Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 4 May – 14 May, 1901

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 4 May – 14 May, 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 26, 2012

(Previous installment)

Saturday, May 4, 1901

I rested fine during the night. Arose quite early. It was still cloudy. The young people had attended a dance and were just coming home as we arose. Partook of a nice breakfast and after talking for some time we thanked the kind family and went on our way rejoicing. Started for Bee Creek to finish some work over there. In crossing the mountain it was very rough and thinly settled. We reached the Bee Valley at 11 a.m. Laid down and took a nap until 12, then started out to get some dinner. Came to Bro. Anderson’s. Were invited in. I began to talk. “Well,” he said, “I don’t want any of your literature.” I saw that he was getting aroused up so as to keep him from running us off I changed the subject and soon had him in a good humor. He gave us a nice dinner, after which we talked for some time on the gospel or the seventh day. Continuing our labor, we finished all the houses down the creek and stopped in the creek bottom where we had a fine bath, shaved, and blacked our shoes. Started out. The first house we came to, Bro. Thompson, asked us in. I finally asked for entertainment over night and it was granted us. Nice supper. Talked on the gospel until 10 p.m. It was quite early when we came to this place but it seemed like it was the place for us to stay over night and Sunday.

Sunday, May 5, 1901

It being our fast day, we did not partake of anything. The brother thought it quite strange and tried to persuade us to eat. I asked for the privilege of remaining over the Sabbath, which was granted us. We talked and read all forenoon. It began to get so warm and sultry that I had to quit as I could not memorize anything. At 1 p.m. we ate our dinner, after which I asked for a quilt to lie on the floor. At night the weather cooled off some. After supper I talked to the family upon the Book of Mormon until nearly 10 o’clock. They seemed to be interested and honest in heart. Good bed.

Monday, May 6, 1901

The weather cloudy and warm. Left Bro. Thompson’s at 8 a.m. Started for Meridian to begin work there, arriving there at 11 a.m. Posted our mail and read our letters. We then went to see the mayor of the city and got permission to labor in the town. As it was about noon we concluded to go out in the woods and wait until the people had finished their dinners. Stopped on the banks of the Bosque River where we read until 2 p.m., when we came back to go to work. First went and saw the county judge about preaching in the court room. He informed us that they had passed laws prohibiting anything being carried on except court. We began canvassing. Visited a good many families and I could hear on every street corner as we passed by that they were discussing Mormonism. At 5 p.m. we came to Bro. Greer’s. He was at one time a member and had moved to Utah in the fifties but returned again.* He seemed quite glad to see us. Had his wife bring us a dish of ice cream. After talking for some time we were getting ready to go but he insisted that we stay over night with him. We had a nice supper. Talked until 9 o’clock, and then retired. He is 70 years of age.

Tuesday, May 7, 1901

The weather was still cloudy when we arose. Rested fine. After breakfast it wasn’t long before we began our labor canvassing the town. Could not sell any books but before night we gave away many tracts. There was no one asked us in to dine with them so we retired to the woods again. Elder Rogers bought 5c of crackers and 5c of candy which we had for our dinner. We laid down in the shade until 2 p.m. when we continued our work. Did not meet any of the so-called preachers but saw them taking a good view of us once. I held up my head as if I was as big as any of them. We retired to the woods again as we were getting tired. At 6 we again started out to seek for a place to tarry but it seems as though we went the wrong way as it was about 8 p.m. before we secured a place and then they would hardly take us in. The young ladies of the place prepared us a nice supper which we were very thankful for. Sang them some songs and retired at 10 p.m. Good bed.

Wednesday, May 8, 1901

It was very late before we arose, the family being the slowest of any we had stayed with. It was 8 a.m. before we ate breakfast. Did not tarry long after we were through as they all started for their work. We started back toward town to finish our work there. Along came a man in a buggy and gave us a ride of 4 miles. When we had finished most of our work we came to an old Baptist preacher. Had quite a long talk with him. After we had got out to the gate and heard him say to a young man that we believed in having 40 or 50 wives, I turned around and gave him a little, and told him to be careful or he would bring condemnation upon himself. We then went out to Bro. Mulberry’s two miles west of town. He had asked us to come and preach at his house and we went there for that purpose. On arriving at the place he informed us that he had conversed with all of the neighbors and had concluded not to have us preach at his house. He said that the people were very prejudiced against us and rather than to give up his good name had given way to their persuasion. He gave us a nice dinner and from his actions we were welcome to go as soon as possible. Came out to the Bosque Valley and began work up it. At night we came to Bro. Jordan’s and while talking with him, he asked us to stay overnight. Nice supper. Talked until 10 p.m. and retired to a good bed.

Thursday, May 9, 1901

The morning was bright and clear. Before leaving our hosts we took a shave. He gave us a warm welcome to return. We went into Meridian to meet Elders Craner and Madsen. Arrived there at 11 a.m. The niggers were having a great time. At 12 we met the elders. We were glad to see them. We returned to the woods where we spent the day rejoicing together. Elder Craner came back to town and purchased 45c worth of eatables. The time came for us to separate in order to get entertainment. After holding prayers we bid each other goodby, wishing each other success and hoping to meet again on our road to conference. The first house, Mr. King, was not at home (the man). But his wife thought it would be all right so we decided to wait until he came. During all the time I was impressed that it would do no good to wait. A while after dark he came and we were turned off. We then came to Bro. Green’s where we were welcomed in. His wife prepared a cold snack. Talked until 9 p.m. Retired. Good bed.

Friday, May 10, 1901

Spend a very pleasant night. Looked very much like rain when we retired but on arising, it was almost clear. We were soon on our way. Bro. Green gave us the invitation to return at any time. We came north to the Grapevine community and, as we were desirous of preaching on Sunday, we found the trustees and were granted the privilege of using the schoolhouse. We took dinner with Bro. Tandy. It was so very warm, so we retired to the woods to rest. I spent most of the time in studying. At 4 p.m. we continued our labor. The first place, an old Methodist preacher, Elder Rogers began talking. He got too tight for him so I took it up and held our own. He said that he knew all about us and could preach on the subject for two hours. I gave him a warning to let it alone lest he bring condemnation upon himself. I kindly asked him to attend our meeting and I would tell him a little more than he already knew. Going on further, we met a lady that we had given a tract a few days before. In our conversation I asked her if she read it. She answered no but said that she put it in the fire and burned it up. I kindly told her that in some future time she would regret ever having done it. She replied that she was satisfied. Night came on. We were permitted to stay with Bro. Hollaway. Talked on the old stories of the people, explaining them.

Saturday, May 11, 1901

The night was spent in pleasant sleep. Arose quite early. Ate a hearty breakfast. After talking for a while we took our departure as the man seemed anxious to get to his work. We did not have but a very little to do. Stopped in the woods where we read for about two hours. We then approached our Heavenly Father, thanking Him for the many blessings. Noon found us at Bro. R. Jones, who kindly gave us a nice dinner. The sun was boiling down in good shape. We were through canvassing. So we retired to the Bosque river where we had a nice bath. At 4 p.m. we returned to the school house to wait for time of preaching. At 9 p.m. there were about 15 persons present. Some young men on the outside were making fun, letting words flow from their mouths that were not becoming. We commenced our meeting with what few there were present. I kindly invited the young men inside to which they all responded and gave good attention during the services. Elder Rogers spoke for a few moments, after which I followed for some length upon the first principles of the gospel. After meeting we were left standing on the outside. There was no one there that was worthy of the blessing of taking care of the servants of the Lord. Elder Rogers wanted to stay at the school house but I said no, there is a place for us. So we started out and were soon at Bro. Hollaway’s where we were taken in; given a good bed.

Sunday, May 12, 1901

The weather still very warm. As soon as we had breakfast we were soon on our way. Stopped on the creek held prayers, and wrote in our journals. Then we went to Bro. Jordan’s where we were intending to spend the day. But in arriving there we were told that they were going a-visiting, so we were disappointed. Went on down to the creek again where we slept, wrote letters, and read until 4 p.m. then went into town to Bro. Greer’s, where we spent the remainder of the day and night. Partook of a fine supper. Had not had dinner. At 8 p.m. I went to the Methodist meting and left Elder Rogers with the folks. The preacher spoke by notes; read his text; shut up his Bible, and the remainder of his preaching was anecdotes. He would holler to the top of his voice. After he got through, they opened the doors of the church and begged the sinners to come up, but their begging was in vain. The night was very warm. Could not sleep very good.

Monday, May 13, 1901

The time had come for us to start to Conference to meet our co-laborers and have a time of rejoicing. we left Meridian early in the morning and started across the prairie. At noon we called on Bro. Metcalf for a drink of water. While talking, he asked us to have dinner with him, which we gladly accepted. Continuing on, we walked on to Wallowing Bend. Called on a friend to tarry over night but they were intending to have a crowd at their place at night so we had to go on. Crossed over the Brazos about two miles to Mr. Count’s where we were permitted to tarry. Had a nice supper. Talked until 9 p.m. Retired. Good bed. Rested well. Very warm.

Tuesday, May 14, 1901

We got an early start from Bro. Count’s. Walked into Whitney and were directed from there to Woodbury; were given a ride for one mile which helped us out considerable. Arrived at Bro. Smith’s at 1 p.m. Found all well and preparing for the trip to Conference. We washed our clothes in the afternoon. Had an enjoyable time with the Elders. Retired to rest at 9:30.

[* Monday morning’s post will be a sketch of the life of Brother Greer.]

(To be continued)



  1. I read this a couple of times, trying to figure out why these mission accounts seemed so different to other missionary accounts that were written 50-60 years ago.

    Tonight I finally figured out what it was. Every person they meet they describe as Brother or Sister So and So. More modern accounts (and practice) only refer to people as Brother or Sister if they are baptized members of the church. These missionaries refer to everyone they meet with those titles.

    Was this usage because they saw all as brothers and sisters of our heavenly parents? If that is the reason was there a doctrinal or social change in the custom?

    Comment by Julia — August 29, 2012 @ 2:10 am

  2. Most of those whom this elder mentions by name are those who have let the missionaries stay overnight, or given them dinner. I think, but am not sure, that he calls them “Brother” because they have been kind to the Lord’s servants and are therefore brothers even if they haven’t been baptized — once or twice he has said something about people who turn them away as not being worthy of the blessing of hosting the Lord’s servants.

    In other words, I think this is a special case of using those titles, and that in the ordinary course of things Latter-day Saints of 1900 didn’t usually call nonmembers “Brother.”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 29, 2012 @ 7:01 am

  3. I noticed the Elder equated studying with memorization. I suspect that was the method commonly used at the time, but I don’t think I’ve seen it so expressly stated in a missionary journal before.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — August 30, 2012 @ 6:01 am

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