Monday, November 2, 2015

Dr. Robert Horner's 1882 tax notice

Here's a cheery thing to think about on a Monday morning — taxes!

This is a small postcard that was mailed to Dr. Robert Horner of Gettysburg. Horner is being informed by the Franklin County Commissioners' Office that his 1882 taxes for Southampton Township totaled $15.36. It's possible that Horner, who practiced in Gettysburg (Adams County), had an office or secondary property (a farm?) in adjacent Franklin County.

A tax bill of $15.36 is the equivalent of about $371 today.

It's interesting to read the fine print and see what was taxed at the county level in the late 19th century:

  • On real estate, horses, cattle — 4 mills
  • On money at Interest — 4 mills

The state, meanwhile, also imposed a carriage tax of 1 percent and a tax on "all watches over $20."

As we all know, the two certainties in life are death and taxes. And Dr. Horner, who received this county tax bill more than 130 years ago, is now dead.

His life was quite notable. According to his Find A Grave page, he lived from 1825 to 1899. The son of Dr. David Horner, he was born in Gettysburg and received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He treated wounded soldiers from the Battle of Gettysburg and remained in practice there for many years after the Civil War. He lived on Chambersburg Street in Gettysburg, at a house that Thaddeus Stevens had once also lived in.

He died of a stroke on July 3, 1899, the 36th anniversary of the final bloody day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

No comments:

Post a Comment