Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 22 December 1899 – 14 January 1900

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 22 December 1899 – 14 January 1900

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 22, 2012

(Previous installment)

Friday, December 22, 1899

The weather was cleared off a little in the morning. We began to stroll around a little but still stayed with Bro. Huffman.

Saturday, December 23, 1899

Bro. Huffman went into town to help in one of the stores. He told us to stay here with him, the weather looking very bad. While he was gone Elder Dean and I went out and chopped up his woodpile. When he came home he was quite surprised in seeing his woodpile all chopped up.

Sunday, December 24, 1899

Bro. Huffman received an invitation from one of his daughters to come up and take dinner with them, so he asked us to come and go along with him. We walked over to the place, about 4 miles. They were very glad to see us. They sent word around to their neighbors to come up to their place for preaching. We partook of a nice dinner and at 3 o’clock we took up our meeting, preaching about one hour and a half, after which we walked back to Bro. Huffman’s place and stayed overnight.

Monday, December 25, 1899

It being Christmas, we walked into town, stayed there a short time; then, returning back, we found our Conference president, Elders Joseph G. Ash and Hunsaker. We were very glad to see them. At 2 o’clock we held meeting, in which Pres. Ash and Hunsaker took up the time, having a very good time. The people being desirous of hearing us again, we appointed another meeting for night. The people around close came in. All four of us spoke a little, having a very good time, this being the first Christmas that I spent in old Texas.

Tuesday, December 26,m 1899

Elder Hunsaker and myself left Bro. Henry Huffman’s place, walking over to Grandpa Huffman’s place where we stayed until after dinner. Then Elders Ash and Dean went into Hemphill to work the town and sent Elder Hunsaker and I out another way. We walked into a place about 5 o’clock, where they desired us to stay and preach to them at night. They told some of their neighbors to come in, having a very good time and enjoying the spirit of the Lord.

Wednesday, December 27, 1899

We had another meeting for that night. We stayed with Bro. Griffin’s folks all day, it being very cold until about night when it turned off warmer. We walked over to the schoolhouse. There were about 10 there. As soon as we got there, they began to go off. One of the good friends, suspecting something, thought we had not better hold any meeting. We then walked home with Bro. Huffman.

Friday, December 29, 1899

We walked into town and got our mail, coming back again to Bro. Henry Huffman’s where we ate dinner. After dinner, we went out in the timber with Bro. Huffman and sawed down a big pine which he wanted to make shingles out of. We shaved off five cuts and then returned back to his house again where we stayed overnight again. He being a great man to sit up and talk, we didn’t get to bed until about 12 o’clock, but when we did get there we made good use of our time.

Saturday, Dec. 30, 1899

We got up about 7 o’clock, ate breakfast at 8, and then went out in the timber and sawed off seven cuts and then, going back, we helped his boy kill and dress a hog. After dinner we left his place and went over to his father’s place where we stayed the rest of the day and night.

Sunday, December 31, 1899

Early in the morning Bro. Huffman, my companions and I walked over to his son’s Henry’s place and stayed a short while, then returning back we stopped into Bro. Woodward’s, a man that had just moved into one of his places and he told them if they would all come over at 3 o’clock we would preach to them. After meeting we went home with his son Riley and stayed overnight. The last night in the old century.

Monday, January 1, 1900

After breakfast we walked out into the field where Bro. Huffman was piling up bush. We helped him pile up and burn bush until noon, then we went in and got dinner. After dinner we walked out toward to see his son but did not find him. Coming back we stayed with him all night. Just before going to bed he received word that one of his grand-daughters was dying, causing them to feel quite bad.

Tuesday, January 2nd, 1900

We left Bro. Huffman’s place early in the morning, going into town and posting some mail, then going south about 4 miles where we met up with Bro. Williams. He desired to hear us preach so he invited the neighbors and we preached to them in his home. The weather was awful col but was nice and clear. We stayed with him overnight.

Wednesday, January 3, 1900

Leaving Bro. Williams, we traveled on south stopping at a cotton gin where we got into a conversation with a Baptist preacher and had quite a time. Then going on four miles further, visiting the families. We stayed overnight with Jack Lowe, where we explained the gospel unto them and sang them some songs, which they were very interested in. We were invited back at any time.

Thursday, January 4, 1900

The weather a little bit warmer and a little cloudy, we started on toward Oak Dale, visiting the families, giving away 11 tracts, staying overnight with Bro. McDonald where we received good treatment. We had a good night’s rest.

Friday, January 5, 1900

We got permission of the trustees to hold meeting in the schoolhouse, so we stayed over with Bro. McDonald, helping him split rails all day. In the afternoon it began raining so we could not hold meeting. Bro. McDaniel took us home with him where we stayed overnight.

Saturday, January 6, 1900

Getting up in the morning, we found the weather still to be awful bad. After breakfast we went back where they were splitting rails and helped them until about 3 o’clock. When they got through we then went up with Bro. McDonald where we stayed all night.

Sunday, January 7, 1900

Thinking that we would get to preach to the people, we walked out to the schoolhouse and waited there about two hours. But there was no one came but a few rowdy boys so we went back with Bro. McDonald where we stayed the rest of the day and night. The weather was cloudy when we got up but along in the afternoon it cleared off.

Monday, January 8, 1900

Leaving Bro. McDonald’s place, we walked into Hemphill, a distance of 9 miles, where we got our mail, received some tracts from Kansas and letters from home which were read with pleasure. Then, posting some, we left town and walked out to Bro. Huffman’s, an old friend, where we stayed that night. Along about night it clouded up and began raining a little.

Tuesday, January 9, 1900

The weather was very cloudy when we got up so we decided to lay over and preach to the people if it cleared off. The people seemed to be quite interested. One of Bro. Huffman’s daughters lost her little girl. A while or just before she died, the little girl prayed for us to come and pray for her. She seemed to think if we would come she would get better. The people did not know where we were so they could not send for us. This caused her parents and some of the other people to think a little more serious upon this subject and they desired to hear us preach again. It rained all day and night so we could not hold meeting.

Wednesday, January 10, 1900

We stayed all night with Grandpa Huffman, rising in the morning to find the weather to be awful bad and a-raining a little, so stayed with him another night.

Thursday, January 11, 1900

The weather still bad when we got up, raining a little bit in the afternoon. It cleared off and by bedtime there was not a cloud to be seen. In the afternoon Elder Dean and I went out and cut down a big pine tree and cut about half of it up for wood. It was very rich.

Friday, January 12, 1900

The sky was nice and clear but was quite cold. We walked over in the field in the forenoon where Bro. Huffman was plowing, stayed there until noon and then came in and got dinner, after which Elder Dean and myself went out and finished cutting up our pine tree, then we sat around studying the rest of the day.

Saturday, January 13, 1900

The weather clear and pleasant, we walked over to Bro. Griffin’s where we spent the day. Very nice. They were feeling very bad over the loss of one of their dear little girls. They were glad to see us. Along about 4 o’clock we sang a few songs for them and held prayers with them and then, leaving them crying, we walked back to Bro. Huffman’s where we stayed overnight, having a good night’s rest.

Sunday, January 14, 1900

Not having any place to preach, we laid around Bro. Huffman’s place all day, singing songs and talking upon one thing and another. About 4 o’clock we walked into Hemphill and posted our mail. Coming back we stayed with Grandpa all night.

(To be continued)



  1. I am finding this very interesting. My grandfather would be on his mission in Alabama about the same time. I am sure it was very much the same, and he did not keep a diary.

    Comment by Jeff Johnson — January 22, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

  2. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

    This diary records no hugely dramatic events, no encounters with celebrities, nothing extraordinary, really, except in the sense that the missionaries and their service, especially under the circumstances, are extraordinary. It may be a fair representation of hundreds or even thousands of missionaries and their service at this era.

    I find the rhythm of this diary kind of hypnotic. Can you imagine what it was like to be essentially homeless for more than two years? Almost never to know where your next meal was coming from, or where you would sleep that night? Never to have a private room to retire to, to spend the day in bed when you were ill, or to write your letters, or to wash and mend your clothes? These elders gave themselves to the work in ways that even those of us who have served missions never did.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 22, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

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