Chariton's 21st Century city council, mayor and police force certainly have issues to deal with, including potholes and the occasional miscreant human, dog, cat or other stray critter. But these difficulties pale by comparison to those of the late 1860s, when hog producers allowed their livestock to roam free.
By March of 1869, the situation had gotten so bad that the City Council felt compelled to act. Here's the ordinance that resulted, passed on March 5 and published in The Chariton Democrat of March 11:
Prohibiting the Running at Large of Swine within the Corporate Limits of Chariton, Iowa.
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Town Council of the Town of Chariton, that the running at large of swine within the corporate limits of said town, be, and the same is, hereby prohibited.
Sec. 2. That it is hereby made the duty of the Marshal to take up and impound all swine found running at large within the corporate limits of said town, and keep the same until the following conditions of this ordinance are complied with.
Sec. 3. That every owner of any swine so impounded shall pay to the Marshal before demanding the release of said swine, the sum of twenty-five cents as his (Marshal's) fees for taking up said swine, and a sum at the rate of five cents per day for each and every day said animal is so kept impounded, as compensation for keeping the same.
Sec. 4. That unless said swine is redeemed or taken from the pound by the owner within three days from the time it is so taken up, the Marshall shall, by written notice put up in three of the most public places of said town, advertise said animal, giving a correct description of the same, to be sold within five days from the date of said notice, and proceed to sell the same at auction to the highest bidder.
Sec. 5. That the proceeds derived from the sale of any such swine shall be devoted to paying the Marshall his fees, expenses and costs for taking up and keeping such animal, and all surplus, if any remains after paying said costs and expenses, shall be paid into the town Treasury, subject to the order of the owner of said animal.
Sec. 6. That all ordinances and resolutions inconsistent with this oridinance, are hereby repealed.
Sec. 7. That this ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the 1st day of April, 1869, and its publication in the Chariton Patriot and Chariton Democrat, weekly newspapers published at Chariton, Lucas county, Iowa.
Passed March 5th A.D. 1869
E.B. Woodward, Mayor
D.T. Henderson, Recorder