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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Eastern Washington: Feuding bootleggers, heroic Boy Scouts and Colorado kidnappers were competing for headlines

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

A federal grand jury indicted three men accused of causing a war between feuding bootleggers near Daisy, Washington, west of Chewelah.

The three men allegedly chased down another bootlegger, fired shots at him, ran him off the road, pretended to be police officers, stole his whiskey and then drove off with his car. Then they went to Spokane and sold the whisky.

They were charged with Prohibition violations and with impersonating officers. Two pleaded guilty, but the other was said to be in Canada.

From the lifesaving beat: The Boy Scouts of America announced that they would give gold medals, their highest award, to William Johnson of Spokane and Ray Farmin of Sandpoint for saving the lives of three women during a ferocious storm on Diamond Lake in August.

A boat capsized and plunged a family – three women and one man – into the lake. Farmin and Johnson were nearby and heard their cries for help. Both had passed their Red Cross lifesaving examinations, and they immediately went to the rescue. The man drowned, but Farmin and Johnson saved the three women.

The award is reserved only for those scouts who “rescue lives at the risk of their own.”

From the kidnapping beat: The Rev. James W. Kramer, a traveling evangelist and former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Spokane, was kidnapped by armed men from his hotel in Salida, Colorado.

The kidnappers drove Rev. Kramer and his “song leader” 6 miles out of town and threw them out of the car.

The kidnappers told the pastor that “the boys of Salida could have wine, women and song if they wanted it, without any interference from sky pilots out of Denver.”

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