Transcribed by Crist Middaugh
First Village Board Faced With Problems Of Setting Up Laws
One of the first jobs which faced the founding fathers of Wellsville was to establish government.
It had been easy enough to meet, plan, file papers and do all the official things which were required to form a township and a village.
The founders of the Village of Wellsville faced particular problems.
They were dealing with citizens who had grown up in a free and unfettled area.
As they grew up, however, there came certain problems.
Today, 100 years later, these problems no longer exist and no longer seem important.
For the historian who follows the writer of today there will seem to be just as much strange about our ordinances as those old 100-year-old ordinances appear to be to the modern writer.
A $1 fee for parking your automobile too long does not seem strange to today’s citizens.
A speed of 25 miles per hour on Village Streets does not seem strange to this generation.
An ordinance which forbids the shooting of firearms in the village limits; prohibits the raising of pigs; forbids double parking and limits the streets over which trucks loaded with nitroglycerine may pass, seem reasonable in this year of 1957.
A state law which forbids the sale, use or shooting of fireworks except by licensed operators also may seem strange.
Maybe fireworks, such as will feature the Wellsville Centennial, will be something long forgotten 100 years from now.
But, this is a Centennial year.
The community is thinking in terms of what problems were faced by the founding fathers.
They had no automobiles to worry about.
They had no fireworks to worry about except the “shooting of anvils” on Fourth of July.
They parked their horses and oxen wherever they wished.
Their entertainment was unfettered.
Saloons came wherever an enterprising merchant decided to sell intoxicating beverages.
So, what did need regulation in this baby Village of Wellsville?
What were it problems?
The first by-law of the Village of Wellsville read as follows:
“No person shall at any time allow any of his cattle, horses, sheep or swine (except milch cows) to run or be at large in any of the roads, highways, or streets of this village; nor shall any person allow any such cow to run or be at large in any such road, highway or street except in the daytime between the first day of May and the first day of November in each year. Whoever shall offend against this provision shall forfeit for each and every offense one dollar.”