Practical Results in the Division of Health
The public has a right to much self-congratulation at the record of the activities of this department. No other shows more practical results nor better proof of the statement that "You can purchase health." Going carefully over the testimony of the various officials connected with it wherein the story of the laboratory work, the work of the various clinics, is found, the public nursing service, the inspection of dairies and milk, of slaughterhouses, ice cream factories, groceries, eating places, bakeries, cold storage plants, confectioneries, fish markets, bottling works, markets ; its confiscation of condemned cattle and spoiled fruit, its establishment of rigorous quarantine, abolition of old-fashioned drinking fountains and unsanitary premises one must feel that the health of the citizens of Dayton is pretty well guarded. A few figures will be the only necessary substantiation.
In the Bureau of Medical Service much good was done through the much discussed and formerly unpopular school inspection. "We believe that the low prevalence of scarlet fever and diphtheria during the last year can largely be attributed to school inspections by our physicians and nurses, says the head of the Division of Health. Eighteen cases of diphtheria were discovered in the month of September, 1918. Nearly as many of scarlet fever. What might not these thirty or more sick children have done by spreading those dreadful diseases if not discovered in time? There were 142,000 inspections and examination of school children during the year and free advice given their parents as to care and treatment. It is worthy of mention in this connection that only under the present city government has the health department had the services of a medical man at full time. In the old days what time was left over from a doctor's private practice was considered sufficient for the city's needs. Under the administration of the present Commissioner of Health, Dr. A. 0. Peters, the health of the city is not only his first but his only occupation.
In the nurses' department we find a record of over thirty-eight thousand house visits made for p of nursing, instruction to purposes of nursing, instruction to mothers, investigation, quarantine ; we find over sixteen hundred patients treated in clinics ; over eleven thousand quarts of pure milk furnished to sick babies and children ; we find the scourge of contagious diseases pursued relentlessly from the time the case is first reported until it is wiped out by care and vigilance, thus greatly reducing the death rate. We find over twelve hundred babies examined at the public clinic and their mothers instructed as to proper clothing and scientific feeding; we find forty babies out of every thousand saved to life and usefulness who otherwise would have been carried out to Woodland cemetery; we find people taught by word of mouth, by posters and printed directions, of the blessings of fresh air in bedrooms at night, of the dangers of spitting in public places, of allowing garbage and refuse to collect on the premises, of the manner in which influenza is communicated. The infant death rate has been reduced in Dayton from a hundred and twenty-four out of every thousand to eighty, of babies under a year old.
(page 203) Maps upon the walls of the Health Department show at a glance where the cases of tuberculosis are, the typhoid fever, the diphtheria, the measles. Not a single case of any disease dangerous to the public is allowed to get away. When a group of pins on the health map mark a more than-usual percentage of a certain disease, immediate steps are taken to examine, cleanse and fumigate the premises. By such eternal vigilance is the death rate of Dayton kept low. The influenza in the fall of 1918 made much extra work for the sanitary police, many of them being out from four in the morning until ten thirty at night and nearly every Sunday besides. All churches, picture theatres and places where children congregated were placarded barring children under fourteen; every saloon, every street car, was watched to see that proper ventilation was maintained ; offenders found spitting on the floors were arrested and fined; three houses condemned as unsanitary were remodeled and put in good condition ; three others were completely destroyed as hopeless for human beings ; vaults were ordered cleaned to the number of nearly a thousand and all perpendicular drinking fountains ordered discontinued.
In the bureau of Laboratory much new research work has been instituted and already proved its worth in carrying on the campaign against infectious disease. Nearly a thousand samples of milk have been analyzed, nearly four hundred food products, over a thousand cases of water analysis. The city water is regularly examined almost daily during the course of every year, samples being taken from different hydrants all over the city. The results have in every case shown a degree of purity in the water, and consequent safety to the public well within the standard fixed by the United States Government. A few minor corrections were made in parks and playgrounds outside the city limits.
The bakeries and candy factories are carefully looked to for possible sources of disease. In two of the former and two of the latter incipient cases of tuberculosis were found among the employees and the situation immediately rectified. At the various fruit and commission houses a total of nineteen hundred and seventy-seven bushels of fruit was condemned as unfit for consumption In the markets if merchants exposed food for sale uncovered they were given a stated number of hours to rectify the omission or were heavily fined. All dairy products, apple butter, jams and jellies, are required to be kept under protection from dust and flies. Sixty samples of ice cream were collected for analysis. The five hundred groceries in the city are inspected as often as possible considering the fact that there is only' one inspector to cover the entire city. Seventy-three per cent of them scored up to sanitary standards.
To sum up the advantages to Dayton in the Division of Health they are found to be as follows : Low infant death rate due to baby clinics held at the beginning of summer and the follow-up work in the homes during the year. Low typhoid death rate. Improved milk supply. Epidemics of scarlet fever and diphtheria prevented by prompt measures of discovery and quarantine. Adaptation of Medical, Nursing and Sanitary services to the needs of the people.
(page 204) Efficiency of the laboratory research work. The issuing of a monthly bulletin. The establishing of a venereal clinic.
As in so many public services the need of money is a constant cry in the Health 'Department. Larger appropriations through public taxes would materially increase the value of this department to the community. There should be more sanitary officers that food inspection might be complete. There should be medical examination of all handlers of food. The clinics should be enlarged so as to accommodate more people. There should be a wider instruction of the public matters of health and there should be more nurses.
One of the most admirable and far-reaching activities of the Division of Public Welfare in Dayton is the department of boys' gardens, gradually developed to include girls' gardens, school
gardens and experimental gardens. Like so many others of the social activities of the city, it had its inception in private initiative to be precise, in the mind of Mr. J. H. Patterson.
It was, we believe, in 1892, that returning delegates from the General Federation of Women's Clubs, meeting that year in Louisville, Ky., told a story of the cultivation of vacant city lots by boys in Denver. The account of it as one of the measures for public welfare of the Denver Woman's club, was told by its president, Mrs. Sarah Platt. The story got to Mr. Patterson's ears and united there with a problem just then paramount in the minds of the directors of the National Cash Register factory as to what to do with the mischievous neighborhood boys who, having time on their hands, used it to destroy fences, break windows and otherwise lower values in that part of town. "What is good for one community is good for another," is an aphorism often heard in those precincts. It was applied then and there.
Mr. Patterson offered the free use of land near the factory and had it ploughed up. Seeds were distributed among the boys of the neighborhood and prizes offered for the best results. The experiment was an undoubted success. This was in 1894. From year to year the gardens grew-more boys, more land, more vegetables and more prizes. Then, to make a long story short, in 1917 the company turned over to the city the three varieties of gardens, boys' gardens, girls' gardens and employees' gardens-in all nine acres of beautifully productive ground.
Any boy wishing a plot of ground to cultivate applies to the Welfare Department of the city; a piece is assigned to him, ploughed up and he goes to work. The. boys are organized into an incorporated company for profit from the crops ; there is a board of directors, dividends are declared and deposits made in the bank. Once a year the N. C. R. Company entertains at dinner all the boy and girl gardeners and their fathers and mothers. Prizes are awarded and moving pictures of the gardens shown. A special prize is given for the best essay on "The Benefits of Garden Cultivation." About the year 1918 the Dayton Playground and Gardens association began a city-wide movement for garden cultivation. The (page 205) work comprised three departments : school gardens, home gardens, and vacant lot gardens. In the summer of 1918 there were eighteen model school gardens in Dayton. On these school gardens nearly a thousand children were instructed twice each week in the principles and practice of raising vegetables. A trained instructor is in charge of this work and each child is taught the entire subject from the preparation of the ground to the harvest and sale of the product.
The value of these products in 1918 was $7,300. These gardens were established in both public and parochial schools, most of them on ground loaned by citizens. Since 1917 the school authorities conduct and finance the school gardens.
The children's Home Gardens are an interesting development of the garden idea. Early in February the seeds are secured from a house in Cleveland and sold at reduced rates to the children. In 1918, there were three thousand six hundred home gardens with a total acreage of forty acres. The average size of each child's plot was twenty-two by twenty-two feet. The total value of crops raised was $32,957.00, the expenses $4,660.00, and the net profits $28,296.51. The gardens are visited regularly by expert inspectors and graded according to quality and the children according to faithfulness in their work.
The Vacant Lot Gardens were started as a permanent public service in 1914. If a family wants to use a vacant lot for planting the head makes application to the city. He promises to get the ground ready for cultivation, remove all weeds and rubbish, to plant a border of flowers on the street side. Permission is given and the city plows up the lot. A fee of fifty cents is paid by each applicant as evidence of serious purposes and to relieve the service from the suggestion of a public charity. In 1918, there were over two thousand vacant lot gardens, families all working together, father, mother and children, to raise sufficient vegetables not only for their own needs but to sell and increase the family resources. Semi invalids, one-armed men and children out of school hours found in the work a real promotion of health. Much friendly rivalry is evinced every year and the corn, squashes, beans and tomatoes would gain a prize at any fair. The gardens were regularly inspected and graded by experts who at the same time gave every help and advice to the young workers. The Division had a total of fifteen garden inspectors, directed by a chief gardener. The backyard gardens totaled in round numbers- about three thousand. An exhibition of the product of the garden was held during the first week in September and prizes awarded the winners. The Dayton Correction Farm solves one of the insistent problems which presents itself to every community in its protection from criminals. There used to be but one way to do it-segregate the prisoner in as dark and cold and foul a place as possible and let him alone. This was under the principle of revenge for the wrong he had committed against society. The new way is to make of the place of detention, a school where lessons, unlearned while he was at liberty, might be acquired. The first way was to make him a permanent enemy of society, the new to give him a new point of view, improve his self-confidence and self-respect and restore him (page 206) to the open world when his sentence was fulfilled, as nearly a productive member of society as possible.
Dayton has tried the old way, as anyone visiting the out-of-date prison at the corner of Sixth and Main will understand. But Dayton has had a new vision and is proceeding to work it out in the modern correctional farm under construction, out on the Germantown Pike near the Soldiers. Home. Being seven minutes walk from the car line and twenty from the center of town makes it possible to use the men for work, as at present on the levees, river bed and anywhere where public work is going on. The plan is to provide for the prisoners hitherto herded in the city jail a wholesome place to live with an opportunity to learn a trade, to live largely out of doors and to render some benefit to the society that they have wronged, the institution to be provided with the facilities as are necessary for the moral, mental and physical improvement of all the inmates. It is proposed to carry out the mandates of the sentence under which they are committed, but in a humane and decent manner. There are individual buildings connected with a common center, free as far as possible from the constant reminder of imprisonment by bars and locks. The men and women are being taught to realize that their liberties have been taken from them, but that they will be given a chance through work. Stone in abundance lies directly under the surface of a part of the farm land. This has been used to construct the group of buildings, the prisoners themselves doing the work as well as making the roads. Surrounding them in a complete farm with dairy, piggery and hen house ; a work shop in which such things as mops, brooms and street sweeps now used by the city can be manufactured ; a complete laundry where all the city laundry work such as towels for the offices force, for Bomberger park, Island park are laundried as well as the clothing for the institution itself. There is a school room, a reading room and a recreation room where inmates may be taught the simple rudiments of an education and if possible stimulate them to do more 'for themselves after they get out. A welfare league, similar to that organized in Sing Sing by Thomas Mott Osborne, is also a feature of the social life of the farm giving the men an opportunity to try their hand at self-government within' certain limitations.
A system is in vogue under which a prisoner receives a small sum of money for labor performed, in order to encourage industry and enable him either to help his family or to lay away a fund to help start him anew in life after his release. A merit system is a part of the correctional plan under which a prisoner may secure a reduction of his term by good behavior or lengthen it by bad behavior. The indeterminate sentence is also, in force, by which broken down members of society may remain in the care of the institution until they are both physically and morally deserving of being restored to the responsibilities of normal living. Such a method arouses hope in the minds of the prisoners and a resolve to do their best.
The Parole System. Since April, 1915, the parole system has been in force at the City Prison and will be used also at the (page 207) Correction Farm. The results have been gratifying. The superintendent finds work for a prisoner outside and leaves him only the liberty of working. He leaves the prison in the morning and returns in the evening and at the end of the day his pay period brings his pay envelope to the Superintendent. The money is distributed between his family, his creditors or used for special purchases for himself. Any surplus is set aside as a fund to start him in a new life. The entire sum belongs to the prisoner. In no case has a single cent been turned into the city treasury. Several cases will show how it worked:
Case 10429 earned $123.05. $2.00 of this went to creditors, $43.25 to the purchase of clothes for the prisoner and his meals, leaving a balance of $77.80.
Case 1126 earned $210.00. $4.00 was paid to creditors, $49.00 to meals and clothing, leaving a balance of $157.00 upon return to private life.
Case 111371 earned $120.40. $94.40 went to relief of family, and $26.00 for prisoners clothes and meals.
The aim of the Correction Farm in general and the Parole system in particular is for the prisoners: First, to repay society in some measure for the wrong they have done. Secondly, to suffer discipline in order to achieve self-correction. Thirdly, to receive such instruction and direction and encouragement as will ft them for a more wholesome life than that which preceded their imprisonment. To this end the Farm offers unusual advantages with its open spaces, fresh air and sunshine and the opportunity of doing work with a worthy end in view.
During the year 1918 the following products were harvested at the farm : Peas, 15 bu.; potatoes, 305 bu.; onions, 27 bu.; rutabaga, 117 bu. ; tomatoes, 287 bu.; green beans, 70 bu.; lima beans, 12 bu.; kidney beans, 17 bu.; navy beans, 12 bu.; carrots, 52 bu.; cucumbers, 131 doz.; beets, 188 doz. ; sweet corn, 699 doz. ; radishes, 649 doz. ; peppers, 100 doz.; cabbage, 32,638 lbs. ; lettuce, 158 lbs. ; pork, 972 lbs.; lard, 761 lbs. ; milk, 854 gal. ; molasses, 84 gal. Besides this they raised fled corn, wheat, oats, alfalfa hay, clover hay, of which the total value was $7,639.54.
The Department of Safety. This department of the city government comprises the police and fire departments, the inspection of buildings, the policing of the rivers, the charge of the life-saving apparatus ; it takes care of the construction of buildings and insures generally the protection of life, property and health in the city of Dayton.
The Police Organization of Dayton consists of one chief, three inspectors, one superintendent of the bureau of identification, twelve sergeants, fifteen detectives, three matrons, one stenographer, one clerk, one janitor and one hundred and thirty-five patrolmen. The sergeants and patrolmen are assigned to different duties and stations throughout the city, some in plain clothes, some in uniform, and they operate night and day for patrol, inspection, traffic, pawn shops, speed regulation, identification, auto complaints, ambulance and on duty at headquarters. The figures of their several (page 208) accomplishments are too voluminous for the space at command in this book, but a few at random will give an idea of the ceaseless and invaluable activities of this department of the city government. They are city for the year 1918.
For instance, four thousand four hundred and eighteen complaints were received and attended to at the office during that year.
Property stolen in that time amounted to $246,936.28 and $230,491.72 of it was recovered. Three hundred and ninety-one persons were missing and one hundred and seventy-two located ; 3,316 ambulance calls made ; 3,314 patrol calls ; 5,130 emergency calls ; two hundred and seven autos stolen, most of which were recovered; three hundred and eighteen bicycles stolen, two hundred and sixteen recovered.
The complaints that came in and were acted upon amounted to 4,418, and included among others assault, robbery, burglary, cutting with intent to wound, forgery, false pretenses, gambling, grand larceny, horse stealing, house breaking, homicide, malicious destruction of property, petit larceny, pocket picking, rape, shooting to kill or wound, violation of city ordinances. There were two hundred and thirty-nine arrests and held to Grand Jury.
The Bureau of Aid and Disposition does good work, being carried on by ambulance, patrol and emergency Fords. Over eighteen thousand sick people were taken to hospitals, two hundred and fifty to their homes; over six hundred injured were taken where they could have care; sixty-six found dead, either from accident or their own hands, removed. These are mere excerpts taken from pages and pages of statistics devoted to arrests and causes for the same, the nationality, age and color of the persons and the nature of the offense in each case. The Auto police in four Ford touring cars covered nearly eleven thousand miles in the pursuit of their occupation in 1918. The patrol wagon covered three thousand three hundred and sixty miles during that year and gave nearly ten thousand unwilling passengers a free ride.
The Bureau of Crime Prevention, a wise attempt to lock the stable door before the horse is stolen, was inaugurated in October, 1917, with a sergeant of police in charge. It works in co-operation with the Humane society, the juvenile court, the Associated Charities and the police women. Here is its honor list of things accomplished : Complaints received, 876; referred to juvenile court, 50; referred to Associated Charities, 4; referred to Humane society, 18; referred to police women, 83; advice given, 720; cases adjusted out of court, 126; pool rooms visited, 66; saloons visited, 30; arrests made, 22.
Attention is called to the fact that in this department credit belongs for what the police did not do, viz., arrest the offenders and take them into court, thereby blasting hope and reputation. Of the possible 876 cases that formerly would have been haled up for public trial only 22 were thus created ; the others disposed of by referring them to various reformational agencies or dismissed with good advice. Two detectives assigned to pawn shops were able during 1918 to recover property to the value of $17,988.10. The number of accidents reported, personally investigated and attended to during (page 209) the year reached the number of 1,367, including 333 automobile accidents.
The Bureau of Identification keeps a gallery where the photographs :)f suspected persons are made and preserved, 2,703 being the record for the year. The registering of German alien enemies both male and female was done under the supervision of this bureau, also keeping record of all changes of addresses of the same, notifying Washington and the United States marshal at Cincinnati. There is on file in the bureau over 900 alien affidavits with photograph and finger prints.
Division of Building Inspection. One thousand three hundred and fifty-five building permits were issued during the year for buildings estimated to cost $3,843,075. They included theatres, stores, schools, hotels, apartments, warehouses, factories, office buildings, dwellings, clubs, garages, hospitals and power houses. Thousands. of inspections and corrections were made on incorrect plumbing, gas and electric wiring, chimneys, heating plants and signs. Five to ten thousand fire hazards were discovered and ordered rectified. Six thousand plumbing fixtures, drains, urinals, drinking fountains, dish washers, and sewer connections were inspected; over a thousand inspections and rebuilding of chimneys and furnaces, refrigerating plants, safety appliances and smoke prevention devices. The Division of Fire Protection. The losses by fire in Dayton for 1918 reached a value of $300,623.09, as compared with $682,841.58 in 1917, which is proof that the fire laddies have made good at their trade. There were twenty principal fires during that time, each entailing a loss of over $1,000. The department responded to 1,035 alarms during the year; there were 100 accident runs for other than f ire ; 21 unnecessary alarms came in. The largest number of fires was in January, owing to the severe weather, 123; the smallest in April, 52.
Fire prevention has come to be a much larger part of the work of the department than in former years. A rigid inspection is kept up of back premises, ash receptacles, theatres, cleaning establishments and old buildings. Two inspectors made 8,936 investigations and spent 4,930 hours doing it. One hundred and five dangerous old buildings were condemned and torn down. A hint to the gas company that gas was leaking in various parts of the city resulted in a general inspection of meter service by that company by which the 435 leaks reported in 1917 decreased to only 45 in 1918. Nineteen drills were conducted at the training tower at the Main street f ire house.
The Division of Weights and Measures. This department of the city government has been made necessary by the discovery that irresponsible dealers in food-hucksters and the like-have been systematically using short-weight scales and measures. Therefore a city sealer has been appointed whose duty it is to keep watch against such imposition. The story of his activities will be of interest to every housekeeper who watches her budget with a jealous eye.
Out of over two thousand scales inspected, the city sealer found over six hundred registering false weights ; out of the same number (page 210) of weights examined two hundred and fifty had to be condemned.
Eighty-five milk bottles out of twelve hundred were found to contain less milk than they should. Eight hundred oil cans were inspected and twenty condemned. Fourteen tape measures and thirty-four yard sticks came an inch or two short of what they claimed. Four hundred barrels held less than the law allows. Over sixteen hundred berry and cherry boxes had the false bottoms too far up and had to go. Four hundred and eighty-eight measures fell short of the requisite amount. Twenty-five packages were reweighed and found lacking. Groceries, vegetables, berries and other fruits, milk and cream, butter, lard, confectionery, meat, dry goods, coal, wood, hay and grain and four were among the articles re-weighed and measured for the protection of the customer. Short weight butter, lard, potatoes, beans, meat and candy were found to have been sent to-the two hospitals, the Door of Hope, the Associated Charities and the Children's home. Farmers selling hay, corn, oats, etc., to consumers of the city are compelled to have it weighed over the city scales and get a certificate from the City Sealer. Ice dealers were on several occasions lectured and threatened with the law. In general this suffices and not many have to be brought to the law. A merchant selling short weight does not care for the publicity of the police court. The high price of gasoline has resulted in many complaints as to the accuracy of measuring pumps and not a few have been found defective.
Personal slot weighing machines in large number were tested and ordered for adjustment and repair and in the few cases where the orders were not obeyed the machine was confiscated, turned into scrap iron and the money donated to the Red Cross. It is not to be wondered at that the public, especially that part of it which carries a basket to market three times a week, should take an extraordinary interest in the work of the city sealer. Housewives have a personal concern in the accuracy of weights and measures and in not a few instances have been of material help in bringing offenders before the law. The year 1918 will long be remembered because of the unusually high prices of all foodstuffs ; bread and butter, eggs, milk, in fact the bare necessaries of life were appallingly high. Therefore the careful protection of the Bureau of Weights and Measures was greatly appreciated. A volunteer committee of inspectors of three housekeepers was connected for some months with the Weights and Measures department and gave valuable aid.
The Bureau of Police Women. This is a comparatively new department in police circles but needs no recommendation beyond its evident need and success. There are cases before every police court that should not be handled by men. For years prior to the appointment of a police matron the management, arrest and commitment of drunken women and wayward girls fell to the duty of the policemen. It took years for the attitude of public opinion to change and to call for a new standard of decency in answering the demand for police women. In 1915 Miss Annie McCully was chosen as police woman, afterward promoted to the office of supervisor. In 1917 the government gave to Dayton the services of a protective (page 211) worker for women and girls in Mrs. Anna C. Wright, a local woman of rare judgment and insight. At the time of her appointment she worked under the War Community service but later was transferred to the Law Enforcement division. In November, 1918, Miss McCully resigned and Miss Sollers took her place. There are two police women at the present time, under the supervisor, and they find their hands abundantly full.
The police women do much good work in the visiting of dance halls where their mere presence is provocative of order and decency and where they are often able to advise and warn wayward girls before it is too late. In one year nearly a thousand girls, not counting women, were under the surveillance and care of the police women. Many of these first came under observation from the street work of the bureau. The year when so many soldier boys were in Dayton made problems for the women difficult to meet. As in the other departments of safety the effort is constantly rather toward prevention than cure. It is felt to be more humane and scientific to halt the girl before she gets to the place where she will be a public malefactor. Hundreds of cases of quiet warning, appealing to the fund of right feeling that may be said to be in some measure in every human creature, have worked wonders and saved the girl from harm and the city from expense.
Department of Legal Aid. City authorities of late years have come to the important but belated conviction that the poor need, sometimes most fearfully, help which only a lawyer can give. Free medical aid has long been a part of public aid; it is only recently that a department of legal aid has been thought necessary to the welfare department personnel of a city. A competent attorney for legal aid to be rendered the needy was appointed March 1, 1914. It was a departure in municipal government, only one other city, Kansas City, having such a department supported from public funds. Its existence was immediately justified. During the. first ten months of service seven hundred and twenty-seven applications for legal aid were registered, an average of seventy-two cases a month.
The needs are numerous and varied. A woman buys a sewing machine on payments Sickness intervenes or some other disaster and she is unable, perhaps temporarily, to continue making payments. The agent comes and takes the machine away from her and she loses whatever sum she has paid. Very often it is only time that she needs in order to meet her obligations. The Legal Department settles the matter on a rational basis; generally to advance the necessary money that she may gradually make up her payments and keep her machine, perhaps her only means of livelihood.
Often it is the same situation in regard to rent. A family faces dispossession because they have fallen behind in payments. Insurance money sacrificed by dealing with an irresponsible company, goods paid for at stores and not delivered, fraudulent advertisers who seek to get the money out of credulous people without giving value in exchange-these are but a few of the difficulties settled by the Legal Aid department. Disputes between employers and employees are of constant occurrence. Work that has not been paid for (page 212) is the grievance of hundreds of applicants. An interesting case was that of a colored woman, a widow with three little children, asking for a day's wages due her from a rich woman. She had spent time and strength and car fare to no purpose trying to collect it. A letter from the office of the Legal Aid department brought the money in the next mail. The record during the year 1918 is as follows : 298 applications for legal aid during the year ; 633 cases carried over from the previous year; 931 cases considered. In the last five years the Legal Aid has collected for clients the sum of $3,639.75. Municipal Employment. Dayton has taken an advanced step along with six other Ohio cities in providing for a municipal employment agent in connection with the State Free Labor exchange. The city agent has charge of the female department and during the first year of its inception received 3,760 requests. for help and filled 76.5 per cent of them. There were 6,853 applications for work and in spite of the industrial depression of that year (1915) 2,877 secured work. Among these 87 were for office service, 62 salesladies, 31 seamstresses, and 365 factory service. This free public service must be regarded as of tremendous social value in view of the well-known fact that sickness and unemployment cause at least 75. per cent of all applications for charity.
Municipal Lodging House. One of the seemingly inevitable problems of every municipality is the vagrant the homeless, careless, idle, semi-vicious tramp who in his best aspects is always a potential criminal. Through our indifference to the human product we have allowed a great army of vagrants to be created who prey upon the public and discredit the laboring party.
In December, 1914, Dayton established her first municipally conducted lodging house with no bath and no work requirement.
During the first twenty-two nights in 1914 there were registered 1,220 applicants. Under the conviction that this arrangement was a mistaken one the rules were changed the next year so that they required every able-bodied man to work a half day and take a bath before he went to bed. The figures show the result. Under the new rules there were registered in the first twenty-two nights only 424 men, against 1,220 the previous year.
The number of vagrants has rapidly decreased and Dayton is being relieved of the unnecessary burden of non-productive men. While Dayton used to average twelve men per night in the lodging house, another town nearby with one-tenth the population entertained from fifty to sixty every night.
Dayton Federation for Charity and Philanthropy. The old-fashioned way to be helpful to those in need was to give individually; the next improvement was to organize and give co-operatively ; the last and best is to federate the organizations. The first was wasteful because it gave unintelligently; the second also wasteful because it duplicated service. In the federation as at present carried out in Dayton each organization attends to its own service and the central control prevents overlapping.
There are ten branches of the Federation for Charity as at present constructed : the Associated Charities of Dayton, Frank Wuichet president, budget for 1919 $19,000; Salvation Army, Captain Fuller (page 213) director, budget $3,500; Montgomery County Humane society, Fred A. Funkhouser president, budget $1,000; Dayton Day nursery, Miss Susannah B. Huffman president, budget $1,800; Dayton Playgrounds and Garden association, Rabbi David Lefkowitz president, budget $5,000; Dayton Association for the Blind, Carrie E. Phelps secretary, budget $1,850; Visiting Nurses association, Mrs. David Lefkowitz president, budget $11,075; Tuberculosis society, Dr. George W. Miller president, budget $2,500; Milk commission, Mrs. David Lefkowitz president, budget $4,950. Only the briefest mention can be made of the varied services of this composite organization.
The Associated Charities in 1918 assisted over eight hundred families; visits and consultations amounted to 8,688; grocery orders, 2,120; coal orders, 387; shoe orders, 54; meal tickets, 367, besides several thousand pieces of clothing, furniture, stoves, etc. The Salvation Army furnished groceries, coal, clothing and other assistance to nearly a thousand families, provided 181 Christmas baskets, gave Christmas toys to 400 children, furnished a summer outing to 525 mothers and children, furnished beds to 120 people and spent 936 hours in visiting needy cases.
The Montgomery County Humane society collected and distributed from parents, without charge, for indigent children $71,769.
Helped 1,452 animals, 930 children. It has supported more children than all the children's homes in the county combined, without expense to taxpayers; has provided for fifty aged and helpless parents by funds collected from their children; spent $6,000 for collection and disposition of stray dogs, and maintained an office with six employees all bonded for administering their trusts.
The Dayton Day nursery has given daytime care, education and support to 5,305 children whose mothers would otherwise have had to leave them unattended at home while at work. A nominal fee of five cents a day is paid by the mother if she can afford it ; if not the service is given free. Thirty-six children were cared for gratuitously during the year 1918.
The Dayton Playgrounds and Gardens association conducts and maintains seventeen playgrounds, conducts over two thousand vacant lot gardens and 3,601 back-yard gardens. The value of produce in 1918 was $71,550. The association holds an annual exhibit at the county fair, where fifty prizes are given to the young farmers.
The Dayton Association for the Blind afforded industrial preventive medical and general relief to 220 blind during 1918. It furnished teachers who made 918 home calls and sent 65 to a clinic. Its work is increasing every day, especially that of constructive education in preventing blindness of new born infants.
The Visiting Nurses association made in 1918, 38,112 calls, had 4,282 new patients, cared for 369 new-born babies and 584 in the Infants Welfare. At the yearly clinic it examined and scored over 1,400 babies, furnished, free of charge, trained nurses to the sick and poor of the city, giving advice and counsel as well as medical treatment that disease might be both lessened and prevented.
(page 214) The Tuberculosis society treated in 1918, 178 new cases and 1,136 old ones, made over three thousand calls for nursing or instruction and held forty clinics.
The Milk commission gave 5,810 feedings of pure milk to indigent babies, distributed 11,622 quarts and 2,302 pints of certified milk and held 146 baby clinics.
The expenses of the Federation of Charities are met by a budget of $5,000, which includes salaries for the managing secretary and bookkeeper, cost of collection of subscriptions, maintenance of confidential exchange and promotion of the social service club. The confidential exchange is a clearing house for charitable and social work, enabling the different charities to avoid duplication in their work. It cleared 5,103 cases in 1918. Dr. George W. Miller has charge of this important department of the city charities.
Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce of Dayton is, like most organizations of the character, an evolution. It did not come into being by arbitrary decree. It is a growth, a development, an unfoldment of community sentiment. More than twenty-five years ago Dayton had a Board of Trade, conservative, dignified, effective in its way but of very limited sphere. Early in the 1900's a group of younger, energetic business men of Dayton formed the Commercial club and for several years this organization was conspicuous for its espousal of civic and commercial questions and movements. Then, another group of business men whose chief interest lay in transportation problems, especially from the standpoint of the shipper, organized the Dayton Receivers' and Shippers' association. Later, in response to an agitation started by the National Cash Register company when that body sought the right to have access to a switching track which should give it adequate shipping facilities, there was born the Boosters' club. Mutuality of interest compelled ultimate union and the Board of Trade, Receivers' and Shippers' association, Commercial club and Boosters' club were merged in the Chamber of Commerce.
But the flood of 1913 was prolific of other things, among them larger and broader civic visions. In the fall of that year the Chamber of Commerce was reorganized as a supporter of the commission manager form of government and as the harbinger of new and better things in the way of civic ideals and industrial and commercial aggressiveness. The commission-manager form of government in Dayton was directly a child of the Chamber of Commerce. A committee of five named by the Chamber to investigate municipal governmental charters, recommended this advanced form, the recommendation was adopted and a citizens' committee was formed to bring about the desired results. These efforts were successful. Virtually co-incident with the adoption of the new charter, the Chamber of Commerce gave way to the Greater Dayton association, which as a civic-commercial body commanded instant attention all over the United States. The governing body secured the services of a high class secretary, a large and efficient staff was built and (page 215) a membership of 7,500 men and women was developed. It was the largest commercial organization in the United States and had a more diversified activity than most bodies of the character. At one time the association had approximately 500 women members and a woman member of the board of directors. It had at one time as many as forty-five active committees concerned with all phases of commercial, industrial and civic undertakings, publicity, etc. In the fall of 1918 the association by proper vote decided to return to the normal status of a Chamber of Commerce and to adopt that name for the purpose of avoiding confusion and making it clear just what its scope and province was. The Chamber has fostered many movements that have become incorporated in the life of the city. It started the movement for the commission-manager form of government. It sponsored the formation of a remedial loan agency to combat-and successfully the loan sharks. It did tremendous war work for all branches of the government and was officially linked with the food and fuel administrations, the War Camp Community Service and the resources and conversion section of the War Industries Board. It aided in every form of recruiting and co-operative service asked by the government. It produced the first and the only Liberty Loan committee for Montgomery county, which did splendid work in carrying out the five campaigns. The Chamber formed the Retail Merchants' association which is auxiliary to it but operating on its own account. The Chamber formed the Federation for Charity and Philanthropy and is officially connected with it. While stressing more than ever the importance of industrial and commercial promotional service and general city boosting, the Chamber of Commerce is quite active in civic movements of all kinds and in this serves as a co-ordinating or bringing-together agency.
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