Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 7 February – 18 February 1901

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 7 February – 18 February 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 08, 2012

(Previous installment)

Thursday, February 7, 1901

It rained nearly all night. I had a good night’s rest; was quite late when I arose. Had a nice breakfast with plenty of sweet milk to drink, after which we talked with the folks until 9 a.m. when we thanked them for the kindness they had shown us and went on our way rejoicing. It was not very cold so we went into the woods where we talked together until 1 p.m. and then held prayers. I was mouth. We hated to separate with our beloved brethren but we must, so we bid them goodby. Elder Rogers and myself came over to the east of the railroad while Elders Huntsman and Barber finished the west part of the county. The roads were awful muddy but we paddled through it some way. Stopped at the post office at Durango and ordered some books from the office. We then inquired the road and came on. There was a light mist falling all the time. At half past four we had begun to get very tired of wallowing through the black mud so we began asking for a place to tarry. Were refused once. The next house took us in; very poor people. For supper we had biscuit, bacon, and gravy. I enjoyed it very much. After they had all got through with their work I talked to them upon the gospel for about 2 hours; enjoyed a good portion of the spirit. We held prayers and retired at 9 p.m. I was mouth. We stayed with Mr. Stephens.

Friday, February 8, 1901

It was very cloudy when we arose with a heavy mist a-falling. After eating breakfast and talking for a while, we got ready to start. But the kind brother asked us to stay longer as the roads were very muddy, which we did. We went out and chopped down a tree and split up some dry wood for the sister. We had a nice dinner. At 2 p.m. the sun came out and so we started on our way; received a good welcome to return at any time. I gave them a blue book. We visited several families and sold three books; were invited into a house or two where we had a good talk with the folks. We stayed overnight with Bro. Spivy who treated us fine. At supper we had venison, squirrel, and sweet potatoes. It was very nice, after which we had a good talk upon the gospel and other subjects until after 9 o’clock when they gave us a fine bed and we all retired. During the night a norther came up and it was quite cold.

Saturday, February 9, 1901

Had a fine breakfast with plenty of good buttermilk to drink. Since it was very cold we stayed and talked with the folks. I thought I would fix my grip handle so I borrowed an awl but it was awful dull and could not do a very good job. After eating a fine dinner I sold them a book and we started out, although it was quite cold. We stopped in the woods where we held prayers and blacked our shoes. Went on; sold 3 more little books. Came to a nigger preacher and had a talk with him for a while, and then went on to the next house where there was a white preacher of the Christian Church. We commenced talking with him and he got started and we had it for a while, but finally I quit and let him have it as he had his own way of interpreting the Bible. We stayed overnight with him. Had a nice supper (sausage).

Sunday, February 10, 1901

It was late when we arose and as this Sunday had been set apart by our beloved president Jams G. Duffin, for fasting and prayer, we did not eat any breakfast. After the folks had eaten theirs, I asked Bro. Etheridge if we could remain the day with him, which was granted to us. I had several talks with the old gentleman but he was so hard in his ways that I could not get a word in edgeways and finally I quit talking and let him do it all. During the afternoon we went into the woods where we held our prayers. It was awful cloudy and cold all day. As we had not been doing anything, it did not bother me any to go without food so long. At 9:30 we held prayers and retired. It had moderated and began to rain about dark.

Monday, February 11, 1901

It was still raining when we arose. After going 36 hours without anything to eat, we again sat down to the bounties of life. I was not very hungry; could have gone a long time yet. We were intending to leave this morning but as it was raining, we still stayed on with the kind brother. We had several conversations during the day but I could not show the brother where he was wrong. He was very sincere in what he believed. At 2 p.m. we sat down to a nice dinner. It was still raining and did not let up until just about sunset and then it was too late to start so we remained with him again over night. We had a nice cold supper of fruit and milk, after which we talked until 9 p.m. when we retired. During my talk with him many points came to me that I had not thought of.

Tuesday, February 12, 1901

It was very cold and wet. We had not yet mailed our reports so we thought we had better go to the post office. We bid the folks goodbye and they gave us a welcome to return. We went out into the woods and had prayers. It was very disagreeable traveling. After we had started a while, it began misting. The nearer we came to the town, the worse the mud was, and by the time we reached there we were wallowing through mud and water to our ankles. At the office I found one letter from home; all well there. Also received my clergy permit from President Duffin. After posting our mail we started out in the country again. Went up the railroad for quite a ways as it was the best walking. Then, turning out through the mud, we began canvassing the houses. The second house we were invited in. I talked to them for some time and as it was so cold and muddy I asked for entertainment although it was quite early. They could not keep us; no excuse only they were feeling bad. I then asked if we could remain with them until nearly night. So we stayed there until 4 p.m. and then began our tramp through the mud to seek for a place to tarry. Were refused 4 times but finally we came to a little house where Bro. Morgan lived. Had not been married long but he had a big heart, though a little house. So we got to stay. Had a good supper, though we had had no dinner, after which we talked upon the gospel until after 9 when we retired. We slept on the floor. Had a good rest.

Wednesday, February 13, 1901

During the night I was cold a time or two but fared very well. It was late when we arose. Was quite cold and cloudy. Had breakfast and then we sat around the fire and kept as warm as possible until noon. We talked upon different subjects. I then had a shave after which we ate dinner. We then left our grips at the house and walked to the post office. Our literature was there. When we came back we thanked the folks and began our labor. Sold four books. Went out into the woods and held prayers and put a shine on our shoes. Continuing our labor, we began asking for entertainment. Were refused once. Came to a rich man’s house. At first he did not talk very favorable, but I kept talking and we finally got in. When he went in where the women were, he said there were two Mormons out there. They said, “Mormons, what is that?” We had a good supper of beef and liver, after which we talked to them until 9 p.m. upon the gospel and answered a good many questions.

Thursday, February 14, 1901

Had a good breakfast after which we talked until 9 a.m. and then began our labor. Stopped in an old Baptist church where we had prayers. We then started out to see the trustees about the school house. Two of them were at home and gave us their consent but the third one was away, had gone to Marlin. At noon we wanted some dinner and had a place appointed at one of the trustees, Mr. Carter. But on arriving at his place, we were informed that he was not at home. So not to miss our dinner, I asked if we could not sit on the gallery until he came home. The lady said it would be okay and asked us to come in by the fire. We had not been there long until she asked us to come and have some dinner which we did. We sat and talked until 1 p.m. when we concluded to go and come back and see the man. Quite a roundabout way that I had in getting something to eat! We went on, visited a house or two. Sold 3 books and at night we began asking for a place to tarry. Came to Mr. Lewis. He was not at home but his wife asked us to come in and wait until he came. He came about dark and I asked him and he said that there might be a question as to whether we were ministers. He said that we were out causing trouble among the people. He let us stay anyway. He had taken care of 4 elders in Alabama about 12 years ago and said that they were nice men, but after they were gone the old stories came out about the Mormons and he was somewhat turned against them. Had a good supper, after which he invited in one of his neighbors to corner us. After they had all got quiet we sang them two songs and then I began talking and continued for about an hour. I then stopped for the men to ask questions but they were all quiet. We continued to talk until 11 p.m. when we held prayers and retired.

Friday, February 15, 1901

I coughed nearly all night. It was not very early when we arose. After eating a fine breakfast and talking with the folks for a while we bid them goodbye and went on our way rejoicing. Began announcing our meeting. Went to the school house. A pretty little gal was teaching school. We asked her to give it out among the scholars. Went on and stopped by the wayside and answered some questions for a man pertaining to the gospel. Went on; sold a book to a nigger. The next place we came to there were two ladies eating dinner. They asked us to come in and eat with them, which we did. After talking for a while we took our leave. Coming on back toward the church house we came to a nice pond of water that was quite warm by the sun, so we stopped and had a nice bath, after which we felt considerably better. We came on and arrived at the schoolhouse at 4:30, where we waited until 7:30 when the people came in. There was about 25 out; most of them small children. I presided. Elder Rogers spoke first for 15 minutes, after which I spoke for 45 minutes. I was hoarse and my cough bothered me some while coughing. We were invited home with Bro. Johnson. His wife fixed us a nice supper. Retired at 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 16, 1901

I rested fine during the night, although I coughed considerable. Was quite late when we arose. After eating breakfast we were talking with the man and, while looking around, I saw he had a wash pot, plenty of wood, and water handy. So I asked him if we could not wash our clothing before we started out. My request was granted. We soon began and it was not long before we had them rubbed out. It took quite a while for them to dry. At noon we were ready to begin our labor but did not start out until we had partaken of a fine dinner. I ate too hearty and was drowsy all afternoon. The houses were very scattered so did not visit many houses. Sold three little books. Came to Bro. Deer, where we asked for entertainment and were permitted to stay. Had a nice supper, after which I talked to them for a while upon the gospel. My head was stopped up so that it bothered me a great deal while talking. Held prayers and retired at 9:30 p.m. They gave us a little room to ourselves out away from the house. Good bed, rested fine.

Sunday, February 17, 1901

I had a very good rest during the night. After eating breakfast we sat and talked for an hour or two and, as it was Sunday, I asked Bro. Deer for the privilege of remaining with him. It was granted us. They were not much on the talk, so I sat and read most of the day. At 1 p.m. we partook of a nice dinner. During the evening I wrote a short letter to my folks at home. I did not eat any supper. After they were through and had gathered around the fire we conversed upon different subjects until 9 p.m. when we held prayers. I was mouth. Retired in the same little room. My cough was getting tighter. Before going to bed I took some sweet oil which seemed to help me.

Monday, February 18, 1901

Weather quite cloudy and warm. Was late when we arose. Ate breakfast and wrote in our journals and then bid the folks goodby and started to Lott to mail our reports and canvass the place, arriving there at 9 a.m. No mail from home. One letter from Josephine and Pres. Hunsaker. After getting through at the office we went to the Photograph Gallery and had our pictures taken for 75c a dozen. We then went to see the mayor of the town and received permission to dispose of our literature among the people. We were desirous of preaching in the place so we went to see the elders of the Christian Church. Two of them gave their consent but the third one, Mr. Story, would not give us his. He said that he did not believe that we were preaching the gospel. I asked him to prove us and see and told him if he would do that he would find that we were the only true way. Prejudice held him back. As we could not get the church we began canvassing the place. At noon we came to a Mr. D.W. Jones, where we partook of a nice dinner. After talking for a while we went on. Stopped in the brush where I wrote a letter to Aunt Alice. We were invited into two more houses where we talked for a while. The time came for us to begin to seek a place to tarry. Were refused 6 times. It was 7:30 before we found a place. Stayed with a Bro. Hodges and were treated fine. My cold was so tight all day that I could hardly breathe so before retiring I asked Bro. Hodges for a flannel rag, some grease and tobacco, and I put it on my breast and felt much better the next morning.

(To be continued)



  1. “I asked Bro. Hodges for a flannel rag, some grease and tobacco, and I put it on my breast and felt much better the next morning.”

    Maybe he felt better, but I bet I’d want a bath.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — July 8, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  2. I looked ahead, Edje, and the poor man doesn’t mention a bath for quite a while — in fact, the first relevant statement is about “a good wash” on February 28! Let’s hope there were a lot of unmentioned sponge baths in the meantime!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 8, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  3. An old cowboy gave me that remedy once for a swollen knee. It worked, but I had a horrible nicotine headache the next day. I want to know if he did.

    Comment by Carol — July 8, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  4. I won’t make you wait a week to find out, Carol. This is all he says about his health the next morning: “The rag that I put on my breast loosened my cold considerable. I was feeling much better.”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 8, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  5. He must have been smarter about how much tobacco he used. I’m glad he felt better.

    Comment by Carol — July 8, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

  6. Always interesting. Black those shoes!

    Comment by WVS — July 8, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  7. I presume he means something different by the “blue book” than our elders mean today

    Comment by Dustin — July 8, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

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