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

100 years ago in Spokane: City Council orders north Spokane faith-healing colony be dismantled

November 9, 1976. Bair defeats Leonard for mayor of Spokane. Newcomers win places on council. Spokane voters Tuesday elected former television newscaster Ron Bair to succeed David H. Rodgers as mayor. Roger K. Anderson, J. Robert Andren and Martha T. Shannon also appeared to have won positions on the Spokane City Council, according to unofficial election returns. Incumbent Cy Geraghty apparently was defeated. With all precincts counted, Bair led Mrs. Leonard by a vote of 26,775 to 21,155, nearly a 12 percent margin. (Spokane Daily Chronicle Archives)
Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane City Council ordered the dismantling of the north Spokane faith-healing colony, which had become infamous during the Miss Flora Watson “revival” controversy.

The “camp meeting” compound, consisting mostly of tents, had overstayed its permit, according to city authorities.

The city’s order also cited “sanitary reasons” and the approach of winter as the reasons for the action.

The group had been in the news recently when it kept the body of Miss Flora Watson in one of their tents for nine days because they believed she would come back to life.

The city’s coroner and health officer were alerted to the situation. They went to the tent and determined that not only was Watson dead, but her body was beginning to decompose.

Now, it appeared that the faith healer group and Watson’s relatives had finally accepted reality, because they scheduled a funeral for Watson the next day.

From the radio beat: Max Lowenthal, a leader in the emerging radio industry, said that Spokane was the natural site for a massive radio station to serve the entire Northwest. He said that national radio organizations were proposing six high-powered regional stations throughout the country, and the Northwest station was the only one that had not been awarded.

“Spokane is the logical center for the station and it should make every effort to have it located here,” said Lowenthal. “… Seattle is not the logical location for such a Northwest radio station, for west of it is the Pacific Ocean. … A great radio station here would be of inestimable value.”

A few low-powered stations had already come and gone in Spokane by 1923, but nothing of this scope.