Utah History to Go
Vaccinations in Wasatch County
Change and Creativity
Struggle for Statehood
Struggle for Statehood Chronology
In 1895 Utahns Wondered When Statehood Would Come
A State is Born
Party Politics and Utah Statehood
The Constitutional Convention is Called
Constitution Was Framed in City and County Building
African American Community and Politics, 1890-1910
The Broad Ax and the Plain Dealer Kept Utah's African Americans Informed
Clarence E. Allen Was Utah's First Congressman
How Utah Lost One of Its U.S. Senate Seats in 1899
Salt Lake Native Was Interred in the Kremlin Wall
The Shooting of Arthur Brown, Ex-Senator From Utah
Convict Labor Helped to Build Utah's Road
Strawberry Valley, 1st Federal Reclamation Project
Women's Suffrage in Utah
Woman Suffrage Dominated Politics in Utah
Kanab Residents Chose Women to Run Their Town, 1912
Ruth May Fox, Forgotten Suffragist
Soren Hanson's "House That Eggs Built"
Utah Arts Council
Utah State Historical Society
The Beginning of Public Support For Libraries
The Pasta King of the Mountain West
Celebrating the New Year in Salt Lake's Chinatown
Electrifying Utah-Engineer Lucien L. Nunn
A Brewer-Sportsman's Prairie Style Home in Ogden
Saltair Village Was a Unique Place to Live
Boxing Fans Take the Plunge at Saltair
Castilla Hot Springs Attracted Many Visitors
Minstrel Shows
Utah State Capitol
Utah in the Spanish American War
Captain Richard W. Young and Spanish-American War
A Soldier's Life at Fort Douglas in the Early 1900's
Methodist Women Missionaries Worked Hard in Utah
Flour Mills
Guano Sifters on Gunnison Island
The Lehi Beet Sugar Factory
The Salt Industry Was One of the First Enterprises
From Free Salt to a Major Industry
Hospitals and Health Crazes in the Late 1800's
The Myths and Legends of Butch Cassidy
Butch Cassidy
Would the New State of Utah Go Metric?
A Look at Working Women in the Early 20th Century
Jobs in 1900
Explosion of Pleasant Valley Coal Company
The Lucin Cutoff
Southern Utah's First High School
Life Was Precarious in Turn-of-the-Century Utah
Salt Lake City Had Its Typhoid Mary
Vaccinations in Wasatch County
Promoting Physical Fitness
Woman's Home Association Tried to Help the "Fallen"
Juvenile Delinquency Posed Problems For Utahns
Traveling Gypsies Brought an Exotic Lifestyle to Utah
The First Large Factory in Utah
The Rise and Fall of Ogden's Packing Industry
Newsboys Claimed Their Street Corners in Downtown
The Bamberger Electric Railway
The First Cars in Two Small Towns
A Bicyclist Challenges the Great Salt Lake Desert
Daredevils of the Sky-Early Aeronauts in Utah
Ogden Defeats Salt Lake City in a War of the Wheels
Utah's Immigrants at the Turn of the Century
Boys' Potato Growing Clubs
Joe Hill and the I.W.W.
Socialist Women and Joe Hill
A Bit of Polynesia Remains
Justice Zane and Antipolygamy
The Salt Lake Valley Smelter War
Jessie L. Embry
The History of Wasatch County

Health care is another area in which government became increasingly involved around the turn of the century. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, residents frequently shared contagious diseases. Lethe Belle Coleman Tatge of Midway described epidemic outbreaks of diphtheria and smallpox. At first the only ways to prevent spreading disease were to keep the sick people home and cancel public meetings. The Heber City Board of Health, established in 1898, set the rules for quarantines for Heber and one mile outside the city limits. The board of health enforced these rules and required the families to pay the city's expenses of posting signs. The president of the health board could bar all public meetings when there was an epidemic. Even with these measures, disease control continued to be a problem throughout the county. When the local health board canceled public meetings, people still met each other and spread the infection. Communities tried several other methods. In 1902 the Midway Board of Health ruled that children under the age of sixteen could not attend public amusements. The board did not discontinue schools during an epidemic in 1906, arguing that while the students were in class they did not intermix as much with other residents.

At the turn of the century, many Americans believed government overstepped its bounds if it mandated newly developed vaccinations. The Wave editor stated he would favor compulsory vaccinations only if they were absolutely necessary, because he did not feel they were safe. Midway residents felt that requiring vaccinations was "unAmerican," "unconstitutional," and would not prevent the spread of the disease. This was a common belief in Utah, and in 1901 the state passed an anti-vaccination law. The Wave applauded the move: "In other words, it robs the tyrant of his power to rob the people of their right to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'" In response to a Salt Lake Tribune article asking why allow quarantines and not vaccinations, The Wave said it favored quarantining but questioned the logic of requiring children to have vaccinations when others in public places had not. The debate continued. No final decisions were made, and in January 1901 Heber Central School decided not to bar non-vaccinated children if there were no new cases of smallpox. The next month the schools were opened to all children regardless of whether they had been vaccinated.

By 1909 that opinion had changed. Dr. W. R. Wherritt, a local physician who also worked for several communities, called a public meeting at the Heber Second Ward meetinghouse. He requested money from the school fund to pay for vaccinations, and The Wave applauded the idea. State and county citizens continued to debate the issue, and in 1922 the state board of education encouraged but did not require vaccinations for smallpox.

Sources:  Tatge, 9, LDS Church Archives; Wasatch Wave, 22 April 1898, 2; Midway City Council Minutes, 23 December 1902. Wasatch Wave, 21 December 1900, 2; 13 March 1991, 2B; 1 February 1901, 2; 8 February 1901, 2; 11 January 1901, 3; 8 February 1901, 3. Wasatch Wave, 8 October 1909, 2; 2 March 1922, 5.


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