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

100 years ago in Eastern Washington: A bank safe in Pullman was no match for one ‘thug band’

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

A “thug band” blew open the safe at the State Bank in Johnson, Wash., just south of Pullman, and escaped in a hail of gunfire.

Nearby residents were awakened by the explosion and rushed out into the street as the three robbers made their escape in a Dodge car. They got away with $1,400 in loot. No one was hurt in the gunfire.

Police believed the robber gang were responsible for two other bank heists in the same district.

At noon the same day, a lone bandit walked into the State Bank at Cottonwood, Idaho, held up the customers and escaped with $300. One day earlier, robbers used a torch to cut a hole into the State Bank at Thornton, Wash. This was similar to the methods used at the Johnson bank.

Police from Lewiston to Spokane were on high alert, watching for any trace of the bandits.

From the architecture beat: A new wing of the Western Union Life Insurance Co. on West Riverside Avenue was completed, and a second wing was scheduled for completion in March.

The original 1910 building had been designed by Kirtland Cutter, and this new addition and remodel was designed by Gustav Pehrson, who had worked with Cutter for years.

The Chancery Building, as it is known today, remains one of Spokane’s architectural landmarks. It went through a series of owners and was purchased by the Catholic diocese in 1966. It served as the chancery building until 2006 and is currently vacant. It’s now owned by Centennial Real Estate Investments, the real estate division of Cowles Co., which also publishes The Spokesman-Review.