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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

100 Years Ago in Spokane County the Klan came up a loser

By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The midterm election votes were counted and the Ku Klux Klan was a loser.

The Klan’s chosen candidate, Frank K. Kinsell, was soundly defeated in the race for Spokane County prosecutor. He lost by about 4,000 votes. He was one of the few Republicans defeated in the county. Charles H. Leavy, a Democrat, had been endorsed by the county bar, both daily newspapers and many Republicans.

In another surprise, Democrat Clarence H. Dill defeated incumbent Republican Miles Poindexter in the race for the U.S. Senate. Both men were from Spokane. Dill was not only leading statewide, but he was also comfortably ahead in the Spokane County vote.

In an echo of today’s contentious politics, officials in Pierce County were challenging the vote count there, claiming that a number of Poindexter votes were miscounted or not counted at all. This opened the possibility that Poindexter might come out ahead.

From the elevator beat: Warehouseman Edgar Lyon was loading some boxes onto the elevator at the Westlake Market in Spokane when someone on another floor started the lift upward. The boxes were not all the way into the cage, and one of them got jammed against a wall.

The elevator cables kept pulling, and tore the entire elevator mechanism loose. The cage, with Lyon inside, crashed two stories to the basement.

His fellow employees rushed in a panic to the basement, hoping to drag him from the wreckage. Instead, they found Lyon “walking about, scratching his head, wondering how it all happened.” He had already worked his way out of the tangled mess , with only a skinned shin.

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