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Answer Man: Hearse is for hire, horses included

March 7, 2017

Dear Answer Man, I was driving to Wabasha over the weekend and noticed that there’s an antique hearse in the front window of a funeral home in Plainview. Does that ever get out for use in funerals?

It does. It’s in the front room of the Schleicher Funeral Home, along Minnesota Highway 42 at 10 E. Broadway, and it dates more or less (since it’s restored) from 1894, which means it’s horse-drawn. The hearse gets out now and then -- it’s available for rent, horses and handlers included.

One of my fine research associates called this morning and office manager Wanda Myers said the hearse is used a handful of times per year and can go far and wide. It’s available nationwide and has been taken as far away as Texas, along with two horses and three appropriately attired men. “They’re dressed very professionally -- no blue jeans,” Wanda says.

The Schleicher business dates from 1892 and was founded in Millville. Their Millville funeral home was destroyed by 100 mps winds in 1998, and they currently have homes in Lake City as well as Plainview.

Dear Answer Man, I’m fed up with how high gas prices are and they only seem to be going up. How do they compare to last year?

They’re up compared with last year, but down majorly compared with the previous four years.

The current Minnesota average is $2.26 per gallon of regular unleaded. That’s up about 2 cents over a week ago. The national average is about a nickel more.

Last year at this time, the price per gallon in Minnesota was $1.90, but the year before that it was $2.48. In March 2014, it was $3.51, in 2013 it was $3.66 and in 2012 it was $3.58.

So please don’t get fed up just yet. It can always get worse.