Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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May 29

Greene County Public Health during WWII

Posted on May 29, 2020 at 1:56 PM by Elise Kelly

During these unprecedented times, Greene County Public Health (GCPH) has done an exceptional job of informing and preventing the spread of the Covid-19 virus (See Fig. 1). In addition to this commendable work, they have also been highlighting some of their history as they commemorate their 100th anniversary this year.

Fig. 1 Covid Image (JPG)
Fig. 1 Greene County Public Health Update for May 24, 2020 reported by ODH (Greene County Public Health)

The Greene County Archives houses and preserves many of GCPH’s historical material. We have scanned and shared a large amount of this material with them. We have also written two blog posts that showcase the issues and the actions taken by GCPH during the 1920s and 1930s. Today's post will illustrate what challenges GCPH encountered during World War II.

After the United States entered the war, the population in defense areas significantly increased. There was an enormous surge in employment at the Army Air Field, Wright Field (later named Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) (See Fig. 2). Consequently, the rapid increase of population in Greene County and the City of Xenia generated numerous difficulties for GCPH.

Fig. 2 Wright Field (JPG)
Fig. 2 Wright Field in 1941 (courtesy of

Certain problems included: "private and public water supplies, proper garbage disposal, an increase in the number of pregnancy cases with delivery service required, and the ever present danger of epidemics" (See Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Annual Report of Greene County-Xenia City Health Districts 1942, Pg. (JPG)
Fig. 3 Annual Report of Greene County – Xenia City Health Districts, 1942 (Greene County Archives)

In order to tackle the emergency, GCPH added several positions including a sanitarian and a part-time pediatrician. Furthermore, a “special immunization and vaccination campaign was requested by the State Department of Health and the United States Government. Diphtheria toxoid was supplied by the State Department of Health.” The U.S. Government, the State Department of Health, and the Greene County Health Department were concerned about an upsurge in infectious diseases because of the confluence of populations in defense areas.

Sanitation was a primary concern for GCPH. In 1943, a plumbing code was instituted for the County, a policy of sanitation improvement was established in Yellow Springs, and a salary increase for Greene County’s Sanitarian, William Marshall was approved (See Fig. 4).

Fig. 4 Board of Health Minutes, 1943, Pg. 36 (JPG)
Fig. 4 Greene County Board of Health Minutes, 1943, Page 36 (Greene County Archives)

In 1944, the County Public Health Department sought additional funds in order to combat the escalation of tuberculosis cases (See Fig. 5). Also, in 1944, the County’s Board of Health accepted Haines Hospital’s maternity license (See Fig 6). Formerly located in Jamestown, Haines Hospital was the only hospital in Greene County that accepted the delivery of children of military families under the Emergency Federal Program. During the war, some of the children of Greene County were welcomed into the world at Haines Hospital.

Fig. 5 Board of Health Minutes, 1944, 40 (JPG)
Fig. 5 Greene County Board of Health Minutes, 1944, Page 40 (Greene County Archives)

Fig. 6 Board of Health Minutes, 1944, Pg. 42 (JPG)
Fig. 6 Greene County Board of Health Minutes, 1944, Page 42 (Greene County Archives)

GCPH met the demands and challenges head on during World War II. They have been doing the same during the current pandemic.

Until Next Time!

Greene County Archives


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