An old country store's timeworn business ledger, partially bound in leather, has used up space for decades. My dad couldn't remember where he got it, where it was from, which store held the accounts and said he'd never head of the customers.
The last charges dated in 1951. I checked customers with the 1940 census. Results place most customers in the Union Community of Paulding County Georgia.
It is a near certainty that none of the customers are alive, and if so, there is nothing that should embarrass anyone.
The ledger shows price changes over sixty odd years.
Truck driver Truman Adair bought eight gallons of gasoline for $2.48 or $.31 per gal. and a carton of cigarettes for $2.20. That was October of 1950.
Each month forty-nine year old Dixie Brown charged laying mash and dairy feed. In the 1940 census he was a farmer. He lived on Beulah Rd in the new Georgia Community of Paulding County.
New politicians changed the names of old roads and I can't find Beulah Rd.
William Hicks charged a pound of coffee at eighty cents and a forty-eight cent pack of cigarettes. Lard was 95 cents. He owned a cigarette lighter because he bought lighter fluid for thirty cents and a flashlight for $1.35.
Spot Johnson liked fish. It was often charged at $1.90. He regularly bought a thirty-eight cent container of snuff and someone sewed because he took home a nickle spool of thread.
Woodrow Kay snacked on vienna sausages (twenty cents) and crackers (a quarter). In 1950 he charged a box of Corn Flakes (twenty cents).
Ransom McClarity broke his axe handle. He replaced it at sixty-five cents. He and Lizzie had yet to gain electric power and their two-month supply of lamp oil (kerosene) costs thirty-six cents.
Ransom liked to keep his shoes looking sharp because he bought shoe polish at fifteen cents.
Farmer Glen McClure bought a pair of $3.15 overalls and regularly charged canned peaches.
Tom Proctor had six kids, explaining why he often charged candy, cakes and bananas, which then cost fifteen cents per pound. He also bought oysters, snuff, lots of drinks and something called a “Dixie Bar” (18 cents) but I don't know what that is and can't find out. He liked sardines at four bits a can and used a lot of mayonnaise at twenty-seven cents per jar and peanut butter at a quarter.
This old book is interesting browsing but I think the place for it is the local museum.
You can flip through it there.
Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.