conscience fund’ and an ‘insanity commission’ were making headlines

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

Waldo Paine of the Spokane & Eastern electric rail line, opened up his mail and found the following letter from a Chewelah man:

“Quite a few years ago, the conductor on the Post Street car failed to collect my fare, due to the large crowd on the car at the time. I failed to give it to him when the crowd thinned out. Lately, I have started to serve my master, and so I enclose the amount of the fare. This is a small amount, but I do not intend that it shall bar me from heaven. I crave your pardon for my act.”

Enclosed was the fare: 4 cents.

Paine was not totally surprised. He said that “we get a surprisingly large number of contributions to our conscience fund.”

From the court beat: An “insanity commission” in a Spokane courtroom heard testimony that an Elk, Washington, man was under the delusion that “two girls from Wisconsin were following him in an airplane wherever he went.”

The commission, consisting of two doctors, also heard testimony the man believed voices were calling him. On several occasions he climbed down into a well “so he could pray better.”

He was judged to be insane and was taken to the state hospital at Medical Lake.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

2015: French security forces shot and killed two al-Qaida-linked brothers suspected of carrying out the rampage at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that had claimed 12 lives, the same day a gunman killed four people at a Paris kosher grocery store before being killed by police.

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