Williams County Health Dept. Celebrates 100 Years

Williams County Health Commissioner James Watkins stands with a proclamation for the city of Montpelier during the anniversary celebration.

By: Jeremy Scott

In 1918 an epidemic of influenza swept across the country, and while all cities and villages in Ohio were required to have a Board of Health, the knowledge of those appointed proved to be inadequate.

Because of this outbreak the Hughes Griswold Act was passed which established county health departments. On August 15, 1919 members of the District Advisory Council of Williams County met and established the Williams County Board of Health. The council consisted of all the Mayors of the Villages and Presidents of the Township Board of Trustees and they were tasked to elect five members from different parts of the county to the County Board of Health. Two of the members had to be physicians, one a farmer, and one an attorney. The founding members were Dr. Rex Beard, J.A. Brown, A.L. Gebhart, Dr. J.A. Weitz, and President J.D. Rumsey.

On August 20th, the Williams County Health District Celebrated their 100th year in existence. In those years the District has had one simple creed, “Prevent disease and injury, Promote health and wellness, Protect you and your community.” They do this by providing vaccines, education, wellness programs, restaurant inspections, and many other health related services.

Jeremy can be reach at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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