My name is Tim Hall and I'm descended from the early settlers of Bovina (primarily the McFarlands).
The following is transcribed from a letter I won on eBay last week. It is very short but nonetheless interesting. Annie (1847-1891) and Lizzie (1834-1882) were two daughters of Andrew Thomson McFarland (1805-1881) in Bovina. The following letter was sent from Annie to Lizzie while Lizzie was in Andes recuperating from some sort of illness in the winter of 1867-1868. --Tim Hall, April, 2007
(Envelope addressed to "Miss Lizzie McFarland, Andes, Del Co, NY")
Tuesday Feb 20th
Quiet reigns, after the usual round of whistling, singing, playing, fiddling and fifing. It is almost eleven o'clock and all have gone to bed except myself. You must not think by this that I have a beau, for I have not. Had two of 'em, but they have both gone to bed and left me.
Our folks have been thrashing with the engine to day, and we have had plenty of company. The boys have made a whistle for their machine, and everybody comes running to see what is the matter, it makes quite a noise but they think they can make a better one. I'm glad to hear you are gaining, begin to hope you will soon get home. I don't know whether we will get over this week or not. Pa says if it is stormy he thinks you had better not come out, but if it is good weather and good going, he will try to go over Friday or Saturday, but he says not to set any particular time for fear you are disappointed.
Our school closes next week and I believe the Andes school does too. I wish we could get over to the exhibition. We talk of going down to Meredith next week if it would only come sleighing. It was sad about Willie Hamilton, wasn't it? We heard before you wrote. It hardly seems possible but I suppose it is too true. We expected him and his new wife up this winter.
Well, we will come over as soon as possible but you must write and tell Wilson I'm coming to come, no, don't either. I'm only in fun. Good night from Annie
I forgot to tell you, I have gat acquainted with Jim Archibald's wife. I think she is a proper nice girl anyway, not one bit like an old woman. We were all down to Uncle Dick's one night last week.
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William Hamilton died in Delhi in December 1867, implying that this letter was written in 1868. Feb 20th was a Tuesday in 1867 and a Thursday in 1868.
I haven't determined who Uncle Dick is yet. It is seemingly not my great-great-grandfather RMJ McFarland Sr., as he would have been in Wisconsin/Iowa for over 10 years at this point.
"Wilson" may be Wilson McFarland, a cousin who was born in 1839.