State closes Dent's Undertaking

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The doors to the historic Dent's Undertaking Establishment were locked this week by the state's Department of Revenue.

State tax collectors swept in Monday to close the city's oldest black-owned funeral home.

The business can reopen, however, if the owners pay the $142,334 it owes the state for sales taxes, said Charles Willey, the spokesman for the Department of Revenue.

The funeral home was founded by John and Julia Dent in 1888, family members have told The Augusta Chronicle in past reports. The business has remained in the Dent family since.

Dent's has a history of tax difficulties going back to the mid-1990s, Mr. Willey said.

According to state and county records, liens have repeatedly been placed on the funeral home to collect federal, state and local taxes.

If the current balance is not paid, the Department of Revenue could take possession of all personal property inside the D'Antignac Street funeral home, Mr. Willey said. No date for such action has been set.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. According to property records, it is valued at $284,636 and is in the name of Frank Griffin, the funeral director.

The sales tax is considered a trust tax that businesses collect and send to the state, Mr. Willey said. The state keeps 4 percent and sends the rest back to the county, he said.

A person answering the phone at Dent's who didn't want to be identified said Tuesday that the owners are working to raise the money to pay off the tax debt. They hope to accomplish that today.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

BUSINESS STAYED IN THE FAMILY


- Family members told The Chronicle in past reports that Dent's Undertaking Establishment was founded by John and Julia Dent in 1888. Mr. Dent learned embalming at Platt's Funeral Home because at that time blacks weren't allowed to attend embalming school programs for whites.


- Dent's moved from Broad Street to D'Antignac Street in 1900.


- Mr. Dent died in 1911, and his wife, Julia, took over the funeral home. Mrs. Dent died in 1945. The Dents' son-in-law, Thomas H. Ketch Sr., who married their only daughter, took over the funeral home. Mr. Ketch led the company until his death in 1985. His daughters, Thomasina Ketch and Juliette Burton, took over the family business.


- In 1990, the funeral home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Source: Augusta Chronicle archives

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corndog69
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corndog69 07/23/08 - 05:37 am
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looking to raise the money u

looking to raise the money u crooks should of been paying the taxes in the begining. watch close over that way ill bet u will find something!just watch

stormy
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stormy 07/23/08 - 06:05 am
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Every one else has to pay

Every one else has to pay taxes, why did the state let this go on for so long ?

pingputt
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pingputt 07/23/08 - 06:22 am
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Usually funeral homes own

Usually funeral homes own lots of real estate property taken because people can't afford a must-have funeral. I'll bet this one is no different. Shut them down.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 07/23/08 - 06:26 am
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How in the hell do you get

How in the hell do you get off calling them crooks? Have they been convicted of anything? They might be in trouble because some low lives have not paid their funeral bills. Either way whatever is meant to be will be. Judgemental fools.

Reality
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Reality 07/23/08 - 06:37 am
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If you don't pay the taxes

If you don't pay the taxes you should be shut down. I bet this did not happen over night, it has been coming for a while...

stillamazed
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stillamazed 07/23/08 - 07:06 am
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If they owe that much in

If they owe that much in taxes it is because they have been making money and not paying taxes on what they have made and to owe that much money they have to be making good money. They probably made enough off of James Brown's funeral to pay their taxes.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 07/23/08 - 07:18 am
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What a dumb azz. Always

What a dumb azz. Always hating on James brown. REID Funeral Home handled Mr. Brown's funeral

pgapeach2
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pgapeach2 07/23/08 - 07:20 am
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5:00smwhr, if you did your

5:00smwhr, if you did your research you would know that C A Reid Funeral home did Mr. Brown's homegoing ceremony. I don't even live in Augusta anymore and I know that.

WISE-OLE-OWL
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WISE-OLE-OWL 07/23/08 - 07:21 am
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the wheels of justice grind

the wheels of justice grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine.

missjudy
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missjudy 07/23/08 - 07:21 am
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Well, isn't it true then what

Well, isn't it true then what they say about "death and taxes"?

rabidwileycoyote
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rabidwileycoyote 07/23/08 - 07:22 am
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big lipped pond suckers who

big lipped pond suckers who hang out at the mercy bission don't pay taxes either.

justus4
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justus4 07/23/08 - 07:27 am
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Where is Sen. Tarver when ya

Unpublished

Where is Sen. Tarver when ya need him? This establishment should be placed on some historical structure list and bailed out. This is a disgrace and reflect on these so-called minority leaders, because when its gone, its gone. Of course, some people would like to see such historical structures gone, because " it's taxpayer dollars" and no US president slept there.

dashiel
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dashiel 07/23/08 - 07:28 am
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Dent's is the last to let you

Dent's is the last to let you down, even when business is dead.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 07/23/08 - 07:32 am
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Man you are still boring.

Man you are still boring. What is a " Bission"? That big lipped stuff is worn out. I know your pea brain can think of better racial comments than that. You are losing your touch as a bigot.@rabid.

no.no.no
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no.no.no 07/23/08 - 07:38 am
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justus4...Don't worry... the

justus4...Don't worry... the building is safe...but they have collected the money on funerals to pay taxes and put it there pocket...If they paid there bills and taxes...THE WOULD BE NO LOCK...SHUT THEM DOWN TIL THEY PAY!!!!

christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 07:38 am
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I am going on the assumption

I am going on the assumption that it is a disgrace to even begin to believe that they should have to pay taxes like everyone else in this country right justus...My my they are just poor downtrodden black folk that are stomped on once again by the mean white society at large...My foot justus they, the Dents, are people who don't feel the need to pay or for whatever reason can't pay the taxes..That aliment afflicts all races not just the "poor black" which in this case I don't believe they are that poor; for as you may well know people are still passing away...Give it a huge rest...

rabidwileycoyote
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rabidwileycoyote 07/23/08 - 07:40 am
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Son, mosey on down to the

Son, mosey on down to the crack house and smoke your stuff all day! Oh and for all you big lippedpond suckers, I wouldn't point out peoples spelling errors, I would try to clean up my own. Re suckerlips 0729 post on the contractor suit. Clean up your own act ol son!

karmakills123
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karmakills123 07/23/08 - 07:40 am
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Sad to see such an old and

Sad to see such an old and established business in trouble but justus why should the Goverenment bail them out???? It's your type of mentality that raises the ire of others here.

Marco
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Marco 07/23/08 - 07:43 am
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The story is reminiscent of

The story is reminiscent of the King Heritage, sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree.
Sad, but not shocking events happen everyday.

intheknow
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intheknow 07/23/08 - 08:00 am
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Christian, you and RABID

Christian, you and RABID should get a room together but please do not have children. This has nothing to do with Black or White. I did not hear the first word of race come out when the article about Ed McMahon's problem with taxes ran in the Chronicle. Rabid you are a very sick person. The only thing that will cure you is your TIMELY death.

rabidwileycoyote
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rabidwileycoyote 07/23/08 - 08:06 am
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I believe you have your

I believe you have your racists mistaken intheknow, it appears you and justus are the two who need to hook up. rhe rest of your posts matches you two perfectly!

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 07/23/08 - 08:14 am
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Sick, Pathetic.

Sick, Pathetic.

christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 08:23 am
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I figured you all would have

I figured you all would have something negative to say about my comment...If you will open your eyes and read what justus4 had to say then you will find I am responding to his racist remarks..Now as to your attempt at humor please note it is absent...

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 07/23/08 - 08:25 am
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Well Augusta Chronicle you

Well Augusta Chronicle you did it today LOL... nothing I can recall in the paper Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday that drew RACE comments from the regulars. But oh boy today you did LOL.... Yet Praying...

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 07/23/08 - 08:27 am
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I know, big lips, nappy

I know, big lips, nappy headed, brillo hair. BORING.

CSRAider
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CSRAider 07/23/08 - 08:28 am
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Their are some people you

Their are some people you cant poor mouth. One of them is the IRS!

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 07/23/08 - 08:29 am
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Sometimes christian134 you

Sometimes christian134 you have to hold your peace, we shouldn't follow up people, the less said sometimes the better, especially IF you are a Christian. Sometimes if we don't speak and just say Lord Have Mercy, we have peace in our spirts.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 07/23/08 - 08:29 am
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JACKFRUIT, only these idiot

JACKFRUIT, only these idiot will make something racial about this subject. This clown that changes it's name every 15 minutes, is in some serious need of medication.

CSRAider
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CSRAider 07/23/08 - 08:31 am
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I dont care what your race

I dont care what your race is!

CSRAider
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CSRAider 07/23/08 - 08:32 am
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I mean the IRS does not care

I mean the IRS does not care what your race is!

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