The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 7, 1904
Report Births and Deaths
Physicians or Other Persons in attendance Must Report
Blanks For Purpose May Be Obtained From Drs. W.W. Bowen or A.H. McCreight
Dr. W.W. Bowen the health officer of the city, as (sic – should be has) just received the death and birth blanks that are required to be filled out by the new “vital statistics” law that recently passed the legislature and has been causing such a furor among the members of the medical profession.
The new law requires that a complete record of every birth and death shall be made by the physician or other persons in attendance at the time and the records shall be turned in to the city health physicians or his new deputy, either of whom will supply the necessary blanks for the purpose.
From this time on the requirements of this law must be fulfilled to the letter under a penalty of fine or imprisonment or both. The penalty for neglecting this duty as stated in the law is a fine of not less than $5 (about $126 today) nor more than $100 ($2,516), or imprisonment for not more than sixty days or both. If neither physician, nurse or midwife are present at the birth of a child any person of the family or institution where the child is born may make the report on the blanks held by the health officer or his deputy. Dr. A.H. McCreight is the deputy of Dr. Bowen in this city.
In the case of a death the physician in attendance must make out the usual death certificate and the undertaker is required to take this to the health physician and make report of the death, so that by this arrangement, one man has a complete record of every birth and death in his community.