July 25, 1917 Letter from RH Flavelle to TJ Harkness

Kearney, Ont.

July 25, 1917

Mr. T. J. Harkness
Annan, Ont.

Dear Sir:–

In reply to yours of the 23 inst. in regard to the desired reduction would say it is an utter impossibility to alter prices.

As for the casket the buyer asked for the best I had, choosing the $75 one rather than $50 or $60. For the benefit of your competent undertaker the casket number is 619C panel.

Then as to the Embalmer’s fees (and aslo was engaged by buyer) I am well aware that $10, is the usual charge for any ordinary case in town or near vicinity, but this was no ordinary case, requiring double quantity of fluid otherwise necessary, besides the Embalmer’s Railroad expenses (for 53 miles and return) meals and lodging from 3.45 p.m. to 8.45 p.m. the next night.

As I said before this was no ordinary case. We had to go 1½ miles through the woods after leaving train, then another mile by water, taking casket with us. We then took body to an island where we embalmed it and brought it back to Mowat Lodge Cemetery where we buried it.

However if you refuse to pay bill as rendered I will collect from buyer saving you some unnecessary trouble.

July 23, 1917 Letter from TJ Harkness to RH Flavelle Undertaker

July 23, 1917

Dear Sir,

I have been handed your account for attending to the body of Tom Thomson and for casket and etc. as I have been appointed to look after the affairs of the estate of the deceased. I may say that I think your account is exhorbitant and I will and I will not pay it in full, but will deduct $15.00 off price of casket and $10.00 off embalming fees, and if you are not satisfied, I will pay amount of account less $25.00 into court and you may proceed to collect the balance.

I am doing this after substituting your account to competent undertakers and am allowing just double for embalming that is charged in this part and I might say that the man we got to furnish metallic lined casket to bring the body home only charged $75.00 for his work and the casket and we paid his fare to Canoe Lake. The casket you furnished is still at Canoe Lake and it may still be of some use to you. I will settle your account as soon as the necessary legal steps have been taken.

Yours truly,
T. J. Harkness