See that my grave is kept clean

On my desk, a register of funeral records from June 1915-July 1916, each page recording minimal bio info and funeral costs.

An asylum inmate died of pellagra. So far, all of the asylum/sanitorium residents have died of pellagra. The article says it is a vitamin deficiency, but according to one of my directors, “It’s eatin’ the same thing all the time.”

Mamie Ethel was only 22, and there’s no cause of death listed.

“Electrocuted Accidental”

“Shock following accidental injury”

A co-worker’s uncle’s record was discovered, “gun shot wound of abdomen.” He was shot on the courthouse steps by a criminal.

Asia died of epilepsy. This entry is like a cross between Edward Gorey and the Jim Carroll Band.

Mr. Friday and his death by Bright’s disease were in good company. Lots of nephritis and colitis.

“Intestinal obstructions” sounds like a terrible way to go. Reminds me of a fella we once had, who went and choked on his pork chop during Tuesday dinner with his family.

A 2-year old could die of tonsilitis. A 37-year old woman? Childbirth. A 19-year old male caught the ol’ “Gangrenous Ruptured Appendix.”

The State Penitentiary paid for Tommie’s “legal electrocution” and $19.10 funeral.

Minnie got shot in the head…by her own hand. Her stockings cost 50 cents, her dress $18.

“Railroad accident”

“Dysintary Old Age”

“Suicide by Cutting throat with knife”

“Strangulation” – killed in the elevator of a hotel

“Dropped dead in field”  – a 70-year old man with one of my favourites names, Levi

Lots of apoplexy, too.

Richland County poor house might pitch in towards your bill.

5 years, 5 months died of “Burns Shock” (or Burma Shark) and had an ambulance on her bill.

As I was reading all that, someone went to a hospice to make some arrangements to enter it, and she died there in the office.

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