Early Village Records ~ 1928-1938
Our early 1900s Village councilmen had many interesting things to deal with, but our file on “complaints and nuisances” adds some humor to the mix. We find several complaints made about smelly, fly infested outhouses in the village and warning letters issued to the offending property owners. September 8, 1932 a letter was sent to a Mrs. Fannie Chapman to cease throwing garbage and trash into the alley. July 1935 a letter was sent to Mrs. C.C. Chapman about violating a village ordinance on closing hours for selling soft drinks and beverages at her place of business.
The Ohio State Highway Department was cited in June of 1937 for failing to cut the weeds growing in the old canal right of way within the village. Several warnings were sent in 1930 to property owners for driving over the curb to access their property. (We suspect that curbs and gutters were a new thing to these residents.) In August of 1938 a petition signed by thirteen residents was presented to the Council complaining about stone dust blowing over their property from the Barrett Plant. There is an undated letter in the file signed by seven residents complaining about a large number of birds in their trees being a nuisance and making a mess of their sidewalk. They wished that council might do something to eliminate these birds.
January of 1936 the Waterville Chamber of Commerce voted to send a letter to council complaining about children sledding down Mechanic Street and requesting the Village provide a “safe and proper place” for this activity. This was not a first for complaints about children playing on the downhill streets. An August 4, 1932 letter was sent to five sets of parents from the clerk of council requesting they stop their children from the dangerous practice of playing on the walks with wagons, skates and scooters, especially in front of business places.
This file is part of a large collection of early Village of Waterville records at the Wakeman Archives available to the public. We hope that this story might inspire some of our readers to run for Waterville City Council.