Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 1 August – 20 August 1900

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 1 August – 20 August 1900

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 22, 2012

(Previous installment)

Wednesday, August 1, 1900

After having a good night’s rest I arose finding the weather to be nice and clear. After breakfast we went out in the woods and found a pond of water that had been made by the rain and we had a nice bath. About 2 p.m. The clouds came up and it began raining, making it so wet that they could not work. It was Elder H’s chill day but it was very late. We talked upon the gospel until bed time when we retired. The red bugs were biting me so hard that I could not sleep.

Thursday, August 2, 1900

We had begun to feel better and were going to start this morning but the folks had washed our clothes and they were not dry yet. We stayed around the house nearly all day talking and reading with the folks. I went out into the woods where I held my prayers and then preached a sermon to the trees. After supper we sang them some songs which they were very interested in. We then retired to rest. The red bugs nearly ate me up so I was not able to sleep for a long time.

Friday, August 3, 1900

The time had come to leave and pursue our labors. Sister Glass got up early and fixed us some breakfast in order for us to get an early start to travel while it was cool. We went into Berke where we posted our mail and bought us some socks. Continuing on our travels we passed down through Renfro Prairie out four miles to Bro. Grimes’ where we had been sent to baptize his son. They were awful poor folks but we were welcomed into their house.

Saturday, August 4, 1900

I was feeling awful mean when I arose having caught a light cold. I also had a large sore on each hand and one under each arm that caused me considerable of pain. My head was aching so we got a pallet of sister Grimes and after having a long sleep I felt much better. I wrote a letter to my sister Josephine, then talked until meeting time when we all went to the schoolhouse. Elder Hewart spoke about half of an hour, then I took 10 minutes. We invited all the people to come back tomorrow and we would go further in search after the gospel.

Sunday, August 5, 1900

The weather was hot. I did not sleep very good on that account. At 11 a.m. we all went to the schoolhouse where we held meeting, after which we went home and took dinner with Bro. Baker, a man that was just starting out in life. At 2 p.m. we walked to the river where I led a young man into the waters of baptism. Then, coming back, we discovered that the man’s house where we ate dinner had been burned. We could not imagine how it caught, but supposed that someone touched a fire to it for mere meanness.

Monday, August 6, 1900

The time had arrived for us to again pursue our travels. We were feeling quite good and the weather was cloudy and cool. After we had walked about 8 miles it began to rain and kept it up until about 2 p.m. we got good and wet but did not stop traveling as Elder H. Wanted to keep going. At 4 p.m. we stopped at a house to inquire the road and to our surprise we had run onto an old friend of the elders. He asked us to stay overnight. We had a pleasant time singing and conversing upon the gospel.

Tuesday, August 7, 1900

After having a good night’s rest we continued our travels, although the roads were awful muddy. It began raining on us again at 9 a.m. and it would rain long enough for us to get wet through good and then stop until we were dry and then come again. This was kept up until about 3 p.m. when we saw a black cloud coming over. It began to thunder and in a few moments was pouring down. We tried to shelter ourselves under the trees but we soon found that it would do no good so we went on, wading in water to our knees at times. We reached Bro. Sheard’s in about 2 hours wet as could be.

Wednesday, August 8, 1900

We had a long talk with Bro. Sheard before going to bed. During the night his wife took sick and he had gone after the doctor when we got up so we did not get to see him. We were intending to stay with him one day but on account of the sickness we went on to Bro. Sang’s. It was a long old walk and we were awful glad to get here. We found a number of letters for us which we were very thankful to get. There were tears of joy running down my face when I read my dear old parents’ letter.

Thursday, August 9, 1900

I did not sleep very good as the sand flies and red bugs were biting me all night. After breakfast I went out into the field and got a watermelon. I then wrote a letter to my folks at home. Sister Sang prepared a nice dinner for us which I ate hearty of. I then wrote another letter to A.G. in Bunkerville. By this time Elder H. and Sister Sang had taken down with a chill. They both laid on the bed all afternoon. I had to content myself by reading in the Book of Mormon. Bro. Sang came home about dark.

Friday, August 10, 1900

It was late before I went to sleep. The reason was that the gnats and bugs were bothering me so that I could not go to sleep. After breakfast I went down to the branch to the wash pot and washed our clothes out. I had just received a new pair of pants and they were too long so I cut them off and sewed them up again. After dinner I sewed my shoes then went to the melon patch and brought back two large ones. I was awful tired when I got here and trembled for an hour afterwards; was awful weak.

Saturday, August 11, 1900

The weather remained about the same. Elder H. still had the chills. The night before Bro. & Sis. Ogden came over and we had a very good time together. They invited us all to come and see them. At 5 p.m. we started for their place. Bro. Ogden told us that he wanted to be baptized. On arriving at their place we found that his brother-in-law was sick. He and family sat up with the sick man and Bro. Sang and us stayed at his place that night. Had a good night’s rest.

Sunday, August 12, 1900

The folks came home quite early and fixed some breakfast. The man was some better. The people had begun to rage again because we were going to do some baptizing. The evil one had aroused the people till they had made threats that they were going to mob us. We put our trust in the Lord and continued our labors. The Bible teaches us not to fear man but to fear God. Bro. Ogden had concluded to wait a while but Sister Sang did not put it off. Elder H. Baptized her and I confirmed her and we had a time of rejoicing.

Monday, August 13, 1900

I did not rest very good until along towards morning. Bro. Sang was going to town so we got our mail ready, but afterwards he concluded to wait until the next day. We went to the branch where we washed out our clothes. I was feeling very miserable. At 4 p.m. I had a light fever. Sister Sang fixed me some medicine. They were awful kind to us and did all they could to help us out. We sat and talked and sang songs until 9 p.m. when we held prayers and retired to rest. I did not go to sleep for a long time.

Tuesday, August 14, 1900

We decided to rest another day and then pursue our journey. Sister Sang fixed me some medicine before I went to bed and when I got up I was feeling much better. Bro. Sang went to town and got us one letter from Elder Higgins. He encouraged us to press on in the cause of truth. At 3 p.m. we went to the branch and had a nice bath, after which we all went to the watermelon and cane patch where we had all we could eat. We sang songs until bedtime. It was a long time before I could go to sleep on account of the itch.

Wednesday, August 15, 1900

The time had come for us to continue our journey. The folks hated to see us go as they did not know when they would see any more elders. After we had walked about 8 miles two men came along in their buggies. To our surprise they asked us to ride with them. The man I rode with was Daniel Larve from Kaufman County. We did not fail to get the gospel before them. We rode 17 miles then walked on 9 miles further. Neither of us was feeling well so the Lord opened the way so that one day’s travel was equal to two. We were very very thankful for the ride.

Thursday, August 16, 1900

After having a very good night’s rest we thanked the family very much and commenced traveling again. We passed through the little town of Tonaha and had got out about a mile. A man came along in a wagon. I asked him for a ride. His reply was if you have 25c apiece you can ride. We did not ride. The weather was so warm that we had to rest often. Before night it had nearly got the best of me. The cold chills were running over my body in good shape and my feet were so sore that I could hardly walk. We found Bro. Cranshaw all okay.

Friday, August 17, 1900

I did not rest very good as the itch was bothering me so. And whenever anything would touch any of my large sores I could hardly stand it, as I had a good many and they are awful bad. After breakfast I wrote a letter to my folks then Sister Cranshaw gave us a pallet and we slept until noon. After dinner we went out with Bro. C. To get a load of saw longs then we went out of town to the branch and had a nice bath. After supper a man came over and we were talking. He said that the nigger was a race of people that lived before Adam and that the flood did not destroy them as he said that it only covered Eden.

Saturday, August 18, 1900

After breakfast I sewed up my shoes. Then we went over to Bro. Briggs’ where we stayed until after dinner. During the time that we were there I took a stroll over the mill ground. The young people of the house started to where their grandpa’s funeral was going to be preached. He had been dead 5 months. At 2 p.m. we came back to Bro. C. where we spent the rest of the day. Sister C. Had taken down with a chill. We all had a shave, ate supper, and talked until bedtime when we held prayers and retired to rest.

Sunday, August 19, 1900

I rested tolerable good during the night. After breakfast I wrote a letter to P.P., then went into the house and sister Crenshaw fixed me a pallet on the floor where I slept very good until noon, then eating dinner, we still sat around the house as we had nowhere to go. The sores on my body caused me considerable of pain all the time. After supper we sang songs until 9 p.m. when we held prayers and retired to rest for the night.

Monday, August 20, 1900

We had to go over in the eastern part of the County to visit some members so we got an early start on account of the weather being so hot. We went into Carthage and posted our mail and then went on. We stopped and rested several times under the trees but it was so hot that we could not rest. We arrived at Bro. Haden’s at 4 p.m., found some of them to be sick with the chills. I was so tired that I went to sleep while they were talking. I did not rest very good during the night.

(To be continued)



  1. Chiggers!

    Comment by J. Stapley — April 22, 2012 @ 10:46 am

  2. Chiggers, yes. But no exclamation mark, please. Ouch.

    The casual reaction to the fire in Aug 05 kind of surprises me.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — April 22, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  3. Me, too, Edje. I get it that a young man just starting out might have lost not much more than a shack and his one spare shirt … but then he’s the one least apt to be able to make up the loss. And if the elders really thought this was in retaliation for the young man’s having hosted them, they’re extremely casual about what such a thing might mean to them in the next few days in that neighborhood.

    I wonder if this was a case of “they’re always out to get us” assumptions that Elder Jones wrote out of habit but really didn’t believe, deep down. In any case, whatever the cause of the fire, the young man lost.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 22, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  4. It was Elder H’s chill day


    we passed down through Renfro Prairie

    Renfro? As in Mrs. Renfro’s? Since we are talking about Texas here, it could be named after the same family.

    I wrote a letter to my sister Josephine

    Wow. Elder Jones comes from a very large family. Josephine would be his half-sister, Josephine Miller Jones, who married David Thomas Clark four months later. Perhaps she had written with the news of her engagement.

    We did not fail to get the gospel before them.

    Good for Elder Jones and Elder Hewart.

    He had been dead 5 months.

    I hope they didn’t keep the body the entire time!

    Comment by Amy T — April 22, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  5. “Chill day” didn’t mean “hangin’ out,” Amy! Elder Hewart had malaria, and this was the day he was shaking with cold, alternating with the days he burned with fever. What an unpleasant disease malaria must have been.

    I think it was common in the past not to hold a funeral but just to have a brief graveside service when someone died, if he died at a time people couldn’t travel, or were swamped with work, or for other reasons. Then at a more convenient time, a church service would be held where a true funeral sermon was preached, perhaps in honor of one or perhaps in honor of many who had died in the past months. When my 2nd gr-grandmother died on the first day out of Winter Quarters, for instance, and the diary of a fellow traveler records that “her funeral sermon was left to be preached in the Valley.” And wasn’t the King Follett Sermon a funeral sermon preached well after King Follett had died?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 22, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

  6. Chill day: it’s like P-day but you don’t have to feel guilty for not cleaning the apartment.

    Or, more likely, it’s like a companion of mine told me about his experience with dengue fever: first you feel so bad you’re afraid you’re going to die; then you feel worse and you’re afraid you’re not going to die.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — April 22, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

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