Locked Up For Life

An Early Spokane Celebrity's Fall From Grace

Susan Glover spent her golden years at Eastern Washington State Hospital For the Insane after one terrible day.

On July 1, 1899, Susan Glover returned to her new home at this spot to find all of her belongings out on the sidewalk. Glover was locked out of the house she had just bought.

Glover's former husband, James Glover, was the city's most famous pioneer, often called "the Father Of Spokane." Susan and James married on September 1, 1868, in Salem Oregon and in August of 1873 they moved to land James had bought to establish the city of Spokane. In the 1880s Glover was elected twice as the town's mayor. The city grew and the Glovers prospered. Their wealth was displayed in 1889 when they built their beautiful mansion. The mansion included a stained-glass portrait of each of them. By the summer of 1891, the couple was legally separated. Susan left Spokane for her hometown of Salem. James filed for and was granted a divorce in the spring of 1892. The ink on the divorce papers was hardly dry before James remarried. He moved his new wife, Esther, into the mansion where they lived until financial problems caused them to build a new, more modest home for themselves.

As the door to Susan’s room at the Eastern Washington State Hospital for the Insane closed, she undoubtedly thought back over previous few weeks. Since returning to Spokane seven years earlier, Glover rented apartments. In late June, she approached C.B. Strong about purchasing a house he had for sale. On 1 July, she hired movers to take everything to the house. Later that evening Glover returned to find all of her belongings on the sidewalk.

Undoubtedly shocked and confused Glover walked around Spokane until she sat down on the steps of the McCrea family home. The McCrea’s called the police. Officer Beals arrived and offered to escort Glover home. To what home? Glover had moved out of an apartment for a house she was locked out of. Officer Beals was insistent; Glover had to go. Eventually, she was forcibly placed in a police wagon and taken to jail.

Doctors and others testified at Glover's sanity hearing. Friends said, "within the last year her mental affliction has been growing worse." At 56 years old, Glover would have been considered, by the hospital's superintendent, as having “almost no hope of recovery.”

A key symptom of dementia, Glover's most likely diagnosis, is forgetfulness; however, Glover hadn't forgotten to hire movers. Nor had she mistakenly gone to her old address. Glover had gone to the new address indicating she remembered she had moved. Because of her age and very little personal interaction with the hospital's doctors Glover spent the last 22 years of her life, in the hospital. Glover is buried in the patient cemetery at Eastern Washington Hospital in Medical Lake, in a grave marked only with a number.

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Map

136 S. Ash St. ~ Location is approximate as all the houses on Ash St. and the home where Susan was picked up, are no longer standing.