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This letter is from my Daddy’s father to his sister in N. York state. 
My daddy is Charley Robinson
                                                                        Myrtle (Robinson Dyer)

   Hartford Mich, July the 29th 1877

                                   Dear Sister Ev

As I hav (have) not written a letter in six or seven years, I thought that as I sat at home alone to day, I would try and write you a few lines and let you no (know) that we are all well and in the land of the living.

Wellda has gon (gone) to church with the children. We hav (have) six in all, four boys and to (two) girls. We hav (have) got one girl that we call Evvy and I tell the woman that she loks (looks) just like her aunt.   She has got a slight bunch on her fourhead (forehead) like you.  We have got a pare (pair) of twins.  They are ratters.  Now you may bet their names are Alfred and Allmiron.  Eliza, our oldest girl, she is nearly as tall as her mother.  She has got red hair like her granma robinson.  Charley, he takes after his granpa??r.  Edmond, our oldest boy, he takes on his mother’s side. He is a grate (great) help to me.  He can do as much work as I can.  We have got our wheat cut and in the barn. Wheat is rather lite hear (here) this year.  I shall have about three hundred and fifty bushels.  I shall commence cutting my oats in the morning. They are good.  I haven’t but four acres.  Corne (corn) is splendid. I have got 18 acres.  I had 27 acres of wheat.  Potatoes.  Are going to be a big crop.  I have got and (an) acre.  I cut 10 acres of hay.  It was good.  We have got 2 cows, a yoke of 3 year old stears (steers)

↓   Page 2  ↓

and 8 yearlings to (two) calves and six sheap (sheep) and a span of horses, a to (two) horse buggy, and a new waggon.   30 hens and 40 chickens.  I have cleared 17 acres of fathers this summer.  That makes me 80 acres of clearing.  Mary’s health is quite poor this summer.  Father’s is fare (fair) for him.  He helped me in my wheat cutting.  I forgot, I have got 18 hogs and a 1/2 acre of beans.  We ain’t agoing (going) to have many apples this year.  We have got forty peach trees.  They hang full.

I live within a mile and a half of Hartford. It was a nice place about a month ago, but it got a fire and over half of it burnt to the ground.  It has bin (been) very dry hear (here) but yesterday we had a heavy rain.

I want to thrash this weak (week).  Willda does her work alone.  She says that I am agoing (going) to bee (be) sick for I am a writing  a letter.   Wall (well) Ev, I would be mity (mighty) glad to see you, but I don’t no (know) as I ever shall, but if you will come out hear (here) this fall, I will give you tenn (ten) dollars towards gitting (getting) home again.  Tell Fooler that I would be glad to see him to (too) , and all of the babes (babies) to (too).

Wall (well) Ev, you must excuse me this time.  Write soon, respects to all.

A D Robinson


Letter submitted by William (Bill) Dyer in April, 2003.  This is an original 1877 letter from his mother’s (Myrtle Robinson Dyer) collection of treasures she saved through her lifetime. 
Webmaster note:  Punctuation and paragraphs were added to the transcribed letter above to make comprehension easier for the reader.  Letters of that time in history were commonly written without the punctuation or  paragraphs.  The handwriting is very elegant, however, words were often spelled as they sounded.  Correct spelling is in parenthesis for clarification.

Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 

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Pearls In Our Past - Hartford Michigan
A Pictorial History of Hartford Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik
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History of Hartford Michigan
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Revised: March 23, 2009