James Milford Fleming ( Michigan, U.S.A. 15 August 1871- 15 January 1950 Essondale ). His parents were both born in Ontario: Robert John Fleming, and Mary Jane Haskett ( 1851census record of M.J. Haskett )
James was a locomotive engineer for the CPR. According to his death certificate he lived in BC for 28 years; immigrated to Canada in 1876, and lived in the municipality( Essondale ) for 24 years, 9 months, and 16 days.
He was married to Ella Brock 1871- 1943 , they had at least two daughters: Edith Gertrude Fleming ( 1903 – 1982 )
and, Frances Evelyn Fleming “Boyd” ( 1900 – 1969 ) in 1931 she married: Ian Douglas Boyd ( 1904 – 1968 )
The 1911 Census finds the family living in Winnipeg, at 863 Bannatyne Avenue.
In the 1924 directory Edith was working as a stenographer for the Bank of Toronto, and her sister Evelyn was a teacher at Selkirk School.
The following information is from the Order-in-Council records of the Province.
1943 July 27
That arrears for the maintenance of James M. Fleming in the Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, amount to five thousand one hundred and twenty dollars and fifty cents ($5,120.50):
That the Inspector of Municipalities has received the following letter from the Collector of Institutional Revenue, from which it will be seen that the Assessment Committee, after going fully into the case, recommend that the amount in question be written off the books of the Province as uncollectable:
"Re: James M. Fleming, patient #8627
The above named patient's daughter, Edith G. Fleming was appointed
Committee of her Father's estate on the death of her Mother.
The arrears of maintenance as at May 31, 1943 was $5120.50.
The patient's only Estate consists of the sum of $54.00 per month being pension from the Canadian Pacific Railway, this amount now being paid the Hospital in full for current maintenance charges, and the balance on account of arrears.
It now appears, as you will see by the attached Statutory Declaration, that when Mrs. Fleming was alive payments were made monthly, and were considered by the Authorities at Essondale as gratuitous payments.
The Assessment Committee have made enquiries at the Hospital and find that Dr. Steeves told Mrs. Fleming to use the $54.00 for the benefit of herself and family. However, Mrs. Fleming was insistent that a portion of the pension should be paid for maintenance and Dr. Crease reluctantly accepted monthly contributions of from fifteen
to twenty-five dollars.
The Hospital never rendered an account, and the family had no idea a charge other than the amount they were paying would be charged.
It is therefore recommended, that an Order-in-Council be passed wiping out the old arrears, and that Miss Fleming be only asked to pay the sum of $1.00 per day for future maintenance."
AND THAT the statutory declaration of the said Edith G. Fleming referred to in the letter from the Collector of Institutional Revenue is attached hereto:
AND TO RECOMMEND THAT in view of the recommendation of the Assessment Committee, the said arrears, totalling five thousand one hundred and twenty dollars and fifty cents ($5,120.50) be written off the books of the Province as irrecoverable.
I, EDITH GERTRUDE FLEMING of the City of Vancouver, in the Province of British Columbia, DO SOLEMNLY
1. THAT I am the Committee of the Estate of my father James M. Fleming, who is a Patient at the Provincial Mental Hospital at Essondale, British Columbia.
2. THAT some time after the committal of my said father in the Provincial Mental Hospital my mother, now deceased, discussed the matter of his maintenance with Dr. Crease the Superintendent, and my mother formed the opinion that, no payment was necessary to the hospital for the maintenance of my said father.
3. THAT some time subsequent when her financial position improved she made certain gratuitous payments to the Bursar of the Provincial Mental Hospital.
4. THAT neither I nor my mother had any idea or any knowledge that my father's maintenance was being charged as against him, with the result that upon my mother's death and on my application to be appointed Committee of the estate of my said father, I was amazed to find that the Government were charging a $1.00 a day for the maintenance of my said father.
5. THAT the only income that my father is in receipt of is the sum of $54.00 per month, being his C.P.R. Pension cheque and I am desirous of having this cheque paid to me as Committee of the estate, so that the money can be used to pay for the maintenance of my father and supply him with other necessities that are required by him as a patient of the said Hospital
The council agreed to write-off the debt:
Writing off arrears for maintenance charges in the sum of $5,120.50, in the case of J.M. Fleming, a patient.
This action, as will be seen by the Order, has been strongly recommended by the Assessment Committee for the reason that Mrs. Fleming, recently deceased, made a point of making monthly contributions towards her husband's maintenance although advised by the Medical Superintendent, in view of her circumstances, not to do so, and the family had no idea that they were being charged over and above the payments voluntarily made.
NOTE: This is a fairly typical report found in the Order-in-council records, where the government is trying to recover money from the patients assets, family; and then the debt collectors come to the conclusion that collecting the full government bill is futile, and they give up. This particular record is unusual in that the family thought that they were doing the correct thing, but they were not. Typical bureaucratic quagmire.