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100 years ago in Southeast Washington: Dayton’s business district burned in a massive fire
Sun., July 17, 2022
The entire business district of Dayton, Washington, was damaged in a 3:30 a.m. fire.
The fire started in a livery barn, and 24 horses died. A firefighter suffered broken ribs when an iron wheel fell on him.
“The heat from the burning buildings was so terrific that the surface of a whole block of paving was burned,” said a correspondent. “The fire was extinguished at noon today.”
Dayton was reeling from the disaster, and farmers were worried about the future.
“All Dayton farm machine repair shops were destroyed,” The Spokesman-Review reported.
Yet Dayton business owners vowed to rebuild, “bigger than ever.”
From the labor beat: The ongoing railroad strike expanded when another 40 to 50 engineers, shopmen and oilers walked off the job at the Great Northern shops in Hillyard. This put the number of strikers in Spokane at well over 1,800.
This was part of a national strike, which was showing no signs of abating. A hundred thousand “maintenance-of-way” workers joined the strike that morning. Peace prospects were now considerably dimmed.
The Associated Press said the strike had the potential to be the “major industrial crisis” in the nation’s history.
From the parental beat: Mary Jones of Spokane now had 17 children to take care of.
Of those, 11 were her own. The other six arrived when two of her daughters-in-law showed up to visit – and then left their children with her.
“A week ago, she said, the two younger women packed up their clothing, had their hair bobbed and left, leaving the babies with the grandmother,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.
Police conducted a search for the daughters-in-law, and arrested them in Thompson Falls, Montana. However, authorities determined there was no law compelling the mothers to return, so they were released.
“Just what to do with her somewhat oversized family is a puzzle which Mrs. Jones is now trying to solve, the officers declare.”