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Dr. Orvis of Hereford Haven
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Four generations of Orvises: L. to R., Dr. Orvis, grandson Bruce Orvis, great-grandson Bill Orvis and son William Orvis.

Wisconsin, a dairy state, was public health minded and Dr. Orvis carried such doctrine into California as an accepted branch of research. He recommended that the milk cows at the Stockton Insane Asylum, under state super- vision, be given the tuberculosis test, as milk and flesh from a diseased animal was a hazard to the public welfare.

This was a challenging assertion. Health officials, some veterinaries, and many medical doctors scoffed at the Orvis theory. The derision was embarrassing to Dr. Orvis. He defended his position and it excited public interest. In 1894 Dr. A.C. Ruggles, president of the State Board of Health, permitted Dr. Orvis to make TB tests of the Asylum's dairy herd. He did so and eight of the eleven Beautiful shot of wild Remount horses in Army Yards. cows reacted to the test.

The doctors on the institution's supervisory staff rejected the reported results on grounds that the tests had not been properly made under supervision of qualified observers. This raised a new storm of opposition, led by Dr. Orvis, one of the state's leading livestock specialists. The public, with concern for their offspring's health, clamored for proof of the charges and counter-charges.

Permission was granted for the slaughtering of two TB cows so a special board of doctors and veterinarians could perform an autopsy on the carcasses. The medicos were represented by Dr. A.C. Ruggles and the two Asylum physicians in charge, and the vets were doctors R.A. Archibald, Thomas Maclay, and H.A. Spencer, with Dr. C.B. Orvis as an observer. The infection was discovered in both slaughtered animals and Dr. Orvis stood vindicated. Never the less the Asylum authorities again rejected the evidence as inconclusive. They refused to kill the effected cows but offered to replace them with new purchases. This made no sense to the opposition and the feud carried on. In time corrective legislation was passed and the problem ameliorated. Under the new program Dr. Orvis was one of the first livestock inspectors appointed in the sunny state of California. with feed crops from abroad.

 (Continued on page 5)

 


Old Corner Saloon  2002