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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

Father F.A. Becker, a Catholic priest in Wallace, filed “one of the most unusual suits ever brought in local courts”: He sued a widow for not paying him a funeral fee.

When Adam Golsong died, Mrs. Golsong sent for Father Becker to officiate at the funeral. During the service, the priest proceeded to berate the deceased “for his irregular attendance at church.” Mrs. Golsong was so incensed she refused to pay the priest a fee. Several weeks later, he sent word that he would accept $10 for his part in the service – in essence, billing her. She fumed for a few weeks but finally paid up. When she did, he sent the money back with a reply saying that the price had been raised to $25. The widow, said – and I am paraphrasing here – hell, no.

So the priest filed a lawsuit asking for $25, plus 7 percent interest from the date of Mr. Golsong’s death.

This was the third lawsuit involving Father Becker in recent years, all of them involving money. He said he wanted to “make an example” of the widow. He said the custom of paying priests for funerals was not being observed with sufficient rigor.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1926: The first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversations took place between New York and London.



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