To: Miss May Briggs, Ossian, Winneshiek County, Iowa
From: Hattie Buckland, Grandin Aug. 8th 1881
Dear Sister May
Good after noon to you how do you do we are well and fealing pretty kinky as Johnie terms it. I received your letter a week ago and would have answered it sooner but I had written so many letters that I had got clear out of news and it is'nt very plentyful just now but I guess I can make up enough to fill one sheet. well to day is monday Johnie is plowing and I haint doing much of anything it rained a little shower this morning and hinderd me from washing so I have been sitting around all day taking care of the children and feeding tramps there was one here a little while ago, and said Mrs'es will you plase griv a fellow something to eat. of coarst I had to give him something I was so fraid of him I had a notion to run out to the field and let him help himself but then you know that would never do so I put on a brave face and gave him what he wanted. I thought if he said any thing that I dident like I would take the gun to him. but when he got his belly full he departed in peace and I run out where Johnie was he said if any more come to send them out to see him he wasent afraid of them. we are all alone now our boy Roys time was out a week ago. our harvest wont be very hard we have got a self binder so J can do the work himself. It is to bad that blessed old Nick dident work for you after all Etta must have been sorely dissapointed well tell her to never mind perhaps he will get some coffee somewhere else beats all beats all how he loves her
Sunday. well you see almost a week has elapsed since I commenced this letter and here it is yet when I began we were alone but we havent been since I stoped writeing to get our supper well we had got done eating and the dishes washed up when who should come along but two machine agents from Fargo to set up our harvester and then to cap the climay there was a rail road man came along and wanted to stay all night so I had to get supper for them and make a bed on the floor one of them, we havent got only two bedsteads, well we got things all settled satisfactory for the night and breakfast over then I had company Mrs Larson and her little boy. two of the men came back to dinner and Tommy Tinnian you remember Johnie had his picture down there with him he is J's best friend came fresh from the green mountains to see what he could see in the far west of coarst the first thing he could do was to make us a visit and tell us all about the folks in Vt. so you see I had quite a family for that day. had a very pleasant visit with Mrs L and in the evening J and I went and took her home. the machine ag't. went home before supper but the RR man stayed all night again. he came out from St Paul to settle up with the men that the track crossed their land. the next day was wednesday the old fellow went off on the train and Tommy took Billy and the buggy and went to Fargo after his trunk so we were alone again for a few minnts. I went to work and done my washing and got our dinner. along about three oclock two travelers came along they were going out by Grindin but had got on the wrong road and hadent had any dinner so I got them some and they went on their way rejoicing. thursday Tommy came back from Fargo and those everlasting ag't. came back again they did'ent have any cord the first day they were here so they couldent start the binder after they got it set up they were glad to come back again and have me get dinner for them. Friday I done my ironing in the morning then Uncle G and Ella came to make a visit. after we had our dinner along came two old cods and said Mrs'es could you guv a feller a little some thing to eat. do it up in a paper and we will pay you for it. so I gave them some bread and butter each of them a piece of cake and some ginger snaps. they gave me a quarter. that made $5.25. that I made keeping boarders Johnie says I can have all I make and he gave me $3.00 before so you see I have plenty of spending money. J. done $80.00 worth worth of breaking for one of the merchants in Fargo and is to take his pay out of the store so we have got our groceries ready payed for.
Three Cheers for Gardner the new town is to have a P.O. and store all in running order in less than two weeks and the proprietor is none other than our friend Tommy. he has clerked in a store all his life and has saved capitol enough to start on his own hook he thought it would be better to come west and start in some new place so Gardner is the chosen place. Now Gunder if you want a real nice man just come out here and set your cap for him.
I think your new dress is real nice I will send you a piece of my aprons I guess they are large enough for yours & Ettas charms it is the biggest piece I have left I made my aprons just as large as I could out of three yards in each one. Your picture must be very nice when you get yours done would'ent you be pleased to make Mrs. Buckland one she would like to have one very much I am shure Johnie said he would like to have those beens but hasent got time to come after them now he sends love to all. excuse this bad writing for I have been going it forty nots an hower. now write often I dont hear from home once in two weeks. you can do better than that I know love to all a lot for you