Duxbury Free Library
77 Alden Street
Duxbury, Massachusetts 02332
781-934-2721

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Finding Aid: Duxbury Board of Health 

Collection ID: AR WSB S1B HEA
Collection Name
: The Papers of the Duxbury Board of Health
Span Dates: 1912-1966
Creator: Duxbury Board of Health
Extent: 13 items
Language: Collection material is in English
Repository: The Duxbury Free Library History Room
Abstract: This collection contains records created by and related to the Duxbury Board of Health

The Massachusetts General Laws outline responsibilities for local Boards of Health, including disease prevention and control and environmental protection. The first mention of the Duxbury Board of Health in Town Reports was in the year ending 3/15/1882. At that time, the Board consisted of three members The first four reports of the Board of Health dealt briefly with general health of the town with reference to contagious disease, but primarily with a complaint filed by summer residents about the Standard Fertilizer Company, which manufactured fertilizer from fish, stating that the works “were a nuisance and injurious to the public health and praying that the same might be abated. The Board took action to abate the nuisance, but the summer residents applied the following year to the State Board of Health which ordered that the Standard Fertilizer Company cease and desist operation. The Duxbury Board of Health protested to the State Board of Health. In the next year's Town Report, there was a report of a trial which had found in favor of the local Board of Health. The report for the year ending 3/15/1885 reported on an act by the state legislature concerning contagious diseases and then on the status of Standard the Fertilizer Company.

Report for year ending 1889, it was noted that fertilizer plant closed, and work was light so that the Board of Health seldom needed to meet and held no regular meetings. The Board recommended that the Board of Selectmen act as the Board of Health, with a physician overseeing disease under the direction of the Board. Through the rest of the century, there was no separate Board of Health and reports were brief on the incidence of contagious disease. In 1900, a separate three member Board of Health reappears. There is a longer report, expressing concern about contamination of drinking water by sewage. ”Let us see to it that our necessary evils are as far removed from the water we drink as possible, and that they are made inoffensive.” The report includes state statues relating to nuisance, contagious disease and sewage removal. In 1989, the Board of Health was expanded to five members “on a rotating basis to provide more expertise and coverage for the health and welfare to the Town of Duxbury.

  Subject Headings

Public Health-Massachusetts-Duxbury
Duxbury (Mass.)
Diseases
Typhoid Fever
Scarlet Fever
Tuberculosis
Minutes and Proceedings
Notebooks
Licenses

Administrative Information

Provenance : The Papers of the Duxbury Board of Health were given to the Duxbury Free Library by Jennifer Durmple, former Duxbury Health Officer, in 2006.

Access Restrictions: For use in the library only (Duxbury History Room)

Finding Aid Prepared by : Kerry Durkin, October 2008, Debbie Killory 2009

Scope and Content Note : This collection is made up of 15 items, created by the Duxbury Board of Health.

Call number: AR WSB S1 HEA

Container List
The collection consists of notebooks containing records of the Board of Health ranging in date from February, 1911 through 1966. Ten of the notebooks are contained in an archival box, measuring 12 inches by 10 ¼ inches by 5 inches (height by width by depth); in addition, there are 3 larger notebooks.

Archival box, listed chronologically :

•  4” x 6.5” dark red bound notebook, with A – Z tabs, handwritten

Entries ordered by subject, not date, appears to cover expenses for 1912 – 1913.

•  8.25” x 10.25” black and maroon bound notebook, handwritten

Copies of correspondence of the Board of Health from September 28, 1912 through December 26, 1913, plus report on school inspections of May 15, 1914. Final entry concerning Stephen Thomas “a colored man” seems to be trying to determine his history and residence. Never clearly stated the purpose of the investigation. No date at beginning of entry, but last paragraph dated Oct. of 1914. (last entry on page 190 of 200 pages)

•  4” x 6.5” red bound notebook, with A – Z tabs, handwritten

“Secretaries book Chas W. Eaton, So Duxbury Board of Health Duxbury Mass”

Entries ordered by subject, not date, appears to cover expenses for 1914.

•  4” x 6.5” brown and black bound notebook, handwritten

Initial entry April 8, 1914, last entry February 11, 1916 – Longhand notes, appears to be primarily on details of contagious disease, with details and background of sufferers.

At the other end of notebook, several pages of entries beginning from back, is headed Supervising inspection of slaughtering and dairies, including disease of animals and inspections of barns.

•  4” x 6.5” brown and black bound notebook with A – Z tabs, handwritten

Longhand notes, filed in alphabetical tabs by subject, on various Board of Health issue, including contagious diseases and sewage issues. Not ordered by date and not always dated, but dates appear to be from 1916 and 1917.

•  4” x 6.5” brown and black bound notebook, handwritten

Initial entries undated; first full date: November 21, 1916, last entry August 19, 1918 – Longhand notes, appears to be primarily on contagious disease, with details and background of sufferers

•  4” x 6.5” brown and black bound notebook, handwritten

On cover: Chas. W Eaton Tremont Street Duxbury June 1919

Longhand notes on appears to be primarily on details of contagious disease, with details and background of sufferers through February 4, 1924.

•  5.25” x 7.5” black and maroon bound notebook, handwritten

First entry dated 1923, last July 29, 1946

On title page is written in longhand: Record of Licenses as issued in accordance with General Laws, Chapter 138, sections 34 to 38. Records start with license number, when and to whom issued, amount paid, but not the reason issued. 1929 licenses issued grouped together by type: Pasteurization, alcohol, garbage, with detail of who was issued same. Some years just the total amounts received. Among the licenses issued: tourist camps, garbage, undertakers, methyl alcohol, inoculations, alcohol, milk and oleo.

•  8.25” x 10.25” black and maroon bound notebook, handwritten

First entry dated February 1, 1922, last May first, 1925

Minutes of monthly meetings (usually first of month), with date of acceptance of minutes noted. Minutes quite detailed. (last entry on page 49 of 198 pages)

•  8.25” x 10.25” black and maroon bound notebook, handwritten

First entry dated July 1, 1929; last March 1932.

Record of meetings of Board of Health. Minimal minutes with list of bills (no amounts, just vendors) bulk of entries. (last entry on page 41 of 200 pages)

Notebooks, in chronological order:

Book 1 (call number: AR, WSB, S1B1)
11” x 15.5” black and maroon bound notebook, handwritten entries. Log of receipts, February, 1212 – December, 1913 most pages empty. Loose page, smaller size (8.5” x 14”) for receipts January 1 st , 1914 – January 1 st , 1915.

Book 2 (call number: AR, WSB, S1B2)
9” x 14' black and maroon bound notebook, handwritten entries
Dairy inspections Duxbury Board of Health May and June, 1915, only two pages written on. List of dates, name and addresses, time, and expenses

Book 3 (call number:AR, WSB, S1B3)
12” x 8' black binder , primarily typed entries, most pages blank. Licenses, 1960 – 1963, with four entries from 1965-1966. Auctioneers, beer (one day), cabin or motel, camp, club all alcoholic, common victualler's, concert or entainment on the lord's day, garage, garbage, ice cream, innholder's, liquor, methyl alcohol, milk, milk vehicle, mobile canteen, offal, oleo, Sunday, taxicab. Most entries typed, four entries from 1965-1966, handwritten in pen.

 

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