Business Hints for Men and Women
Alfred Rochefort Calhoun

Part 1 out of 4

Emily Ratliff, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.




1. Wealth, Land and Labor. 2. Money. 3. Sources of Wealth. 4. The
Farmer, a Producer, and Seller. 5. Business Methods Essential.

1. Deeds. 2. Abstracts of Title. 3. Parties to a deed.
4. Different deeds. 5. Making a deed. 6. Recording deeds.

1. Trust deeds. 2. As to mortgages. 3. Mortgage forms.
4. Payments. 5. Assignments. 6. Redemption of mortgages. 7. Equity
of redemption.

1. Two kinds. 2. Limitations of wills. 3. How to make a will.
4. On executive duties. 5. Administrators. 6. Debts. 7. Final

1. Business letters. 2. The heading. 3. Forms. 4. The greeting. 5.
Body of letter. 6. Ending a letter. 7. Materials. 8. Letters of
introduction, etc.

1. Bills for goods. 2. Bills for labor. 3. Discounting bills.
4. Forms of receipts. 5. What is an order?

1. An account with crops. 2. Workingman's account. 3. Other
records. 4. Copies.

1. National banks. 2. Banks as lenders. 3. Interest on deposits.
4. Check and deposit banks. 5. How to draw a check.
6. Certificates of deposit. 7. Use of checks.

1. How business is conducted. 2. How to deposit. 3. How account
grows. 4. Limit of deposit. 5. How to draw money. 6. Savings bank

1. Definition and illustration. 2. Days of grace. 3. Indorsing
notes. 4. Negotiable notes. 5. Joint notes. 6. Discounting notes.
7. Interest on notes. 8. Protests. 9. Notices. 10. Accommodations.
11. Lost notes. 12. Notes about notes.

1. To make a draft. 2. Forms. 3. For collection. 4. Dishonor.
5. Protests. 6. Buying drafts. 7. A good plan. 8. Good as cash.

1. What is money? 2. United States money. 3. Metal money. 4. Paper
money. 5. Bank notes. 6. "Greenbacks." 7. Treasury certificates.
8. Worn-out notes.

1. The department. 2. Rural free delivery. 3. Classified mail
matter. 4. Postal rules. 5. Foreign rates. 6. Stamps. 7. Postal
cards. 8. Registering letters. 9. Special delivery. 10. Money
orders. 11. Cashing P.O. orders. 12. Advice.

1. Description. 2. Directions. 3. Charges. 4. Telegraphing money.
5. The method. 6. The telephone.

1. Two kinds. 2. Instructions. 3. The company's duty.
4. Collections by express. 5. C. 0. D. by express. 6. Money by
express. 7. Money orders.

1. Bills of lading. 2. Express bills. 3. A bill and a draft.
4. Some forms.

1. Definition. 2. Kinds of taxes. 3. Customs duty. 4. Internal
revenue. 5. Stamps. 6. State taxes. 7. Exempt from taxes.
8. Insufficient taxes. 9. Personal property. 10. Town taxes.
11. Payments. 12. Corporation taxes. 13. Taxes in general. 13. The

1. Requisites to a contract. 2. The consideration. 3. Written and
verbal contracts. 4. Forms of contract. 5. Kinds of contract. 6. A
lease. 7. As to repairs. 8. Sub-letting. 9. What is a guaranty?
10. A bill of sale 11. Obligations.

1. A definition. 2. How it is done. 3. As an investment. 4. Forms
of life insurance. 5. Mutual insurance. 6. Amount of policies.
7. Policies as security. 8. Lapses. 9. Proprietary companies.

1. Like a gambling risk. 2. What is fire insurance? 3. Premiums.
4. Collecting. 5. Insurable property. 6. Mutual companies.
7. Stock companies. 8. Accident insurance.

1. Defined. 2. Prepare and sign. 3. Silent partners. 4. Nominal
partners. 5. Liability. 6. How to dissolve. 7. Notice necessary.
8. A form.

1. What is an investment? 2. Savings. 3. Capitalists.
4. Stockholders. 5. Kinds of stocks.

1. As to bonds. 2. Sorts of bonds. 3. Railroad bonds. 4. Buying
bonds. 5. Requisite in a bond.

1. Don't deceive yourself. 2. Be sure you are not losing.
3. Weeding out old stock. 4. Dropping worthless accounts. 5. Let
your wife know. 6. Children and business. 7. Farmers' sons.

1. How title is acquired. 2. Over-generosity. 3. Care of wills.
4. Care of all papers. 5. Checks and stubs. 6. Sending away money.
7. Lost in mails. 8. More about notes.

1. As to receipts. 2. Notes in bank. 3. Well to know.
4. Discharging liens. 5. Prompt but not too prompt. 6. Be in no
haste to invest. 7. Meet dues promptly. 8. Counting money.
9. Ready money. 10. In traveling.

1. An alphabetical arrangement.

1. Defined and alphabetically arranged.


What is a good business man? "The rich man," you may answer. No,
the good business man is the man who knows business.

Are you a good business man?

"Up to the average," you say.

Well, what do you know of business laws and rules, outside your
present circle of routine work?

Now, this handy little volume is a condensation of the rules and
the laws which every man, from the day laborer to the banker,
should be familiar with.

We have not put in everything about business, for that would
require a library, instead of a book that can be read in a short
day, and be consulted for its special information at any time.

It isn't a question of the price of the book to you, or of the
profit to the publisher. Is it good?

Many a man has failed because he did not know the rules and laws
herein given.

Never a man has won honestly who did not carry out these rules and



The three things essential to all wealth production are land,
labor, and capital.

"The dry land" was created before there appeared the man, the
laborer, to work it. With his bare hands the worker could have
done nothing with the land either as a grazer, a farmer or a
miner. From the very first he needed capital, that is, the tools
to work the land.

The first tool may have been a pole, one end hardened in the fire,
or a combined hoe and axe, made by fastening with wythes, a
suitable stone to the end of a stick; but no matter the kind of
tool, or the means of producing it, it represented capital, and
the man who owned this tool was a capitalist as compared with the
man without any such appliance.

From the land, with the aid of labor and capital, comes wealth,
which in a broad way may be defined as something having an
exchangeable value.

Before the appearance of money all wealth changed hands through
barter. The wealth in the world to-day is immeasurably greater
than all the money in it. The business of the world, particularly
between nations, is still carried on through exchange, the
balances being settled by money.

Money is a medium of exchange, and should not be confounded with
wealth or capital; the latter is that form of wealth which is used
with labor in all production.

Broadly speaking, wealth is of two kinds, dormant and active. The
former awaits the development of labor and capital, the latter is
the product of both.

Labor is human effort, in any form, used for the production of
wealth. It is of two kinds--skilled and unskilled. The former may
be wholly mental, the latter may be wholly manual.

The successful farmer must be a skilled laborer, no matter the
amount of his manual work. The unskilled farmer can never succeed
largely, no matter how hard he works.

Trained hands with trained brains are irresistible.

Too many farmers live in the ruts cut by their great-great-
grandfathers. They still balance the corn in the sack with a

Farming is the world's greatest industry. All the ships might be
docked, all the factory wheels stopped, and all the railroads
turned to streaks of rust, and still the race would survive, but
let the plow lie idle for a year and man would perish as when the
deluge swept the mountain tops.

The next census will show considerably over 6,000,000 farms in the
United States. Farming is the greatest of all industries, as it is
the most essential. Our Government has wisely made the head of the
Department of Agriculture a cabinet officer, and the effect on our
farming interest is shown in improved methods and a larger output
of better quality.

The hap-hazard, unskilled methods of the past are disappearing.
Science is lending her aid to the tiller of the soil, and the wise
ones are reaching out their hands in welcome.


As farming is our principal business, it follows that those who
conduct this vast and varied enterprise should be business men.

The farmer is a producer of goods, and so might be regarded as a
manufacturer,--the original meaning of the word is one who makes
things by hand. He is also a seller of his own products, and a
purchaser of the products of others, so that, to some extent, he
may also be regarded as a trader or merchant.

Enterprise and business skill are the requisites of the
manufacturer and merchant. Can the farmer succeed without them?

No business can prosper without method, economy, and industry
intelligently applied.

No man works harder the year round than does the American farmer,
yet too many are going back instead of advancing. In such cases it
will be found that there is enough hard work for better results,
and that the cause of failure is that the industry has not been
properly applied, and that economy has had no consideration.

Economy does not mean niggardliness, or a determination to get
along without tools that your neighbor has purchased. A neglect to
secure the best tool needed might be classed as an extravagance, a
waste, if the tool in question could have added to the quality and
quantity of the output, without the expenditure of more labor.

Business common-sense is taking the place of old-fashioned
conservatism and scientific methods are no longer sneered at as



All property implies an owner. Property is of two kinds, real and
personal. The former is permanent and fixed, the latter can be

Every occupant of realty holds it through a deed, which carries
with it sole ownership, or through a lease which carries with it
the right to occupation and use in accordance with the conditions
as to time and the amount to be paid, set forth in the written

A deed carries with it sole ownership, a lease covers the right of
use for a fixed period.


The purchaser of real estate, say a farm, should receive, from the
person selling the property, a written instrument, or conveyance
known as a deed.

The deed must show clearly that the title to or interest in the
property has been transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Before the deed is signed and delivered, the buyer should know
that he is getting a clear title to the property described in the

In order to insure the accuracy of the title and thus avoid
subsequent complications and perhaps lawsuits, the paper should be
submitted to some good lawyer, or other person acquainted with
real estate law and the methods by which titles are traced from
the first owner to the present possessor.


In all the great business centers of the United States there are
Title Guarantee Companies, who for a consideration--to be paid by
the seller--furnish an abstract of title, and insure its validity.

In smaller places the local lawyers know how to make up an
abstract and one should be employed. Never trust the search of the

An abstract of title is a memorandum taken from the records of the
office where deeds are recorded, and showing the history of the
title from the Government up to the present time.

The seller should furnish the buyer with a certificate from the
proper county officer, showing whether or not all taxes have been
paid up to the last assessment.

In addition to this, before the money is paid and the deed
accepted, the purchaser should be satisfied that there are no
mortgages, liens, attachments or other claims against the

If such claims exist and are known to the buyer, he may assume
them as a condition of the sale.


The person selling the land and making the deed is known in law as
the Grantor. The person buying the property is known as the

A deed is a form of contract, and in order to have its terms and
statements binding on the maker, he must be twenty-one years of
age, or over, and he must be of sound mind.

The grantee need not be twenty-one, nor of sound mind in order to
make the terms of the deed binding on the grantor.

In some states, if the grantor be a married man, his wife must
sign the deed with him. This should be seen to, for without the
wife's signature the grantee will not have a clear title, for the
woman could still claim an interest in the property equal to her
dower right.

Also, if the grantor is a woman, her husband, for the reasons
given, should join with her in the execution of the deed.

The preparation of a deed should not be left to the unskilled.


There are three kinds of deeds, viz.: General warranty deeds,
special warranty deeds, and quit-claim deeds.

The general warranty deed, if it can be had, is the one every
purchaser should get.

In the general warranty deed the grantor agrees for himself, "his
heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns," that at the time
of making the deed he is lawfully in possession, "seized" is the
legal term, of the estate described in the deed, that it is free
from all incumbrance, and that he will warrant and defend the
grantee and his heirs and assigns against all claims whatsoever.

In the quit-claim deed the grantor conveys to the purchaser his
interest in or right to the property under consideration.

The quit-claim grantor does not guarantee the title to the
property, nor warrant the grantee against any other claims. He
simply, by the deed, quits his claim to the property.

The special warranty deed covenants and warrants only against the
acts of the grantor and those claiming title under him.


After a deed is properly drawn, it is ready to be signed, sealed,
and delivered to the grantee.

If the wife of the grantor is to sign, her name should follow that
of her husband.

If one or both cannot write, the signature can be made in this

George X Jones.


In some states one or more witnesses are required to the signature
of the grantor; in others, witnesses are not necessary, except
where a "mark" is made.

An important part of a deed is the Acknowledgment. This is the act
of acknowledging before a notary public, justice or other official
properly qualified to administer an oath, that the signatures are
genuine and made voluntarily.

The acknowledgment having been taken, the official stamps the
paper with his seal and signs it.

In some states the law requires that a wax or paper seal be
attached to the paper, while in others a circular scroll, made
with the pen, with the letters "L.S." in the center answer the

When the foregoing essentials are complied with the deed must be
delivered to the grantee. The delivery is essential, for without
it the deed is of no value, even though every other requisite be
complied with.

A deed may be made for land on which full payment has already been
acknowledged, but if the grantor dies before the deed is
delivered, then the deed has no legal value.

A deed obtained by fraud, deceit or compulsion is void.


As soon as possible after the grantee has received the deed, he
should have it recorded.

In every county in the different states there is an officer, known
as register or recorder, whose duty it is to enter in regular
folios, or books, a copy of every deed or mortgage presented to
him. The document then becomes a part of the county records.

The grantee must pay the recording fees.

Anyone, on paying the fee for copying and certifying, can obtain a
copy of any document that has been recorded in a register's

If an original deed is lost, the certified copy of the register
has all the legality of the original.

All deeds and other papers of value should be carefully kept, so
that they may be available, if needed.

A small safe deposit box with a company that keeps such spaces for
rent, is often a wise investment.

Keep all related papers in one package or envelope.

If there is one lawyer who attends to all your legal business, he
will be a good custodian of all papers of record, for he usually
has a fireproof safe.



There is one condition under which the grantor does not turn over
or deliver the deed to the grantee after it is made. This is known
as a Deed in Escrow.

A deed "delivered in escrow" is when the document is placed with a
third party to be by him delivered to the grantee when a certain
time has elapsed or certain conditions have been fulfilled.

When the conditions have been complied with, the deed is given by
its custodian to the grantee, which is as legal as if it were
given by the grantor in person.


A trust deed is the form used to convey property to some person
who is entitled to its proceeds or profits.

This form of deed is often used to secure the payment of a debt.
In some states they take the place of mortgages.

Where the trust deed is meant to take the place of a mortgage to
secure a debt payment, the property is deeded to a third party
known as a "trustee."

The trustee in this case is the agent for debtor and creditor, and
he must act impartially.

The trust deed specifies the character of the debt to be secured.
In case of failure to pay the debt as agreed on, the trustee may,
if so warranted, sell the property, and pay the obligation from
the proceeds.

The grantor in a trust deed, if not stipulated to the contrary, is
entitled to all the rents and profits of the property; for it
remains virtually his, until he has failed to fill his contract.

When the indebtedness secured by the trust deed has been paid, the
trustee must at once execute a paper known to law as a Release
Deed. When recorded this instrument discharges the lien.


Mortgages are of two kinds, real and chattel. The first is a lien
on real estate, the second on personal property.

A mortgage may be defined as a conveyance of property, personal or
real, as security for the payment of a debt, or it may be given as
a guarantee for the performance of some particular duty.


When a mortgage is given as security for the payment of a debt,
the rule is to give a note for the payment of the amount involved.
The mortgage becomes in this case the security for the note's

In the body of the note it must be stated that it is secured by

The date of the note and mortgage should be the same.

The man who mortgages his property is the mortgagor.

The man to whom the mortgage is given is the mortgagee.

The form of the mortgage is the same as that of a deed, except
that it contains a clause called the Defeasance, which states that
when the obligation has been met the document shall be void.


The forms for "signing, sealing and delivering" a mortgage, are
the same as with a deed.

A mortgage must be recorded the same as a deed, the mortgagee
paying the fees.

Chattel mortgages are filed and recorded in the same way, except
that it is not usual to make copies of the instrument. They are
described in books prepared for the purpose.

A wife need not join her husband in making the note secured by a
mortgage, but if she agrees to the transaction it is necessary for
her to sign the mortgage; however, some states do not require


Often a life insurance policy is used as security for the payment
of a mortgage.

The mortgagee, if there be buildings on the property, should see
that the buildings are insured and that the policy or policies are
made out in his name.

If the insurance policy is in the mortgagor's name he may collect
and keep the insurance money.

The mortgagor must meet, as stipulated, every payment of the
principal and interest.

Failure to meet one payment can result in a legal foreclosure.

When a payment is made, the date and the amount must be entered on
the back of the note. This should be done in the presence of the

If possible always pay the obligation by check.

If a payment is accepted on a mortgage and the amount is not
sufficient to meet the sum required, the interest is first settled
in full, the rest is credited to the principal.

When the full amount, with interest, is paid in, it becomes the
duty of the mortgagee to have the mortgage "discharged."

A complete settlement is when, all payments being made, the
mortgagee surrenders the note and its security, and causes to be
written by the register, on the margin of the copy in his books,
the words, "discharged," or "satisfied," affixing thereto his
official signature and the date.


A mortgage is regarded in law as personal property.

A mortgage need not remain in the hands of the mortgagee in order
to be valid. It can be sold like bonds, stocks or other property,
and there are men who deal only in that form of security.

In order to sell a mortgage, the owner must make, to the
purchaser, what is known as an "assignment of mortgage."

The assignment should be recorded in the same way as the original
mortgage, the assignee paying the fee.


While the rule as to the redemption of mortgages remains the same
in some localities that it formerly was, the law in most places is
now more lenient.

Now the mortgagor who has failed is usually given by law an
extension of time in which to make good the payment of principal
and interest.

Lenders, when the interest is met, are content to let the mortgage
run on as an investment, though it will often be found, in such
cases, that it is better to make a new mortgage.


Where the payments on a mortgage have not been met and the
instrument has not been foreclosed, the mortgagor has still what
is known as an "equity of redemption."

In some states after the foreclosure of the mortgage and the sale
of the property there is still a period of redemption of from
sixty days to six years.

The mode of foreclosure differs in some states. The usual method
is to foreclose on an order from the court, and to have the sale
conducted by a court officer.

The proceeds from the sale are used to pay the principal,
interests and costs. If there is money left over it is paid to the
mortgagor, whose interests in the property are then at an end.

Many people, not familiar with business methods, are inclined to
regard a mortgage as something of a disgrace, when, as a matter of
fact it is a most usual and honorable means of raising money for
the securing of a home or the conducting of a business.

Nearly all of the great railroads of the country have been built
by the sale of the mortgage bonds, which are usually renewed when
due, and are sought out as a safe and sane form of investment.

The fact that a mortgage payment has to be met on a farm is often
in itself the strongest inducement to industry and economy.



Whether farmer, manufacturer, merchant or professional man, and
whether in youth, mid-age or declining years, every owner of
personal or real property, or both, should make a will.

If you have not made a will, get over the foolish notion that it
is a premonition of death, and do so at once.

A will is a written and signed declaration of the disposition one
wishes to have made of his property in the event of his death.

The maker of a valid will must be of sound mind and not less than
twenty-one years of age.

Women, whether married or single, if of proper age, are competent
to make a will.


A will may be written or unwritten.

Unwritten wills are known as "nun-cupative." Nun-cupative wills
are employed only when through accident, or sudden seizure by a
fatal disease, the time necessary to write and sign a will cannot
be had.

The unwritten will must be authenticated by reliable and
unprejudiced witnesses, and generally it can dispose of personal
property only.

In the written will no precise form is necessary, though when
drawn by a lawyer it usually begins with some such form as: "I,
George Brown, being of sound mind and good understanding, do make
and declare this to be my last will and testament", etc.

A will is not necessarily permanent. It may be cancelled or
changed in any way by the maker before his death, or a new will
can be made.

The last will cancels all preceding wills.

An addition to an existing will is known as a "codicil."

A man making a will is called a testator.

A woman making a will is called a testatrix.


A man has a right to dispose of his property by will or gift as he
chooses, but if he is married the law compels him to consider the
rights of another.

The husband cannot, by will or otherwise, deprive his wife of her
"right of dower" in his real estate and appurtenances.

Unless she chooses to accept, the wife need not accept other
property that is bequeathed her in lieu of dower.

The wife's dower interest in her husband's estate is a life
interest only. On her death it goes to the husband's heirs, as if
there had been no widow.

In some states there is no right of dower.


The will not only shows the purpose of the testator, but it serves
as a bar to litigation among the natural heirs.

Any man or woman can write out his or her will, but unless quite
familiar with such work it is better to employ a lawyer for the

The person named in the will to carry out the purpose of the
testator is known as the "executor".

No person, not twenty-one at the time the will is proved can act
as an executor.

Neither a convict, an imbecile, nor one known to be a drug fiend
or an habitual drunkard, is eligible for the post of an executor.
If an executor be appointed against his will, the law does not
compel him to serve.

There must be at least two witnesses to a will, some states
require three.

The witnesses need not know the contents of the will, but they
must understand before signing that it is a will, and they must
see it signed by the testator.

Under the common law the will is void if the witnesses are

In some states a will so witnessed is valid, except that the
witnesses cannot receive their legacies.

All the witnesses should sign at the same time and add their

If an heir at law, say a child, is not mentioned in the will, the
law assumes that he was forgotten by the testator and generally
gives the share the heir would be entitled to if there were no

At the end of the will the testator, in the presence of the
witnesses, should write his name in full.


An executor is the legal representative of the testator. It is his
duty to see that the provisions of the will are carried out.

No man is qualified to act as executor who is not competent to
make a will. Executors, unless relieved by the provisions of the
will, are required to file bonds, proportioned to the value of the
estate, for the faithful performance of their duties.

Should there be no executor named in the will, or if the person so
named refuses to act, or if he dies or resigns, the court will
appoint a person to act in his place.

The executor appointed by the court is known or called an
"administrator with the will annexed."

In some states the court having jurisdiction of wills and estates
of deceased is known as "the probate," in others it is called the
"Surrogate's Court," and in still others, "The Orphan's."


If a man, owning property, dies without making a will, the judge
of the proper court will appoint an administrator to settle the

This is the method of procedure:

1. A person, interested in getting the estate settled, goes before
the proper judge and asks him to appoint an administrator.
2. The administrator must give the same bond as an executor. Their
duties are the same.
3. In settling the estate the administrator is governed by the
law, and by the special directions of the officer having
jurisdiction in such matters.
4. He must make a careful list of all the property belonging to
the estate. The value of the personal property is estimated by men
specially appointed by the court for the purpose and known as
5. The administrator must account for every item of property that
comes into his possession.
6. All debts of deceased must be first paid, including funeral
expenses. If the proceeds of the personal property are not
sufficient for this purpose, the administrator may, if there be
real estate, sell the whole or part of it, on an order from the


Debts must be paid in an order prescribed by law. The following is
the usual order:

1. Funeral expenses and expenses of last illness.
2. The widow's allowance or award.
3. Debts due the state or municipality.
4. Claims of other creditors.

Whatever property is left, after paying these obligatory sums, is
divided among the rightful heirs under the direction of the court,
and in the manner provided by law.

The administrator must advertise, in one or more county papers the
fact that he has been appointed to settle the estate of the
deceased, whose name is given, and he must ask that all claims be
presented within a given period, usually fixed at six months.

When the estate is settled to the satisfaction of the court, the
same authority releases the administrator and his bondsmen.

All the fees connected with the settlement are regarded as debts
and must be paid from the proceeds of the estate before closing.


When the debts are paid and the residue divided among the heirs,
the administrator files his account. If it is allowed the case

The parties of interest in an estate may agree to settle it out of
court. This saves expense, but it is not the safest way.



What has been said about deeds and mortgages applies not only to
the farmer, but also to every owner of a building lot. The same
may be said of wills. They have a business interest for the town
as well as for the country dweller.


The purpose of this book being "strictly business," no attempt
will be made to instruct the reader in anything not connected with
the subject under consideration.

Social, friendly, and such letters are matters for individual time
and taste, and no rule can be laid down for their writing, but the
business letter is a different matter, and one which deserves
special consideration from every man or woman who receives an
order by mail, or who sends one.

To write a good business letter is no mean accomplishment, and
although a gift with some, it can be acquired by all.

A letter is, in a way, a testimonial of the character and ability
of the writer.

The purpose of a business letter is to express just what you want
and no more.

Any man with a good common school education, and a little patient
practice, can soon learn to write as good a business letter as the
college graduate.

Correct spelling may not be general, but it is certainly

Letter writing, as in the preparation of other papers, has its own
well-recognized forms, and these may be easily learned.

Every properly constructed business letter should consist of the
following parts:

1. Where written from.
2. When written.
3. To whom written.
4. Address.
5. Salutation.
6. Introduction.
7. Purpose of letter.
8. Complimentary ending.
9. Signature.


The letter should begin by giving the address of the writer,
followed by the date on which it was written. This will enable the
recipient to direct his reply.

If from a city, the street and number should be given.

If many letters are written it will be convenient to have the
permanent address of the writer printed.

The writing should be plain, and there should be no doubt in the
mind of the reader as to the proper spelling of the address and

Avoid the hieroglyphics which some vain men adopt in signing their
names. It may be fanciful, but it does not imply consideration for
the time and patience of strangers.

The following forms will serve to illustrate the type of heading
used in ordinary business letters:


124 Smith St., Brownsville, Mass.
September 4, 1910.
Mr. John Smith,
Doylestown, Penna.
Dear Sir:


Leroy, Mass.,
September 5, 1910.
Messrs. Brown and Jones,
Denver, Col.


4 Seminole St., Fort Smith, Ark.
September 6, 1910.
Mrs. Mary J. Robinson,
Lansing, Cal.
Dear Madam:

The "Mr.," "Mrs.," "Madam," and "Miss" are titles of courtesy and
should not be omitted. The abbreviation "Esq." for Esquire is
sometimes used; but the two titles Mr. and Esq. should never be
used with one name, as "Mr. John Smith, Esq."

If a man is known by a military or other title, always use it, but
never precede it with "Mr." nor follow it with "Esq."

Clergymen should always be addressed as "Rev.," the abbreviation
for Reverend. If he is a doctor of divinity, add D.D. to the name,
as "Rev. John Smith, D.D."

Medical doctors may be addressed as "Dr. John Smith," or "John
Smith, M.D."


The greeting or salutation is a term of courtesy or esteem used in
addressing the one to whom the letter is sent.

"Sir" is the formal greeting, and is used in addressing officials,
or any strange male person. "Sirs," or "Gentlemen" may be used in
the plural. "Dear Sir," or "My Dear Sir," is the usual form of
greeting when a business letter is addressed to an individual.

Where the writer is acquainted with the person addressed, the
usual form of greeting is "Dear Mr. Smith."


If writing in response to a letter received, the writer should
begin in some such way as this:

Mr. Thomas Brown,
Newburg, N. Y.
My Dear Sir:

Your favor of the second inst. is just to hand. In reply permit
me to state, etc., etc.

This should be followed by the necessary statement, set forth in
clear, simple words.

Be sure of yourself.

The secret of good writing is clear thinking.


There is much in the proper ending of a letter. In the ordinary
business letter the usual ending may be, "Yours truly," "Yours
very truly," or "Yours respectfully." Other endings used in
writing to business acquaintances are, "Yours sincerely," or "Very
sincerely yours," or you may substitute the words "Cordially" or
"Heartily" for "sincerely."


The name of the writer should be so clear and distinct as to leave
no doubt as to the spelling.

The name should always be written in the same way.

If your name is George W. Brown, do not write it at one time as
here given, and again as G. Washington Brown, or G. W. Brown.

Adopt one form and stick to it.

If you are writing for a firm or for another as clerk or
secretary, always sign the firm name, and below it your own name
preceded by the word "per," meaning "by" or "through."


Never use scraps of paper or soiled paper to write on if better
can be had. The materials of a letter affect the receiver,
particularly if a stranger, just as one is affected by the garb of
a stranger before he speaks.

Use a good pen and black ink.

Fold your paper so that it will fit the envelope.

Avoid blots and erasures; they indicate carelessness or unbecoming

Address your letter distinctly.

Here is a good form:

Mr. George W. White,
1101 Sioux St. Mass.


At some time or another one has to write a letter of introduction,
and sometimes he has had to pay for it.

If you should give such a letter to a man to introduce him to
another with whom you trade, the law has held that the introducer
is responsible for any reasonable bills the introduced may
contract with the receiver of the letter.

Never give a letter of introduction to a man you are not sure of.

In addressing a letter of introduction which is to be handed in
person, do it in this way:

Mr. George W. Brown,
Washington, D. C.
Mr. Henry Wilson.

This shows on its face the nature of the communication.

Here is a good form:

111 Payne Ave., Montrose, Ill.
September 27, 1910.
Mr. Norman R. Lloyd,
Chicago, Ill.
Dear Mr. Lloyd:

This will introduce my esteemed
friend Mr. Thomas T. Fletcher, of this
town. Mr. Fletcher contemplates opening
a drug store in Chicago. Should he do so
he will prove an acquisition to your City.
Any favor you can render him will be much
appreciated by,
Yours faithfully,
George W. Brown.


Every man of standing and every employer of labor is at times
called on to certify to the character, or to give a testimonial to
some esteemed employee who is about to seek his fortune in another

If you are about to hire a stranger, it adds to your confidence
and to his chances if he have a testimonial as to character and
fitness from his last employer, or from some man whose word you

The letter of recommendation is usually of a general character and
not addressed to any particular. It should open in this way:

"To whom it may concern."

Follow this with your testimonial and sign it.


The President of the United States is addressed as:
"His Excellency,"
William H. Taft,
Executive Mansion,
Washington, D. C.

Cabinet officers, Senators, Congressmen, members of the
Legislature, and Mayors of cities are usually addressed as "Hon.,"
the abbreviation of honorable.

The title "Hon." like "Esq." is often misused. After all titles of
courtesy are not obligatory, unless we regard the unwritten law of
custom in such matters as binding.

The very best kind of a letter, and perhaps the hardest to write,
is that in which the writer appears to be talking to us face to



Try to understand clearly the meaning of all the business terms
you have to use.

The terms "bill" and "invoice" usually mean the same thing, that
is, a "bill of sale." This applies to goods sold, or services

The merchant sends you an itemized invoice of the goods you
ordered and he has shipped.

The carpenter sends you an itemized bill of the work done by your

Such a document should be regarded not as a "dun," but rather as a
record of the contract or transaction.

In the foregoing case the merchant and the carpenter are the
creditors, the recipient of the goods or work is the debtor.


In writing out a bill the date is the first thing to be
considered. This should be the same in form as a business letter.

This form will serve as an illustration:

Glenwood, N. J.
October 1, 1910.
Robert Brown
To George L. White, Dr.
Sept 2. For 25 lbs. sugar, at .06 . . .$1.50
" 6. " 30 lbs. ham, at .20 . . . . 6.00
" 14. " 100 lbs. flour, at .03-1/2 . 3.50
Received payment, $11.00


Wholesale houses send such bills as soon as the goods are shipped
or delivered, though the payment, as per agreement, is not to be
made for thirty, sixty or ninety days.

Where there is a running account, that is, frequent orders, with
total payments never completed, it is customary for the seller, at
the beginning of a calendar month to send to the creditor a
"statement." This statement does not repeat the items of the bills
rendered, its purpose being to show the balance due to date.


Where a mechanic or laborer is employed by the day at a fixed
wage, the length of time and dates should be given.

Richmond, Va.
November 3, 1910.
Charles M. Pratt,
To John Smith, Dr.
To 4 days, from Oct. 1st to 4th
inclusive, at $2.00..........$8.00
To 2 1/2 days, Oct. 10th, 11th
and 12th.................... 5.00
To 3 days, Oct. 17th, 18th and
19th ....................... 6.00
Received payment, $19.00

This bill is just as transferable as a mortgage. If for any reason
Mr. Smith should decide to sell it, say to Robert Brown, he should
make the following endorsement across the back:

"In consideration of ------ dollars, the
receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, I
do hereby sell and assign to Robert Brown,
the written account, which is justly due
from the within named Charles W. Pratt,
and I hereby authorize the said Robert
Brown to collect the same.
"John Smith."
"Newburg, N. Y.
November 1, 1910."

Regarded simply from a business viewpoint and without considering
ethics, "Honesty is the best policy."

Bills, where possible, should be promptly paid.

Prompt payment is a guarantee of credit and credit is the heart if
not the soul of business.

Never, if it can be avoided, buy goods on the installment plan.

Be sure to get a receipt for all payments you make, and be equally
sure to keep the receipt where you can find it.

Examine all bills and invoices; compare them with the goods
received, and no matter what your faith in the seller's care and
honesty, calculate for yourself the price of each item, and be
sure that the total is correct.


It is a business custom, when a bill is paid before it is due, to
allow a discount. This may be the legal rate of interest, or any
percentage agreed on in advance.

Sometimes wholesale merchants or manufacturers grant esteemed
customers, in consideration of prompt payments, a discount from
the regular prices. This is known as "trade discount."

We often read of two or more discounts. A store keeper buys a bill
of goods for $350 and is granted 20% and 5% from the selling

This does not mean a discount of 25% as the uninitiated might
think. The 20% is deducted from the $350, that is, $70, leaving
$280. Then the 5%, $14, is deducted from this, leaving $260.

Partial payments are not endorsed on the bill. The receipt is
written on a separate piece of paper. It differs from the usual
receipt in that the one is "in full payment" and the other "on

Receipt no bill before it is actually paid.

Some one has translated the letters "C. O. D." into "Come omejitly
Down." The Collect on Delivery usually accompanies goods sent by


A receipt for a partial payment:

Leavenworth, Kansas.
December 7, 1910.
Received from Charles Long seventy-five
dollars on account.
Henry S. Somers.

A receipt in full:

San Diego, Cal.
July 27, 1910.
Received from N. O. Taylor, two hundred
and sixty 75-100 dollars, in full payment
to date. Samuel G. Novris.

Another form:

Portland, Me.
October 20, 1910.
Received from Thomas Moore, ten cords
of hardwood, at $4.00 a cord, the sum to
be applied to his account.
Daniel Forman.

In payment of rent:

Received from William Forbes seventeen
dollars in full payment of rent of premises
No. 24 West Street, for the month ending
October 31, 1910.
Philip F. Ross.

Where one person pays for another:

Wilmington, Del.
August 17, 1910.
Received from Alfred Thompson eighty
dollars to apply to the account of Hiram O.
Baker Jones & Co.,
per, S. N. Thorp.

Receipts and other documents signed with a mark X should be

Payment on a note:

Bridgeport, Conn.
July 1, 1910.
Received from Casper N. Work one
hundred and fifty dollars to apply on the
payment of his note to me for six hundred
dollars, dated March 8, 1910.
Ruben Hoyt.

The maker of the note should, in addition to getting his receipt,
have the amount of his payment endorsed on the back of the note by
the holder.

Where a receipt is given to the administrator of an estate his
position should be named as "Robert Fields, administrator of the
estate of John Jones, deceased."


An order is a command or instruction by one person to another to
do a stated thing.

An order may be given for the delivery of goods or the payment of

This is the usual form:

Dayton, Ohio.
August 3, 1910.
Mr. G. W. McBride:
Please deliver to Edward Lott goods
from your store to the amount of ten dollars,
and charge to my account.
F. T. Leroy.

This would be an order for cash:

Holden, Ind.
June 18, 1910.
Mr. P. T. Mayhew. Please pay to Thomas
Jackson thirty dollars and charge same
to my account.
F. R. Wilson.


The customary form of a due bill is:

Durham, N. C.
May 1, 1910.
Due George Smith ten dollars, payable
in merchandise from my store.
S. T. Long.



To have any value, business accounts, whether of a great or a
small concern, must be accurately kept.

Every man and woman, having unsettled dealings with others, should
keep some sort of book accounts.

Storekeepers must keep accounts, and every farmer and mechanic,
who would know just what he owns and what he has spent during the
past month and year, should keep an exact account of every cent
received and paid out.

Lawyers and doctors know how to keep accounts, or if they do not
they are neglecting their own side of their professional duties.

Workers, skilled and unskilled, and even the hired girl who is
paid by the month, should keep a record of the compensation
received, and how the whole or the part has been expended.

No woman can be called a really good housekeeper who does not know
to a penny what has become of the money she has received for the
upkeep of her establishment, whether she have a score of servants
or does all her own work.

In order to keep such accounts, as have just been indicated, it is
not necessary to be a trained bookkeeper, or to know anything more
about the art than a good common school education gives.

Another word as to the farmer. I am not thinking in this
connection of the old-time, deep-in-the-ruts farmer, who never
learns and knows nothing to forget, but of that wide-awake
producer who tries to keep up with the times.

Not only should the farmer keep cash accounts, the form may be
quite simple, but all his business affairs should be kept in the
best possible trim.

Personal agreements without some kind of writing to back them up,
are dangerous.

Verbal contracts feed the lawyers.

All transactions involving labor or money should be recorded in
black and white.

Don't trust to your memory.

Don't rely on the memory of another.


Every farmer should keep an account with each crop he raises and
even with every field he cultivates.

Against the farm should be charged--

1. Its annual rental value.
2. What all the labor would cost if hired.
3. New machinery.
4. Wear, tear and repair of old machinery.
5. Taxes.
6. Insurance.
7. Doctor's bills.
8. Interest on mortgage if any.
9. The cost of fodder, fuel, etc., consumed.

The farm should be credited with--

1. The rent.
2. The cost of everything produced and consumed on place.
3. The farm products sold.
4. The stock sold.
5. Increased value of stock.
6. Increased value of property, if any.

Such accounts you say will cause trouble; well, you cannot do
anything of value without trouble. The question is will the effort
pay? Those who keep such accounts say it does, and they are
usually the successful, progressive farmers.


The working man, skilled or unskilled, and the working man's wife
as well, should keep some form of cash book that will show from
week to week the receipts and expenditures.

One can be thrifty without being miserly.

Where did the money go?

Look at your book, where every cent expended has been set down,
and you will be surprised to find how the little sums total up.

Look over the list of little things bought and you will be
surprised to see how many were not needed.

Here is a simple form for a home record:

Cash Received
Jan. 2. Balance on hand.........$45.50
" 3. Work for Mr. Jones....... 1.75
" 3. Smith paid bill......... 13.75
" 9. Work for Mr. Brown....... 7.50

Cash Paid
Jan. 2. Two shirts...............$1.50
" 3. To wife for house........ 8.50
" 4. Doctor C's. bill......... 6.00
" 5. Fare to Troy............. 2.25
" 6. Horse car................ .20
" 6. Postage.................. .06
" 7. Church Contribution...... 1.00
" 8. Shoes mended............. 0.60
" 9. Newspaper bill........... 1.00

Never "lump" what you receive or what you spend.

Set down each item separately, even to one cent.

When you have filled out each page of "received" and "paid" foot
it up and carry it to the next page set apart for the purpose.

An account book will cost but a few cents. Use the left-hand side
for receipts and the right for expenditures.

At any time the excess of the left hand over the right should show
the amount on hand.

Strike a balance at least once a month.


Never mix up another's accounts with your own.

John Smith, treasurer of some church, society, or club, is a
different person before the law from John Smith, the trader or

Funds not your own, and which may be added to or decreased from
time to time, as in the case of a society, say like the Odd
Fellows, should be kept in the bank not as John Smith's but as the
funds of "John Smith, Treasurer of Washington Lodge 110,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows," or whatever the name of the
society, club, or church may be.

In the same way, "a treasurer's book" should be kept and all the
receipts and expenditures carefully recorded.


If a business proposition is made to another by mail, or if you
hand another in writing your proposition as to a certain contract
you are willing to undertake, for the consideration named, be sure
to keep a copy of the letter or contract; such a precaution may
save trouble.



No instrument of trade has done so much or is more essential to
the safe and progressive business of the world today than the

Every department of business, in our modern civilization, must
keep in touch with the bank.

Money is the blood of trade and the banking system is its heart.

The bank is as necessary to the thrifty farmer as it is to the
greatest railroad or the most wide-spread trust.

Banks are depositories for money not in circulation.

Banks have facilities for the safe-guarding of money which the
ordinary business man could not provide for himself.

Instead of running the risk of paying bills with money carried
about on his person, the business man, and every man with ready
money should follow his example, deposits his money in a
convenient bank, for which he receives a proper voucher in the
shape of a credit in a deposit book.

When he pays a bill, he draws a check for the amount, payable to
the order of his creditor. This check, when endorsed by the
receiver and paid by the bank, is in itself a receipt for the


As I propose to say something about savings banks in another
chapter, the present will be devoted to what are known as "banks
of deposit."

Banks of deposit are either National, State, or private.

A National bank is, as the name implies, chartered and
incorporated by the Government, with special privileges and

The Government in the organizing of National banks had in mind the
protection of the public without unduly limiting the profit of the

The sum the stockholders must contribute to the establishment of a
National bank varies according to the population and the business
importance of the place in which the bank is to be located.

The capital must exist in a prescribed form.

Certain forms of investment are prohibited, as for instance the
ownership of real estate, except under certain restrictions.

This is done that the National bank may be able to convert its
securities into cash in the shortest order.

In consideration of a prescribed amount of United States bonds,
deposited with the Treasury in Washington, the Government issues
to the National bank a prescribed sum in printed bank notes of
varying denominations.

If the bank should close for any reason, the bank notes or their
equivalent must be returned, when the bonds deposited as security
are released.

Every bank must have a board of directors, a president and a
cashier. Receiving and paying tellers, with bookkeepers, and many
clerks are necessary to carry on the business of a large bank.

In addition, the National banks are under the supervision of
regularly appointed Government inspectors.

A National bank may fail, but its notes are still "as good as


The bank not only receives money on deposit, but it loans money
under certain conditions.

Many merchants, builders, contractors and others often find it
necessary to borrow money in order to carry on their business

If a man's business reputation is good, and the banks keep well
posted in such matters, he may secure a loan on his own note,
though even in such cases the name of a good endorser is required.

If in addition to his note the borrower can offer security in the
way of bonds of good character, or other reliable collateral, he
can usually be accommodated.

Of course, the banks charge interest for loans. They also make
collections on notes and other commercial paper and they issue
foreign and domestic bills of exchange.

Every man with a sum large or small in excess of his expenditures,
should open a bank account. Even if not in business this will
encourage thrift and lead to good business habits.


Some banks, particularly those known as "state" or "private," and
National banks in smaller communities, allow interest on deposits.
This interest varies with the demand for money, but in the eastern
states it seldom goes over four per cent.

It is well to know when interest begins and ends.

If the dates set by the bank for reckoning interest are the first
day of January, April, July and October, money deposited March
31st will begin to draw interest next day, but if deposited April
2nd, it would not begin to draw interest till July 1st.

But if you have the money and would insure its safety, deposit it
at once regardless of time or interest.

If a depositor withdraws his money before the day when interest is
due, he forfeits the interest. But banks vary as to that.


Every depositor is given a book in which the teller or cashier
credits him on the left-hand side with the amount deposited. Other
deposits are treated in the same way, and at proper times, if
interest is allowed, it is added as a deposit.

The depositor can provide his own check book, and have it printed
in any color he pleases, with the name of himself and business on
the margin. The bank, however, will supply loose bank checks of
its own, or it may provide them in book form, with stubs, or a
space on which the number, amount and purpose of the check may be
noted for the drawer's information.

"Writing up" of the deposit book is leaving it with the proper
officer at the bank--a receipt for the book is never taken. It is
returned with all the checks received, and their amount footed up
on the right hand or debit page, and the balance on hand shown.

Every depositor should know from the record on the check stubs
exactly how his account stands with the bank.

Take care that you do not overdraw.

Keep your own record of your own money.


In the Commercial banks of our large cities no interest is
allowed, nor could it be easily calculated where a score of
deposits may be made in a week and a hundred checks drawn in a

The depositor in such a bank is free to check out his funds as he

Before opening an account there is more than money needed from the
depositor. If unknown, he must satisfy the bank of his character,
which is best done through the introduction of one known to both.

Some banks make a charge for deposits, where a man makes a
convenience of them by depositing money which he checks out in a
short time.

A depositor, when opening an account with a bank is required to
place his signature in a book kept for the purpose. Until the bank
officer, the paying teller, becomes familiar with the signature on
the check, he verifies it by comparing it with that in the book.


A check may be defined to be "a written order on a bank directing
it to pay a certain sum of money to the person named in the check
or to his order, and signed by a depositor."

So long as the purpose is clearly conveyed in the writing no
particular form of words is necessary, nor need the paper on which
the check is written be the regular printed form properly filled

The "drawer" is the one who makes the check.

The "payee" is the one for whom the check is made.

In making a check, the best plan is to fill out the stub first,
and from the data on it make out the check. This tends to

Be sure to number your check, beginning with I.

Be sure that the number on the stub is the same as on the check.

A person having money in bank and wishing to draw for his own use,
makes his check payable to "self" or to "cash."

Usual form of check:

First National Bank. No. 27
Kingston, Vt., Oct. 13, 1910.
Pay to order of John Smith
Seventy-five 75/100 ------ dollars.
$75.75 George F. Brown.

It is proper form to specify on the face of the check the purpose
for which it is given, but while this is permissible it is not

Write the amount of the check first in words then in figures. This
makes more certain the amount.

Always begin first word of amount close to left-hand side of
check; when the whole sum is written down draw a heavy stroke
along the line to the word "dollars."

When a check is made payable to John Smith or order, John Smith
must sign his name on the back of the check--left-hand end and
about an inch from the top.

Never sign a check until you are ready to collect, or to bank it.

The payee can endorse the check to another by writing on the back
as follows:

Pay to the order of
Thomas Brown.
John Smith.

A check payable to "bearer" may be negotiated by any one. When
such checks are presented by a stranger, at the bank of the maker,
the paying teller always insists that the stranger be identified.

Never make a check payable to "bearer" if it can be avoided.

Sometimes checks are dated ahead, for reasons satisfactory to the
maker and payee.

A check drawn on August 5th, but dated August 20th cannot be
collected till the latter date.

Never date a check ahead unless you are positive that you will
have the money in bank to meet it on the day named.

Never, if you can avoid it in trade, receive a post-dated check.

Cash or deposit your checks as soon as possible after they are

If the bank should fail, while you are holding the check, the
maker cannot be held for the loss.


Often when a depositor is travelling, he finds it convenient to
carry with him a form of paper that is as good as cash, and much
better in the event of loss.

Banks will issue "certified checks" to depositors. These checks
are stamped by the bank "certified" with the date and officer's
signature attached.

On issuing such a check, the bank debits the receiver's account
with the amount, and so can guarantee the payment whenever or
wherever presented.

Such a check may be received with as much certainty of its value
as if it were a bank bill.

When a person places money in a bank with no intention of checking
it out for some time to come, he may have issued to him a
"Certificate of deposit."

While holding this certificate he cannot check against the money
in the bank.

The holder of a certificate of deposit may transfer it.

The money may be paid in part by the bank, if the certificate is
presented, and the amount is endorsed on the back.

To withdraw all the money the certificate must be surrendered.


There is no form of commercial paper in such general use as the

The total of all the checks in use at some seasons is far more
than the total of all the money in all the banks.

Checks are balanced in the money centers through what are known as
clearing houses. In these a bank is charged with checks against it
and credited with those in its favor.

The differences are settled by cash.

Often a few thousand dollars will settle check accounts amounting
to millions.

If by any chance you should receive a check in which your name is
misspelled, or not given as you write it, endorse the check
exactly as the name is written on the face, then add your name in
the regular way.



While of National importance, savings banks are chartered by the
respective states in which they exist, and as such are distinctly
local institutions.

Unlike the National, the savings bank is not established as a
money-making corporation.

The ostensible and actual purpose of the savings bank is to
encourage people of small means to save.

The savings bank provides a safe place for the care of such
deposits, and it pays such rates of interest on such deposits as
are warranted by the earnings of its investments after paying the
expenses incident to the proper conduct of its officers.

When a savings bank receives authorization to act, through a
charter from the state, the organizers choose a board of directors
and the proper officers.

Usually the officers occupying positions of trust and
responsibility are required to give bonds for the proper discharge
of their duties.


With all the legal conditions complied with, and a suitable office
provided, the savings bank is ready for business.

Some savings banks will receive on deposit any sum from five cents
to five thousand dollars.

Other banks will not receive less than one dollar at a time, nor
more than a thousand.

We have heard of "penny savings banks," but they are rarely
chartered, and are organized, only to encourage thrift among

Fractional parts of a dollar are not usually reckoned as drawing

Some banks require as much as three, four or five dollars before
allowing interest.

Savings banks in the eastern states pay from three to four per
cent. In the west it is sometimes as high as six.

Each bank has certain dates at which calculation of interest
begins. As a rule this is January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and
October 1st.

Money deposited at any time between these dates does not draw
interest till the beginning of the next quarter.

But never mind the interest.

The best time to make a deposit is when you have the money.

The bank is safer than your pocket.


Count your money carefully and make a memorandum of the amount
before giving to the savings bank to deposit.

Hand the money to the officer--usually "the receiving teller"--
authorized to receive it.

The teller writes down the name, age, occupation and residence of
the depositor.

If money is deposited in the name of one under legal age, the
names of the parents and the birthplace of the minor are also

The adult depositor must write his name in a book provided by the
bank for the signature of clients.

When these conditions are complied with, the depositor receives a
memorandum book, known as a "deposit book", in which, with his
name and date, is written the amount of his first deposit.


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