I'm glad to report that "writing school" has been paying off for her.
December the 24th
Once more I take my old pen in hand for the purpose of writing a few lines in answer to your kind letter that I recieved last Friday evening. I was glad to hear from you once more. it makes me so glad to hear how times is going on out on old shellrock. I want to see you worse than ever I did. I often think I would like to start right off and come and see you all I would if I had some person to come with me. it made me feel like I had lost some of my feather to think that you could not come out and see us this winter. I am at school to day and so is Ella. she is sorry to think that you can not come this winter but I can tell you what we can do we can write and tell our thoughts on paper and Ella thinks so to. She is sitting on the desk behind me and she is writing a letter to her Cousin . tomorrow is Christmas and our teacher is going to treat us he has got the canday now dont you wish you here to partisipate in our fun. I will quit for a while
Christmas Gift. today is Christmas day. O how I wish you were here today and we would go sleighriding to night we are going to have a Spelling School to night and we will have a fine time. you and that young man step over to night and after School he will have that hug he wanted to have. I would like to know what his name is and if he is good looking. tell him to send me a pretty finger ring in your letter or write himself when you do and you must send me one to for Christmas gift and I will keep them forever tell him so. I will bet he will think I am some punkin. it snowed like all sixty last night. the snow is four inches deep perhaps I will have a sleigh ride and a beau. talk about you shugar but if I dont have a hug it will be cousin and a kiss that will be sweeter than canday. you must be up to putting your arms around the lovely girls waist and saying some of your big words of love to them. that so, I would like to love drop you some night. you said you was going to send me your miniature. I am looking every day for it to come to town. I have got me a new plaid dress to have mine taken in and a set of ear drops and a breast pin and so has Ella. tell that young man to send his minature when you do if you have not sent yours yet.
I have been going to writing school to the best teacher. he was a young man his name was JC Mendenall. I will tell you what one of my beaus name is after a while. I pitty you for the bad luck you have had for it is a heavy loss for a young man in love so deep as you and Ella is. She is in good hopes yet. I think you had better bring a two hoss wagon for I want to go home with you and Ella and see the beas [?] dance. I will tell the truth for once. I asked her if she would go and she said she would for ther was nothing like home. Ella said you must send her a presant some time. it is after recess and we have got our treat. we have had a time of it so funny.
you said you wanted to know who each Johns girl married. Sarah Jane marr[i]ed Abraham Burten and one that is rich. Nathans girl is not married yet and no hopes of it that I know of. I get a letter from Amand every once in a while. the last one she said that they was all well. tell uncle Andrew that Jacob Parkhurst was out a little while back and they was all well and all the rest as far as he knew of. there is going to be a wedding next Sunday in our neighborhood. there was one last Thursday is [read “it”] was Sarah Ann haworth and Charles Scott and next Sunday Cinthia Takins and Lawson McCod but don’t get discouraged at that. There is plenty more left. tell Milton to beshure and come and that before long if it is so he can for I would be glad to see any of your folks. tell him he need not think that he must never write any more because he is married. it would please me vary much for to recieve a letter from him and his wife. tell Milton to write a letter to me befor he starts to come so I can have so I can have a shangahi on to fry a turkey on to boil a pig on to roast and churn...
[damage to page; bottom right quarter is cut off]
the weather is vary nice and not vary cold. I can not say that I have much more to write of importance but mischief and that is about. I will bet you will think so. this ink has been frozen and is vary pale. in conclusion I will say that I want you to come if you can. there is not vary much sickness. so no more at presant.
Write soon and tell me all the news remaining your cousin
From Josephine Scovell
to Washington Tharp Farewell