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CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT. In 1846 the president and the town trustees passed an ordinance calling for the appointment of "some person with skill in the science of medicine to be styled the port physician." It was the duty of this person to
visit every vessel coming from any port known to be infected with "any pestilential or contagious disease, and to strictly examine the passengers officers and crew of every boat as aforesaid previous to any person landing from the same or any person being permitted to go on board of said boat except the port physician or his assistants.
If the port physician found evidence of a contagious or communicable disease
he shall immediately make known the same to the president of the board who shall order the boat or vessel to be immediately removed and anchored in the middle of the channel of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER, there to remain until such time as the port physician shall think necessary, or as the public good requires and the president of the board shall have full power and authority to summon to his assistance any number of citizens that he may think proper to carry into effect any of the provisions of this ordinance, and any citizens refusing to act when so summoned shall be liable to a fine of not less than one nor more than five dollars; and the boat or vessel shall not be permitted after having been so anchored in the stream to land any of her passengers, officers or crew of any portion of cargo until a strict examination be made by the port physician.
The ordinance continued-
If any captain or officer of a steamboat or vessel shall land within the limits of this town any person infected with any contagious disease without first obtaining permission from the port physician shall on conviction thereof before any justice of the peace, be fined the sum ten dollars and be liable for any expense that may be incurred by the corporation on behalf of said individuals.
1. "City Health Work Exactly 100 Years Old," Telegraph-Herald, June 25, 1946, p. 3