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Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 5 February – 18 February 1900

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 05, 2012

(Previous installment)

Monday, February 5, 1900

Getting up before daylight and eating breakfast by candlelight, the weather cloudy, we left Brookeland walking out about four miles when Elders Hunsaker and Morgan left us. Elder Randall and myself felt very weak but we started forth, asking the Lord to help us. We visited four houses in the forenoon but were rejected once. We ate dinner with a man and had a long talk with him, after which we went on, visiting some more of the people. We were refused twice and as night was coming on and no one would ask us in, we began to ask for entertainment but were refused three times and it was raining quite hard when we asked. We got into J.H. Solby’s after walking through the rain about three miles and it was after dark when we got in.

Tuesday, February 6, 1900

Stayed with J.H. Solby. Rained nearly all night and it was awful cloudy when we got up. After breakfast we started out. The roads were awful muddy. We went up through the Cooper settlement and visited all the families but some of them were very prejudiced and would not receive any of our tracts. After we finished that settlement we started for Centerview where we reached a little before dark. We began to seek for entertainment but every place we went to the man of the place was not at home, so we could not stay with them. We walked on through the woods hunting out our road until about 8 o’clock when we came to a place where they kindly took us in and gave us a good supper and we had a good night’s rest. We were welcomed there at any time.

Wednesday, February 7, 1900

The weather still cloudy and damp. We stayed with T.H. Crouch, who invited us back again. We went on down through the timber and found two houses which we visited before dinner. After we had dinner we went on and came to Parson Walker’s place. He was a Methodist. We talked to him for quite a while but he finally got woke up and commenced on us. He said that when John was baptizing in the river that he only went down and dipped his hissok [?] in the water and sprinkled it over the people. We took him to the Bible but he could not prove it and he also said that baptism was only a door into the church, that it was not a commandment. Then we went on and got lost, landing in San Augustine County at a man’s house before we knew where we were. We stayed with him.

Thursday, February 8, 1900

It rained part of the night and when we got up it was quite sloppy and cloudy. We left Bro. Allen’s, went on about three miles and then sat down to cool off, as it was quite warm. After we had sat there for a while the wind came up, the weather changed, and it turned off cool. We visited five families before noon. The last one we came to there were only two, one old man and a woman, their children were all gone. We talked with him quite a while. Then we got permission to stay over with him and wash our clothes. We got things ready, rubbed them out a little with our hands, found that wouldn’t do as we both rubbed the hide off our fingers. So we got them on a stump, got a paddle and went at it Texas style. When night came the weather was quite cold. We stayed over with Bro. Bobbit’s and received good treatment.

Friday, February 9, 1900

The weather very cold. After we had our clothes pressed out a little, we went on among the people, visiting 10 families, all of which received a tract but one. There was one place that was prejudiced and did not want anything to do with us. About noon as no one invited us to have dinner with them, we stopped at the school house for about an hour. Elder Randall wrote a letter. After this we went on for a ways, then going out in the woods we had our prayers. About night we came to Bro. McGann’s place, who kindly invited us in and we were made welcome, although he was a very poor man. But it was just as good to us as if he had have been rich. We had to take our own pocket knives to eat with as he couldn’t afford them. The place where we are welcome is where it tastes good.

Saturday, February 10, 1900

The weather still cloudy. After we had breakfast we started on toward Six Miles, a distance of 10 miles. While we were passing down the road, we passed a house. The man came out and stopped us as he wanted some information. We talked with him for about an hour, then getting directions we went on. But we missed the road, traveled down through the pine woods 3 miles before we came to a house. We talked with them for some time and then taking a trail for Six Miles, we walked about five miles and then came to Bro. Jones’ place a while after dark. We asked for entertainment which we received. After supper we sat by the fire until 10 o’clock talking with the family, then holding prayers as we retired to rest.

Sunday, February 11, 1900

Staying with a man with the same name as my own. About 10 o’clock we left his place, visiting three families. We found out that we could get the school house to preach in and the people all seemed like they wanted to hear us. We came to Bro. Dees’ place and he told us to stay at his house and his boys would announce a meeting for us. So we stayed with him in the afternoon. At 6 o’clock we walked over to the meeting house. The weather being very bad, there weren’t many who came out but we preached to what did come and enjoyed the spirit of the Lord very much. I spoke for 30 minutes upon faith and repentance. Elder Randall spoke that long on baptism, Holy Ghost, and authority. After meeting we were invited home with Bro. Dees, where we had a good night’s rest.

Monday, February 12, 1900

The weather very bad; it rained all night and until noon. We sat in the house talking with the family upon the gospel and about our country until dinner time, then eating dinner. The rain had stopped so we had to go to Hemphill. At 1 o’clock we started. It was about 9 miles. The roads were very muddy. We wallowed through the mud and water, stopping at two places and leaving them some tracts. We got to Hemphill about half past four. Then getting our mail and reading it over, we walked out 1 mile to Bro. Huffman’s, an old friend, where we were welcome at any time. After supper one of their neighbors came in and wanted to hear us sing so we sang them some songs and held prayers with them, then retiring to rest.

Tuesday, February 13, 1900

The weather had changed; it was as clear as could be. As we wanted to lay over and take a bath, we thought that this place would be as good a place as we could find. In the forenoon we went over to his son’s place and talked with him for a while. Then, coming back, we ate dinner. We both had a shave and had Bro. Riley Huffman cut off our hair. About 3 o’clock we walked to the post office, a distance of 1 mile but did not get any mail. After supper Elder Randall and myself sang them some songs, which they were very interested in, then holding prayers with the family we retired to rest. But we both sat up for a while and had a good bath, then going to bed. I slept so good that I never woke up until breakfast was nearly ready.

Wednesday, February 14, 1900

We left Bro. Huffman’s in the morning, starting for Sabine town, a distance of 11 miles. We went to the office and got our mail. I received a picture of the Overton beauties. Then going on, we visited the families along the road. We did not get any dinner but about 1 o’clock we went out into the woods and sewed up our britches and put on a few patches, then holding prayers we went on again, coming to a school house where we went in and sat down for a while. And as night was bout on, we began to seek for entertainment. We went into a store where there was a crowd of men and one of them asked us to go home with him, which we did. We had a good supper and sat and talked with them until bedtime. They gave us a good bed. His name was Oliphant.

Thursday, February 15, 1900

We left Bro. Oliphant’s, going down south of two visiting among the people. It was awful cloudy and foggy so that we couldn’t see but a short distance. We visited two families who didn’t want anything to do with the Mormons. While I was talking with one lady, she turned around and went into the house and wouldn’t listen to us, showing her ignorance. We turned around and walked off after doing our duty. The condemnation will come upon her in the day of judgment. We sat down on a log a couple of times and studied for a while, then visiting two more families, we went to Bro. Harper’s place, who had invited us to come and stay with him. We talked with them upon the principles of the gospel and sang them songs, which they were very interested in. They treated us fine.

Friday, February 16, 1900

We left Bro. Harper’s place after breakfast, the weather awful cold and cloudy, starting for Hemphill, getting through all of our work in the southern part of the county. We walked along the road, sitting down once in a while but it was so cold that we could not stay long in a place. We met a couple of men who asked us if we didn’t want a drink. We told them no thanks. Then getting into Hemphill at 1 o’clock we got our mail, then going out to Bro. Huffman’s, a good old friend who always welcomes us at his house. While we were in town we sold a Book of Mormon to A. Durant and Andrew A. Veatch, a Carmelite preacher. We found Bro. Huffman’s family to be a little under the weather with bad colds. We had a good supper, then talking for a while, we retired to rest, having a good sleep.

Saturday, February 17, 1900

The wind blew all night awful hard and in the morning everything was frozen up. It was so cold we could hardly get out. The wind was blowing all the time and it would blow the smoke back into the house, keeping it full all the time. So we went down to his son Riley’s place where it was a little warmer. We stayed until noon, then coming back and eating dinner, after which I went into town to the post office to get our mail but there was none for us. We then went out into the woods where Grandpa was burning logs. We sat around the fire talking until about night. After supper some of our friends came in and we sang them some songs and talked with them until about 9 o’clock, when we all retired to rest, it being awful cold,.

Sunday, February 18, 1900

The weather was still awful cold but after we had breakfast, we walked over to Bro. Henry Huffman’s where we sat and talked until about noon, then coming back we ate dinner. After dinner we went over to Bro. Woodard’s place where was a woman that was very prejudiced against us. She did not have much to say. We sat there for a while and then came back and got on the sunny side of the house and wrote some letters to the folks. Night came on again; we ate supper. That was all we had been doing for the past two days is to eat. After supper some of the friends came in and we sang everything we knew to them and talked some upon the gospel. It was then bedtime so the people went home and we retired for the night.

Monday, February 19, 1900

The weather had moderated a little; we left Bro. Huffman’s, starting for the northern part of the county. Going into Hemphill we found a letter there from Pres. Ash, telling us about our conference. We found we only had 8 days to get there in. We posted some letters and, starting up the road, we met one of my friends, having a short talk with him. We then went on a little further, then going off to the side of the road where Elder Randall put a patch on his britches, then holding prayers, we went on to Bro. Wm. Griffin’s place, where we stayed the rest of the afternoon and night. They desired to hear us preach so they invited in one of their neighbors and we held short services with them, having a very good time.

(To be continued)



3 Comments »

  1. I am really enjoying this journal. I know they are doing just common things, but it is very interesting to me.

    Comment by Jeff Johnson — February 5, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

  2. Thanks. Me, too. It’s the routine and the rhythm and ordinariness of it (given that serving a mission, especially without purse or script, is extraordinary in itself) that makes it feel so genuine and honest to me.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 5, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

  3. I find this interesting as well. I took note of the phrase “seek for entertainment,” which shows up frequently in my grandfather’s journal for the same mission and time period. It apparently meant getting food and lodging for these missionaries traveling without purse or scrip.

    I also noticed one apparent incident of the “dusting of the feet” in the February 18th entry.

    Pop quiz: How many miles was it to Six Miles?

    Comment by kevinf — February 5, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

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