Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

The Waterville Health Department

...The Village of Waterville was incorporated in 1882 and assumed the mayor-council form of government at that time. The old village records, held at the Wakeman Archives, show that the village either didn’t need or didn’t get around to establishing a village health department until 1890. Perhaps it was required by the State of Ohio. The original hardbound record book of The Waterville Health Department dated September 10, 1890 documents initial meeting of appointed members, election of officers and the rules under which the Board would operate. The members were Mayor James Marston, O.W.Ballou, Peter Ullrich, J.E. Hall, Samuel Downs, plus Dr. J.J. Lawless and Josephus Russell who were absent the first meeting. Hall, Ballou and Downs were selected to draft the rules and regulations for the Board.

These regulations were presented and adopted at the next meeting on September 15, 1890. The adopted rules included such things are the number of hogs a villager could keep (two) and type of pen allowed, the amount of manure a livery stable could collect in summer, permitting and regulations of slaughter houses, etc. The first appointed Health Officer, who had to react to all complaints, was Dr. Samuel Downs. The new regulations were duly posted around the village as public notification of same. Subsequent meetings in 1891, 1892 and 1893 dealt mostly with complaints about unsanitary privies and many concerning the operation of several slaughter houses around town.

The Waterville Board of Health was reorganized in 1895 to follow guidelines established by the State of Ohio Board of Health. Many of the new rules were concerned with the contagious diseases diphtheria, scarlet fever, smallpox and cholera. These were far more extensive than the 1890 rules. The sale of meat and milk within the village were also regulated. The Board of Health was again re-organized in 1900 per ordinance of the Village Council and adopted the 1895 rules and regulations. The last entry in this initial records book is dated March 3 1902 and appears on page 46 of a 230 page book. Apparently a different form of keeping minutes for the Board of Health was adopted.

P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

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