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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: The disgraced ex-VA official’s divorce was only the latest front-page story about him

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

The bribery scandal involving ex-Veteran’s bureau director Charles Forbes, lately of Spokane, was front page news.

Kate Marcia Forbes, his ex-wife, was reported to be “broken in health and spirit,” and “in hiding either in Seattle or a nearby Sound city.”

Their recent divorce became national news after the scandal broke, mainly because, along with the bribery charges, Forbes was also accused of staging booze “orgies” and engaging in risqué behavior while still married to her.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle said the couple and their attorneys went to unusual lengths to hide the details of the divorce, which was granted only two weeks ago.

But reporters uncovered the divorce complaint, which listed the grounds as “cruelty.”

Attorneys for the ex-husband and ex-wife remained “staunch in their pledge” not to reveal her hiding place or any of the “Forbes family secrets,” as the Chronicle called them.

From the medical beat: Dr. Peter Reid addressed 400 women on the subject of goiter, a disease “prevalent in Washington.”

He was the speaker in the Red Cross’s bimonthly public health lecture at the Crescent auditorium.

He told the women that children of adolescent age are most likely to develop enlarged thyroids, and that “girls are six times more susceptible than boys.”

Fortunately, he said, iodine was a “sure preventative and reliable cure.”

Goiter was apparently quite common at the time, because doctors at Fort Lewis had found that 11% of the Washington boys at the army camp were suffering from it. That percentage was higher than any other state.