Hamilton County Ohio
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Report of the Board of Health
Aug 1870

Transcribed by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Mortality for July
Everybody to be Prosecuted
The board met in regular session yesterday afternoon at the Mayor s office. In the absence of his Honor Mayor Torrence, Mr. Charles Thomas was appointed to the chair.
Present- Messer s. Simpkinson, Hauck, Baum, Thomas, & Fiedeldey and the Health Officer.
Absent- S.L. Davis, and his Honor Mayor Torrence.
Minutes read and approved.
Report of Boiler Inspector, that during July he inspected 35 boilers, and collected 97. One boiler was bad, Report accepted.
Mr. Simpkinson said the open sewers were a nuisance that should be attended to. When the matter was brought up it was complained that the board had no power to act in the premises. He knew that in the Eastern cities the Cincinnati Board of Health was regarded as the leading one of the land, and Cincinnati had the name of being the cleanest city in the Union, and he believed it true. The reason the board lacked power to act in reference to the sewers was it had not sought necessary legislation. He would move the appointment of the committee of three to examine, in connection with the Health Officer, the health code, and revise and add to the same where needed. Carried.
The committee are Messrs. Simpkinson, Baum, Fiedeldey, and the Health Officer.
Mr. Simpkinson presented a resolution to refer to Colonel Pummil and the Health officer a denial in one of the city papers, by a citizen of the 21st Ward, of certain allegations in a recent report of the health Officers on the bad condition of the cow stables in that ward. Carried
Mr. Simpkinson said the stink at the corner of Vine & 4th Streets, caused by the street car stand, was as vigorous as ever. He thought it ought to be abated.
The health Officer stated he had served proper notice often on the President of the road, but he did not heed it.
On notion, the Health Officer was ordered to have the President of the road brought before the Police Court if it was not attended to at once.
The health Officers was directed to notify the Superintendent of the Street Cleaning Department, Mr. George Thompson, the contractor to remove dead animals, to make their regular visits to the 22nd and 23rd Wards.

On motion, the Health Officer was directed to have all milkmen not coming up to the proper standard with their milk, prosecuted before the Police Court.
Mr. Baum moved that the health Officer and Milk Inspector confer together to regulate the standard of milk, Lost.

The Milk Inspectors report was presented and accepted.
The Meat Inspector, Mr. Snyder, reported for last month that he had condemned 610 lbs. beef, 5875 lbs mutton, 10lbs veal, 4 hogs, 4 calves, 18 pigs feet.

The Honorable Board of health
Gentleman I have the honor to present the following report for the month ending July 31,1870:

Whole number of deaths: 503

Males___________________246  White__________________492
Females_________________263  Colored ________________11

Married ________________112  Single_________________372
Widows_________________ 13  Widowers______________ 7

United States___________351  Germany________________94
Ireland_________________41  England & Scotland_______9
Born in other countries________________________________6
Not classified________________________________________ 2

American________________218 Foreign_________________255

1st Ward -- -20 | 14th Ward -- 17
2nd Ward -- - 7 | 15th Ward -- 17
3rd Ward -- -22 | 16th Ward -- 43
4th Ward -- -15 | 17th Ward -- -18
5th Ward -- -13 | 18th Ward -- -34
6th Ward -- -19 | 19th Ward -- -28
7th Ward -- -25 | 20th Ward -- 8
8th Ward -- -38 | 21st Ward -- 8
9th Ward -- -25 | 22nd Ward -- 4
10th Ward -- 39 | 23rd Ward -- 3
11th Ward -- 20 | 24th Ward -- 2
12th Ward -- 43 | Cincinnati Hospital --9
13th Ward -- 20 | Locality not stated -- 1

Under 1 yr. of age -- 156
Between 1 & 2 yrs. of age -- 81
Between 2 & 5 yrs. of age -- 36
Between 5 & 10 yrs of age -- 10
Between 10 & 20 yrs of age -- 24
Between 20 & 30 yrs of age -- 49
Between 30 & 40 yrs of age -- 35
Between 40 & 50 yrs of age -- 45
Between 50 & 60 yrs of age -- 25
Between 60 & 70 yrs of age -- 12
Between 70 & 80 yrs of age -- 14
Between 80 & 90 yrs of age -- 5
Over 90 yrs of age -- 1
Ages not stated -- 0
Still-births -- 19
Total -- 522


Accident -- 21 Dropsy -- 10 Marasmus -- 5
Apoplexy -- 17 Dysentery -- - 5 Menigitis -- 21
Asthura -- 1 Delirium Tremens -- 4 Old Age -- 10
Bronchitis -- 4 Diphtheria -- - 3 [can't read line]
Bowels, Inflamation -- 12 Erysipelas -- - 1 Pneumonia -- -9
Brain, Inflamation of -- 29 Fever, Typhoid -- 7 Premature Birth -- 4
Chlorea morbus -- -15 Fever, congestive -- -10 Peritonitis -- -3
Chlorea Infantum -- 80 Fever, Bilbous -- -1 Scrofula -- 1
Consumption -- 50 Fever, Puerpeara -- ? Heart Disease -- 5
Convulsions -- 68 Fever, Scarlet -- 1 Whooping Cough -- 6
Croup -- - 3 Inanition -- 4 Hydrocephalus -- 12
Cancer -- 2 Dyspepsia -- 1 Unknown -- 2
Cyanosis -- -1 Jaundice -- 4 Sunstroke -- 16
Diarrhea -- -21 Liver, disease -- 4 Syphilis -- 1
Debility --10 Measles -- 8 Suicide -- 2
    Soothing Syrup - 1

The mortality during July was 94 more than during the preceding month of June, and 98 more than the corresponding month last year.
The following shows the mortality in the city each month during the present year, also the deaths in July in each of the last 5 years.

Months -- Deaths
January -- 325
February -- -272
March -- 338
April -- 311
May -- --316
June -- -409
July -- -503
July,1866 -- 337
July, 1867 -- 392
July,1868 -- 630
July,1869 -- 395
July, 1870 -- 503



July 1867

July 1868

July 1869

July 1870

Cholera Infantum





Cholera Morbus




















In New York in 1810 one-half of all the persons who died were 24 years of age and upward; in 1820, half of the deaths were of persons only 20 years of age; in 1830, ten years of age equally divided the number of deaths; in 1840, half of all who died were only 5 yrs old; in 1850, at 4 years of age and under were half the deaths; in 1837(?) half the deaths were of children 2 years old and under.
One half of all the deaths in Philadelphia in 1807 took place after the 24th year of age; in 1820, half the decedents were not yet twenty years old; in 1830, half the deaths were under 16 years of age, in 1850, half the decedents were under 5 years of age, and un 1856, one-half were under 4 years old.

During the 4 years ending Feb. 28, 1870, there were reported to the health office in this city, 17,983 deaths as having occurred in that time. Of this number 8,659 were children under 5 years of age, or nearly one-half; and of these nearly 80 percent, were under 2 years of age.

Are these things so? Is this rate of destruction of human life necessary and inevitable? Will not parents demand something more than a mere statistical statement of the causes? And is there nothing in all this to interest public attention, and to awaken the sympathies and arouse the energies of lawmakers?
How common it is in case of death, especially the death of a child, for the friends and physician also to consider that it was inevitable that it was the result of causes none could have foreseen or prevented. This blind submission to what is too often regarded as the will of the Creator may be to some a source of consolation, but such thoughtless ignorance has sacrificed the lives of thousands of men, women and tens of thousands of the little children.
This mortality is in some measure to be attributed to hereditary causes, but an investigation of the diseases most common and most fatal among children, are controllable and preventable; that is, they are due to preventable circumstances.

A popular fallacy is that one cause preceded and originates disease, when the fact is that it is due to a combination of causes. During the 4 years ending Mar. 1,1870 of the 8,659 children that died under 5 years of age, 1,198 of cholera infantum, the common summer complaint of children; of convulsions, 1,299, of this class died during the same period; of other bowel diseases, were 889 deaths in the same category, while there died from inflammation and congestion of the brain 583; diphtheria, 185;croup,207 shooping cough, 107;smallpox,588,scarlet fever, 107;measles 161.Bowel & Brain diseases cause most of these deaths, and as these are most common in summer it is plainly to be inferred that heat is one of the influential causes of these diseases. Of bowel & stomach diseases another cause is improper diet. The most potent cause is foul atmosphere produced by decaying filth, bad drainage, obstructed sewers, cesspools, putrifying excrement, and above all, overcrowding of human beings in tenements. Children living in most crowded portions of the city and in most crowded tenements suffer greatest, while children in the country suffer very little from the above diseases. From this the natural inference is, that the heat is by no means the sole cause of this infant mortality. For some reason we may conclude that fresh natural fruits eaten in moderation are not the cause of the above diseases.
Only when the system of the child is prepared for disease by bad air, does teething have any danger. The foul air of badly ventilated houses in narrow and crowded streets causes a thousand fold more mortality than fruits, vegetables and teething.

The children of the poor suffer most from summer complaints. Our city in it originals limits is the most compactly built city in the United States, and , in proportion, has as many tenement houses as New York ;viz, 1,410, each containing 6 families and upward. These house contained 16,197 rooms, and were occupied by 9,894, families, with a population of 38,721 persons. Of these there were 4,218 families occupying each 1 room, in which to cook, wash their clothing, sleep, etc. Of these there are 3,571 with but 1 window each, and no other means of ventilation. The infant occupying such a room has but a small chance to escape disease, and, getting a disease, has but a small chance for life.

The District Physician in vain prescribes pure air to the mother who can not afford it. The mother has no rich friend, and the child can not be taken to the country, so must die. There is now no place provided by the city where this mother may go and get pure air for her dying child. The need is for a place where the child might be taken daily and obtain fresh air. This would save many hundreds of lives annually.

Mr. Simpkinson concurred in the latter recommendation of the report. No action was taken on the report.
On motion of Mr. Fiedeldey, the Health Officer was ordered to prosecute W.J. M. Gordon for maintaining an open sewer on his premises at the corner of 5th and Culvert streets.
On motion adjourned


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