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Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 1 June – 18 June 1900

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 01, 2012

(Previous installment)

Sunday, June 1, 1900

It was quite late when we got up. It being fast day we did not eat any breakfast. We then took a walk down to Bro. Cox’s where we spent most of the day. One of their little boys was in bed with chills and fever. We sang songs until we were hoarse. At noon we partook of a good dinner. Then I went with some of the boys to the plum orchard where we picked some plums. I then went to Bro. Gant’s where I wrote a letter to Pres. Hunsaker and talked with the folks until bedtime when we retired to rest.

Monday, June 4, 1900

The time had arrived for us to make another start toward Freestone County. So we went down and bid Bro. Cox and family goodby. While there we administered to one of his boys that was down with the fever. We then came back and bid Sister Gant and the folks goodby. The weather was awful warm and we sweat like everything. We had been walking nearly all day when we came to one of the elders’ friends but they wouldn’t ask us in so we had to go on. We passed through Prairie Grove, Brewer and out beyond Brewer about a mile where we stayed with a man by the name of Clark.

Tuesday, June 5, 1900

The weather was so warm during the night that I could not sleep until nearly morning. After eating breakfast we left for Fairfield where we reached about 11 a.m. passing on through. We went about 2 miles out of town when we laid down under some trees and took a good rest. The sun was coming down pretty hot. We then went on 3 miles further then took another long rest in a schoolhouse. Continuing our walk we came to a branch where we took a bath. It wasn’t long before we reached Bro. Hansen’s where we stayed overnight.

Wednesday, June 6, 1900

I slept very good although it was quite warm. We had some clothes to wash so I asked for the permission of washing them ourselves but they would not adhere to that. He said his daughter would wash them for us, so while she was doing it,w e went out intot he field and hoed cotton until noon. We were intending to go on after dinner but Bro. Hansen wanted us to stay a little longer and talk with him. So we decided to stay another night. They fed us on new potatoes, beans and cabbage and beets and nearly everything and they were certainly fine.

Thursday, June 7, 1900

The weather was nice and clear and was quite cool. We stayed around Bro. Hansen’s until 10 a.m. when we bid them goodby, going over to Mr. David Clarige’s house where we spent the rest of the day talking upon the gospel and other subjects. We were intending to leave his place but did not do it on account that I didn’t suggest it. I did not think we did our duty hardly. But I thought I would wait for my companion to say go when he got ready as I had been doing it most of the time. But he never said it so we stayed where we were.

Friday, June 8, 1900

The weather was awful warm. As we had a long walk to make, we got an early start. But it was so hot that we could only go three or four miles without resting. Before night I began to get weary and the cold chills would run over me to beat time. We passed through Young out to the Harp post office where we got our mail. The man we started for lived out about two miles further and it was dark so we went to his brother’s where we stayed overnight. But we did not rest very good on account of the heat. I laid there and sweat until 3 a.m.

Saturday, June 9, 1900

The night was so hot that I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 4 o’clock and the bedbugs were biting me all night. After breakfast I went to the post office, received one letter from home. We then started for Bro. Tom Heglar’s house where we went in to take a rest. We found a Baptist preacher who was going to preach at 11 a.m. We talked with him for a while but he did not have much to say. We then went home with a young man for dinner, came back and had a sleep, then went to Bro. Heglar’s where we stayed.

Sunday, June 10, 1900

The night was quite cool and I slept fine. It was quite late when we got up. About 10 a.m. we went to the schoolhouse and heard a Baptist preach, but it did not amount to anything as it was the same thing over again. We then went back to Bro. Heglar’s where we had a nice dinner, after which I took a quilt and had a very good sleep under the trees. We did not do anything in the afternoon only talk to everyone that came around. Stayed with him overnight again.

Monday, June 11, 1900

The weather was clear and hot and we got an early start but had to stop at Bro. Harp’s and talk with him a while so that threw us behind some. We walked until nearly 1 p.m. when we went into a schoolhouse where we stayed until 4 p.m. Then going on we reached the ferry; told them how we were traveling but they would not take us across that way. We did not have a cent of money but gave him a few stamps for pay. There were only two men there. Neither one would let us stay with them so we went on two miles further and stayed with a colored man and were treated fine.

Tuesday, June 12, 1900

We slept on the gallery and the bed was awful hard so we did not rest very well. It was quite late when we got our breakfast as the old nigger woman was awful slow. When she had it ready there was nothing to eat but corn bread and bacon, but we were thankful for that. We started on our journey about 8 a.m., resting several times. Arrived at Bro. Vance’s at 3 p.m. After talking with them for some time we then went out and helped them plant sweet potatoes until dark. After supper we sang songs and talked until 12 o’clock when we retired.

Wednesday, June 13, 1900

The weather was still warm, but we did not get mud sleep. After eating breakfast there was a wagon came along going our way. One of the boys went out and asked him if we could ride with him as far as he was going. We bid the folks goodby and started for the wagon when he drove off on a trot so we had to walk. We talked with the folks a little longer then started. Walked about 26 miles without any dinner. Stopped a few times and ate plums and berries. At sundown there was a cloud came up and in a few minutes it was raining. We were about a mile to a house both ways. We got soaking wet before we got into a place, but the good Father provided a place for us to lie down and something to eat.

Thursday, June 14, 1900

We rested fine, arose early, found the sky to be as clear as could be, but the roads were somewhat muddy. We got an early start. Reached Bro. Kentrall’s about 11 a.m. He was talking to a Campbellite preacher. We all ate dinner with him and had a long talk with the preacher. He was well educated. His name was Bedacheck. After he left we walked over to Bro. Jack Knight’s where we thought we would find Pres. Hunsaker but he had not returned from Liberty Hill. We went on to Bro. Armond’s where we stayed overnight. We found some mail for us. I received $15.00 from my father. We were grateful to our Heavenly Father that he has preserved us from danger and provided for us while we were gone. We never had to lie out but a few times. The chances looked mighty favorable but the Lord will provide if we are trying to do what is right.

Friday, June 15, 1900

After breakfast I went out and made a fire under the kettle, was going to wash my clothes, but Sister Armond took pity on me and washed them for me. But I kept the fire and water on hand for her so it didn’t take very long to get through. I then walked over to Bro. Jack Knight’s where I met Pres. Hunsaker and ate dinner, then coming back we wrote letters and talked until night, when they left me and went to some of the saints. I went out and picked a bucket of Blackberries for Sister Armond.

Saturday, June 16, 1900

I slept alone, rested very good, arose early, ate breakfast by lamplight. Then going to Bro. Knight’s they had not had breakfast yet. We were intending to go to town to get our summer clothes but on account of there being a convention we decided not to go. Elder Ashby and I went to Bro. Kentrall’s where we stayed all afternoon and night. I went down to the branch and took a nice bath. I did not eat any supper as I desired to fast; went to bed quite early after holding prayers with them.

Sunday, June 17, 1900

It was late when we arose. I also fasted for breakfast. After washing I took a stroll over to Bro. Knight’s to meet Pres. Hunsaker with my coat. After he came we both went to the schoolhouse where we began meeting. Presiding Elder Ashby spoke 5 minutes first, then I spoke about 25 minutes when I closed and gave the rest of the time to the President. Had a good time although there wasn’t any there but the Saints. We all went to Bro. Smith’s and ate dinner and spent the evening. Pres. and I came back to Bro. Kentrall’s where we stayed overnight.

Monday, June 18, 1900

We arose early, got to Bro. Smith’s before they had breakfast. We all had a clean shave, then started for town where we reached about 10 a.m. We went into a store and picked out what we wanted. My bill was $7.00 as I had to have several things. The man we traded with gave us a drink of soda water which tasted all right. After we got through there we went into the photo gallery where he took a shot of us, then starting for Pilgrim, we reached there at sundown. I stayed with Bro. Jack Knight.

(To be continued)



6 Comments »

  1. Check out Edje’s post at Juvenile Instructor this week, concerning the use of the words “beloved” and “brethren” in the diaries of Elder Jones and others in the same time and place.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 1, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

  2. He and his companion need to learn the trick that they teach Spanish-speaking missionaries. Point to your ear, then nose, then jaw. Because when you say “Ear nose jaw”, it sounds like “Let’s go now” in Spanish. So, it’s easy to signal to your companion when it’s time to go.

    This is great to read about every day.

    Comment by Carol — April 1, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  3. I’m always impressed that in both this journal, and my grandfather’s journal from the same mission and time, always talk about how they “went to the post office and got our mail,” regardless of where they are. It must have taken a lot of work on the part of the mission office to keep all that mail forwarded to where they thought the missionaries would be at any point in time.

    Comment by kevinf — April 2, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  4. I’ve thought about that, too, kevinf. At some of their conferences where the companionships are rearranged, Jones mentions “planning the work” in a way that makes it sound very time-consuming. I’m wondering if working out a schedule of where they would be when, in part to make mail forwarding possible, wasn’t a large part of the planning. There never seems to be any spontaneity in what direction they’ll go or what communities they’ll canvass. There are a few cases where they seem to be hanging around for a few days waiting for the mail, as if they might have gotten ahead of schedule. And if they didn’t plan their work in such detail, far enough in advance to write to their families to give them PO addresses, then everything would have had to go first to the mission home for forwarding — maybe it did, but that would be such a delay I think they would have tried to avoid it if possible.

    Anyway, it’s an interesting detail to focus on. Maybe Edje will have a post on that in his Juvenile Instructor series sooner or later.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 2, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

  5. “I slept alone”! I’m really enjoying the crossover between these posts and Edje’s.

    Comment by J. Stapley — April 2, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

  6. Thanks, Ardis and J.

    I, too, am struck by how organized the Elders’ work seems, especially in contrast to the constant uncertainty about the next meal and the next bed.

    I think Ardis’s 4 is a good summary. I will be looking out for more info as I work through the diaries. One thing I do not understand is what the Conference Clerks did. It seems that there was some Mission-level office support but also some local office support.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — April 3, 2012 @ 5:44 am

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