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Sunday, July 11, 2010
This is a funeral home receipt book for my great grandparents Monroe Markham b. 1852 and Mary Byrd Markham b. 1855. Monroe was born in then Copiah County, Caseyville, MS, on the David Buie Plantation. I think Mary was born in Franklin County, MS, but I am not sure. The receipt book is special to me because it once was held by their hands. Monroe and Mary are my mother's grandparents.
I can imagine them putting their coins in a small bowl on the fireplace mantel waiting for the representative to come for his monthly visit. The receipt book was probably kept in a desk draw. He would greet them as Uncle Monroe and Aunt Mary. They may have offered him a cup of coffee, a glass of cold lemonade. They may have talked about the weather, crops, the row of pecan trees, dying and death, or the pretty flowers in the yard. He would carefully mark the receipt book and they would carefully put it back in the envelope and place it back in the desk draw until his next visit.
Recording of their payment begins 29th of October 1931, almost eighty years ago. Every page is neatly filled showing their faithful payments. The family paid $1 monthly for a family plan. The family consisted of Monroe, his wife Mary, and their three unmarried daughters Mary Jane, Beatrice and Inez. When heaven called the spirit home, the body would receive a casket valued at $100, a robe and hearse services.
Monroe died before this booklet was completed. He died 04 Jan 1932. You can see on the front cover where a line is drawn through his name and Mary's name is written above his as she now becomes the head of the household. The last payment in this receipt book was 31 Dec 1934.