Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: February 20 – 5 March 1900

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: February 20 – 5 March 1900

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 12, 2012

(Previous installment)

Tuesday, February 20, 1900

Leaving Bro. Griffin’s the weather awful cloudy and rained nearly all forenoon, we stopped and talked with one or two men and one of them wouldn’t receive a pamphlet. About 11 o’clock we called into one place to get out of the rain, as it had begun to come down harder. We talked with him until 2; he gave us a good dinner. The rain had stopped so we started on to Tebo, where we visited all of the families and left them a tract to read over. The owner of the school house was not at home so we could not preach there. We walked on three miles out of town and, as night was coming on, we asked one man if we could stay with him overnight. He granted us the privilege. We gave away 56 tracts during the day.

Wednesday, February 21, 1900

The sky nice and clear but was quite cold. We left Sabine County starting for Conference. We came into San Augustine County, passed by Parson Howell’s place. We then sat down on a log to rest for a short time. Then gathering a chew of gum (from the pine trees) we started on, coming to one of Elder Randall’s friends where we stopped and talked for a short time. We then got directions to another friend of his. We started on again, stopping and talking every little while with someone upon the principles of the gospel. We reached Bro. Sherfield’s about 3 o’clock where we stayed overnight, walking about 10 miles. We were welcome there and had a good time, singing and talking with the family until bed time.

Thursday, February 22, 1900

After breakfast we talked with the family for a short time, then bidding them goodbye, we started on our way. We walked about two miles when we sat down on a log for about an hour. While we were there a man came along and said, “Well, you are still bumming around yet,” and we told him, “Yes, sir.” We then walked into Sharpsville where we inquired for our mail but there was none for us. We went on and as we did not have far to go, we sat down along the side of the road several times, studying upon the gospel and exchanging ideas on the same. We came to the place where we were intending to stop overnight but there was no one home. We went on about five miles, came to a place, we were refused twice, but got into a place where we were treated very good and had a good night’s sleep.

Friday, February 23, 1900

We left Bro. Coon about 9 a.m., traveled through the woods for a ways, when we went out and held prayers. Then, going on, we came to a small settlement where we got a drink of water, then walking outside of town we sat down on a log and wrote a couple of letters. Then going on we crossed the Toyack [Attoyac] River, leaving San Augustine County, going into Nacogdoches County where we sat down again for a while. We went on about a mile when we came to Chieno, then going on about a mile, we came to Dr. Smith’s place where we stayed overnight. My eyes were quite sore so he fixed up some water for me. We walked about 11 miles. The weather was nice and clear when we left in the morning but was awful cloudy by night and rained some before we went to bed.

Saturday, February 24, 1900

It rained part of the night, making the roads very muddy. We left Dr. Smith’s at 9 o’clock, traveled up through the mud to Malrose, a distance of 10 miles. We were just 3 hours walking it. Then getting directions, we went out of town about a mile where we sat down on a log and rested for an hour. Then going on into Swift four miles further, Elder Randall went into a store and got some tacks to tack his shoes with. We rested a few minutes and then hit the road. We traveled on 9 miles further, calling into the houses once in a while and getting directions. One place we started into, the woman saw us coming and they all broke and ran like wild cattle. We got to Bro. Rambin’s where we stayed overnight, making about 23 miles we had walked. We had a good night’s rest.

Sunday, February 25, 1900

As it was Sunday, we did not wish to travel and we had plenty of time to get to Conference so we decided to lay over with Bro. Rambin until Monday. After breakfast, I went out into the woods and sewed up my britches a little and held my prayers. I came back to the house and talked to the family until dinner time. They gave us a very good dinner, after which we sat in the house reading the newspaper and talking together. Along in the afternoon I got so sleepy I could hardly keep awake. The folks wanted to hear us sing a little, so we sang them some songs and ate supper and talked with the family until bed time, then retired to rest, having a good night’s rest. The sky was nice and clear.

Monday, February 26, 1900

We got a very good start from Bro. Rambin’s. They wanted us to stay longer so they could wash our clothes but we did not have the time. We traveled through the woods, inquiring the road to Appleby, a distance of five miles. We stopped there and posted a letter and I bought me a couple of shoe strings. We inquired the road, a distance of 12 miles to Lin Flat. We stopped and sat down three times between the two places. When we got there we stopped in a store and rested for a few minutes, then starting on, we walked 6 miles further, when we came to some of Elder Randall’s friends. We stopped at two places and tried to get entertainment, but they were sick. We got in about a half mile up the road.

Tuesday, February 27, 1900

We got up before daylight and had breakfast early and got a good early start. We traveled through the woods to Oak Flat, stopping every house we came to inquire the road. We went on through to Sansville where we reached at 12 o’clock. Stopping there at one of the stores to rest a little, we got five cents worth of candy. We spent all of the money we had. It began to rain a little while we were there, but we did not have time to lay over. It rained on us nearly all afternoon. We got to one of the families of the Saints, wet through, walking a distance of 28 miles. After we had supper we walked over to the school house where I met all of the Elders and it was a grand meeting. Elder Hall was also along. I was certainly glad to see him once more.

Wednesday, February 28, 1900

The weather was awful cloudy and cold and there was a little snow a-falling. I went over to Bro. Haskins’, where I met Elder Hall and some more of the Elders and heard some of them play on the fiddle and organ. At 11 a.m. we all walked over to the school house where we received instructions from Elder Bennion and Apostle Cowley. He explained the organization of the Church and the Book of Mormon to the people and told how they came forth. He gave some instructions to the Elders. He told us not to try to put on anything or to emulate any preacher but to be ourselves wherever we went and be humble and prayerful and the Lord would bless us. At 1 o’clock we held priesthood meeting, in which all of the elders gave a full and complete report of their labors since last Conference. The spirit of the Lord was in our midst. There were several of us that broke down while we were giving our report. After meeting I went out to Bro. Dunkin’s for supper. Coming back about dark we held another meeting and heard some very good instructions from our President. After meeting I went to Bro. Robertson’s with Elder Hall and had a good time together and had a good night’s rest.

Thursday, March 1, 1900

I slept with one of the Saints overnight and had a good night’s rest. At 11 a.m. we walked over to the school house where we received instructions from Pres. Jack and Apostle Cowley upon the way we should walk and not to be too familiar with women and not to try to imitate any other preacher but to be submissive to the promptings of the Spirit of the Lord. At 11 a.m. The people began to gather in and we closed the priesthood meeting and took up the public meeting. Elder Hunsaker was chosen Pres. of the Conference with Elder Ashby and Kundick his counselors. Elder Call was the first speaker, then Apostle Cowley spoke to the people, telling them of the judgments that would come upon the people who would not obey the gospel of Christ in its fulness. After meeting I walked around with Elder Hall. He gave me some good advice and I had a good time with him. We went to Bro. Robertson’s, where we ate dinner, after which Apostle Cowley and Jack and the other two left for the railroad. It was hard for me to say goodbye but with tears in my eyes I had it to do. We stayed around the afternoon and about night two of the Elders came with some mail for me. At night we held another meeting in which Elders Barber and Morgan spoke. While they were speaking the boys in the back part of the house kept making all the noise they could to bother the speakers. They would shuffle their feet over the floor and spit tobacco juice upon the stove to hear it sizzle, but they did not accomplish anything. This meeting ended our Conference. Six of the elders went to Bro. Haskins’ and six to Bro. Robertson’s. We all had a good time and a good night’s rest.

Friday, March 2, 1900

After having a good night’s rest, we arose and found the weather to be nice and clear. After eating breakfast we waited around until the President had fixed up things. He assigned us to our fields of labor. I was assigned to go back to San Augustine County with Elder Morgan to finish up and do some revisiting. The elders began to separate. After bidding them all goodby, Elder Morgan and I went up to Bro. Haskins’ and ate a fine dinner, after which Elder Morgan started to fix his shoe and I walked over to Bro. Robertson’s where I wrote a letter to my folks and also stayed overnight with him. Before going to bed, Sister Robertson fixed up some medicine for my eyes as they were quite sore. We retired to rest and had a good sleep.

Saturday, March 3, 1900

We bid the folks goodbye and started for our field of labor between 9 and 10 o’clock. We walked through the woods inquiring our way every two or three miles. We only sat down to rest once during the day. At night we came to one of Elder Morgan’s old friends. We had made up our minds to stay with him but he said he couldn’t possibly take us in. So we had to go on about three miles further. We were refused twice after dark but we finally got into a place. The woman went to work and fixed us a little supper. Elder Morgan explained the gospel unto them. At about 9 p.m. we held prayers with them and retired to rest and we were ready for the bed as we had walked about 25 miles and were awful tired. They gave us a good bed and we had a good rest.

Sunday, March 4, 1900

The weather cloudy and quite warm. We had a good night’s rest. About 8 a.m. we left Bro. Hallbrook’s, getting directions from him. We started a nearer way to Appleby through the woods and traveling on country roads. We got down into a bottom once and got lost for a little while. We kept on going in a southeast direction inquiring the road at nearly every house we came to. At 2 p.m. we sat down on a log to rest for a few moments, it being the first time we had rested during the way. We came to Appleby, went on through out to Bro. Rambin’s place, where we reached at 6 p.m., nearly give out, making about 28 miles we had walked with only taking one rest. After we had sat down for a while I went to get up and I was so sore I could hardly walk. I had a good night’s rest and a good sleep.

Monday, March 5, 1900

The weather still cloudy. About 10 a.m. we left Bro. Rambin’s. We walked out a ways when we went into the woods and held prayers, then going on for a mile or two we sat down on a log and rested for a while. We started on again coming to a nigger house where we sold two books to them. Reached Bro. Cash Sintercum’s about 2 p.m., finding him sick in bed. We sat and talked with him for a while. When his wife came she found out we hadn’t had any dinner and nothing would do but she should fix us something. At night we went out and did up the chores for them. We sat and talked with them and waited upon them until 11 p.m., when we retired to our beds of rest, having a good sleep and arose in the morning finding Bro. S. feeling much better.

(To be continued)



  1. Two Elders spending all of their remaining money on candy. Imagine that! :)

    Comment by Matt — February 13, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  2. Now you know this is an authentic diary!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 13, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  3. That’s why they went without purse.

    Comment by Carol — February 13, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

  4. It always brightens my day when I see another installment of this. Ardis, in relation to the February 20 entry, would you happen to know what tracts might have been popular with missionaries during this time?

    Comment by JB — February 19, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

  5. We had some discussion of that a couple of years ago, JB, with contributions from several readers. I don’t recall what we came up with. I’ll hunt that up and perhaps make a separate post to supplement this.

    And I’m glad to know that you enjoy this.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI