Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 1 March – 12 March 1901

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 1 March – 12 March 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 22, 2012

(Previous installment)

Friday, March 1, 1901

The weather was nice and clear and warm. Had a nice breakfast (sausage). After talking with the family a while we thanked them and began our labor among the people. Started for Cedar Springs. The roads were very sandy. Visited several houses. At noon we came to Mr. Wooten’s and while talking with him, he asked us to stop until after dinner, which we did. He was a very poor man but what he had was welcome. At 1 p.m. we again continued our labor. Went to the school house and found that they had it torn up putting an extension on it. We did not make any effort to get it to preach in but thought we would wait until the next day. Several of the people thought that we would get it all right. Night came on and we began asking for entertainment. Were refused once. The next place, Bro. Pierceson, was not at home, but they asked us to come in and wait until he came. We sat on the gallery until after dark. When he came it was all okay. Had a nice supper after which I talked upon the gospel until bedtime. Retired at 9:30 p.m. Had a good bed. Slept fine.

Saturday, March 2, 1901

I rested fine during the night. Clear as a lark and nice and pleasant. Had a good breakfast, after which we talked for a while and began our labor. Bro. Pierceson asked us to return at any time. We stopped in the woods and had our prayers and then went to see the trustees for the school house. We were successful in getting it. Appointed a meeting for Sunday at 3 p.m. Came to Bro. Wooten’s where we had a nice dinner (dewberry pie). We then talked until 2 p.m. and began our labor again. It was awful warm, so we stopped in the woods for an hour or two. Continuing, we came to the school house and had our meeting given out there, and then we went in the lower part of the community and finished canvassing it. At night we came to Bro. Martin’s, where we asked for entertainment and were granted the privilege of staying. Had a good supper and a good talk. Also listened to the young lady sing and play on the organ. Retired to rest at 10:30. Good bed.

Sunday, March 3, 1901

During the night I coughed considerable. At times I could hardly catch my breath. Was quite late when we arose. It being Sunday and fast day we did not eat any breakfast. The brother thought it strange to see us fast. We had a shave; blacked our shoes; wrote a letter home and one to Josephine; did not eat any dinner. At 1 p.m. we made our way to the school house to fill our appointment. At 3 p.m. there was a large crowd and the house was full. My old knees were shaking like good fellows. We let the people sing for us. I presided. Elder Rogers spoke 17 minutes and then I spoke for 35 minutes and enjoyed a good portion of the spirit of the Lord. Appointed another meeting for night. There was no one invited us home after meeting and as we had been fasting all day, we thought we would come back and take supper with Bro. Martin. After supper his boy got the buggy ready and drove us back to the church. The house was full again. The people also sang for us again. Elder Rogers did not want to speak so I had it all to do. I spoke for 55 minutes upon the organization and restoration. We enjoyed ourselves very much. The spirit of the Lord was indeed with us. We came back home with Bro. Martin. Reached there at 10 p.m. Retired to rest after a good day’s work, feeling to praise our Father.

Monday, March 4, 1901

I rested fine during the night. Arose quite early. Weather cloudy and the wind blowing very hard After we had eaten breakfast and fixed our mail to post, we took our departure for Travis, reaching there at half past eleven. Received word form home, all well there. Heard from Pres. Hunsaker. He informed us that our conference would not be held until the latter part of April. Was sorry to think that we had to wait so long but the Lord’s will be done and not ours. We then went out to Bro. Philip’s to pay the lady our bill. She met us at the door and was very good. Asked us to come in and have a bite of dinner, which we did. Plenty of cold buttermilk to drink. At 1 p.m. we left there and came back to our work. Sold three little books. It was very warm all afternoon. Began asking for a place to tarry and were refused once. Stayed with Bro. Ables. He was a poor man but what he had was welcome. Before we retired the wind was blowing quite hard but not very cold. By morning it was still harder and very cold.

Tuesday, March 5, 1901

During the night there was a norther came up and when we arose the wind was a-blowing and it was as cold as could be. After breakfast we talked with the man for a while and sold him a little book. At 10 a.m. we were getting ready to leave and he asked us to stay until afternoon as it was so awful cold. We thanked him for his kindness and remained until 3 p.m., talking upon different subjects, the gospel being the leading one. At 3 p.m. the wind and cold had moderated some, so we took our departure. Visited several houses. Were asked in a time or two where we had a good talk with the folks. At night we came to Mr. Ables’ brother and while talking with him he asked us to tarry overnight with him, which we did. After supper they had to go and sit up with the sick, so we were left alone for a while. It was quite cold so we retired to bed at 8:30. Rested fine.

Wednesday, March 6, 1901

The weather was nice and clear but very cold. It was late before we arose. Had breakfast at 8:30 and at nearly 10 a.m., we thanked the family and took our departure, going into Travis after our mail but it had not all come yet. We then came back to our labor and on the way we came to Bro. Scott’s where we stopped and had dinner and a nice talk, after which we began our work again. We stopped in the woods and consecrated a bottle of oil. I was mouth. Continuing, we sold two little books. Stopped again where we washed our handkerchiefs. We then began asking for entertainment. Were refused twice. Came to Bro. Song’s. He had heard of our elders in the south and had heard of the reports that follow them. We introduced ourselves. “Yes,” he says, “I know where your headquarters are. They are at Salt Lake City.” He did not want to keep us but hated to turn a person away from his door. He said that he couldn’t do that, but said to come in but could not bid us Godspeed. His wife soon had a nice supper ready after which we began talking and had at it until nearly 10. His ideas were very peculiar. Retired to rest at 10 p.m.

Thursday, March 7, 1901

During the night was quite cold. Our cover was very light. I coughed a great deal all night and was cold most of the time so I got up and put my coat on and was warmer. Arose quite early and had breakfast. Talked for a while upon the gospel and then the brother went to work. The fire died down in the house so it was as cold inside as it was out, so we thanked the kind family and began our labor. We first went and saw the trustees to preach in the school house. Were successful in getting it. Ate dinner with Bro. J.H. McIntyre. He gave us a welcome to return any time. We began norating our meeting in the community and had not gone far until we were told that there was going to be preaching in the Baptist church. So that put a stop to ours. We canvassed the community and sold three books. The wind blowed very hard all day and it was awful cloudy at night. Began asking for entertainment; were refused four times. Came to Dr. Hedrick’s, a Methodist preacher. His family was sick but he gave us the best he had. I talked with him some about our people. He did not have much to say as he had heard us preach and I suppose the doctrine was too strong for him. Retired at 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 8, 1901

The wind blowed very hard all night and was still a-coming with a light mist when we arose. Had a good breakfast, after which he sat and talked until 10 a.m. I gave him a good talk on the Book of Mormon and tried to sell it to him but he would not buy. At 10 the clouds separated a little and we began our work among the people. Had not gone far until it began raining again but we were close to houses so we would stop in them and did not get too wet. At noon we came to Bro. Hedrick’s son, where we had a fine dinner. While there it rained pretty hard a time or two. At 2 p.m. we continued. Stopped in the woods for a while, it was so warm. I ate too hearty at dinner and it made me very stupid. Came to Bro. Scott’s at night where we were granted the privilege of staying overnight. I gave them a good talk on the gospel after supper. Retired to bed at 10 p.m. Very warm.

Saturday, March 9, 1901

It was very warm during the night and awful cloudy when we arose. After a hearty breakfast we began our labor. The houses were very scattered. It began raining at 9 a.m. we were close to the Brazos River so we called on Bro. James B. Muldrow, a landlord, the only white man that was close around. I asked him for the privilege of remaining with him until it stopped raining, which was granted us. At 12 the rain ceased. The sun shone and we had a fine dinner, after which we began our labors again. The wind came up and in a little while it was blowing so hard the air was so full of sand that we could not see but a short distance. We finished the community and then started to one of our friends to spend the night and the Sabbath. We reach Bro. McDonald’s about sunset. He gave us a warm welcome to come in and at once began talking about the little books and tracts we had given him. Had a nice supper, after which we talked until 9:30 when we held prayers. I was mouth. The wind was blowing so hard that the family was afraid that the house was going. My cold bothered me some.

Sunday, March 10, 1901

During the night I coughed a great deal and when I arose I was feeling awful miserable. Had a good breakfast and then we began to talk upon the gospel. It being Sunday we did not wish to travel, so I asked Bro. McDonald if we could spend the day with him. My request was granted. We had a very good time talking to them about our people. At noon we partook of a nice dinner. During the afternoon I wrote a short letter to my folks. The family desired to hear us sing some. We had very bad colds but, notwithstanding, we sang them a good many songs, which pleased them very much. Ate supper, after which one of the neighbors and wife came in, Mr. Edwards, and we talked until 10 p.m. Had prayers and retired to our beds of rest.

Monday, March 11, 1901

Rested very well during the night. My cold was some better. The wind had ceased to blow so hard. Had a good breakfast (chicken). We then talked with Bro. McDonald for a while. He was or seemed to be interested. He wanted us to appoint someone to look after our labor while we were gone and keep it a-going so the people would become interested, but I told him that there was enough literature among them to convert them if they would but study it, and furthermore we could not have anybody look after it until they had been baptized. We left his place. Received a warm welcome to return at any time. Went into Travis after Elder Rogers’s shoes but they had not come, so we went down to Rosebud and there were two letters from home. All well. We then went to the express office after our goods that had been sent from the office. Had to pay $1.00 before we could get them out. We then went into the woods and opened them up. My pants were in them. They cost $4.00, the third pair since I left home. I also received word from the office that I was about $2.00 behind. We posted our mail and went into the country where we began our labor again. Night came on. Were refused twice for a place to tarry. Came to Bro. McIntyre where we were taken in; had a good supper and a fine bed. Slept fine.

Tuesday, March 12, 1901

the weather was very cloudy but quite warm. After breakfast we sat and read until 9 a.m. when we began our labor among the people again. Came to one old gray-headed fellow. Elder Rogers approached him and he was getting the best of Elder Rogers so I took hold of it. He said that they didn’t need any of our literature in this country because all of the people are good Christians. “Well,” I said, “the Bible teaches me that a Christian will read anything. As Paul says, ‘prove all things and hold fast to the good.’” “So,” I says, “you must be a different one to what the Bible teaches.” At this he flew off from the handle and showed us the road and went off a-swearing. We went on to Elick McDonald, the trustee, and got permission of him to preach in the school house. Also took dinner with him, after which we began norating our meeting and talking with the people at their homes. They would not buy our books. Came to a nigger woman washing, so we gave her a Voice of Warning if she would rub ours out. At night we came back to the school house. Did not have any supper. Waited there until 8 p.m. two or three boys came out but that was all, so we did not hold meeting. Bro. Coats’ boys asked us home with them. Had a nice talk and a good bed, the best one they had.

(To be continued)



  1. What is dewberry pie?

    If they are without purse, how do they pay the $1 and how are they $2 behind, etc. They’ve bought 5 cents of candy before, too. How does that all work?

    I suspect he writes in his journal during the afternoon when they are in the woods. He says he “slept well” in the evening before he goes to sleep. It might be awkward to write in your journal with all the family around wondering.

    He talks so much about how he slept and if he ate a good meal. I guess when you don’t know where you’ll eat or sleep next that is an important part of the day.

    This is all very interesting and enjoyable.

    Comment by Carol — July 22, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  2. Great God Wikipedia tells me that dewberries are similar to blackberries — yum!

    While I don’t know how financing worked entirely — calling Edje! we need one of your posts on this! — I note that Elder Jones and his companion are selling their books rather than giving them away (as a general rule). They would have had to pay the mission office for those, probably a part of what causes Elder Jones to be “about $2.00 behind,” but maybe that accounts for their having change in their pockets sometimes. A handful of times he has recorded that someone gave them a little money, and they’d almost have to be receiving an occasional sum from home in order for them to buy the pants and shoes Elder Jones notes buying from time to time, and to take the train as he notes doing a few times. But exactly how the accounting worked with the mission office, or whether there were rules about how much money they could carry or when they could buy meals and when they had to ask for hospitality, I have no idea. Anybody else?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 22, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

  3. i can’t imagine spending so much time with one family, while they are attempting to live.

    I need food way too often to consider all of this time between meals, and not knowing when the next meal was coming. i would have been a very grumpy missionary. i was more in control of my food onmy mission, but I still ended up fainting 9 times from too much sugar from overly sweet, hospitable people.

    it’s fascinating to consider arranging a place to preach, then speaking so long at each place. who times their speeches anyway?

    Comment by Britt — July 22, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

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