Page 41: Mortuary Bill for Amalia Baerecke
How much did it cost to die in 1912? $153.30 according to this bill for the mortuary services for my great-great-great grandmother.
Here is the breakdown:
Casket - $60.00
Box - $5.00
Robe - $6.00
Embalming - $10.00
Washing and Dressing - $2.50
Gloves - $2.00
Carriages (?) - $28.00 (looks like it says "carriagers.")
Hearse - $10.00
Germanic & evening (?) - $1.50
Decoration and Flowers - $13.30
Opening Grave - $12.00
Lowering Device - $3
Total - $153.30
The bill is dated 6 January 1912. The business was called Christian Ritter & Son: Funeral Directors and Embalmers. They were located at 276 Fifth Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The phone number was "Grand 1631."
In the bill above, I guessed on the word "carriages." It really does look like "carriagers." Whatever they were, there were 7 of them. Perhaps they were rented carriages to transport the funeral procession. I'm not sure how it was handled in 1912.
Also, I couldn't read the abbreviation after "Germanic and evening." It looks like "Wis" or "Nis." Either way, it indicates that the funeral service for my great-great-great grandmother was held in German.
It seems odd to have such a document in my collection, but I guess it's par for the course in a pension file. Because it is so unusual, I am pleased I can share it with you.
[Update: Reader Carol suggested in the comments that the "Wis" or "Nis" I was questioning may actually be "Vis," short for visitation. This makes sense, as the phrase would be Germanic & evening visitation. Thanks, Carol!
Update again: Reader Chris had a great suggestion in the comments as well. Now I have a new newspaper to research. Thanks, Chris!]