100 Years Ago in Warren: Smelly swill

Detail of an ad for Charles J. Besaw, clothier, doing business at 3 and 5 Miller St., that ran in the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in November 1912. Detail of an ad for Charles J. Besaw, clothier, doing business at 3 and 5 Miller St., that ran in the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in November 1912.

Detail of an ad for Charles J. Besaw, clothier, doing business at 3 and 5 Miller St., that ran in the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in November 1912.

Taken from the pages of the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in November 1912:

Stinky swill

Swill and milk have nothing in common. Our forefather farmers used to raise corn and milk fed pork; now it is swill fed. At present no one has a license to collect swill, and there are no town ordinances that cover the ground sufficiently. Any one who has hens or hogs can arrange with his neighbors or with the public at large, to remove the refuse from the back yard garbage pails and cans. The vehicles used to collect such refuse can be anything from a child’s express wagon to an open buggy. The other night a small boy was coming down Main street with a small wagon in which was some sort of a tub overflowing with the refuse from many a kitchen. The odor arising from said cart and contents was equal to that distributed as a means of defense by the animal known to zoologists as the mephitis mephitica (skunk). As the wagon rumbled over the uneven sidewalk, the contents joggled out of the tub into the cart. The youth was trying to force it back and press it down with his small bare hands, but without much avail. As the cart proceeded down the street, a trail of swill was left behind; where the attempt was made to adjust the load, there was a good sized pile on the pathway. Ladies as they passed along could hardly help dragging their skirts in the nasty mess and particularly at evening. It was a disgusting spectacle, though small blame could attach to the smaller boy. It was an ideal distributer of germs, a dirty festering mess and allowed to lier there the next day until the flies had done their work. And this is a 20th century town, polite, refined, respectable. The sooner we get our ordinance and an officer with power and authority, the sooner will the nuisance of unlicensed swill carting be abated. Is there any one who has the audacity to say that regulation is not needed and that we are not in danger? No man should so betray his ignorance.

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