The lengthy “Ordinance Respecting Nuisances” was printed in the Columbia Missouri Statesman of July 14, 1843, on p. 4, columns 1-4, and has been transcribed faithfully. Original spelling has been retained, even when apparent errors were printed. It is a wonderful window into daily life in Columbia at this early date.
Specific nuisances that might be of interest can be quickly found using the following table of internal links:
Decaying Vegetable Matter
Card playing in certain stores
Selling spiritous liquors to slaves
Furious galloping of horses
Willful firing of a gun or pistol
Hollooing, screaming, or making a lot of noise
Trading with servants
Displacing property of others
Making a fire at night in a street, alley or lot
Allowing a boar hog to run at large
Permitting a female dog to run at large
Quarrelling or fighting in uprorious, profane , or drunken manner
Getting drunk by a slave
Loitering of servants
Causing obstructions in a street, alley or sidewalk
Emptying, piling or throwing all manner of things into the streets
Digging in the streets
Riding of a horse or vehicle upon a paved sidewalk
Having a poorly constructed fire-place, chimney or stove or flue
Leaving building materials in the streets
Hand railings, horse blocks, hooks and other obstructions
RESPECTING NUISANCES.Be it ordained by the Trustees of the inhabitants of the Town of Columbia as follows:
S 1. The things in this section mentioned are hereby declared and held to be nuisances. Viz. 1. All Privies so called, located wheresoever they my be, east of 4th cross street, which shall, from the want of frequent emptyings of their foul contents, and purifications by effective washings and careful applications of quicklime, exhale at any time putrid and offensive gases to the sensible discomfort and annoyance of any other family in the vicinity thereof, than that of the owners or occupiers of the lot or lots on which such privies are situated: 1.[2?] All privies, east of 4th cross-street, having an opening at or near to near to the bottom, exposing the offensive contents thereof to the view of those who pass along the streets and alleys in the vicinity thereof: 3. All deposits of human ordure, made in any place or under any circumstances whatever, east of 4th cross-street, by any family or part thereof, and continued or repeated to the annoyance of any other family in the vicinity thereof, and it despite of the remonstrances by the head of said other family which may be annoyed by said deposits; as also all large deposits or accumulations of horse excrement or other filth within the limits aforesaid, in, from, or about, stables, or stable-yards, which shall become the subject of annoyance and complaint by the head or heads of any family or families living in the neighborhood thereof of account of the offensive smell proceeding therefrom.
Any person therefore owning or occupying any lot of part of a lot in the town of Columbia who shall cause any such nuisance to exist as defined in this section; or shall fail or refuse to correct or remove it — such nuisance having been produced before the publication of this ordinance, shall in either case, be fined five dollars for every week he shall so cause such nuisance to exist, or to fail or refuse to correct or remove the same — it being hereby made the duty of the marshall before suit is commenced to give any person offending in any manner as explained in the preceding part of his section, notice that unless the nuisance caused or continued by him or her shall be corrected or removed in two days’ time that suit will be brought against him or her for the recovery of penalties. Such notice or a second or third suit for the same offence shall not be required.
S 2. All dead animals within the limits of the town, not killed as food for people—as cats, hogs, dogs, cattle so called, mules, horses or asses — are hereby declared to be nuisances; and if dead animals or any one of them be not removed out of the town to some lace where they or any of them, will not annoy any person at his or her place of residence by sight or small — whether such persons live within or without the town — in six hours, day-time, after the death of such animals or any one of them, the owner or keeper thereof in their or its lifetime, shall be fined as follows, viz: for every cat one dollar; for hog or dog two dollars; for cattle so called, each, and for every mule, ass, or horse, five dollars. If any of the dead animals, mentioned in the preceding part of this section, be removed out of the town but shall be dropped or deposited on the outside of the town where they or any one of them, shall prove annoying to the head or heads of any family or families in town, or out of it, by sight or small — of if the dead animals or any one of them shall be removed out of the town and be dropped or deposited in a public or much-used road, or in less distance to such road than eighty yards, the owner or keeper of such dead animals or any one of them in their or its lifetime, so dropping or depositing dead animals or any one of them, or causing them to be so dropped or deposited, or suffering them or any one of them to be so dropped or deposited by any person under his or her control, in any of the ways or places herein last mentioned, shall be fined in the same manner and in the same respective amounts as mentioned in the first part of this section for leaving the same kind of dead animals or any one of them in the town longer than a given time.
S 3. All decaying vegetable matter when accumulated in large masses at any given point — all stagnant waters — all artificial drains from any house, cellar or privy except such as empty into the paved gutters over the footway-pavements in regularly formed vallies, and which from the want of frequent clearings and washings shall give rise to annoying and offensive smells in the neighborhood — all within the limits of the town east of the 4th cross-street — are declared to be nuisances; and if not corrected by those who cause them or suffer them of any one of them to exist upon the lots, lot or part thereof, they own or occupy, in two days time after notice by the town Marshall, said persons on offending shall be fined five dollars; and if such nuisance or nuisances are not corrected or removed after a first judgment by any justice of the peace for a first offence, the person or persons so offending, shall be subject to a new fine of five dollars without any such notice as that required above by the town Marshall, for every week such nuisances are not corrected or __?___ed.
S 4. A cow-pen, calf-pen, or hog-pen so called, being used as such, located on, or immediately adjoining Broadway street, at any point east of 4th cross-street, or upon any cross-street east of 4th cross-street, and within one hundred feet of Broadway street, is hereby declared to be a nuisance; and any person making, owning or using for his stock so called, such cow-pen, calf-pen or hog-pen, shall be fined five dollars for every week such nuisance shall be continued or used..
S 5. Each of the things in this section mentioned, is hereby declared to be a nuisance; and any and every person being truly chargeable with creating or causing the same, or suffering it to be created or caused by others under his or her control, shall for each and every such offence be fined as follows, viz: 1. For the suffering of card-playing in any house kept for the purpose of selling or retailing groceries so called, or spirited liquors therein — whether money or any thing else be staked or not, ten dollars. 2. For the selling of spiritous or intoxicating liquors to any slave without a written order from the owner, master or mistress of such slave, fifteen dollars. 3. For the furious or unnecessary galloping of a horse or other animal through any street or alley east of 4th cross-street, five dollars. 4. For the wilful firing of a gun or pistol, day or night, except in killing a beef or dog, five dollars. 5. For hollooing, screaming, or making or causing to be made, any unnatural noise, without unavoidable necessity, to the disturbance of any quiet and orderly person or family, or other citizen, or any stranger temporarily remaining in the town — ten dollars. 6. For trading with servants in respect to other things than intoxicating liquors, without a written permission from the master, mistress or other person having the management of the same, except in common marketing so called — not more than twenty nor less than five dollars. 7. For removing or displacing from the position in which its owner or proper and legal user placed it, the property of any citizen or other person, and placing it in some other place or position — whether with a mischievous or wicked intent or not — to the annoyance or injury of the owner or user thereof — such as signboards, boxes, gates, carriages of any kind, horses, cattle so called, or any other thing, without consent from the owner or legal user thereof — ten dollars. 8. For the kindling, making or leaving of a fire after night, upon any street, alley or lot of ground not within a house, but in an open situation, east of 4th cross-street — five dollars. 9. The permitting of a boar or male hog not castrated, over the age of three months, to run or range at large in the town, east of 4th cross-street — three dollars; and if still permitted thus to run and range, one week longer after a first judgment by a justice of the peace for a recovering of a fine under this last specification, the owner thereof shall be fined a second time the sum of five dollars. 10. The permitting of a proud sl__ [rhymes with cut -- ed.] or female dog to run at large within the town — five dollars. 11. For quarreling in an uproarious, profane, or drunken manner; as also for fighting so called — in both cases, being without legal or justifiable excuse — five dollars for each or either offence.
S 6. Each of the matters or things mentioned in this section is hereby declared to be a nuisance; and the person who shall produce or cause any one of them, shall be fined as follows, viz: 1. For the getting drunk by any slave — ten stripes with a cowhide on the bare back; to be well laid on with becoming judgment by the town Marshall, instanter: 2. For the loitering about, or the collecting together, or servants, whether by day or night, to the number of five, at or about any one place at the time — except evidently for the performance of, or attendance upon, religious services — not exceeding fifteen, nor less than five stripes; to be well laid o by the town Marshall, instanter, but with good judgment an propriety; the said Marshall being hereby held responsible to the master, mistress, or manager of any slave that may be whipped by him for any permanent injury that may result from the manner of executing the duties imposed by this section of this ordinance. No servant shall be molested by the authority of this Board, whilst going to, remaining at, or returning from, and lace of public worship — if he, or she be peaceable and orderly in his or her conduct. Passes so called, shall not be required of slaves to secure to them the immunity in this section mentioned.
S 7. Any person creating or causing, directly or indirectly, any obstruction in any street, alley or sidewalk between 4th cross-street and the east end of the town, injuriously affecting the free, convenient and safe public use of the same — excepting the alleys running through the outside blocks of lots on the northeast-east and south sides of the town — also, the alley that runs through the block of lots numbered 76, 77, 115, 116, 117 — also, the alley that runs through the block of lots numbered 88, 89, 90, 103, 104, 105, — also, the alley that runs through the block of lots numbered 271, 272, 273, 304, 305, 306, — also all of Ash street that lies eat of 10th cross street — by horses, fences, fire-wood, fence-timbers, coal of building, paving, curbing or MacAdamising materials, except the latter be intended for early use, to be judged of by others by circumstances — shall be adjudged guilty of creating a nuisance; and any person so offending in any of the ways herein mentioned, shall upon conviction before a justice of the peace having jurisdiction thereof, be fined five dollars. This section shall not be so construed as to prevent any person living on any of the cross or other streets parallel to Broadway from throwing into them coal or wood — provided it be not done near to Broadway than one hundred feet, but not in such quantities or places as will very injuriously affect the free, safe and public use of said cross streets or any one of them.
S 8. Any person who shall empty, pile or throw, or shall cause or suffer to be emptied, piled or thrown by any one in his or her employ or under his or her control, into any part of Broadway, east of 4th cross-street, including its side walks, or into any part of any one of the cross=streets, east of 4th cross-street, and within one hundred feet of Broadway, ashes, cinder, coal, earth, putrid flesh or vegetables of any kind — lime, sand, brick, brick-bats or stone, not intended for building or improving purposes — shavings so called, straw, litter, offal or trimmings of any kind — refuse matter or scraps from stores, cellars, work-shops or other houses; as also all kind of recrements from stables — dung so called – and shall fail or refuse to carefully gather up the whole and every part of the things emptied, piled or thrown as in this section mentioned, and remove them to some other place where they or any one of them will annoy no one, in six hours-day-time — from and after the time said substances or any one of them, may have been thus emptied, piled, or thrown in Broadway or on other forbidden places, as specified above, shall be deemed guilty of causing or continuing a nuisance; and any person so offending in any particular herein mentioned, shall be fined five dollars.
S 9. Any person who shall dig or cause to be dug or suffer to be dug by another subject to such person’s control, in any part of Broadway, east of 4th cross-street — including its sidewalks – whether paved or McAdamised or not, or in any cross-street, est of 4th cross-street and within one hundred feet of Broadway — any holes, ditches or trenches, sensibly affecting the evenness and regularity of the streets, sidewalks, grades, pavements or McAdamisings within the bounds in this section mentioned, or any part or parts of the same — except by the previous consent of the street commissioner, shall be deemed guilty of causing a nuisance; and any person so offending shall e fined five dollars which fine shall be repeated every week after a rendtion of a first judgment by any justice of the peace for such offence till the same be removed or corrected. Andy should any person with a mischievous or wicked intend, injure any public improvement as a pavement of any kind, curbstones or gutterings, or if any person should with mischievous or wretched intent injure any private property, as doors, gates, steps, mud-scrapers, glass in windows or tubes for conducting water, he shall be deemed guilty of causing a nuisance, and shall be fined five dollars over and above what would be considered a necessary expenditure in repairing the injuries inflicted.
S 10. The wilful riding or driving of any horse or other animal, wagon cart or other carriage of any kid, upon any paved sidewalk is hereby declared to be a nuisance; and any person so riding, or driving any horse or other animal, wagon, cart or other carriage so called, upon any paved sidewalks, except in front of a stable, or causing or suffering any one under his or her control to offend as int his section mentioned, — shall be fined five dollars for each and every such offence.
S 11. Every fire-place, chimney, stove or flue therefrom, or dry-kiln so called, being in use, east of 4th cross-street, so unskilfully or carefully constructed of fixed as to be considered by a majority of the heads of three families of other adult persons living or doing business nearest such fire-place, chimney, stove or flue therefrom, or dry-kiln, as dangerous from the spread of fire, to the property of other citizens in the vicinity thereof is hereby declared to be a nuisance; and any person causing or suffering such nuisance to exist on any lot of ground owned or used by him for the period of three days time after having been requested to correct or remove the same by the persons composing the majority already mentioned, shall be fined five dollars for every three days thereafter he or she shall so fail or refuse to correct such nuisance.
S 12. If any master builder, tradesman or mechanic, as a stone-mason, stone cutter, brick mason, carpenter, plasterer or other person engaged in building or repairing any house or houses, or any part thereof, on Broadway street, east of 4th cross-street, or on any cross-street east of 4th cross-street and within one hundred feet of Broadway street, shall incumber or shall cause or suffer to be incumbered by any person under his or her direction or control, any street or sidewalk within the limits specified in the preceding part of this section, with stone, brick, lime, sand, timber, poles, earth or any thing else used in or about buildings or repairs thereon, & shall fail or refuse to carefully remove the whole of the things in this section mentioned and every part thereof, including all remnants, litter, or refuse matter of every kind, as near as practicable within one week from and after the time they or any part of them may be wanted in any building or improvement in progress of completion, shall be considered guilty of causing or keeping up a nuisance, and shall be fined five dollars for every week such nuisance shall last or be continued.
S 13. The things to be mentioned in this section shall be considered nuisances, viz: all hand-railing, horse blocks so called of any shape or material, all posts of any kind — those for tavern signs excepted; all hooks or catches of any kind, made or contrived for the purpose of hitching or fastening horses to — all in Broadway street and east of 4th cross-street, or its sidewalks, or in any cross-street and within forty feet of Broadway street;— also all obstructions of any kind, whether from the throwing of wood, coal, timber of any kind or hitching of horses or other animals on the sidewalk on the east side of 7th cross street and between Walnut and Broadway street as it runs by or passes the Union Meeting house; and any person giving rise to or producing such nuisance as herein and above mentioned, shall be fined five dollars for ever week such nuisance shall be sustained or suffered by the person creating it or causing it to exist; except the hitching of horses on 7th cross-street as limited and defined above. In this case or for this offence the person causing such offence shall be fined two dollars and fifty cents for each and every such offence.
S 14. Any dog owned or kept by any person in the Town of Columbia having the known disposition to attach and bite any person passing along any street or alley, whether in the day or night, is hereby declared to be a nuisance; and the owner or keeper of such dog shall be fined two dollars for every week that such dog shall be kept as aforesaid; and if such dog shall actually attack and bite any person in any street or alley, whether in the day or night, the owner or keeper of such dog, shall be fined ten dollars.
S 15. Any dog found from home and within the house or other enclosures, of any other person than those of its owner or keeper, and suspected of a thievish disposition, is declared to be a nuisance, and may with impunity be killed by any person or his agent, aggrieved by such dog; and if complaint be made to the Marshall of the Town by any person on account of such dog, it is hereby declared to be the special duty of such Marshall — he being pretty well satisfied that the complaint of such person is well founded — to kill such dog without unnecessary delay.
All other ordinances on the subject of “nuisances” as also an ordinance entitled “an ordinance respecting dogs in the town of Columbia,” are hereby repealed. This ordinance to take effect and be in force from and after its publication.
W. JEWELL, Chairm’n.