Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 26 January – 6 February 1901

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 26 January – 6 February 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 01, 2012

(Previous installment)

Saturday, January 26, 1901

I had a good night’s rest and arose early. Had a short talk with the family. It was awful cloudy with a light mist a-falling. We commenced our labor at 8 a.m., visited a number of houses. Found out who the trustees were and went and got permission to preach in the school house. Appointed a meeting for Sunday at 3 p.m. At noon we came to a family by the name of Cane. The lady thought she was awful smart and began talking upon the scriptures. I headed her off a time or two and she didn’t like it. We left them at 1:30; stopped in the woods until nearly 4 o’clock. At night we asked for entertainment at a big white house. They claimed that they were sick and could not keep us but they all looked well enough. He said they were good church members but their works didn’t show that they were very good. Stayed with Mr. Lewis, a man who was just recovering from a three weeks’ spell of sickness. Had a good supper and bed and a long talk upon the gospel. Retired at 9 p.m.

Sunday, January 27, 1901

During the night a norther came up and it was a little cooler. After breakfast we blacked our shoes and at 9 o’clock we thanked the folks and went on our way rejoicing. Stopped in the woods where we held prayers and remained until 1 p.m. I wrote a letter to my loved ones at home. We started out for our appointment at 3 p.m. But to our surprise one of the trustees told us that we could not preach in the school house. He said that there was a church used for that purpose. I told him that we had tried the church and could not get any clue as to who had charge of it. I talked to him for a while and then we went on. Visited several homes, among them a Baptist preacher. Were refused entertainment twice; finally got into Mr. Williams’. They had eaten supper but his wife fixed us some anyway.

Monday, January 28, 1901

Arose early and had a short talk with the family. They told us if we were through there again to call and stay overnight. They were not very clean in their work. The plate that I ate from was all stuck up with crumbs. The table in the sitting room was smeared all over with great lumps of something. The floor was dirty. Yet I appreciated their hospitality and was very thankful for their kindness. We finished canvassing the community and then started for Reagan to get our mail. At noon we came to one of our friends, so desiring to eat dinner, we thought we would call on him. There was a fire in the house but when we knocked, not a sound could be heard. I supposed that they saw us a-coming and not wanting us to come in just kept quiet. Went on; arrived at Reagan at 1 o’clock. Stayed there until 3 when we went out and finished a little below town. Were refused entertainment 3 times. Stayed with Mr. Laird. He had been sick for one month. I had a long talk with him until bedtime. Had a good rest.

Tuesday, January 29, 1901

It was cloudy when we arose. Got up quite early. After breakfast the old gent began talking. Every time that I would beat him he would have everything spiritualized and when I would show him wherein he was wrong he would not acknowledge it. He was a hardshell Baptist or Primitive. When we got ready to start he said that he hoped that he had said something that would convince me I was wrong. I told him that I was firm and hoped he would see his mistake. We finished up that part of the county; came to Reagan and had to wait until 1:30 until the mail came in. We went out to see if we could get our dinner, but were not lucky enough. I only asked one place. Sold one book to a nigger; came back to the post office. One letter came in for me from Bunkerville. We then started for the town of Marlin. Stopped on the roadside where we studied for one hour. Stayed overnight with Mr. Russell. Had a nice conversation with him.

Wednesday, January 30, 1901

During the night a norther came up and it was quite cold when we got up. At 8 a.m. we thanked the kind folks that had taken care of us and started for Marlin. Arrived there at 11 o’clock. It was not as large a place as I had expected. We first went to see the mayor and got permission to dispose of our literature among the people, then went and saw the county judge and got permission to preach in the district court room. We then began canvassing the city. It was very seldom that a person would ask us in. Did not have any dinner. Sold two little books and gave away 60 tracts. We began asking for entertainment at about sunset; were refused 4 times. Came to Mr. Allen’s. He was a very poor man but told us we could stay. After he found out that we were Mormons he and his wife were in another room consulting together. When he came in he said that he was sorry but he didn’t believe that he could keep us. I talked to him awful hard and told him that just a quilt on the floor would be sufficient. He kept us anyway. Rested very good. Had a good bed.

Thursday, January 31, 1901

The weather was still quite cold. I did not sleep very good. Our covering was thin and I was cold a time or two. We talked with the brother until 10 a.m. when we commenced our labor. Went into the woods first where we had prayers. We canvassed until 2 p.m. when we ran out of tracts. We went into the woods again where I wrote a letter to J.F. Perkins. We then came to the post office but our literature had not yet come, so we bought a nickel’s worth of candy and 5 cents worth of crackers and went up the railroad where we ate them. Elder Rogers was somewhat discouraged. He did not feel capable of working in the town. He felt so bad that he could not talk. I talked to him and encouraged him to press forward and talk to them as much as he could and I would do the balance. We had an appointment for 7 p.m. at the Courthouse. We waited until nearly 8 p.m. No one came so we started to find a place to tarry. We went to Bro. Perkins. He had given us an invitation the day before. They were all right. Nothing would do but they must fix us a snack. We talked until 10 when we retired. Had a nice bed and slept fine.

Friday, February 1, 1901

The weather was quite cold. Was awful cloudy when we arose. At 9 o’clock we left Bro. Perkins and went out into the woods where we put a shine on our shoes, then going to the post office, 100 of our tracts had come, so we commenced our labor again visiting the families. As we were going down the street past a house that we had been to, a lady came out and asked us if we believed in divine healing. She said that she had been under the care of a doctor and they could do her no good and she wanted to be cured by healing and asked us what we would charge. Of course that would be nothing. I told her what we believe about it, that we had the promise that the prayer of the faithful should heal the sick and God would raise them up. I was at a puzzle to know what to do as I had never been asked for anything of that kind to do. I did not think it right to administer unto her until I could have a talk with her and explain things unto her. She said she was in Globe, Arizona once and very sick and a Mormon woman cured her and she had great faith in it. I told her that perhaps we should meet again. I wanted to go to the Lord about it first. We continued our labor the rest of the day. At night we began asking for entertainment. Were refused 5 times. Came to Mr. Gentry’s and stated our mode of travel to him and he said that we could stay. We had a nice supper and talked on different subjects until 8 p.m. I had a very heavy impression on my mind that he didn’t understand the way we were traveling, so I managed to bring it up and we got into that kind of a conversation. His wife at once said that they did not keep anybody for nothing. They both went outside and when he came back in were very mad and said that he must have misunderstood me. I told him in plain words. He said that he had to work for his living. I told him that we were working for ours. He says you are what are called Mormons and if I had known it nary a Mormon would ever have come into my house. He said for us to go if we could not pay our way. I talked to him a little and bore him a strong testimony and told him that he would wish some day that he had not turned us off at such a late hour. We went on to the third house where we were welcomed in and treated fine. Had a nice bed; retired at 11 o’clock.

Saturday, February 2, 1901

It was quite early when we arose. Had a nice breakfast and then talked with the family until 9 a.m. We commenced our labor. Went out into the woods where we held prayers. As we only had a few tracts we did not do much. Went to the post office to see if any more had come but there was nothing there. We then finished giving away what we had. Bought two oranges for 5 cents and that was all of the dinner we had. We went up to the lake at the Pavilion where we rested until after the mail came in. Went back to the office and there were 100 tracts there, so we continued our labor among the people. Sold 3 little books. At night we began asking for entertainment. Stopped at one very large house but they could not keep us; did not have room. Always some excuse. Went to Mr. Noble’s. He did not want to keep us for fear that we had been exposed to smallpox, as there were a good many cases in town. I assured him there was no danger because we had not been around them that we knew of. He took us in and gave us a nice supper. About 8 o’clock he came in and said that his children were uneasy. They had been guarding against the disease and they did not want to be exposed. So he said he hated to have us leave but on account of his children he would ask us to go. He was very kind to us and gave us a dollar to pay for a bed and our breakfast. So we thanked him very much and went to the Artess Hotel where we stayed over night. We slept in the parlor. Had a nice bed and slept very good.

Sunday, February 3, 1901

Rested fine during the night. It was quite late when we arose. During the night there was a rain came over and it was quite muddy when we started out. As soon as we ate our breakfast I handed the proprietor the dollar and we went on our way rejoicing. Went out to the pavilion where we remained until 3 p.m. writing letters and searching the old Bible. We started for Bro. Soegle where we intended to spend the night. Arriving there at 4 p.m. they had been having bad colds. We did not have any dinner but had a nice supper and then talked with the folks until 9 p.m. when we retired.

Monday, February 4, 1901

It was awful cloudy and cold when we arose. After eating a hearty breakfast we thanked the folks and went on our way. We had a few houses in the country to work so we finished them first and then went into Marlin and began our labor. We sold 5 books and finished canvassing the town by 4 p.m. Elder Rogers was very glad to think that we were done. We went out in the country to get entertainment. Came to some Germans. One was killing hogs. We asked him to stay, but he said it was impossible for him to keep us as he did not have the bed clothing. He told us though if we could not get in any place else to come back and he would do the best he could for us. I thanked him and we went on to an American, Mr. Norway, where we stayed overnight. Had a nice supper after which we talked on the gospel until bedtime. My head was stopped up awful bad with a bad cold. I could not speak my words plain while talking. Retired at 9 p.m. Good bed.

Tuesday, February 5, 1901

It was quite cloudy. We had a good night’s rest. Arose quite early. After eating breakfast we started toward town; finished what few houses we had and then we started for the eastern part of the county to help Elders Barber and Huntsman with their work. We went into Marlin and had our mail forwarded to Lott. We then walked four miles to the Brazos River. It had a bridge over it that was 4 spans long. Each span was 150 feet long making the bridge quite long. We stopped at the store where we bought a nickel’s worth of crackers and 5c worth of candy and went back into the woods and had our dinner. We then went on to Lott and found out where the Elders were having their mail forwarded to, so we walked on 10 miles to Durango and out beyond a ways we began asking for entertainment. Were refused twice. Stayed with Mr. Curry. Treated fine.

Wednesday, February 6, 1901

During the night it began raining and was looking awful bad when we arose. Bro. Curry was going to town with his cotton although it was raining. He told us to stay around the fire until we got ready to start. I asked him if we could remain until it stopped raining and it was granted to us. The brother started out for town but it wasn’t long until it began raining harder so he came back. We talked together all day. Had a nice dinner. At 3 p.m. Elders Huntsman and Barber came in on us, tramping through the mud. I was very glad to see them. We talked until nearly 5 p.m. Two of us were getting ready to go find another place, but the kind brother said that we could all stay here with him if we wanted to, which we did. After supper we sang songs and talked until 9 p.m. I slept with Elder Barber.

(To be continued)



  1. So did I miss whether or not he gave the sick woman a blessing?

    Comment by The Other Clark — July 2, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  2. After he found out that we were Mormons he and his wife were in another room consulting together. When he came in he said that he was sorry but he didn’t believe that he could keep us.

    This is interesting. I wonder if they commonly asked to say before making it clear they were Mormon.

    Okay, this made my day:

    She said she was in Globe, Arizona once and very sick and a Mormon woman cured her and she had great faith in it.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 2, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  3. This series is fascinating. The idea of actually preaching “without purse or scrip” seems so foreign to the present day. And yet they found room and board impressively often.

    Are there any groups that still proselytize this way?

    Comment by Douglas Hudson — July 5, 2012 @ 11:44 am

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