Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 9 July – 31 July 1900

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 9 July – 31 July 1900

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 15, 2012

(Previous installment)

Monday, July 9, 1900

The weather was nice and clear but awful hot. We bid Bro. Haskins’ folks goodby, came over to Bro. Robertson’s where we packed up our grips and got ready to start for Houston County. We started at 2 p.m. I hated to leave as I had been there so much that it had begun to feel like home. We reached Bro. Wilson’s at 5 p.m. where we stayed overnight. Their boys were down with the chills and fever. We had a long talk upon the gospel with them and also had a very good night’s rest.

Tuesday, July 10, 1900

We got an early start from Bro. Wilson’s so as to walk while it was cool. We walked right along until we had nearly reached the town of Rusk, stopped and talked a few times with people on the road. At 3 p.m. it began raining so we were close to an old house where we stopped until the rain ceased, then going on through Rusk and out about 4 miles through the sticky mud. It was getting time to stop and we were awful tired. We got into a place where three men were running a bachelor’s hall. Rested good and were treated fine.

Wednesday, July 11, 1900

I rested very good during the night but was awful sore. After breakfast we continued our journey as we had a long walk to make and we wanted to get as far as we could while it was cool. At 2 p.m. it began raining. Just before it started we were coming along awful hungry so I jumped over a fence and pulled two ears of corn which helped us considerably. We got under a tree for shelter but it came so hard that we were soon wet to the skin. It kept up for about an hour. We then went on through Augustine and out to Bro. Zimmerman’s. They were glad to see us.

Thursday, July 12, 1900

We slept very good during the night but when we got up I was as sore as could be and was not feeling very good. I did not do anything through the day only eat fruit and sleep and sing songs and talk. About 3 p.m. Bro. Zimmerman came home from Crockett. He was certainly glad to see us. I was out in his orchard when he rode up. He thought I was some of the boys stealing fruit. I walked up and introduced myself to him. He found out who it was and said that I was welcome. We had a fine time until bedtime talking.

Friday, July 13, 1900

The night was so warm and the bedbugs so thick that I didn’t get much sleep until nearly morning. At 9 a.m. I rode a horse to town and got our mail. I received some letters from my folks, the first I had got for just one month. I was much pleased in reading them to find that Jno. Perkins and Robert Gibson had been called to take a mission. At 4 p.m. I went into the cornfield and hoed 4 rows. We held meeting with the saints at night, enjoyed a good portion of the spirit of the Lord. Both of us spoke.

Saturday, July 14, 1900

We did not do anything in the forenoon only talk. I went out into the woods where I had my prayers and studied for a while until the horn blew for dinner. The folks did not work in the afternoon so Elder Heward played on the organ and we sang songs for amusement. It rained for quite a while about 3 o’clock. At bedtime we held prayers. The boys went into our room and we talked together for some time.

Sunday, July 15, 1900

It was quite late when we got up. The weather was awful cloudy. We sat around all day eating watermelon and peaches and talking upon the gospel. At night we held meeting. There weren’t but 10 of us, but we enjoyed a good portion of the spirit of the Lord. I spoke 35 minutes upon the first principles, giving them in a brief manner so that they could see what they had to do to gain eternal life. Elder Heward then spoke about 10 minutes.

Monday, July 16, 1900

The weather was still warm. At 9 o’clock I saddled up a horse and went to town after our mail but there was none for us. I packed a sack of flour back for Bro. Zimmerman. After dinner I went out to the branch where I washed my garments and had a bath. Then Elder Heward and I went to the creek to fish but they would not bite so I went on into the field and hoed until night when we all came to the house.

Tuesday, July 17, 1900

At 9 a.m. I saddled up the horse and went to town again to see if our mail or my garments had come but I was disappointed in not getting them. It was noon when I got back. After dinner I went into the cotton field with the boys and helped hoe until night. Then we all had a nice swim in the creek, after which we came to the house, had supper and talked until bedtime when we held prayers and retired.

Wednesday, July 18, 1900

I did not rest very good through the night as it was so warm. Bro. Zimmerman said that he could get done hoeing by night if the elders would help him so we told him that we would. We all worked very good until noon then came to dinner. Had a short sleep and went back and finished. I had begun to feel bad and weak. My stomach was hurting. We washed off again, then came to the house and read in the good old book, the Bible.

Thursday, July 19, 1900

Thursday, Friday and Saturday all passed away about the same. We stayed with Bro. Z. Helped him hoe in the field some. Elder H. Had an awful bad cold and I was not feeling very well as my stomach had been hurting me some. I helped fix up the fence. I ran the hogs out of the field several times. Saturday evening John Z. Went to town and got a registered letter for me. I read it over and did not know what to think about it.

Sunday, July 22, 1900

It being Sunday we did not eat any breakfast but lay in bed until quite late. We then got out and saw John and Allen start for Crockett to meet their sister. We sat around the house most of the day singing and talking upon the gospel. Sister Reiner and S.0.ister Zimmerman said that they were ready to be baptized so we put it off until Monday. We were glad to hear them say the word as it is always a great joy to the elders to see the people come out of Babylon.

Monday, July 23, 1900

After eating breakfast we went down to the creek where we had a nice bath. When we got back to the house the boys had come with their sister. They gave us an introduction to her and we had a nice talk. At 3 p.m. we all went to the creek where I had the privilege of leading Sisters Rainer and Zimmerman into the water of baptism. At night we held a good meeting. Elder H. spoke first. When I got up the subject I was intending to speak on I never touched but was led by the spirit upon another subject.

Tuesday, July 24, 1900

The time had come for us to leave Bro. Zimmerman’s. We had been there so long that we hated to start. But we had it to do so we started and walked 8 miles to a friend of Elder H’s where we were intending to spend the 24th. We walked upon the gallery. The lady told us there was the road, to take it. She said are you those old Mormons? “Yes ma’am.” Well, she said that she had been bothered with us as long as she was going to, so we were ordered to take the road, and we obeyed like men; went about 14 miles further to another friend where we stayed overnight. I was so sore that I could hardly walk. I was thankful when we came to the stopping place.

Wednesday, July 25, 1900

We got an early start from Mr. Dowdey’s, traveling 10 miles down through the pine timbers to the Red ferry where we crossed. Had to pay 10c apiece. We were quite tired so we walked quite slow and rested every little while. It began to rain. We were close to a house so we stopped in it until the rain ceased. Then going on we came to Bro. Alridge, an old friend, where we stayed over night, sang a few songs, held prayers, and talked for a while, then retired to rest.

Thursday, July 26, 1900

I slept so sound during the night that I never rested very much. Bro. Alridge was going to town so we rode about 3 miles with him, then we took a tram way till we came to a log. Then we left the tram, going about 3 miles, when we came to Bro. Welch’s, an old friend. He was glad to see us. He desired to hear us preach so he called in his neighbors and we held a short service with them. Elder H. Took up 15 minutes then I talked for half an hour on the organization and divine authority.

Friday, July 27, 1900

I had been feeling miserable for two or three days, but still continued to travel. After breakfast we bid the folks goodby and walked down to Bro. Pevy’s where we talked with them for a while, then going on to Bro. Glass’s where we spent the rest of the day. At 11 a.m. I had for the first time a chill. At 12 the chill left and fever came. It lasted until about 6 p.m. I also had an awful bad headache with it, causing me much pain. After it left I did not feel much like myself. I hope and pray that that is my last one while on my mission.

Saturday, July 28, 1900

During the night I did not rest very good as Elder Heward kept me awake nearly all night. He had a fever and I piled quilts on him in order to sweat his cold off. He was feeling better when we got up. I did not have strength enough to move around much. Sister Glass fixed me a bed so we could lie down at any time. They gave us the very best of care. I had a bath before I went to bed which caused me to rest very good.

Sunday, July 29, 1900

I arose feeling considerably better and ate a hearty breakfast. Elder H. Was not feeling so good. At 11 a.m. I went to the schoolhouse to hear a Baptist preacher. He was a very poor speaker. After he got through they asked me to get up, which I did, and surprised them very much. After the service closed, I felt my chill coming back and by the time we got to the house I had a fever which lasted until nearly night, making me feel awful mean and miserable. I did not rest very good.

Monday, July 30, 1900

We had decided to take the train to Athens if we could get any money. I went to the Lord in prayer about it, and the consequence was that we could not find a man with any. So I believe the Lord’s will was that we should stay here until we had visited all the saints. In the afternoon a heavy rain came up and while it was going on, Elder H. took with his first chill and fever which caused him very much pain nearly all night. I rested tolerably well.

Tuesday, July 31, 1900

Elder H. did not rest very good. I got up once and held prayers in his behalf and the Lord heard and answered it and eased him for a while. This was my chill day. Sister Glass said she didn’t want me to have any more so I took some quinine and prevented it. I was very thankful that it missed and hope that I don’t have any more. We sat and talked together all day upon different subjects. They were anxious to see our mountain home if they ever get able.

(To be continued)



  1. […] 1900 Jul 16, Elder Jones reports that “After dinner I went out to the branch where I washed my garments and had a bath.” […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Southwestern States Mission: Washing Clothes — April 15, 2012 @ 9:35 am

  2. Ardis, have I said how much I’m enjoying this? Great.

    Comment by WVS — April 15, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  3. Thanks, WVS. Brief as it is, it conveys a real sense of lived religion, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 15, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  4. So many details here. Did they have malaria? What name is abbreviated “Jno.”? This has made me write a few sentences in my journal even if I can’t do lengthy entries like I want to.

    Comment by Carol — April 15, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  5. I’ve seen “John” abbreviated as “Jno.” — who knows why?? With the addition of the period, it’s just as long.

    Comment by Amy T — April 15, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  6. I’m hoping Edje will have something to say about the chills and fever. It sounds like malaria to me, what very little I know about it, which is extremely little.

    I’m guessing, but do not know, that the abbreviation Jno. was developed at the time or in the culture when most people writing it would have been writing in Latin, so that Jno. made a better shortening of Johannes than it does of John. Again, just a guess.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 15, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  7. Slightly hyperbolic response: if he’s a missionary in the Southwestern States or Southern States Missions in July, he has malaria.

    Slightly less hyperbolic response: if he’s a missionary in the Southwestern States or Southern States Missions with fever in July, he has malaria.

    Normal response: Malaria could manifest any time but it was most common in the summer, so it’s the right time of year. The most characteristic symptom (at least to this non-doctor reading historical diaries) is cyclical chills and fever, usually coming and going in a 48-hour cycle.

    So… fever on the 27th and 29th makes me think he had malaria. Further, that he writes on the 31st, “This was my chill day,” and takes quinine, suggests that he thought it was malaria also.

    Going further out on a limb… if his symptoms get worse in the coming weeks, it might be caused by Plasmodium falciparum; if they stay about the same it is more likely caused by Plasmodium vivax.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — April 15, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

  8. My grandfather in that mission also notes various bouts with chills and fever, and I had also always assumed malaria. By the end of the 19th century, medicine was just beginning to deal with the link between mosquitoes and infectious disease. The more serious issue was yellow fever, which devastated Memphis in 1878, taking more than 5,000 lives, and forcing half the city’s population of 50,000 to flee (see Crosby, The American Plague). Yellow fever was not common in South Texas around the turn of the century, but neither was it unheard of. Malaria was just plain endemic.

    Comment by kevinf — April 16, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  9. Another great edition!

    I read it over and did not know what to think about it.

    Seriously, that is it? That isn’t fair.

    Comment by J. Stapley — April 16, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  10. One more mystery to take up with the dearly departed when we have the chance!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 16, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  11. Yeah, I’m with J Stapley. Whatever might have been in that registered letter!?

    Comment by Mark B. — April 16, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

  12. […] Jones. The series is inspired by Ardis Parshall’s serial posting of the missionary diary of Willard Larson Jones at Keepapitchinin. Previous […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Southwestern States Mission: Mission Presidents at General Conference — April 22, 2012 @ 12:43 am

  13. […] Jones. The series is inspired by Ardis Parshall’s serial posting of the missionary diary of Willard Larson Jones at Keepapitchinin. Previous […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Southwestern States Mission: Heathens and Home Missions — April 28, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

  14. […] Jones. The series is inspired by Ardis Parshall’s serial posting of the missionary diary of Willard Larson Jones at Keepapitchinin. Previous […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Southwestern States Mission: Evil Spirits — May 5, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

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