At the January 1890 meeting of the Williamsport town council, the following petition was submitted. “Whereas, professional peddlers and hawkers have become numerous and are selling inferior articles of merchandise to the citizens of Williamsport and vicinity and charging exorbitant prices therefore; and Whereas, said practices are a nuisance to and an imposition upon the citizens and a detriment to the businesses of honest merchants and business men of said town and community. Therefore, We, the undersigned, merchants and business men of said town petition ... to impose heavier license for such privileges…”
The town council adopted an ordinance “that any person, being a traveling peddler, who shall bring into the corporate limits of the town of Williamsport any dry goods, groceries, hardware, cutlery, jewelry, slaughtered animals, or any other articles for the purpose of gain or profit, and peddling the same from house to house, or upon the streets of said town…” pay $5 per day for a license. Any person not licensed will be fined not less than ten dollars and not more than $15.
At the February meeting, the council passed an ordinance “that it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to directly or indirectly sell, barter or give away for the purpose of gain, spirituous , vinous, or malt liquors in a less quantity that a quart at a time …. without first obtaining a license.
“ Nor shall any person without having first procured such license sell or barter any intoxicating liquors to be drank in his house, out-house, garden or the appurtenances thereto belonging.” If anyone desires to sell less than a quart at a time he shall pay $150 for a one year license. Any persons not licensed and convicted shall be fined $25.
The council also passed a hog ordinance stating: “all hogs found running at large within the corporate limits of said town and not having two rings, commonly used for such purpose, securely fastened in the nose of each hog so as to keep them from rooting the ground, shall ….” be taken by the Marshal and impounded.
"The Marshal shall immediately give notice to the owner of such animal. If the owner is not known, then within 24 hours the Marshal shall give notice by posting up written notices in three public places in town stating as near as possible the age and description of such animal and the place where impounded.
"The Marshal shall be entitled to receive from the owners 50 cents per animal impounded and 25 cents for each day such animal is kept and fed by the Marshal. After two days from giving notice if no person has claimed or paid the fee, the Marshal shall advertise such property for sale at public auction in 10 days. He shall post written notices in three public places stating the time and place of the sale, and description of the property.
"The Marshal shall be entitled to 50 cents for each animal sold. Any remaining money after paying fees will be paid to the owner on proof of ownership if made within six months from the date of the sale."
Terri Wargo writes for the Warren County (Indiana) Historical Society.