JUNE 19, 1905.


Health Officers of Vermont, Ladies and Gentlemen :-For the seventh time, in behalf of the State Board of Health, it is my duty to welcome you here to our annual school of instruction for health officers. This “school of instruction” is a Vermont institution. The health officer as a legal officer is really a new feature among the officials in this state. The State Board of Health is likewise; and public health laws are more or less of an innovation.

The State Board of Health, established in 1886, during the first six years of its existence made an effort to get local representatives in the various towns of the state who would serve voluntarily, and who would as volunteer health officers, keep the State Board informed as to local sanitary conditions, and who would do all in their power to secure the enforcement of the public health laws then on the statute books. It goes without saying that the volunteer health officer-who had no legal standing-accomplished comparatively little, although some enthusiastic helpers under these conditions did very good service, and did a great deal to promote the health legislation that came later. In 1892, by an act of the legislature, the health officer became a legal officer, and was recognized in the statutes of the state. The statute which gave authority to the State Board of Health, also defined quite extensively the powers and duties and compensation of those officers. The health officer from that time for the next six years became more and more a useful citizen, and a useful officer for most of our towns. At the same time it was apparent to the State Board that the laws in regard to public health were not as uniformly and energetically enforced as they might be particularly not uniformly enforced. There were, here and there, health officers who did intelligent and strenuous work along these lines, and made every effort—though they were somewhat exceptional. In 1898, as you know, the legislature established our Laboratory of

a very decided step-perhaps the most decided step that has ever been taken in this state in the way of promoting good health

, in the way of improving sanitary conditions all over the state. Dr. Linsley who was the first director of the Laboratory, conceived the idea of calling the health officers of the state together for the purpose of study as well as conference, and, so far as I know, that was the first school of that kind that had ever been held in this country, or anywhere else. The first sessions, as you who were present and health officers at that time

Hygiene. That was

remember, were in a way really schools—schools of instruction. The sessions, for the first two years, were held in the Laboratory, and the Doctor and his assistants gave us all instruction in chemistry and biology. The use and the usefulness of this school of instruction became at once apparent; it struck a responsive chord in our hearts here in Vermont. It was watched with interest by the states immediately about us. In a very short timewithin a year or so—it was copied by a good many states in this countryhow many I do not know. It was commented on favorably by a great many who were present at these schools on various occasions, and they have been profuse in their praise of the movement which we instituted.

Perhaps it is superfluous for me to say anything about the advantages that this school holds for us who are engaged in this work. These advantages are not confined to the technical instruction which we get. For the State Board of Health has made an effort to get men of national reputations, who are acknowledged authority in their several departments to speak before you each year, and the technical instruction which we have received has been of the highest order; but the recognition of the value of good water supplies, perfect sewage systems, and thorough and complete registration of vital statistics, the safeguarding of public buildings, and the control of epidemic diseases, has not been the sole fruit of these schools. I think I am perfectly safe in saying that the best part of the instruction, the best part of the results that have come from these schools of health officers-has been derived from getting the health officers together, and from leading the health officers to think that there is something for them to think about besides their own local jurisdictions, their own municipalities, or their own towns. We have all learned here that we are citizens, not only of Rutland, of Burlington, of St. Johnsbury, of Woodstock, and of other towns, but that we are also citizens of the state of Vermont, and have more or less to do with promoting the physical welfare of the whole state. No town can build a Chinese Wall around its limits and say: "We will take care of what we have, and it is nobody's business how many nuisances we have, or what we have in the way of contagious diseases," no more than this state can build barriers around its limits, and say that "We will have all the smallpox, yellow fever, diphtheria, etc., we want, and it is no one's else concern." It is the concern of all our neighbors in the state when smallpox or diphtheria, or some other contagious disease occurs in our town or city; it is their concern, because it is quite sure to spread beyond our limits. It is exactly the same principles that we apply to the management of our town affairs. A man may claim the privilege of having all the contagious diseases mentioned on his premises, but so long as they do not invade his neighbor's, it is nobody's business. It is your business, you know; so it is the business of the state, when any town is this state is infected, or is supporting a nuisance of any kind, just as much as it would be the business of this country as a whole should the state of Vermont become infected with smallpox or yellow fever, or the plague.

So I say we have learned-all of us—at these schools, the lesson of

neighborliness—that the state of Vermont is larger and more to be considered than any one town in the state, or any one official.

We see a great deal now in print in regard to properly advertising our rural state as a place of resort for summer residents. There is no one way in which Vermont or any other state can so profitably advertise its inducements as a summer resort as by showing to the people in the cities-people who are going on their vacations—that we look after our sanitary conditions. The average man of the city is not careless in regard to where he goes and takes his family, as regard these matters; he goes away to escape business and hard work and nervous prostration, but he does not go where he will run into something worse, and the people in the large cities are looking for healthy places in which to spend their vacations. The urban press cautions its readers— "Look out where you go this summer, and don't bring back typhoid fever, or cholera, or measles, or whooping cough.” The best advertisement that we can give Vermont as a summer resort is to go before the public in the larger cities with statistics that will show that the number of cases of diphtheria, smallpox, scarlet fever, and all these infectious diseases, is way down. That is what we are doing and must do to make Vermont a popular summer resort.

Pure air, pleasant scenery, and a good hotel are helps, but good sanitation is growing in importance in the eyes of our city friends every year.

This school is a state institution. We are here at the public expense. It is our duty—every one of us—to come here, and to get out of these schools all the good we possibly can, and we should carry back with us a certain amount of information and intelligence on these subjects which we should spread, and so become centres of knowledge in every town in this state. The public of the state of Vermont is with us—the majority of the people—the common people of the state are supporting this school, and I believe would regret to see it discontinued.

It is for us health officers to justify the confidence that has been placed in us, in putting in our hands the means for doing things along these lines, and this school, above everything, is designed for just that end.



Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:-I am sorry that the governor is not here to meet you; as a civil member of the government of Vermont he would no doubt have great pleasure in speaking to you. The bishop will have to speak for the governor; he will address you a few words.

I did not take pains to write on any particular subject, but I did think we would have something of a Burlington audience that I might address

--I suppose my fellow citizens thought the school was exclusively for the health officers and did not wish to force themselves upon the meeting.

The health officer-as Dr. Caverly has stated-is a state officer, and as I have understood, has considerable authority. I hope he has authority to come out and to strike Burlington hard. It is demanded of Burlington that its water supply must be purified, and we citizens of Burlington thank you health officers for so dictating, because if there is anything that is good for us to have, it is pure water.

Vermont is well supplied by springs, by rivulets, by rivers; its hills are dotted on all sides with pure water. I remember the good old bishop of Burlington, whenever he used to send a priest out to Underhill-one of our back districts—always used to say to him: "You will find excellent water there.” That is what we want-pure water.

I would like to talk to you to-night, just as the inspiration of the moment dictates, and I think it is the same history for the other towns in the state.

I was born here in Burlington sixty-two years ago; I have passed my boyhood, my manhood time, many years of priesthood, and as bishop. You are welcome to the Queen City-I represent it to-night; the mayor is not here, so I represent the city to-night. It is a beautiful city-we call it the Queen City. A great artist passed through this town once and said that all villages in New England were beautiful, but that Burlington surpassed them all—it is a picture in a frame. I love Burlington, its roads, its buildings, its institutions, its walks, its trees—I almost imagine that the road, and the sidewalk, and the curbing speak to me.

I remember when we had our water supply in Burlington from wells and cisterns. Then we had a system of bringing water in barrels; a good many Canadians used to go out with horses and carts with barrels to bring water to the inhabitants of the city. Then Burlington got the aqueduct. It was disputed whether to bring the water by power or by gravity. The taxpayers were persuaded to have a power system, and a power station was instituted on the lake shore. There was no purer water than the lake water then. When a boy I used to work in the lumber mill, and as I stopped to rest for my dinner, I used to take a dipper-a quart dipper-and dip it into the lake, and drink it off, and I grew strong and waxed well, for the water was good and pure.

Then the aqueduct was started, and they built for economy, of cement, and pipes of sheet iron were inserted; the mains were small; the people were poor, and they made use of it. The city grew, and kept on growing, and finally they had to change this system, and the water also changed from pure lake water, to water contaminated with sewerage from Montpelier, from Waterbury, from the Fort, from the hill, from Winooski, and the question now is: What shall we do in regard to our water supply?

I do not wish to dictate, but I wish to give an opinion. We must change the system of water. There is some talk of trying filtration; these things work well for a while, and in the end, we will have to change the system. New Yorkers are thinking of coming clear up to Lake George-a distance of

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