100 years ago in Spokane: Tipsy couple promptly renewed call to ban liquor at country club during Prohibition

A headline blared, “No More Liquor at Country Club,” which seemed anticlimactic when you consider that liquor had been outlawed in Washington for six years.

But that didn’t mean that people hadn’t been drinking at the country club. This was rendered all too obvious after Mr. and Mrs. John Doran tumbled down the steps of the clubhouse, resulting in a broken wrist and a lot of stitches.

John “Jack” Doran admitted that he “might have taken enough liquor to intoxicate me.”

The accident sparked scandalous gossip at the club, since some witnesses said that it looked like Doran was trying to choke his wife before they both tumbled down the steps.

Both of the Dorans disputed that story.

“It’s a mistake that Jack was trying to choke me,” said Mrs. Doran, recuperating from a broken wrist. “We have lived happily together for 10 years and raised three children and I can see no reason for his attacking me, as thought by many people at the club. I believe that Jack might have been a little jealous because of his drink and because he could not locate me just before the dance broke up.

“He was looking for me and upon finding me on the porch, started toward me with his arms out,” she continued. “I stepped back and overbalanced. Mr. Doran was also overbalanced and we fell down the 20 or more steps together. I fell on top of Jack and in so doing I struck my right arm and broke my wrist.”

The repercussions went beyond a plaster cast and stitches. Doran, described as a “prominent club member and society leader,” tendered his resignation from the club the next day.

The club’s board then announced its intention to ban all liquor at the club (even though it was already banned by state and federal law). This wasn’t the first time that the Spokane Country Club had made the news because of liquor. A candidate for county prosecutor had claimed a few weeks earlier that someone tried to bribe him to go easy on liquor violations at the club’s “19th hole” – that is, the bar.