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After the last campaign of the Yakima Indian War, the Coeur d'Alene War of 1858 was brought to a close by the actions of Col. Rail freight rates were much higher in Spokane than the rates in coastal seaport cities such as Seattle and Portland, so much so that Minneapolis merchants could ship goods first to Seattle and then back to Spokane for less than shipping directly to Spokane, even though the rail line ran through Spokane on the way to the coast.

George Wright, who won decisive victories against a confederation of tribes in engagements at the battles of Four Lakes and Spokane Plains. Scranton, cattle ranchers who squatted and established a claim at Spokane Falls in 1871. Initially, the Palouse was thought to unsuitable for wheat production due to the hilly terrain, believing wheat could not be cultivated on the tops of the hills, but the region showed great promise for wheat production when it began in the late 1850s in part due to the hilltops.

The first American settlers in what is now Spokane were J. Local morale was affected for years by the collapse of the Division Street Bridge early in the morning on December 15, 1915, which killed five people and injured over 20, but a new bridge was built (eventually replaced in 1994).

The lowest elevation in the city of Spokane is the northernmost point of the Spokane River within city limits (in Riverside State Park) at 1,608 feet (490 m); the highest elevation is on the northeast side, near the community of Hillyard (though closer to Beacon Hill and the North Hill Reservoir) at 2,591 feet (790 m).

Spokane lies in the Northern Rockies ecoregion near the eastern edge of the basaltic Channeled Scablands steppe, a plain that eventually rises sharply to the east towards the rugged, timbered Rocky Mountain foothills, the Selkirk Mountains.

Gonzaga University was established in 1887 by the Jesuits, and the private Presbyterian Whitworth University opened three years later in north Spokane. Eventually the winds and the fire died down; 32 blocks of Spokane's downtown core had been destroyed and one person killed. Stratton, "From the late 1890s to about 1912, a great flurry of construction created a modern urban profile of office buildings, banks, department stores, hotels and other commercial institutions" which stretched from the Spokane River to the site of the Northern Pacific railroad tracks below the South Hill.

In sports, the Gonzaga Bulldogs collegiate basketball team competes at the Division I level. In the 1890s the city was subject to intrastate migration by African-Americans from Roslyn, looking for work after the closure of the area's mines.

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