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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Eastern Washington: A paroled convict was still on the run and had ‘a lot of explaining to do,’ Whitman County’s sheriff said

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

Despite the efforts of a 50-man armed posse, paroled convict Joseph W. Cress was still missing.

“He will have a lot of explaining to do if he shows up around here,” Whitman County Sheriff Harry L. Clark said.

He was suspected of being one of two men who attempted to rob a bank in Rosalia, Washington, a few days earlier. Two men forced a bank clerk out of a sick bed and marched him to the bank at gunpoint. But the clerk got away, and the two robbers fled in a hail of gunfire.

A car belonging to Cress was found wrecked in a nearby field. His suitcase was found inside of it.

Days later, he had still not returned to his Spokane Valley home and tailoring business. That “makes rather a bad case against him,” said the sheriff, who added that it was only a matter of time until they laid hands on him.

From the veteran’s beat: The ex-director of the federal Veteran’s Bureau, Charles R. Forbes, of Spokane, angrily denied all charges of graft and bribery in testimony before the U.S. Senate.

He went farther by saying that most of the accusations grew out of personal animosity between him and Dr. Charles E. Sawyer, an official in the same office. Sawyer was described as “personal friend and physician of President Harding.”

Sawyer claimed that Harding had fired Forbes for insubordination.

“I frankly told the president that I could not continue to serve if Sawyer was to continue in my office; and it became a choice between Sawyer and myself,” said Forbes. “And I relieved the president of any possible embarrassment by tendering my resignation.”