Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 18 December – 31 December 1900

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 18 December – 31 December 1900

By: Ardis E. Parshall - June 10, 2012

(Previous installment)

Tuesday, December 18, 1900

I slept very good during the night but Bro. Gill had us up at 5:30 and at breakfast before daylight. Stayed at his place until 7 when we went to the post office to mail our letters. Then went and saw the other trustee as we had permission of two of them. It was agreeable that we should preach so we came to the school house and had the teacher give it out among the scholars. We walked off down in the lower part of the community and canvassed a good many families. We did not get any dinner. I was quite gaunt as I did not eat much breakfast. We came to a nigger house and I asked them for some sweet potatoes. They said they didn’t have any cooked. I told them I liked them raw. They gave us three nice ones and we went into the woods and roasted them. That satisfied us some. Canvassed a few more houses and came back to the post office and there were two letters for me, from my sisters Josephine and Ella. We stayed there in the store a short time and then went to the school house where we commenced our meeting at 7:30 p.m. Elder Rogers spoke a few minutes and then I spoke 50 minutes on the first principles of the gospel. Had a good time. Went home with Bro. Gill.

Wednesday, December 19, 1900

I was gaunt when I went to bed so I did not go to sleep for some time. Arose quite early and had a nice breakfast. At 8 a.m. we started on our way rejoicing. It had rained during the night so it was quite slippery and cold. We crossed the creek over into the Mortena District and began canvassing. Sold 2 books and had a long talk with several men. Came to Mrs. Bishop’s at noon where we had a nice dinner. They were all infidels there. Did not talk long with them as they were busy picking cotton. We went into the woods for a while and read and then came out again. We were among the Germans the rest of the day. Most all of them were killing hogs. Night was coming on so we asked one or two for entertainment. Got into a Mr. Stewart’s. His wife was gone so he cooked us a little bite. After supper I had a talk with him until 10 p.m. He had some very strange ideas and would not let the Bible speak for itself.

Thursday, December 20, 1900

I had a good night’s rest. It was cold when we got up. Late before we had breakfast. We took a shave and then bid the folks goodby. Went down through the woods for 3 miles and never struck a family. Stopped and rested a time or two and had our prayers. Came to the Ogden post office at 11 a.m. I received a letter from J.P. Perkins. He was well and enjoying his labors. The postmaster asked us to go take dinner with her, which we did. We had a good talk with them afterwards and sold them two Voice of Warnings. Continuing our labors, we visited a number of families, one of them being one of the trustees of the school house, but we were unable to get it as they had made an agreement that no denomination should preach in it. We stayed over night with him and he treated us fine. Retired to bed at 9 p.m.

Friday, December 21, 1900

We thanked the folks and took our departure at 9 a.m. Going north, we visited the families. Sold the last book to a nigger, making 10 this week. Were invited in to several houses where I gave them a gospel conversation. We did not get any dinner so we went into the woods where we rested for two hours, then went on canvassing homes. Came to a Mr. Kenner. Had a long talk with him and were about ready to go when I was impressed to ask him if we could stay the rest of the day and night and wash clothes. I did as I was dictated and we were granted the privilege of staying and doing our washing. We got through about sunset. After supper I had another talk with him. At 9 p.m. we retired to rest.

Saturday, December 22, 1900

When we retired to bed Bro. Kenner’s baby was quite sick but it was better when we arose. I had a long talk with him on the Book of Mormon. At 9 a.m. we commenced our labor. Had not got very far away until Bro. Kenner came running out and caught us and said that he wanted to buy the Book of Mormon, so we let him have it for $1.00, the same that we had paid for it. We came to the school house at 11 and stayed there until 1 p.m. when we continued our labor. Came to Bro. Ogden, an infidel. He did not believe in anything so we did not talk very long with him. Another man, while I was talking with him, said they had plenty of Bibles to read and didn’t need any of our doctrine. We began to ask for entertainment; were refused 4 times, but finally we got in a while after dark to Bro. Baker’s who gave us a nice supper and a good bed. Did not have any dinner at noon.

Sunday, December 23, 1900

We got up before daylight and wrote in our journals. Had a good breakfast. Weather was quite cold. After breakfast I asked Bro. Baker if we could remain with him over Sunday which request was granted. We had a good time during the day eating oranges, pecans, and candy. At 12 we sat down to a fine dinner, grape pudding, custard pie, sausage, and everything nice, after which I wrote a letter to my folks at home. Had a good supper and talked until nearly 10 o’clock.

Monday, December 24, 1900

I slept very good until nearly morning when I woke up with a sour stomach. Sister Baker had fed us too good on Sunday. We did not eat much breakfast. It was awful cold with a very heavy frost. At 9 o’clock we got ready to commence our labor, but Bro. Baker insisted on us staying until after Christmas with him. As we were not able to do much on a holiday, we concluded to remain with him. At 10 a.m. we walked to the post office (McClanahan) and received a letter from the office, bought a coconut and some apples and brought back to Bro. Baker’s little girls. They were very well pleased with them. Went out to the woodpile and cut wood for a while. Had a nice dinner. During the afternoon we helped pick up some dry wood. I did not eat any supper. After they got through with their work they shot off their gun a time or two and the little girls fired their Roman candles. Had a talk with them and then retired to bed at 9 p.m. Bro. Baker sat up and watched the chicken roost as some one had been into it the night before.

Tuesday, December 25, 1900

Christmas had come once more, my second one in old Texas. Arose quite early. Did not do very much during the forenoon. Sat around eating walnuts and talking with the people who came in. At 1 p.m. we all sat down to a fine dinner that had been prepared especially for us and a neighbor. Everything nice before us. Had a fine time. During the afternoon we took a stroll over the farm with Bro. Baker. At night we had a fine supper on what was left of dinner, and then there was enough left for three days. We shot Roman candles and at 10 o’clock we bid the folks goodnight and retired.

Wednesday, December 26, 1900

We had an enjoyable time at Bro. Baker’s but the time had come for us to leave. They gave us a warm welcome to return at any time. We walked to the post office but on arriving there we found that the postmaster had forgotten our orders and had sent our mail to Ogden, 7 miles. We went to see the trustees and got permission to preach in the school house and then went after our mail, reaching there at 1 p.m. We did not get anything but our tracts. We came back to Bee Creek where we stopped and had a bath. Water was very cold but we soon got through. We then commenced canvassing. Visited a number of houses. At night we began asking for entertainment. Were refused twice. Got into Bro. Morgan’s a very poor man. Meat and bread was all he had but we enjoyed it. At first his wife didn’t want us to stay but he wouldn’t listen to her. I talked to him until bedtime on the gospel. Had a good bed.

Thursday, December 27, 1900

We had a good night’s rest and a good talk upon the gospel with Bro. Morgan. We left his place at 8 o’clock, going into the post office. There I received two letters from home and the other from Bunkerville. We then walked out to Bro. Baker’s to notify him, as he requested us to if we got a chance to preach. Found them all well. Had a shave and a good dinner, after which we continued our labor and visited a good many houses and notified them that we would preach. Sold two books. Came back to the school house about sundown. Finally there was about 18 came out and we commenced. Elder R. preached 5 minutes and then I took up 50 minutes on the first principles, bearing my testimony to the restoration of the gospel. After we closed a few men gathered around us and began asking questions on the Book of Mormon, which I answered. Among them was an infidel who asked and thought he was quite smart but I told him I was not here to argue with anyone. The crowd left and we went home with Mr. Dewitt. Had a good bed and enjoyed our meeting.

Friday, December 28, 1900

During the night the weather changed and when we got up it was very cold. A bad norther. Did not leave the place until 9 a.m. and went to the post office where we sat around the stove for a while. We then started out to go to work but it was so cold that we went and got behind a bank in the timber and made a fire, held prayers, and wrote in our journals, and at 11 we started again. Walked about 3 miles. Stopped in to Mr. Ritter’s for 1 hour, went on to Mr. Johnson’s, where they gave us a nice dinner and we talked with the man for 2 hours. Sold him a book. He said that there was no literal kingdom but that it was within each of us and he claimed that the gospel had always been here. He would of kept us but was awful crowded. Came on to Mr. J.T. Tacker where we had a talk and stayed over night with them, as it was so cold. I had an awful cold so before going to bed I toasted my feet good which did me lots of good.

Saturday, December 29, 1900

When we arose the weather was very bad and awful cold. My cold was not much better. There was a slow rain a-falling so I asked Bro. Tacker if we could remain with him. Our request was granted. Did not do anything. Had a nice dinner. A while before Mr. McFesson came in from Marlin. He asked what our business was. When he found out that we were ministers he began talking on religion but soon quit. As he was misconstruing it, I corrected him and showed him that he was wrong. He was a Baptist and said that he could not be turned. I did not eat any supper and after the folks got through their work, I gave them a good talk on different subjects. I fixed me a plaster of wagon grease on a flannel and put it on my breast when I retired. Toasted my feet good again before lying down. Had a good sleep.

Sunday, December 30, 1900

It rained some during the night. When I arose my cold was better. I could see by Bro. Tacker’s actions that he did not want us to stay any longer. Although the roads were very bad, we took our departure. Visited a few houses when we came to an old school house. We sat in there for a while but it was so cold we could not stay long. Went on wallowing through the mud. Came to a man who asked us in and we talked with him for some time and then asked him if we could remain the rest of the day. We stayed with him until 3 p.m. I wrote a letter, and the first thing I knew the lady came in and said that she could not accommodate us with a bed. She hated to tell us but couldn’t do otherwise. So I thanked her for the rest we had and we went on. The roads had dried some by this time. We went to a German preacher to get entertainment. When I told him who we were he nearly fell over backwards. He could not keep us but sent us to Mr. Sheef, who belonged to the Evangelical Church. He gave us a nice supper. I gave him a tract to read that was written in German. He read a little then came to the word Mormon and asked if we were those Mormons that lived in Utah. He said that he didn’t believe in such doctrine of having so many wives. I tried to explain but could not make him understand much. Retired at 10:30 p.m.

Monday, December 31, 1900

During the night a norther came up and it was very cold when we got up. Had a good breakfast, after which we fixed our mail to post and started for Perry, a distance of 3 miles. We had to face the wind all the way up there and it was very cold. Got there at 11 a.m. I bought me a pair of drawers for 40c. We then started back. The wind was to our back and was a little warmer. Began to canvass at 1 p.m. Sold one Voice of Warning. Did not have any dinner. At 4 p.m. we came to Mr. Cagle’s. It was awful cold so I asked him for entertainment, which was granted unto us. Had a nice supper and a long talk with the folks upon the gospel. Retired to bed at 8 o’clock. The last year of the old century went out & the last day was very cold.

(To be continued)


1 Comment »

  1. It’s been a number of weeks since I’ve read this series, and the style has changed.

    Came to Bro. Ogden, an infidel.

    How funny is that! What a juxtaposition of terms!

    That reminds me that awhile ago on Juvenile Instructor, the regulars were discussing the use of the term “Brethren.”

    So last weekend I was at a genealogy conference at the public library and afterwards I began talking to a woman about local historical projects. After she had said “Mennonites and Brethren” half a dozen times, I remembered to ask whether they use the term “brethren” in their churches. (Mennonites and Church of the Brethren.)

    She said that they don’t, except when someone dies, and then they’ll use language like “our dear departed sister Jones.” (Except not Jones, of course!)

    Another woman standing there said she was Moravian and that they refer to themselves as “brethren in the Lord” (or something like that) but don’t use that language otherwise. I mentioned that the question was of interest since I was Mormon and we did use that language (brothers, sisters, brethren) in our worship and in speaking to each other. The Moravian woman said, “How funny! When I tell people I’m Moravian, they say, ‘Oh, the church where you can have more than one wife?’ And I reply, ‘No, the Moravians can’t have more than one wife, and neither can the Mormons!'”

    (Okay, so that was definitely a tangent.)

    We had a good time during the day eating oranges, pecans, and candy.

    Mmm. Texas pecans.

    Comment by Amy T — June 10, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

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