Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 13 March – 25 March 1901

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 13 March – 25 March 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 29, 2012

(Previous installment)

Wednesday, March 13, 1901

The wind was blowing from the north and was quite cold. Had a good night’s rest. After breakfast we talked for a while and then began our labor. Went to the nigger’s where we had left our clothes the day before. She had them ready for us. The first house we visited refused to take a pamphlet; said that she knew all about us. Stopped in the woods where we had prayers. Continuing, we met a nigger preacher in the road. I sold him two little books. At noon we came to Bro. W.W. Martin’s, who kindly asked us in and gave us our dinner. He was a very poor man but was liberal. He had taken care of Elders Shaw and Mangum in the southern part of the state. After having a good rest, we began work again. Finished the community and started for Rosebud to work that place, as we had finished all of the country in our part of the county. Stopped at a creek where we washed our socks. At night we came to Bro. Martin where we were permitted to tarry. Had a nice supper and a good talk. Held prayers. I was mouth. Retired to bed at 9 p.m.

Thursday, March 14, 1901

There was a wind blowing from the north and it was quite cold. Rested good during the night. The covering was a little light. Had a good breakfast, after which I talked with them for a while and then we began our labor. Finished up the country work and went into Rosebud to commence work there. There was one letter at the post office for me from Elder Huntsman. We began our work at 11 a.m. Did not get any dinner. One house a man came to the door and I heard another one back in the room say “shut the door. That is them Mormon preachers.” So the fellow at the door says “We don’t want anything to do with you” and slammed the door in our faces. Went on and visited several more. Came to another place where a woman came to the door and while talking with her, she also shut the door in our faces, not realizing what they were doing. After we had visited about half of the places I was quite tired and said to Elder Rogers, “I guess we just as well go take a rest, can’t we?” “Well,” he says, “no.” And then he began talking. And I, for the first time, found that he was holding feelings toward me. So we did not do any more but went to the woods and made things right. I was the oldest in the field and knew how our work ought to go. I told him during the day what we would do if we had tracts enough and said it in a way that I thought no one could take offense. Nor they wouldn’t if they had been doing right. But along about night he said that he was not out here to be drug around by anybody else. Had given way to the temptations of the evil one. I was doing the work so as to do our duty and was enjoying myself until he arose the other way. So we made things right and I told him that I was directing the work the way it should go and always asked his counsel about it and it was all right. And it was my duty to do as I was doing because he was new in the labor. But he was considerable older in years than me and did not like to have a kid tell how it ought to be done. Night came on so we went to seek entertainment. Stayed with Bro. Taylor. Had a nice supper and a good time, and a good bed.

Friday, March 15, 1901

The weather quite cold. We had a nice breakfast (beef), after which we began our labor. Bro. Taylor asked us to come back any time we are through here. Stopped in the woods where we held prayers and then began canvassing the town. Met a lady from Phoenix, Arizona, and had quite a talk with her. We went to the office after our mail. There was a letter from Ma. We finished the town by noon and then started out in the country to find Elder Barber & Huntsman as President had directed. We came to Barkley and found that they had gone out to Bro. Meadow’s in the edge of Bell County so we took their trail and followed them. About sunset we reached the place and were glad to find them well. Happy meeting. Also met another. He was from the Austin Conference. Had been hunting genealogies. His name is Bushman from Arizona. Elder Rogers was well acquainted with him. We enjoyed ourselves together. Had a fine supper (chicken), after which we sang songs until bedtime. Elders Bushman and Rogers then went over to Bro. Bell’s to spend the night. Elder Huntsman and myself slept together.

Saturday, March 16, 1901

After having a good rest we arose quite early. The weather was nice and clear. Had a fine breakfast (chicken). Afterwards we sat and talked together until 9:30. Had a shave and then we started out on our labor for another day. Stopped in the woods where we held prayers and put a shine on our shoes, and then we separated. Elder Huntsman and myself are going to Barclay and Elder Barber and Rogers are working in the country. We did not have any dinner. We asked two places but were unable to get any, so we went ahead and did our work and then retired to the school house where we spent the day reading letters to each other and talking over home affairs. At sunset the other two elders came in and, as we did not have any dinner, I went to the store and bought a few crackers and candy for our supper. We waited in the school house until 8 p.m. but no one came. So we gave up looking for anyone and had started out to seek a place to tarry and met the people a-coming. So we returned and had about 60 people out to hear us. Elder Barber presided. Elder Huntsman was the first speaker, after which I followed. Enjoyed a very good portion of the spirit. Appointed another meeting for Sunday at 3 p.m. After meeting we advertised our books and sold 7. Elder Barber and myself were left without a place to stay, so we started out. The first house, Bro. Reeves, kindly took us in and gave us a nice supper and a good pallet on the floor.

Sunday, March 17, 1901

I rested fine during the night. Was quite late when we arose. Partook of a nice breakfast. And at nearly 9 a.m. we thanked the kind family and took our departure. Stopped in the school house where we held prayers and then walked on to Bro. Meadows, where we met the other elders and spent part of the day writing and singing songs. At 12 we sat down to the table spread with the rich bounties of life – everything that was nice. At 2 p.m. we all walked over to the school house to fill our appointment. There were about 40 persons out. I presided. Elder Bushman spoke first and then I asked Elder Bailey or Rogers if they wanted to speak but said no so I took up the rest of the time. Had a fine time in our meeting. After we were through we all returned to Bro. Meadows. Elder Huntsman and Rogers went to Bro. Bell’s where they spent the night. Elder Barber, Bushman, and I sat up and talked until 11 p.m. about our experiences and the testimonies that we had received. Retired to bed. Slept good.

Monday, March 18, 1901

After having a good night’s rest, we arose. The weather was very cloudy. Had a nice breakfast and then got our mail ready to post. Bro. Meadows desired that we should administer unto him for his health. He had faith that it would do him good. So when all the elders came in we did as he requested. I anointed him. Elder Barber was mouth in sealing the anointing. The time had come for us to separate, so with a good handshake and a sad feeling we each went our way. Elder Bushman had a good friend on our road and gave us his name and told us to call on him. We reached Bro. Vaughn’s at 11 a.m. Had a fine dinner and talked for a while and were going to start out but he asked us to remain the rest of the day and night. As we had some writing to do we concluded to stay. I wrote a letter to Bunkerville. The wind blew very hard all day. Had a good supper and at 9 o’clock we retired to our beds of rest.

Tuesday, March 19, 1901

During the night the wind blew very hard and it thundered and lightninged considerable. It rained some, not very long, but awful hard while it lasted, so it was late when we arose. As it was very muddy we concluded not to start out until the ground dried some. At 9 a.m. Elder Bushman came along to his cousin’s. He stopped for an hour or two and we had a good time talking together. At 1 p.m. we ate a cold dinner. The wind had dried the ground so we could travel, so we thanked the brother and went on our way rejoicing. Came to Theo and from there to Bell Falls. Inquired the road to Troy, reaching there at nearly sunset. We posted our mail and then received instructions and directions to Moody. About 4 miles from Troy night came on us. We asked Bro. T.A. Coulter for entertainment. His wife was not feeling well but he took us in and gave us a nice supper and a fine bed. I talked to them until 9 o’clock when we retired to rest. Walked 15 miles after dinner.

Wednesday, March 20, 1901

The weather was nice and cold, clear as could be. Rested fine. Had a nice breakfast after which we talked for a while and then bid them goodby and started on our way. We had to walk fast in order to keep warm. Reached Moody at 10:30 a.m. Started west toward Eagle springs. After we had got about 3 miles from Moody it came dinner time, so we stopped into a place while they were eating dinner. I talked to them after they were through and told them how we were traveling, but they didn’t take the hint so in order to get something to eat, I asked for it. They gave us a fine dinner. His name is W.A. Cotton. We then went on our way rejoicing. Reached Eagle Springs at 3 p.m. There we found the first trace of the elders. We then went on to Oglesby. While on the way we met the tax collector. He asked us who we were and where we were going. I began talking and before I left him I sold him two books. We came out 4 miles from Oglesby. Night came on. We stayed with Bro. McKinney. The elders had stayed with him about a week before.

Thursday, March 21, 1901

The weather nice and cool. Had a good night’s rest and after talking for a short while, we thanked them and went on our way. Came to Osage and there found that the elders had preached there about four nights before. We heard of them out on the Coryell Creek, a distance of 7 miles so we started out to catch them. We reached the creek at 12:30 and found that they had preached there last night. We were both tired and hungry and while talking at a place, a widow lady by the name of Edwards asked us in to rest. They had just eaten dinner so I asked her if we could get a little to eat before going on. She prepared us a nice dinner. We then walked down to the school house and found out that the Elders had gone to Oglesby to mail some letters. We then started across the prairie and at 3 p.m. we found our brothers. We had a good time until night. Elder Heward and I went together and Elder Rogers and Madsen. We stayed at one of their friends by the name of Gassaway. After supper we sang them a few songs and then Elder Heward played and sang on the guitar to them. Retired to rest at 10 p.m. Had a good bed.

Friday, March 22, 1901

It was very cloudy when we arose. After breakfast Elder Heward trimmed my hair and gave me a shave. We then took our departure. Went to the woods where we met the other elders. It began to rain so we got behind a bluff and made a fire and spent the day together. Had a fine time. At 4 p.m. we held prayers. Elder Madsen and myself then started out to work. We began asking for a place to tarry. Were refused 5 times. Stayed with Bro. Kerby, who gave us a nice supper and a fine bed and in return for it we talked for some time upon the gospel to them.

Saturday, March 23, 1901

During the night we had a fine rain. Arose from our beds quite early. Had a nice breakfast. And were getting ready to go but the kind folks asked us to stay until after dinner and then the roads would be dried up some. We accepted their invitation. Had a good time talking on different subjects until after dinner when we thanked them for their kindness and began our labor. At about the second house the man ordered us off from his place. Said that we were old Mormons and didn’t want us around. We went on. About the third house again the man told us to pick up those little grips and take the road. We then went to the store to see the trustees of the school house. He was very bitter, I could tell by the expression he had on his face. I stepped up to him and began talking and asked him for the privilege of preaching in the school house. He said that he could not let us have it. I then asked for the church but was refused both of them. We continued our work canvassing the community. Started up to a big house and were opening the gate to go in when a voice came from a man inside the house. “We don’t need you in here, take the road.” We politely thanked him and went on. The people had been very prejudiced all day. We finished the place and then went to one of our friends for entertainment. His name is Glazier. Had a good supper and a talk. Retired to bed at 9 p.m. Good bed.

Sunday, March 24, 1901

It was quite late when we arose. The weather quite warm and cloudy. After breakfast a while we bid the folks good day and retired to the woods. As it was the holy Sabbath and we did not wish to travel, the man said we could stay over with him if it wasn’t for his wife being sick. But the people around were very prejudiced and he didn’t want to be tormented about taking care of Mormons. We spent a very good day in the woods writing letters and reading and talking and picking off ticks. At night we started out to Bro. Riddle’s for entertainment. When we reached there the other elders were preaching at his house. We talked together for a while and then Elder R. and I came to Bro. McPeak’s for a place to tarry. Were treated fine.

Monday, March 25, 1901

After having a good night’s rest we arose and had a fine breakfast and a nice talk. Wrote in our journals. As we had a long walk to make, we started out. The weather looked very bad. Awful cloudy and cold with a light mist a-falling. We passed through Osage and from there we received directions to Valley Mills Basque, a distance of 12 miles, where we were going to commence work. We stopped a time or two on the road to rest. At 2 p.m. we arrived at the place. Received word from home folks. All well. Also heard from Pres. that Elder Holyoak had taken down with the smallpox. We were sorry to hear of such news. Also received some clothing that I had sent after. We then posted our mail and came out a way where I changed my clothes and threw my old ones away. We held prayers and then started out to commence work in our new county. Visited five families. Sold two books. Came to Bro. Odle’s where we asked for entertainment and were taken in and treated very kindly. Did not have any dinner but a nice supper. Talked on the trials and hardships that the Mormons had in going to Utah. Held prayers and retired at 9:30. Fine bed.

(To be continued)



  1. Re: the entry for March 14, a conflict between companions is a tad more serious when its just the two of you with no other missionaries or mission president handy to resolve things. Apparently they worked it out, though.

    Interesting point he makes about the possible cause of the disagreement–the older man not wanting to take orders from a younger man, even though the younger man had much more experience as a missionary. I’ve run into that situation at work before, where old co-workers didn’t like to defer to me in areas where I was the expert. Age may bring wisdom, but not necessarily expertise.

    Oh, and I saw a pair of missionaries on the bus the other day, with their distinctive outfits and little nametags, and thought of this series of posts. Wonder if they knew what their counterparts had to go through a hundred years ago. Not that missionaries of today don’t face their own unique challenges.

    Comment by Douglas Hudson — July 31, 2012 @ 11:55 am

  2. Douglas, I thought that was one of the most interesting points in this installment, too, perhaps because of my own missionary companionship experiences. Did you notice that at two subsequent points when they were with other missionaries, this companionship split up and traveled/slept with others? Our Elder Jones may have laid down the law, but I wonder how well the other really accepted it. Interesting episode!

    And despite the low comment count for weeks past, blogging is made worthwhile when I read that you thought of this series out in real life when you saw your missionaries. Thanks for that.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 31, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  3. I may not comment often, but I read Keepa most every day. Always something interesting and often enlightening.

    Comment by Douglas Hudson — August 1, 2012 @ 8:08 am

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