(This 1852 Common Council document from the City Sexton includes a note about the negligence of a Chicago undertaker. This is one example of how careless record keeping helped contribute to the confusion that occurred during the disinterments of the 1870s.)

To the Honorable the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Chicago in Common Council assembled.

         As Mr. James Gavin Funeral Undertaker in this City has repeatedly refused to give me the number of deaths in the City, for the last Six months, according to the Funerals which he attended, and as a correct report of the number of deaths in the City is an important item in the statistics of the City, it is advisable that some means or other be taken to compel him to give a correct report at the end of each month of the number of deaths and whether children or adults and also which division of the City the deaths occurred.

         It will be seen by an account which I have just submitted to the Council that there is a balance in favor of the City and against me of One Thousand and Sixty One Dollars and Sixty Two cents which balance I am at present perfectly unable to pay in consequence of the great expense which I have been at, the past year in building a Vault, Chapel etc, in the City Cemetery. I therefore crave your acceptance of my note for the amount payable in Nine months with interest at the rate of Six per cent per annum.

I Remain,
Your most obedient Servant,
         Augustin S. Bates
                  City Sexton

Pamela Bannos © 2021