Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 21 August – 10 September 1900

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 21 August – 10 September 1900

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 29, 2012

(Previous installment)

Tuesday, August 21, 1900

The weather was awful warm. I did not rest very well during the night. About 10 a.m. Elder H. and I went out into the field where we ate some wild grapes then laid down on the ground and tried to sleep. Sister Haden fixed a nice dinner, after which we talked for some time. Then I went to the cotton house where one of the men slept and it was nice and cool. I had a fine sleep. I then took a bath and rubbed sulphur all over my body to cure the itch. We sang songs until bedtime.

Wednesday, August 22, 1900

After I put the sulphur on me the itch did not bother me so, but the large sores caused me considerable of pain. Bro. Haden was going to Shrevesport with a load of chicken so we rode with him 7 miles to Bro. Kelly’s. But on arriving there we found that they had left the place for a few days on account of ill health. So we went and stayed with his sister who was a member that night. We had a nice time talking and singing songs until 11 p.m. when we held prayers and retired to rest for the night.

Thursday, August 23, 1900

It was late before we retired and it was also late when we get up. The weather was quite cool. After breakfast we bade the folks goodby and started back for Bro. Haden’s. We were sorry that we could not get to see Bro. Kelly. The sores on my body hurt me like everything for two or three hours. We arrived at Bro. Haden’s just in time for dinner. After eating I went to the cotton house where I had a nice sleep, then I took a bath which caused me to feel considerably better. The night was nice and cool.

Friday, August 24, 1900

I rested tolerable well during the night. The weather was quite cool. We bade the folks goodby and started for Carthage. We had a fine day for traveling. We stopped and rested several times on the way and arrived there at 2 p.m. We thought that we would be sure to have some mail there, but we were sadly mistaken. The postmaster was a cranky old fellow. I believe that he would just as leave destroy a Mormon’s mail as anything else. We went to Bro. Cranshaw’s where we sang songs until bedtime, held prayers, and retired.

Saturday, August 25, 1900

The weather was nice and cool. When I arose I had a headache and felt awful miserable until nearly night. Sister C. gave me a pallet on the floor and I slept until noon, after which I felt considerably better. After dinner Bro. C. Went to town and got his wagon. When he got back we all had a shave. I went into the crib where I stripped myself and rubbed sulphur all over my body. I then read to Bro. C. and Elder H. a while out of the Voice of Warning. We retired to rest quite early, had a good sleep.

Sunday, August 26, 1900

It was nice and cool all day. Bro. C’s mules got out of the lot. He hunted for them all day but only found one pair. I wrote a letter to my folks. Also one to the Overton gal denoting that we would discontinue our affairs with each other. Elder Heward took down with a light chill. I went out into the woods where I had my prayers and preached a little sermon to the trees. At night there was a cold streak came up, so we were able to sit in the house with our doors and windows shut. Retired quite early.

Monday, August 27, 1900

Elder Heward had the chills so we could not start for Gum Springs. I fixed up the reports and took them to the post office. After I got back I went into the woods with Bro. Cranshaw to get a load of logs and while he was loading them, the mules caught him in a place and knocked his thumb out of place. It made him awful sick for a short time. At night I went to one of the neighbor’s where I was going to hold a meeting alone as Elder H. could not come. There wasn’t anybody came out so we sang a few songs and went home.

Tuesday, August 28, 1900

The weather was still nice and pleasant. I went to town and got some things for Bro. C. Then I did not do anything but sleep until noon. After dinner I went with Bro. Cranshaw to the woods and helped him get a load of logs. We brought back six. I lifted pretty hard and made the sore under my arm so bad that it hurt me like everything. When we got back it was nearly night so we did not go back any more. After supper we sang songs until bed time when we held prayers and retired.

Wednesday, August 29, 1900

I had considerable of pain all night with the sore under my arm while helping Bro. C. The day before. It made the muscles sore around it, therefore every time I would raise my arm it would nearly kill me. I did not work any but had a long sleep before dinner, after which one of the Coil girls came over and said she wanted her name taken off from the books. I regret to see a person taking a back step but the evil one is watching for such places.

Thursday, August 30, 1900

The time had come for us to take our departure for Rusk County. The folks gave us an early start and also a nice lunch for our dinner. Elder H. was feeling awful weak, but we took a good gait, rested every little while. At noon we came to one of the friends where we had dinner and rested 2 hours, then continued our journey. We were intending to go within about 4 miles of Henderson for night, but when we got there Elder H. wanted to go on as it was a little before sunset. We went on through Henderson about dark and out toward Gum Springs. I was awful tired and footsore and wanted to ask for entertainment but on account of my companion not having faith that we could get in, we did not ask but one man, and he refused. So we went on and laid in an old house for two hours. We then went on to a nigger’s house where we got a drink. After we had left his place we got lost, but finally we came to a rich darky at 1 a.m. where we stayed until morning. Had a good rest for what time we laid down.

Friday, August 31, 1900

The darky was well fixed. He gave us a nice bed. Elder H. wanted to go on before breakfast but I persuaded him to wait. The woman fixed us a fine meal of chicken and other victuals, after which we thanked them very much for their kindness and went on to Gum Springs. The saints were awful glad to see us as we had been away for some two months. They had begun to worry about us, but we finally turned up all right. Had a good dinner, wash, and sleep. Also had a good time in meeting all of the saints.

Saturday, September 1, 1900

I rested tolerable good during the night; got up early, had breakfast, and went four miles to Carlisle where I received some mail from home. Was very much pleased to get it. When we got back Bro. Robertson had been to mill and got a nice piece of beef which we enjoyed for dinner and supper, it being the first I had tasted since I came into the field. I rested all day, wrote one letter to my brother’s son. We held prayers and retired to bed early but I did not go to sleep for a long time.

Sunday, September 2, 1900

It was quite late when I got up, it being fast day and not having anything to do. Elder was having quite a time over his sores. I had a nice sleep a time or two and spent the rest of the day reading the scriptures and newspapers. In the afternoon I was lonely so I went into the woods where I preached unto the trees for a while. When I got back they had some muskmelons which I ate of. They were very nice. We retired to bed early and had a good rest, nice and cool.

Monday, September 3, 1900

I slept better through the night than I had for a month. After breakfast we went up to see Bro. Haskins and folks. They were glad to see us. Bro. H. was sick with a bad headache. They fixed us a fine dinner, after which we talked for a while then Elder H. and the girls sang songs and played on the organ until it was nearly dark. I had all the apples I could eat. Bro. H. was awful sick so we did not sit up long. I could not go to sleep for a long time.

Tuesday, September 4, 1900

I did not rest very well through the night. Got up once and took a sleep in the rocking chair. We came to Bro. Robertson’s where we got our reports ready to send off. After noon I went into the cotton field and picked my first cotton in Texas, quitting about dark. We had no more than got to the house when Bro. Haskins’ boy came after us to come and administer unto him. We went to see him. He was in awful pain and had been that way for three or four days. We asked him if he desired us to administer unto him. He said that he needed something. He hated to acknowledge the power of the Lord in things of that kind but he told us to go ahead, which we did. In a few moments he laid down and instead of the pain and distress that caused him to groan, he was lying there perfectly easy and he rested good during the night. This was a great testimony to him and also to me of the power of the Lord through the obedience to that command working through us as his humble servants.

Wednesday, September 5, 1900

Bro. Haskins was feeling considerably better when he got up. After breakfast he let me take his horse to ride to Carlisle after my mail. My shoes and three letters were there that had been to San Augustine. After dinner I went out into the cotton field and helped until night. It was awful hard on my back, but I kept on going. We retired to bed quite early but it was late before I could get to sleep on account of the itch.

Thursday, September 6, 1900

It was late before I got to sleep; was quite cool when I got up. At 9 a.m. we went over to Bro. Haskins’ where we spent the day. Two of his daughters that were Mormon haters were there. After dinner was over Lily and Alice, the two members, wanted to give the other two some singing. We sang for quite a while when one of them left and went home. After we got through I went with Bro. H. to the branch where we put a dam across in order to have enough water to baptize him in. I spent a pleasant day; retired to bed quite early.

Friday, September 7, 1900

The weather was quite cool. Came to Bro. Robertson’s. I wrote a piece to the News. Went out and helped them pick cotton in the afternoon. Slept on the gallery at night, caught a slight cold that made me feel quite miserable.

Saturday, September 8, 1900

The wind was blowing awful hard, making it nice and cool. I went out into the woods and held prayers and preached to the woods for a while. Bro. R. was not feeling very good. We retired to bed early. The wind was still blowing and raining some.

Sunday, September 9, 1900

It was awful cloudy when we got up and began to rain soon after. We had the time appointed to baptize Bro. Haskins at 9 a.m., so to keep our promise good we went to his house while it was raining. The rain continued until about 5 p.m. when it slacked. We then went and did the work in his behalf. Elder H. baptized him and I was to confirm him, but Elder H. Was excited and he went ahead and did it. We stayed at his place; had a good time; retired to bed quite early.

Monday, September 10, 1900

It had cleared off and we had concluded to start for Henderson County in the afternoon. We bade the folks goodby and came to Bro. Robertson’s. I wrote a letter to my folks. I was feeling fine until about 10 o’clock when I went and laid down and began to be stricken and in about an hour I had a heavy fever which lasted until nearly dark. Our calculations were then broken; we had to stay a while longer. I did not eat but little supper; retired to bed early and slept very good.

(To be continued)



  1. Poor Overton gal: doesn’t even get recorded by name.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — April 29, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  2. Sulfur? Eeew. The Merck Index says it is an insecticide, but it also says that it causes irritation of skin and mucous membranes. I wonder if he meant something other than elemental sulfur.

    Sulfur Iodide is used in chronic eczema, ringworm, and mange. That sounds like what he meant.

    Oh, here’s pharmaceutical sulfur, probably the form called milk of sulfur, used as a scabicide. That means a drug that will destroy the itch mite that causes scabies.

    So, he probably had ringworm or scabies. Horrible! And right in the midst of all that, “one of the Coil girls came over and said she wanted her name taken off from the books” and he broke up with his girlfriend. What a week!

    Comment by Amy T — April 29, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

  3. He did get to preach to the trees… a lot.

    Comment by Diane Peel — April 29, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  4. I wonder if his preaching to the trees was practice or frustration.

    Comment by Carol — April 29, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  5. Don’t knock it. Those trees were converted (they formed a branch!) and there are now fourth-generation Mormon trees in east Texas.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 29, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  6. Then they got cut down and became stakes.

    Comment by Carol — April 29, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  7. D’ohhhhhhhh……..

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 30, 2012 @ 1:22 am

  8. I find it interesting that the elders don’t hold services on Sunday. Not even a sacrament service for themselves. When they do hold meetings, it’s as likely to be some other day.

    That said, this mission sounds pretty miserable. Scabies, Malaria, long hard walks with little food, hard work in the hot humid heat, with no assurance of any kind of rest at the end of the day.

    Comment by The Other Clark — April 30, 2012 @ 10:14 am

  9. Images of Clint Eastwood, from Paint Your Wagon singing “I talk to the Trees.”

    The rain on Saturday and Sunday the 8th and 9th are ominous leftovers from the hurricane that was devastating Galveston at the time, claiming some 10,000 lives. My grandfather and 3 other elders in Galveston all survived. It was several days into the next week before they were able to get out and let the rest of the mission know that they survived.

    Comment by kevinf — April 30, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

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