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

100 years ago in Spokane: Temperatures plunge to 12 below zero on coldest January day in 13 years

It was the coldest January day in 13 years on this date 100 years ago, with at least one Spokanite complaining the weather had frozen his toes.  (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Pipes and water meters all over Spokane froze solid when temperatures plunged to 12 degrees below zero. It was the coldest January day since 1909.

Deer Park was even more frigid. One resident’s thermometer showed a low of 33 below. Other Deer Park thermometers ranged from 23 to 30 below.

Serious repercussions were already reported. Paul Pearson, 54, a laborer, said he walked to the public library and when he got there “his toes felt peculiar.” When he took off his shoe and put his toes on the radiator, he was startled to find that his toes “rattled.”

He was transported to the hospital where his toes were thawed out.

Meanwhile, a homeowner on West Gardner was trying to warm up his home, but he overdid it. The stove overheated and burned the house down.

Firefighters also responded to a fire in a delivery truck. The driver had apparently tried to warm up the gas tank by igniting rags underneath it, which did not go well. The truck, fittingly enough, belonged to the Ice Delivery Co.

From the court beat: A federal grand jury in Spokane handed down dozens of indictments, many for narcotics violations. Four men immediately pleaded guilty to possession charges and were awaiting sentencing. Several others pleaded not guilty.

The grand jury also charged three men for “white slavery” violations, i.e., transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes. In most cases, this meant prostitution. In the case of Frank Carpenter, it was more complicated since he had also been accused of bigamy when he brought Mary (or Mabel) Roberts to Spokane from Cranbook, B.C., and married her – despite already having two other wives.