Thursday, June 17, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - an Account Statement

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to find some record or artifact in my computer files or the big box of family treasures handed down by my ancestors.

I've mentioned the Della (Smith) Carringer scrapbook before. On one of the pages was this "Statement of Account:"

From this scrap of paper, I can infer that D.J. Smith had a livery, feed and sale stable in Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas before 1880. I say "before 1880" because the date is set up for the 1870s. This is my second great-grandfather, Devier J. Smith, who owned a horse stable in several places, including Concordia, Kansas.

I am not clear if this was used by Devier Smith to give to a customer as a receipt for payments made, or as a reminder of the account balance owed by the customer. There is no dedicated space for a monetary amount, but it easily could have been written on the paper on the second line.

Financial transactions, including barter transactions, in the 1880 time frame were recorded in the personal or business account books of both the proprietor and the customer, and between individuals. I have one of my ancestor's business account books that has newspaper articles pasted over most of the handwritten entries, which is unfortunate. It would have been an excellent record of individuals living in a specific place at specific times.

1 comment:

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Scraps of paper with meaning, love it!

May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

Bill ;-)
Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"