Those “Boring” Bills Can Shed Light

Reading through every bill paid by your ancestor’s executor or administrator might seem as fun as watching paint dry, but I learned:

  • My great-grandfather was paid $2 in 1918 for setting posts on his deceased father’s farm
  • My great-grandfather was paid $3 for hauling manure on his father’s farm
  • The fire insurance on the farm in 1918 was $32.50
  • A phone call made by the executor from Tioga, Illinois, to Carthage, Illinois, cost 20 cents–no mention of how long the phone call was. 
Looking at the chronology and to whom the phone call was made, it’s pretty clear the executor was calling the loan officer at the bank to inquire about the mortgage payment.
All from a look at the estate accounting. Interesting stuff.