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Miscellaneous Notes on the History of
Animal-Related Issues in Chester County

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This file contains assorted facts from West Chester history collected by students in the HIS480 "Computer methods of historical research" at West Chester University. Each fact consists of specific information, a reference note to its source, and a date. The "facts" are organized in chronological order.

This file has not been completely proofread, nor have the sources been verified, so use this material with caution. It is as accurate as human effort and a vigilant college professor can make it, but it is not perfect.

Data collected by Mary Kivlin (HIS480, Spring 2004). Additional material added by Jim Jones, May 15, 2004. Last edited by Jim Jones (May 15, 2004).

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1797/03/03
Source: Daily Local News (February 27, 1900), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

The article contains a copy of an older invitation that was just found. It is an invitation to a dance to be held on 3/3/1797 at the house of Major Bones in West Chester.


1818/07/01
Source: Village Record (July 1, 1818), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Public Offices: Ordinances 1835-1839"

This article contains the official publication of a West Chester Borough ordinance that passed on 6/25/1818, effective 7/1/1818.

A new ordinance that superseded a 1799 law named "An ordinance for the prevention of horseracing, disorderly riding, pilfering fruit, etc." was enacted. A fine of five dollars was set for disorderly riding, letting horses run at large in the streets, or disorderly driving a wagon, carts or carriage. A fine of eight dollars was set for someone riding or driving on pavements or other areas of pedestrian traffic. The Burgess would judge the guilt of any charged party and would require the testimony of one credible witness.


1821/07/29
Source: Jeffersonian (July 29, 1821), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

The editor called upon the Board of Health to address pig-pens and slaughter houses during the summer months.


1825/04/20
Source: Village Record (20 April 20, 1825), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

Travelers with an animal exhibition came to West Chester the previous Friday evening and left on Saturday night. They told no one of the purpose of their visit. Their leader was a powerful Asian man descended from warriors and kings. They had an elephant, and a "tygre" [sic] who badly bit the hand of his keeper. They stayed at the Green Tree, at Osborn and Matlack Streets.


1830/07/21
Source: Village Record (July 21, 1830), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

Two elephants were to be exhibited in Unionville in July, 1830.


1830/11/17
Source: Village Record (November 17, 1830), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

A Vocal Music and Spanish guitar show was to be held at the Court House. Admission was .25.


1830/11/24
Source: Village Record (November 24, 1830), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

Philip M. Price was going to hold a series of lectures on "Natural Philosophy and Chemistry". The lectures, to be held at the Court House, were to be given twice a week for twelve weeks, and cost three dollars for the entire program.


1834/4/01
Source: Advertisement in American Republican (April 1, 1834), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

The Purdy, Welsch, Macomber & Company's "Immense Menagerie of rare beasts and Birds" exhibition will be show in two large pavilions near Reed's hotel on Friday April 4, 1834. Admission was to cost .25.


1834/10/07
Source: Advertisement in Republican and Democrat (October 7, 1834), in CCHS clippings file: "Entertainment."

A full page advertisement featured the "June, Titus, Angevine & Co. Exhibition" to be held near the Reeds Hotel on Friday October 17, 1834 from one to four p.m. The show featured a rhinoceros [mek which they also called a unicorn], lions, panthers, leopards, tigers, a zebra, an elephant, a camel, polar bears, black bears, hyenas, a gray wolf, a jaguar, eight gray horses [mek whose color apparently made them special], wagons, and music. The show was to be staged in three "pavilions", three hundred and fifty feet wide and eight feet wide, capable of seating one thousand people. There was also to be a traveling wax museum. After the show the "American Circus" was going to perform near the Matlack Hotel.


1834/10/14
Source: Advertisement in Village Record (October 14, 1834), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

The Purdy, Welsh and McCurdy show was to be staged in West Chester on November 11, 1834, with more animals, an improved show and a band. They were last there in April 1834.


1837/04/08
Source: American Republican (April 8, 1837), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Public Offices: Ordinances 1835-1839"

W. M. Everhart, Chief Burgess, published an ordinance requiring all dogs in the borough to have "a brass or other metal collar securely fixed upon his neck, with the owner's name engraved thereon." The assistant burgess was authorized to hire people to catch dogs running at large whereupon they would be detained for twenty-four hours and killed if they were not claimed by that time. Owners that claimed their dogs would pay a one dollar fine. The ordinance was signed "John Marshall, Clerk 4/1/"1387" [sic] and was effective on July 24, 1837.


1850/03/12
Source: American Republican (March 12, 1850), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Public Offices: Ordinances 1850-1869"

After a loose, rabid dog bit a number of other dogs and killed a pig, borough "authorities" passed an ordinance calling for the killing of all dogs running at large.


1850/08/06
Source: American Republican (August 6, 1850), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Public Offices: Ordinances 1850-1869"

A loose, rabid dog bit a man, several children, and several dogs before being caught and killed. The author suggested that the borough would enact another emergency ordinance against dogs running loose, but unless they enforced it, unlike the last one, it would have no effect. The author would rather have the borough outlaw dogs entirely or exterminate the loose dogs, even on Sundays.


1853/06/28
Source: American Republican (June 28, 1853), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Public Offices: Ordinances 1850-1869"

A loose dog law was going be enacted on Thursday. The author hopes it would be enforced.


1854/04/29
Source: Jeffersonian (April 29, 1854), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Public Offices: Ordinances 1850-1869"

The town council of West Chester banned dogs running at large after 5/1/1854. "If found, they will be shot."


1855/05/29
Source: American Republican (May 29, 1855), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Public Offices: Ordinances 1850-1869"

The West Chester Borough Council enacted an ordinance prohibiting dogs from running loose during the months of May, June, July and August under "penalty of loosing their heads." The author stated that "We can very easily spare a number of the worthless curs."


1866/11/23
Source: Daily Local News (November 23, 1866), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

West Chester Police Officer Jefferis impounded a team of horses belonging to the Singer Sewing Machine Company that had been left hitched from 9:30 a.m. until 2:20 p.m. He took them to the Turks Head stables where they were fed. They were later claimed by their owners who paid for their keep.


1874/09/12
Source: Daily Local News (September 12, 1874), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

William Pyle, Agent for the SPCA, brought a case before judge Wequire Passmore charging two men with the practice of muzzling calves at sales to make their mothers more attractive. Sill and Bailey who owned the stock were fined $20.


1875/07/10
Source: "Cruelty to Animals" in Daily Local News (July 10, 1875), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

A resident claimed that the SPCA should investigate animal cruelty in the borough as evidenced by the worn out horses being used on the local express wagons.


1875/09/13
Source: "Cruelty to Animals" in Daily Local News (September 13, 1875), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

An anonymous resident complained about three horses being abused in the borough.


1875/09/24
Source: "Cruelty to Animals" in Daily Local News (September 24, 1875), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

J. Lacey Darlington, Wm. P. Townsend, James H. Bull and Wm. S. Kirk of the SPCA responded to the anonymous letter in yesterday's paper. They needed residents that would come forward and publicly testify so they could pursue the charges. Their letter was dated September 14, 1875.


1876/01/15
Source: Daily Local News (January 15, 1876), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

The SPCA said that horses left in the street must be covered with blankets in cold weather.


1876/01/18
Source: Daily Local News (January 18, 1876), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

The author believed that good people were cruel to animals. In 1874, the list of SPCA cases detailed 3,619 cases of cruelty. Horses and mules were overworked, starved, beaten, exposed to the weather, neglected, and worked while lame or sore. Cattle were stuffed in cars, bruised by overcrowding, kept in filthy quarters and beaten. Dogs were used for fighting, beaten and shot. Fowl were used for fighting and were poisoned.


1876/01/28
Source: "Dogs vs. Children" in Daily Local News (January 28, 1876), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

"Hodge" wrote that he observed some "real pretty" ladies, dressed in silk carrying "little poodle dogs" in their arms because they thought that it was too wet on the sidewalks for the dogs while they took their daily air - they might catch a disease. The pampered dogs got more treats that most children, given pillows to sleep on, are fed from plates, "just think of those kind ladies throwing away their affection and care on nasty, dirty, little blear-eyed brutes; stuffing them with unnatural food . making the house nasty with fleas." He believed that the animals were being treated better than people.


1879/05/15
Source: Daily Local News (May 15, 1879), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

Police Officers Shields and Jones caught a herd of calves and cows roaming the streets, and took them to the pound.


1880/04/13
Source: Daily Local News (April 13, 1880), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

Delaney Hall, used for entertainment and meetings, was the source of the majority of East Ward complaints to the Burgesses because the Hall management did not maintain "order" during their events. Burgess Wood threatened to shut them down if they did not improve.


1880/05/25
Source: "A Plea for the Canines" in Daily Local News (May 25, 1880), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

A borough resident complained that dogs had been strangled and beaten to death with shovels and picks.


1881/01/15
Source: Daily Local News (January 15, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

Lucien Carpenter was going to open the West Chester Dancing School in Odd Fellows Hall on Church Street on January 13, 1881.


1881/01/29
Source: Daily Local News (January 29, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

A "Bean Supper" was to be held on February 8, 1881.


1881/03/28
Source: Daily Local News (March 28, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

Burgess Wood denied an out of town tightrope walker permission to perform because the borough "ordinances took exception to it."


1881/03/31
Source: Daily Local News (March 3, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

A circus company rented a vacant lot on West Miner Street for a coming circus, displeasing several area residents.


1881/05/12
Source: Daily Local News (May 12, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

West Chester residents were pleased to be entertained by Italian minstrels who played the harp and violin on the borough streets.


1881/05/26
Source: Daily Local News (May 26, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

Nathan Haynes, a horse dealer, bought a horse from David Lewis. Haynes then took the horse and five others he owned to the Fairgrounds for a speed trial. The new horse beat all five at the beginning of the race only to be later overcome, after one-half mile Hayes' renowned speed horse, Lex.


1881/06/03
Source: Daily Local News (June 3, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

This article contains details about a popular West Chester evening party game. Before the party, each girl would right her name on small slip of paper and put into the center of a ball of twine. At the end of party, each boy would select one ball and escort home the girl whose name was on the enclosed slip.


1881/06/28
Source: Daily Local News (June 28, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

There are 4 young men with bicycles in West Chester: Charles Hewes, William Darlington, Oscar Green and William Speakman. A group of boys near North High and Church Streets have bicycles. This group, numbering about twelve, also has a bicycle club.


1881/07/04
Source: Daily Local News (July 4, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

The Philadelphia Athletics and the Brooklyn Atlantics held a baseball game at the Fairgrounds that morning. They drew a large crowd who enjoyed an exciting game. The Atlantics won 9-7.


1881/08/01
Source: Daily Local News (August 1, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

A planned picnic at the Chester County Agricultural Society Fairground was postponed until the 17th. Wood's orchestra was to be the entertainment.


1881/08/05
Source: Daily Local News (August 5, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

A boat club is being proposed by West Chester Borough "gentlemen" who wanted to would sell stock to raise the money for a club house on the Brandywine River where they would store their equipment. The club building would also provide a dining facility. They proposed to hire a horse and wagon at .15 per head to take them to the Brandywine.


1881/08/17
Source: Daily Local News (August 17, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

A music show was held at the Fairgrounds.


1881/08/18
Source: Daily Local News (August 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

A dance, which was attended by around one hundred and twenty five couples, was held at the Fairgrounds the previous evening.


1881/08/22
Source: Daily Local News (August 22, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

West Chester brick makers and their families from West Chester held a picnic on the banks of the Brandywine River the previous Saturday.


1881/09/12
Source: Daily Local News (September 12, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

Burgess Wood outlawed ball playing on South Walnut Street because of complaints received from residents about boys using profane language.


1881/11/13
Source: Daily Local News (November 13, 1881), in CCHS clippings file: "Entertainment"

The previous Wednesday morning, a group of about fifty horses went down Miner Street and headed out of town. They were apparently circus horses being taken to "winter quarters."


1881/11/26
Source: Daily Local News (November 26, 1881), in CCHS clippings file: "Entertainment"

A large crowd gathered to kill a rat from the sewer, which was the size of a muskrat. But he got away and ran back into the sewer.


1881/12/31
Source: Daily Local News (December 31, 1881), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

A carpet rag party was held last week at which everyone was busy working for three hours while conversing. Refreshments were served.


1882/03/14
Source: Daily Local News (March 14, 1882), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

The dog catcher, William Waters caught forty dogs in February, 1882. Three were subsequently retrieved by their owners and thirty-seven were killed.


1884/06/14
Source: Daily Local News (June 14, 1884), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

West Chester Police officer Shields frequently interfered to prevent cruelty to horses and cattle during the last six years.


1884/06/18
Source: Daily Local News (June 18, 1884), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

The West Chester branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was organized.


1885/05/05
Source: Daily Local News (May 5, 1885), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

The West Chester Borough Council, upon recommendation of the Board of Health, outlawed pig pens in the borough.


1885/05/08
Source: Daily Local News (May 8, 1885), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

The residents of the West and North wards have removed their pigs and either tore down or cleaned the remaining pens.


1886/03/22
Source: Daily Local News (March 22, 1886), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

The Board of Health was created the past Saturday night.


1886/09/07
Source: Daily Local News (September 9, 1886), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

Wm. W. MacElree resolved a complaint that had been lodged against Officer Flynn regarding cruelty to a dog. MacElree ruled that Flynn killed the dog outright and did not wound him.


1886/09/07
Source: Daily Local News (September 7, 1886), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

A resident complained of dog kept in a barrel and annoying the neighborhood by constant howling


1887/03/19
Source: Daily Local News (March 19, 1887), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

The West Chester borough was closed in March of 1887. The editor reminisced about the "widow's cow", the dogs, the cats who yelled so loud that pound neighbors let them out, and a "Kentucky mule."


1887/11/11
Source: Daily Local News (November 11, 1887), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

The editor called for the punishment of out of town people who used cruel horse bits and tortured calves while herding them to town.


1889/09/23
Source: Daily Local News (September 23, 1909), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

The Oklahoma Bill Wild West Show was investigated for cruelty by Special Agent Carlisle of the Philadelphia SPCA. Supposedly the show's riders spurred their horses in the neck to make them buck more violently. No evidence found to substantiate the claim.


1891/07/02
Source: Daily Local News (July 2 1891), in CCHS clippings file "West Chester History, Amusement."

The Philadelphia Athletics and the Brooklyn Atlantics were to hold a baseball game at the Fairgrounds the following Monday at 9:30 a.m. Admission fee was to be .25 plus .10 for grandstand seating. A large number of West Chester residents were expected to attend.


1893/05/12
Source: Daily Local News (May 12, 1893), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

Pigs were to be removed from the borough during summer months to curb diseases such as typhoid and cholera.


1893/11/09
Source: Daily Local News (November 9, 1893), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

A new borough ordinance was passed that stipulated that any place where animals were kept or slaughtered had to be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis. All surfaces, except countertops and floors had to be whitewashed. This applied to both private and public places. Pigs were not allowed in the borough at all without prior approval.


1894/01/20
Source: Morning Republican (January 20, 1894), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

Jones, the saddler, occupied the overhead rooms in the property located on the corner of Market and High Streets


1894/02/06
Source: Daily Local News (February 6, 1894), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

The West Chester Board of Health believed that it had reduced the amount of animal material being accumulated in alleys and back yards.


1896/01/14
Source: Morning Republican (January 14, 1896), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

Horses were frightened by the box placed around the Everhart fountain on West Market Street. If this continued for too long, the residents would probably appeal to the authorities for abatement.


1896/02/24
Source: Morning Republican (February 24, 1896), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

The West End Dog Kennels was going to be managed by J. Howard Taylor.


1896/04/02
Source: Morning Republican (April 2, 1896), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

A house on the north side of Market Street between New Street and Wayne Street was noted as having a frame chicken house.


1897/12/17
Source: Morning Republican (December 17, 1897), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

There was a fire in a small frame house on Market Street west of Wayne. The fire spread to the brick stable belonging to Jesse Robinson but was quickly extinguished.


1900/01/10
Source: Daily Local News (January 10, 1900), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

The author thought that the name of the "West Chester "Coon Club" should be changed to "the West Chester "Possum Club"."


1900/01/16
Source: Daily Local News (January 16, 1900), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

The West Chester market sold geese and ducks.


1900/01/18
Source: "Sweepings from the Streets" in Daily Local News (January 18, 1900), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

Patrick J. Berry was recently reinstated by the West Chester Borough to sweep the "asphaltum" pavement on Market Street with a hickory broom.

The borough used to make "considerable money" by the sale of street sweepings to farmers, but the farmers stopped buying it because it contained "so much weed seed" and "disagreeable truck". Sweepings were then dumped with the trash in vacant lots.

Paved street sweepings would be first class fertilizing material; most of it was horse droppings. More paved roads meant more clean sweepings. The borough hoped that it could make more money for these sweepings and that the money would eventually pay for the cost of the sweeping.


1900/02/10
Source: Daily Local News (February 10, 1900), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

Barclay Lear had a theory that every man that moved in to West Chester from the country thought he ought to keep a horse. The number of "neat little stables" in the suburbs of the family farmer was evidence that the horse was still in favor.

Older (earlier) residents rented teams for driving, except in special instances, and only those willing to keep a horse, rather than do something more exciting, held onto their own animals and vehicles.


1900/02/10
Source: Daily Local News (February 10, 1900), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

James T. Gault estimated the minimum cost of keeping his team at a stable at his home on West Union Street, while doing his own work. The cost of one horse was Oats at.35 per bushel 100 bushels $35.00 Hay at $14 per ton 3 tons $42.00 Shoeing $6.00 Carriage and harness repair $10.00 Total $91.00

This included no runaways, doctor bills, new horses or carriages. Many horses required more oats but his horse was happy and what the jockeys called an "easy keeper."

Constable Theo F. Turner estimated the cost of keeping a horse and doing your own work was between $125 and $150 per year.

Livery stables charged about four dollars per week for boarding a horse and taking care of a carriage: a $216 annual cost. The cost of shoeing, repairs and trips to hostlers were not included.

One stable charged three dollars per week for an annual cost of $156.

The cost of "Club" stables varied according to style, location and company. You would pay up to $500 per year very easily. The author believed that for the same amount you could alternately rent a stall at a stable that would "turnout" your horse in good weather.


1900/03/23
Source: Daily Local News (March 23, 1900), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

A pack of dogs running loose caused an incident in the section of town known as Barryville. The author believed that they should "commence a general slaughter."

The storage rooms of T. Evans Smith and Shoffner M. Smith, that was on an alley off Lacey Street between Walnut and Matlack were visited by a pack of "worthless curs" two nights ago. The dogs attacked a "fine flock of poultry" killing several, seven more died later.

The author believed that many dogs in that section of town were not registered and the police should shoot them.


1900/8/28
Source: Daily Local News (August 28, 1900), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

A resident wrote to the editor to advocate the drowning of puppies rather than the killing of grown dogs.


1901/03/19
Source: Daily Local News (March 19, 1901), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

Bricklayers began construction of a livery stable for W. Harry Cochran on East Market Street. The stable was being rebuilt since it was destroyed by fire.


1901/06/06
Source: Daily Local News (June 6, 1901), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

A resident donated some minnows and a goldfish, which were put into the basin of the Everhart fountain, which was on West Market Street, "to the delight of the small boy." The author hoped that more fish will be donated.


1901/07/18
Source: Daily Local News (July 18, 1901), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

A resident called for a cat tax, and stated that the dog taxes went to the library. Cat owners should have responsibility for their animals, but they put their cats out at night and the noise annoyed the residents. Some cats, although treated like royalty during the day, were still left out at night.


1901/07/23
Source: Daily Local News (July 23, 1901), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

The High Street fountain was getting so busy that the author waited for ten minutes behind a tramp and a dog. The author advocated a new fountains project.


1901/07/23
Source: Daily Local News (July 23, 1901), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

George G. Palmer erected a new public hydrant in front of his building on West Market Street and was going to keep two buckets there for people to water their horses. He wanted to put in a trough but preferred having a dry pavement.


1902/01/23
Source: Daily Local News (January 23, 1902), in Chester County (Pennsylvania) Historical Society's Clippings File "Market Street"

A frame and brick stable was sold on E. Market between Walnut and Matlack.


1902/03/22
Source: Daily Local News (March 22, 1902), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

W. C. Williams was going to enlarge his stable at his West Market Street residence.


1902/04/03
Source: Daily Local News (April 3, 1902), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

The article mentioned a house with a stable on East Market Street.


1902/07/26
Source: Daily Local News (July 26, 1902), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

"There is a borough ordinance providing for the hitching of horses when they are left standing upon the streets which is being more and more discarded every day. Every day numbers of the animals are seen standing unhitched by the curb. It is dangerous in these days of trolley cars and especially when the flies trouble the animals as they do at this portion of the year."

". a pair of horses attached to a heavy express wagon were left standing unhitched by their driver. With no apparent cause the animals suddenly started down the street at their top speed. A man standing upon the sidewalk had the presence of mind to leap into the rear portion of the wagon and stop the animals."

". the street being filled with teams and pedestrians ."

". on Gay Street a short time ago, a man left his team standing by the curb for nearly hour.: a boy about 3 years old in the buggy. Residents hitched the buggy for the safety of the child.

Ordinances provide heavy penalty and the author thought that if they were enforced "a couple of times as it was formerly" it would put an end to the troubles.


1902/10/23
Source: Daily Local News (October 23, 1902), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street."

Market and South High Streets were crowded at times with cars, and parking was a problem


1903/09/09
Source: Borough of West Chester, Ordinances, pre-1960, located in CCHS "West Chester Borough collection" RG2 S1 SSC Book box 1, p143.

Council passed "an ordinance relating to use and operation of Automobiles in the Borough of West Chester." The ordinance had six sections including a maximum speed limit of 8 mph, conditions permiting and the requirement that a driver "sound a gong or other alarm" when arriving at an intersection, and to halt if signalled by someone with an animal "until the animal or animals have passed."


1904/06/04
Source: Daily Local News (June 4, 1904), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

The borough enacted a requirement for automobile licenses. Each owner paid three dollars per year to the Borough Treasurer.


1904/06/04
Source: Daily Local News (June 4, 1904), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

The automobile ordinance, that was previously passed, was now going to be enforced. The law stipulated that automobiles must yield for horses, must not exceed eight miles per hour, must sound a "gong or alarm" at streets or crossing, and must be registered.


1904/07/21
Source: "No more frame buildings" in Daily Local News (July 21, 1904), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

A suspicious fire that started before 11 a.m. destroyed a stable, worth approximately $800, behind the Farmers Hotel. Two horses were rescued by firemen along with numerous dogs and harness.

The stable was used by Lewis Hickman for horses and Ambrose S. Taylor for dogs. The fire began in hay being stored in Hickman's area. Smith Sharpless, the head of Hickman's store, noticed the fire and "pulled the alarm" thereby allowing the horses to be rescued. With the exception of two puppies, the dogs were pulled from danger. The fire, responded to by all companies, was extinguished in about thirty minutes. There were two theories for the fire's origin: children playing with matches or an errant gambler from a crap game because "Ex-burgess John Thorpe found money on the other side of the fence at the stable entrance in the alley."


1904/08/11
Source: Daily Local News (August 11, 1904), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

T. Clarkson Eldridge was granted a permit to build a brick stable in the rear of his East Market Street property after the burgess refused his request for a permit to build a wood stable.


1904/09/16
Source: Daily Local News (September 16, 1904), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

The editor encouraged people to report cruelty to animals


1906/04/05
Source: Daily Local News (April 5, 1906), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

George W Sharpless of West Chester was appointed an agent of the SPCA.


1907/03/07
Source: "Borough Notes" in Daily Local News (March 7, 1907), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street."

The annual dog tax was due but was not being paid by many borough residents.


1907/04/10
Source: Borough of West Chester, Ordinances, pre-1960, located in CCHS "West Chester Borough collection" RG2 S1 SSC Book box 1, p179.

Council passed "an ordinance to prevent geese, chickens and other fowl from running at large." This ordinance declared uncontained fowl to be a public nusiance and set a range of fines from $5 to $50.


1907/05/24
Source: "Will Enforce Ordinances" in Daily Local News (May 24, 1907), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

Yesterday, Burgess A. P. Reid instructed Police Chief R. O. Jefferis to impound all dogs running loose. If they were not claimed within forty-eight hours, they were to be shot.

In addition, he was told to arrest anyone who did not hitch their horses properly, which allowed the horses to damage shade trees. Jefferis also said that some residents would be ordered to fix their sidewalks.


1907/05/25
Source: "Ordinance is Disobeyed" in Daily Local News (May 25, 1907), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances."

Contrary to borough ordinance, people routinely tied their horses to trees. The horses damaged the trees by chewing on the bark. The author believed that those who did this when there were other places to tie them were "a fit subject for a `funny ride.'"


1908/03/04
Source: Daily Local News (March 4, 1908), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

It was a warm day, the horses were un-blanketed, and cars, previously kept indoors due to weather conditions, were seen.


1908/03/26
Source: Daily Local News (March 26, 1908), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

A group of gypsies, with several horses passed through West Chester.


1908/04/04
Source: Daily Local News (April 4, 1908), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

The borough ordinance banning chickens running loose was not enforced but no one complained.


1908/04/28
Source: Daily Local News (April 28, 1908), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

Neighbors of vacant lots on South Matlack Street complained about the dumping of dead chickens, cats and dogs in the vacant lots.


1909/01/21
Source: "The Artist's Chance" in Daily Local News (January 21, 1909), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

The author reminisced about familiar West Chester scenes such as: "Strycennial, Howard Fulton's fast nag with a stretch of limb that is hard to beat and when Howard draws the ribbons and the cutter slides over the snow," "the Adams Express company sled", "teams moving furniture," and "William Kautz's sled with a chair full of groceries - this old style sled has been replaced by fancy new cutters."


1909/03/15
Source: Daily Local News (March 15, 1909), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

The author estimated that nearly 1000 horses were sold in West Chester since 1/1/1909 and believed that this large number indicated that it is "apparent that the automobile is not taking the place of this faithful beat of burden." Although the automobile has "come to stay there is still a place for the horse."


1909/03/15
Source: Daily Local News (March 15, 1909), in CCHS clippings file: "Market Street"

A West Chester ornithologist received an order for a stuffed wild pigeon, which reminded him of earlier days. There were no wild pigeons in Chester County and few in the state. An elderly citizen remembered when wild pigeons were being killed by the hundreds. The flocks were so large that they would "darken the sun." After dark, the flocks would nest in groves of beech trees and were killed by men by knocking them off their roosts with clubs by the barrel full. They were almost extinct in 1909.


1912/09/18
Source: Daily Star (September 18, 1912), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

Lewis M. Hickman, the borough garbage man, rented Magistrate Paxton's farm in East Bradford to dispose of the borough garbage. The farm was in East Bradford near the Darlington Seminary and about fifty feet from the borough line. He was going to bury some of the garbage in pits and establish a piggery to sell the rest to area pig farmers. Board of Health President Dr Scattergood objected to his plan.


1912/10/07
Source: Daily Star (October 7, 1912), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

Lewis M. Hickman was contracted by the borough to collect refuse. He used "sanitary" wagons pulled by horses. Hickman refused to say where he was disposing his garbage only that it was "satisfactory."


1916/02/18
Source: Daily Local News (February 18, 1916), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

Agent Milton Shaw killed unwanted pets at for the cost of the gas, $0.10 for cats and $0.25 for dogs, at a new plant inside a building at the West Chester Gas Company.


1916/03/02
Source: Daily Local News (March 2, 1916), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

There was a problem with the new gas plant solution used to rid the borough of unwanted animals. Agent Milton Shaw charges .25 per dog but wanted the West Chester police to bury them. The police were paid $1 to do the whole job and were reluctant to bury them for nothing so Shaw was dumping the animals in open lots. The author wrote a curious "doggerel" to illustrate his opinion.

"Policeman's hands were never made to catch our tabby cats,
But canines, at $1 per, will make "cop" acrobats:
The gas machine can kill the cats the "cops" can kill each cur.
Let police have the dollar job; the S. P. C. A., cat's fur".


1917/02/10
Source: "SPCA not busy" in Daily Local News (February 10, 1917), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

During the past winter there were very few cases of cruelty said Agent Milton M. Shaw. The author said that "now the motor car seems to be getting more trouble than the horses."


1917/09/03
Source: Daily Local News (September 3, 1917), in CCHS clippings files, "West Chester Streets, Walnut Street."

Harry Glisson of N. Walnut Street likes to spend his Sunday afternoons seated in front of the ball field on E. Gay Street where he can watch the traffic go by. Last Sunday, he reported that 1930 vehicles went pass between 8am and 5pm, compared to only 27 horse-drawn vehicles.


1918/09/25
Source: Daily Local News (September 25, 1918), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

A piglet was found being kept in a backyard of a house in the southeastern section of the borough. West Chester Police Chief Entreikin said that the Board of Health would be notified because although the sty was clean, it was in violation of the health ordinance, section seven, which required the consent of the Board of Health to keep pigs in the borough. This law was passed in 1911 and approved by the then chief burgess P. E. Jefferis.


1922/04/28
Source: Daily Local News (April 28, 1922), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Ordinances"

A new animal pound was opened on South Matlack. However, dogs escaped by digging out. By 1922, few animals were seen running loose in the town.


1930/06/18
Source: Daily Local News (June 18, 1930), in CCHS clippings file: "Associations SPCA"

The SPCA's animal shelter on Phoenixville Road was dedicated.


1939/09/19
Source: Daily Local News (September 19, 1939), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Zoning"

The Borough of West Chester published a zoning ordinance that allowed for a private stable in residential area as long as it did not house more than four horses. This ordinance specifically banned stockyards within the borough.


1944/03/15
Source: Daily Local News (March 15, 1944), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

Rabies was rampant in the western Pennsylvania counties and had been then recently seen in nearby counties. As A result, W. O. Lamson, Jr., the President of the Board of Health, imposed six-month quarantine on dogs within the borough. They were not to be allowed off of the property where they were kept without a leash. If dogs were found running loose they would be killed, as provided for by an ordinance passed on February 15, 1939.


1945/01/11
Source: Daily Local News (January 11, 1945), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

In 1910, only one dog was quarantined.


1955/11/12
Source: Daily Local News (November 12, 1955), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

W. O. Lanson, President of the Board of Health, requested the cooperation of residents in quarantining and inoculating their dog for rabies. As of November 1, 1955 Chester County had 103 rabies cases of the state total of 147.


1955/11/14
Source: "The Ban on Bozo" in Daily Local News (November 14, 1955), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

An editorial calls for residents to not allow their dogs to run loose saying that the court house lawn was a favorite spots for stray dogs.


1955/11/25
Source: Daily Local News (November 25, 1955), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

Dr. Norman J Pyle, a borough health officer, said that people routinely ignore the dog quarantine and rabies inoculation law. It was common to see dogs running at large. A dog bit a child but was not captured to be tested for rabies. In suburbs, dogs attacked poultry and sheep.


1956/03/30
Source: Daily Local News (March 30, 1956), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

The West Chester Board of Health enacted a new dog law that stipulated that licensed dogs that had been impounded would be sold or "humanely" destroyed if not claimed in ten days.


1956/09/14
Source: Daily Local News (September 14, 1956), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

Dr. Pyle, the local health officer, suggested "a dog catcher truck" to the Board of Health that would round up all strays one evening or afternoon per week.


1957/01/29
Source: Daily Local News (January 29, 1957), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

In 1956, as reported by Dr. Norman J. Pyle, the local health officer, there were nineteen cases of dog attacks, mostly of children bitten by stray dogs. Each dog bite required a fourteen day quarantine of the dog for rabies observation


1958/02/14
Source: Daily Local News (February 14, 1958), in CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Board of Health"

The author argued that cats are safer than dogs because in 1957, dogs bit twenty people, while cats only two. According to the 1957 annual report of the Board of Health, although biting dogs were held for the required fourteen day quarantine period, none had rabies.


1985/07/10
Source: Borough of West Chester, "Regular Meeting" (July 10, 1985), 7:35-9:12pm.

Borough Council voted 5-0 to pass Ordinance 10-1985 required dog owners to "restrict the normal activities of their dogs" and to clean up after them.


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