1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Spokane

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SPOKANE, a city and the county-seat of Spokane county, Washington, U.S.A., on both banks of the Spokane river, near the eastern boundary of the state, and about 242 m. E. of Seattle. Pop. (1800), 19,922; (1900), 36,848, of whom 7833 were foreign-born, including 1683 English Canadians, 1326 Germans, and 1168 Swedes; (1910 census) 104,402. Spokane is served by the Great Northern, the Oregon Railway & Navigation Co. (Union Pacific system), the Northern Pacific, the Idaho & Washington Northern, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle, and the Spokane & International railways, and by the Spokane & Inland Empire (electric) line connecting with the Cœur d'Alêne mining region, Idaho, and with Colfax, Washington and Moscow, Idaho. Among the principal buildings of the city are the Federal building, the county court-house, the city-hall, the post office, the Paulsen building, the Columbia and Auditorium theatres, the Spokane club, the masonic temple, the Spokesman-Review building, and a large Roman Catholic church. Spokane is the see of a Protestant Episcopal bishop. The city has a Carnegie library, and ten public parks aggregating 320 acres; the more important are Liberty Park (25 acres), Manito Park (85 acres), and Corbin Park (13 acres). Fort George Wright (established in 1895) is 3 m. west of Spokane on a tract of 1022 acres given to the United States Government by the city, for that purpose, in 1894-1895. Spokane is the seat of Gonzaga College (Roman Catholic) for boys, founded in 1887 and incorporated in 1904; of Spokane College (1907, Lutheran); of Brunot Hall (Protestant Episcopal), for girls; the Academy of the Holy Names (Roman Catholic), for girls; and of other schools and academies. Among the city's charitable institutions are a home for the friendless (1890), the St Joseph orphanage (1890), St Luke's (1900) and the Marie Beard Deaconess (1896) hospitals, each having a training school for nurses, a Florence Crittenden home, and a House of the Good Shepherd. The Spokane river is a rapidly flowing stream with two falls (the upper of 60 and the lower of 70 ft.), within the city limits, providing an estimated energy of about 35,000 horsepower at low water. Of this energy, in 1908, about 17,000 horse-power was being utilized, chiefly for generating electricity (the motive power most used in the city's industries), as well as for lighting and transit purposes, while about 9000 horse-power in electrical power was transmitted to the Cœur d'Alêne mines. At Post Falls, Idaho, 22 m. east of Spokane, about 12,000 horse-power is developed, and at Nine Mile Brioge near Spokane, about 20,000 horse-power. Spokane's manufacturing interests have developed with remarkable rapidity. In 1900 there were 84 factories capitalized at $2,211,304, and their product was valued at $3,756,119 In 1905 there were 188 factories capitalized at $5,407,313 (144.5% increase), and the value of their products was $8,830,852 (135.1% increase). The city's principal manufactures in 1905 were: lumber and planing mill products ($2,040,059); flour and grist-mill products ($1,089,396), malt liquors ($679,274); foundry and machine-shop products ($479,954); and lumber and timber products ($418,019). Spokane is an important jobbing centre, is a natural supply point for the gold, silver and lead mining regions of northern and central Idaho, eastern Washington, and Oregon, and is a distributing point for the rich agricultural districts in this region.

The first permanent settlement on the site of Spokane was made in 1874 by James N. Glover, who bought from two trappers a tract of land here. The settlement was named Spokane Falls, in memory of the Spokan Indians, a tribe of Salishan stock, which formerly occupied the Spokane Valley; the word Spokan is said to mean “children of the sun.” Spokane was incorporated as a town in 1881 and in the same year received its first city charter (amended in 1891). The city became the county-seat in 1882. The present name was adopted in 1890. The city was reached by the Northern Pacific railway in 1883, by the Union Pacific in 1889, and by the Great Northern in 1892. On the 4-6th of August 1889, thirty squares of the city (nearly all of its business section) were destroyed by fire, with a loss estimated at $5,000,000. Rebuilding was at once begun, and in about two years the city had been almost entirely reconstructed and greatly improved. In 1910 Spokane adopted a commission form of government.