I have developed a theory about the spelling in the letters. The individuals writing them, mostly Mary Ann, but not solely, obviously had some limited education. My theory is that the spelling reflects their native speech patterns, namely they were of Irish stock, if not native, then one generation removed at most. Ireland is mentioned in the letter in this post, and note the spelling of cheap, as 'chape', which phonetically would be how cheap would sound to someone of that extraction...
November 12th, 1878
Dear father and Mother we received your letter to Night as was glad to hear of your being well as this leves us enjoying the same blessing We had give up all hopes of getting a letter from yous we are all glad we came hear we like it well we Dont see much Diference in the climet People can Plough yet we are living in the town of emerson it is on the banks of the red river just at the boundry line between Maniboa and the united states in three minutes I could be in Manisota or Decota taritory we cary our washing water out of red river we had flags flying yesterday rejoicing on account of the train coming in to emerson youc an get on the train at Beaverton ane come here in three or four Days all by rail the Amaricans built the railway from fishers landing to emerson this summer we are with in five minutes walk of the station the children is all gowing to school the are right beside the School house we have all got our Photographs taken to send to yous we will send them in separate envelopes we will send them in 2 or 3 days after this letter the crops harvested very good although there was a great gale of rain you never saw such fine Potatoes and Cabbage is as good as you ever saw them in Ireland and for hay you Can Mow all you want thousands of tons if you wish raising cattle Pays best you never saw better cows in your life then is here you can buy every thing hear as chape as in beaverton flour 2.50 per hundred lbs Potates 20 to 25 cents and you could cary them on your arm they are as big as your boot and no bugs ten lbs of shugar for one Doller best beef Stake 10 cents par lb. Stoves chaper than in Beaverton wood is five Dollers Per cord we have only bought one cord since we came when slaying comes it will be for 300 dollers per cord we have a New grint Mill have 3 large taverns, 4 churches orange Lodge 3 blacksmiths shops Six Stores we have all been very busy since we came hear alisa is at home now his Mother and him gets more than they can Do in the house Alisa is going to write to Maggy soon I bought Alick a new fiddle at 3.50 ellin and jane is lerning fast each of them said a Piece at the Mathedist Concert Willie is a great bugger he fights often with little boys but wins every time Alick says billey will be far better Man than him Alice wants me to tell Grany and Gran and Magey his little niece this it is first whan I staped on the stage my heart want Pitapat for fear the gentleman would say look at the little dunce We are all glad we got blaar of the weaving but keep the reeds and shuttles safe as we might want to weave reg carpets if you ever come hear bring a iron head for the beam and for the Bloth beam we got some breaking Done on our claim but Sold My improvements and has taken up 160 acres in Minasota in the states I got good wood on it [several pages missing]