On March 21, 1910, the General Assembly approved "an act to establish a Bureau of Vital Statistics and to provide for the immediate registration of all births and deaths throughout the State of Kentucky." The State Board of Health was to establish a Bureau of Vital Statistics and to appoint a State Registrar of Vital Statistics "who shall be a competent vital statistician" to a four-year term. The state was to be divided into registration districts, each with its own local registrar, also appointed to a four-year term. Each city and incorporated town would constitute a registration district. The State Board of Health would, in addition, "designate the boundaries of a sufficient number of rural registration districts which it may change from time to time as may be necessary for convenience and completeness of registration." The act had a privacy provision which stipulated that all confidential physician-patient communications were to be "placed upon the same basis as those provided by law between attorney and client."
Photographer Harry Gretter took this candid shot of his wife with their newborn son, Vic, ca. 1900. Such intimate images are rare in this time before amateur photography became widespread. Wolff, Gretter, Cusick, Hill Studio Negative Collection, Kentucky Historical Society Collections.