1918: JEROME REDLIGHT DISTRICT CLOSED, March 1.
"REDLIGHT DISTRICT MUST CLOSE MARCH 1st BY ORDER OF STATE BOARD OF HEALTH."
"PHOENIX, Feb. 15. --- Troops in Arizona are given the completest possible protection from venereal diseases, in regulations adopted by the State Board of Health to take effect March 1."
"The entire program of the War Department has been adopted, and adequate provision made to put it in force. By this step Arizona takes a place among the foremost States of the Union, in providing the safeguards against disease which the War Department considers important."
"Prostitution, which municipalities were legally allowed to protect under the State law, is henceforth outlawed. After March 1 any person harboring a prostitute will run afoul of the State Board of Health, which has full power to make any regulations it considers necessary to prevent infectious diseases."
"Houses of ill-fame, in the opinion of the Board of Health, tend to spread disease. Not only is it made unlawful to operate them, but any official refusing to suppress them may also be punished by the board."
"The measures requested by the War Department and United States Public Health service were adopted yesterday at a meeting of the Board of Health attended by Governor Hunt, Attorney General Jones, Superintendent of Public Health Sweek, and Lieutenant Paul Popenoe, of the surgeon general's staff, who was sent here from Washington to confer with the State authorities."
"Lieutenant Popenoe stated that so long as prostitution was legally protected in any part of Arizona, it would be impossible for the army effectively to protect itself from disease. By the draft act, houses of ill-fame are prohibited within five miles of any military camp, and under this law or in cooperation with local authorities, Lieutanant Popenoe closed the redlight districts of Bisbee, Fort Huachuca, Ray, Winkleman, Kelvin, Ajo, Globe and Yuma, in December."
"There are still segregated districts in many mining camps, however, and are a constant source of disease, in the belief of the War Department. The Board of Health therefore unhesitatingly decided to meet the wishes of the army, and prohibit the existence of all such districts."
"The largest redlight districts left in the State are said to be in Jerome and Superior. The superintendent of public health wrote to both of these cities last night, warning them to close at once."
"In addition to prohibiting houses of prostitution and forbidding physicians to issue medical certificates to prostitutes, the regulations adopted by the Board of Health contained drastic provisions which are expected to be of great value to the civil population as well as to the army."
"Everyone knowing of a case of venereal disease is obliged to report it to some health officer. Physicians may report cases under their own confidential numbers, insuring complete secrecy will be observed if the patient continues treatment until cured, or at least rendered non-infectious. In case a patient stops treatment too soon, his name will be sent to the State board, which will at once call on the police power of the State to bring him to time."
"All persons arrested on charges of prostitution, vagrancy or disorderly conduct are required to undergo a medical examination, and if found to be diseased will be treated until they are no longer infectious. This provision, according to Lieutenant Popenoe, is one to which the War Department attaches great importance."
"Any diseased person who cannot afford treatment from a private physicain will be treated free of charge by a county or city health officer."
"Physicians are enjoined to find out, whenever possible, where their patients contracted disease, so that the source of infection may be traced and suppressed. Physicians are likewise instructed to give their patients information as to how to avoid spreading disease. The State Board of health will aid in this educational campaign by distributing pamphlets prepared by the Council of National Defense for this purpose."
"Any person who prescribes for venereal disease, or any druggist who sells a patient medicine for this purpose, except on a physician's prescription, renders himself liable to fine or imprisonment. This regulation is expected by the War Department to be of great value to the army, in preventing soldiers from indulging in self-medication, whose consequences are frequently very injurious."
"Proper precautions will be taken by the Board of Health to prevent persons infected with venereal diseases from handling food, acting as barbers, or engaging in any occupations where they are likely to infect others."
"The state board reserves the right to decide in all cases whether a patient is sufficiently cured before being discharged from quarantine."
"In short, venereal diseases are hereafter to take their proper place as serious contagious diseases, and to be treated like smallpox, meningitis, and similar diseases. The 'conspiracy of silence' has been broken, and hypocrisy and false modesty will no longer be allowed to endanger the health of soldiers and civilians in Arizona."
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"City officials of Prescott yesterday evening stated that no demand had been made upon them by the State authorities for the closing of the local vice zone. This city is one of the few remaining towns in the State where the segregated district is permitted to operate under rigid regulation, although in view of the edict issued by the health authorities, it will probably have to be eliminated by the first of next month along with similar districts in all parts of the State. Many spasmodic efforts have been made in the past to clamp the lid on the South Granite street badlands, but none of them have been successful. Now that the government has taken a hand in the matter, the elements which are opposed to the licensing system are hopeful of closing the district up for all time."
(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; February 20, 1918; page 4.)
"LOCAL VICE ZONE IS NOW A THING OF THE PAST."
"Prescott's redlight district was closed with a bang at five o'clock yesterday evening shortly after the arrival of Lieutenant Paul Popenoe, representing the surgeon general's staff of the United States army, and this morning, for the first time in the city's fifty-odd years of existence, the lid has been placed on commercialized prostitution; the crimson lights have been switched off and the squeaky pianos which for years have furnished the shrill jangle of 'bearcat' dance music for the frequenters of the honky-tonk are silent --- silent for all time, the War Department says."
(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; February 27, 1918; page 4; from Saturday's Daily.)
"LURID LIGHTS OF JEROME MUST GO OUT. Jerome's redlight district must close March 1."
"Definite orders to this effect have been mailed from Phoenix by Dr. W. O. Sweek, state health officer, to Dr. A. C. Carlson, city health officer of Jerome. Dr. Carlson is expecting the order in tonight's mail, after which he will confer with the owners of houses in the restricted district and give the police officers their instructions." ...
"Since the 'Brewery Gulch' section of Bisbee was cleaned up, only two Arizona mining camps have restricted districts of any consequence. These are Jerome and Superior. About forty women ply the oldest trade in the world in Jerome. They are compelled by municipal regulations to undergo physical examination every two weeks, and any woman without a clean bill of health, at least so far as communicable diseases are concerned, is compelled to discontinue her mode of life."
(Verde Copper News; Jerome; March, 1918.)