100 years ago in Spokane: City prepares for train with 300 wounded soldiers; North Central High School girls embrace stricter dress code

May 15, 2019 GMT

A train carrying about 300 wounded soldiers was scheduled to stop briefly in Spokane on the way to Camp Lewis.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle said it was the first “solid train of hospital coaches to arrive” in the city.

Most of the soldiers were on cots.

Spokane had spared little in celebrating the arrival of soldiers passing through Spokane on the way home from World War I. Even though the hospital train on the Northern Pacific line would only be in town for 15 minutes, it would not be ignored.

A band was scheduled to play and the Red Cross and other organizations would pass out “candy, cigarettes and food to cheer the wounded men.”


Meanwhile, a train with 75 officers and soldiers arrived, including nine men from Spokane.

Sgt. Lester E. Bain, a Spokane resident who served at an evacuation hospital in Europe, described the celebrations they experienced as the train moved across the country.

“Our reception started getting warmer in Wyoming, and it’s been getting warmer ever since,” he said. “The treats we have been getting the last two days make up for all we have gone through.”

Before that, the ride across the Atlantic included “plenty of corned willie and beans.” Corned Willie was a term adopted by American soldiers for corned beef.

From the education beat: Girls at North Central High School would soon vote on restrictions to their dress code.

The “central council” of the school’s “girls’ league” approved a ban on silk clothing “including georgette crepe, but with the exception of pongee or plain crepe de chine waists or blouses, or simple trimmings, such as collars, cuffs and vests.”

The “girls league,” which was the entire female student body, would have the final say.

The proposal also banned “thin material with too scant camisoles or underwaists,” “clothing that is not clean,” “French-heeled shoes” and “expensive or extravagant clothing in general.”

The goal was to promote “simplicity, modesty, good taste and inexpensive clothing.”

The proposed restrictions were expected to win approval.

Jim Kershner is on sabbatical.