Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 15 May – 27 May 1901

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 15 May – 27 May 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 02, 2012

(Previous installment)

Wednesday, May 15, 1901

It was quite late when we arose. Had a nice breakfast and were busy in fixing things to start on our way. At 1 p.m. we ate dinner and then all jumped into the wagon and started for Hillsboro. The people along the road wondered what was up, seeing such a crowd. No doubt they supposed we were on our road to Utah. Arrived at Hillsboro at 6 p.m. Did not have any supper. We all went to the same lodging house; got a bed for 20c apiece. After dark we separated and walked over the town, taking in the sights. Had a dish of ice cream, which was very nice. Rested good during the night.

Thursday, May 16, 1901

We arose quite early. Went to the restaurant where we bought a 15c meal. From there to the depot. Our tickets to Athens were $1.20 each. Took the train at 8:10 a.m. Was quite a treat to have another ride behind the old iron horse. At Corsicana we changed cars and arrived at Athens at 12 p.m. Started for Pilgrim’s Rest. We separated, four of us going to Bro. Armond’s and four to Bro. Cantrel. We met Elders Ashby, Call, and Randall at Bro. Cantrel’s and all four of us stayed together over night. I slept with Elders Randall and Call.

Friday, May 17, 1901

During the night it rained some and was still falling when we arose. It continued until 9 a.m. After we had all taken a shave we started for Liberty Hill. The roads were quite muddy. There were seven of us traveling together for part of the way. Elders Ashby and Huntsman came very near giving out. Elder Call and myself went on ahead; reached Bro. Scoggins’ at 5 p.m.; found Pres. Duffin there. It was certainly a grand meeting. We separated for entertainment. Elder Craner and myself went to Bro. Kemp’s where we spent a very pleasant evening. Talked until 9 p.m. upon the gospel and retired to rest.

Saturday, May 18, 1901

After enjoying a very good night’s rest we arose and had a nice breakfast. Came over to Bro. Scoggins’ and met all of the Elders. At 9 a.m. we met at the school house in Priesthood Meeting. All of the elders gave a brief report of their labors. The spirit of the Lord was indeed in our midst. Some of the elders, while giving in their labors, were overcome with the good influence. At 11 a.m. the Priesthood Meeting closed and the first public meeting commenced. Several of the Elders bore strong testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel. Pres. Duffin spoke to us for two hours, answering our questions and explaining our duties unto us. A very timely meeting was had. The spirit was manifest in our midst and our meeting together was certainly a time of rejoicing for me. After closing, I with Pres. Duffin, Elders Hunsaker, Call, and Horne, and some of the saints came to Bro. Scoggins’ for supper and helped dig some new potatoes for supper. The night looked very bad; was sprinkling some. Pres. Duffin thought it wisdom not to go to the school house for meeting but said that those who stayed at Bro. Scoggins’ would hold a short service. I, in connection with Elder Horne, went to Bro. McLain’s where we spent a very pleasant evening talking with the gentleman in regard to our people. Retired at 9 p.m. The bed was hard but we rested fine.

Sunday, May 19, 1901

The weather had cleared off some when we arose. Spent a good night. After breakfast we returned to Bro. Scoggins’ where we waited for a while. At 8:30 am. we met at the school house with all of the Elders in Priesthood Meeting. Pres. Hunsaker being released, it was necessary that another one be appointed to fill his place so Elder Randall was chosen and sustained by all to be the guide of our little band. Pres. Duffin occupied all of the time instructing the elders, warning us to be neat in attire, keep the Word of Wisdom, and let women alone. An enjoyable time was had. At 11 a.m. our public meeting began. Our Pres. Randall presided. The house was full to over-flowing. Several of the elders spoke for a short time, bearing testimony to the work of God in this dispensation of the fulness of times. Pres. Duffin followed, speaking upon the pre-existence of man, showing from a Bible standpoint that we did exist prior to coming to the earth and that we were valiant spirits at the time of the great rebellion in heaven.

After meeting, dinner was prepared in front of the school house by the kind people of the community. All partook freely and a good time was had. At 3 p.m. we again assembled together in a public meeting. Pres. Duffin occupied most of the time, speaking upon ancient and modern prophets, showing the difference between false ones and true ones, and bore a strong testimony to the divinity of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and said that there were some in this house that would live to see the wrath and indignation of the Almighty sweep over this country. He exhorted them to repent and give heed to the voice of the servants of God that they might be able to escape these judgments.

At the close of the meeting, it began raining and the people were compelled to stay in the house for a while. The Elders again met in Priesthood Meeting. Pres. Duffin said that he had come to work and did not want to lose any time. Elders Barber and Anderson were chosen as Counselors to Pres. Randall. We received very valuable instructions from our beloved President. At 7:30 another public meeting was held. Elder John A. Call occupied most of the time in speaking upon the necessity of prayer. Our Conference adjourned for six months. The gratitude of our hearts all extend out to the many kind friends that administered to the servants of the Lord. All felt well paid for the time spent in coming to join us.

Now came the parting, which was worst of all, with tears running down the cheeks of the saints as we bid goodby to them. Elders Pierce, Waltzer, Holyoak, and myself went to Bro. Holsom’s where we spent the night. Rested good after a day of spiritual feasting.

Monday, May 20, 1901

Had a good night’s rest. Came over to Bro. Scoggins’ just in time to bid the President and Elders goodby, the Pres. going south to visit the other conferences, while four of our dear companions had been released to return to Zion. They were Elders Hunsaker, Call, and Ashby and Hunt, all having filled their time and received an honorable release. At 9 a.m. we were assigned our various fields of labor, Elder Madsen being my companion, and we were assigned to labor in the eastern half of Bosque County. We began separating. It was with regret that we clasped the hands of our co-laborers, but we must go. 12 o’clock found us as far as Bro. Taylor’s, where we decided to remain the rest of the day and night. After partaking of a hearty dinner, I began to ache and at 3 p.m. one of those horrid chills had taken hold of me again. I laid down all afternoon. Had a very hot fever which made me feel miserable. At night we went up on the hill in Bro. Taylor’s extra house where we spent a good night.

Tuesday, May 21, 1901

It was late when we arose. I was feeling some better than I did. After breakfast, Sister Taylor gave us each a nice scarf pin. It wasn’t long until we were on our way for Athens. As I was feeling somewhat weak, Elder Madsen and myself concluded to stop over night with Bro. Cantrell. Reached his place at 12:30 p.m. Partook of a nice dinner, after which we slept and read until night. Ate supper (chicken). At 9:30 we retired to rest. The bed fell through with us a time or two which disturbed us in our rest.

Wednesday, May 22, 1901

I was not feeling very good when I arose. The purgative I had taken had begun to work. After breakfast we concluded to go to Athens. On the way I vomited some and was awful sick, my stomach gripping very hard at times. We reached there at 11 a.m. Went to Bro. Luke Knight’s where we ate dinner. At 4 p.m. we took the train for Hillsboro. Changed cars at Corsicana, and at 8 p.m. we were at the place. I was feeling awful weak so we went up town, bought a 15c meal and got a good bed for 25c. Had a good rest. The weather was nice and cool so a person could sleep good.

Thursday, May 23, 1901

We went to the restaurant and had breakfast and then started for Bro. Smith’s, a distance of 13 miles. We walked through in 4 hours; passed through Woodbury and got our mail. Found the elders all okay. We rustled around, cleaned up the house, got supper; retired to bed at 9 p.m. Rested good.

Friday, May 24, 1901

It was late before we arose. Did not have breakfast until 9 o’clock. Four of us were here alone so we were in no hurry. We washed and ironed our clothes. I dug the potatoes and at 4 p.m. we sat down to dinner. At night we got into a conversation on polygamy amongst ourselves. Retired at 9 p.m.

Saturday, May 25, 1901

The weather was cloudy and very cool for this time of the year. Bro. and Sister Smith came home during the night. Had both had a good time while at Conference. Glad to see them well again. I was feeling awful miserable. I felt as though the old chill was going to return but it never did, for which I was very thankful. At 11 a.m., Elder Walser and myself walked over to Woodbury after the mail. After returning, I sewed my shoes, went down to the branch, cut up a tree that had fallen down in the road. Had all the nice dewberries we could eat. Good supper. Retired to bed at 9 p.m. Rested fine; nice and cool.

Sunday, May 26, 1901

It was late when we arose. I was feeling some better. Had a nice breakfast. Sat around the house until 2 p.m. reading. Sister Smith had prepared a nice dinner which we all partook of very heartily. Elders Madsen, Walser, and myself then went over to Grub Hill to hear the Campbellites preach. As soon as we entered the house, the preacher was very scared and said that he was not feeling well and could not expect much from him. He read everything from the Bible and notes. They partook of the sacrament. A little dried dough for bread. Some would take with left hand and some with right. No system.

Monday, May 27, 1901

It was quite cold for this time of the year. Had a good night’s rest. The time had come for us to continue our labor, so at 8 a.m. we bid farewell to Bro. and Sis. Smith. It seemed like leaving home as those dear old folks were indeed parents unto the Elders. We did not walk very fast. Took a rest occasionally. At 2 p.m. we reached Whitney. Elder Madsen and I went all over town hunting for a good straw hat. Also bought a few crackers and cheese for a lunch. Crossed over the Brazos River on the railroad bridge into Bosque County. After holding prayers Elders Walser and Rogers left us for the west half of the county where they were going to labor. We began seeking for a place to tarry. Came to Parson Harris, who kindly took us in and gave us the best they had. Talked until 10 p.m. upon the gospel. Held prayers. I was mouth and retired to rest. Good bed.

(To be continued)



  1. Thank you, Ardis. These posts are enjoyable and thought provoking.

    Comment by Kris — September 2, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  2. I thought it was interesting that conference was such a mixture of priesthood and public sessions. Were public sessions primarily members, nonmembers, or a mixture of both?

    I also thought it was interesting that they took sacrament with the Cambellites. Was it usual to take sacrament at the services of other faiths? Why was it unusual for people to take sacrament with either hand? And, why would that have been considered sloppy by Mormon elders?


    Comment by Julia — September 2, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

  3. Yes, that would have been standard. By “priesthood meeting” he really means missionaries, like in a mission zone conference today, rather than as you think of priesthood meeting in your ward. The missionaries, who didn’t see each other very often, had to plan their work (who’s going to be working in which county, who’s going to change companions) that was private business.

    Elder Jones doesn’t say that he partook of the Campbellite sacrament himself — I don’t think he did — just that he observed them doing it, and how. He and his companion occasionally visit and observe meetings of other churches, whether to meet people, or for curiosity, of for “keeping an eye on the competition,” I can’t tell.

    And your question about the perceived sloppiness makes me smile, because even a very few years ago that question wouldn’t be asked on a Mormon blog! It used to be stressed — very often, and very heavily — that you had to take the sacrament with your right hand, and pass the tray to the next person with your right hand. It was practically sacrilegious to use your left hand. There is no doctrinal reason for that; it’s part of the “unwritten order” and some speakers have tried to assert a doctrinal reason by noting that the right hand is the one you raise to the square when you sustain someone, or when a priest baptizes someone, etc. Even today, there are older people in my ward who are scandalized if the right-hand-only “rule” is violated. One sister, who had polio as a child and whose right arm is nearly useless, uses her left hand to manipulate her right hand to lift the bread and water to her lips, rather than use her good left hand alone.

    To Elder Jones, who would have been taught the right-hand-only rule all his life, the indiscriminate use of hands would have been just about as bad as watching people running around during the sacrament, tossing bread to each other like baseballs — it would have shocked him just about that much.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  4. Okay, so maybe it is an “Oregon thing” but I have NEVER heard this before in my life. My parents were converts, my mom at 18, and my dad when he was 4, but my grandparents joined when my dad was 4, and they held a lot of “leadership” callings and worked in the temple for 14 years.

    So, how long was “a few years ago” and in what context was it taught? (I am fascinated.)


    Comment by Julia — September 2, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

  5. Here’s a 1983 discussion by Russell M. Nelson (before he was an apostle) about whether it is necessary to use the right hand with the sacrament. Notice that he doesn’t ever really answer the question! But the fact that the question was even asked indicates the strong tradition of the right hand; the fact that he doesn’t give a clear answer suggests to me that he didn’t want to perpetuate that old idea, but also that he didn’t want to come right out and say that our parents and Sunday School teachers had taught anything incorrect or unnecessary.

    I don’t know that the Church ever made any particular statement declaring that the right hand was traditional rather than doctrinal; as with other such things, the issue simply seems to have been dropped from Church discourse — so there is no real cut-off date. But 1983 is shortly after my mission; I remember the insistence on the right hand before then (throughout my childhood), but nothing in recent years, so this is probably as good a date as any to say it hasn’t been taught since.

    If you Google “taking sacrament with right hand” (but without the quotation marks), you’ll see a LOT of discussion on Mormon-related websites, suggesting how strong the memory of that teaching is among people of a certain age, or who had very conservative parents or Sunday School teachers, but also that it hasn’t been taught in recent years.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  6. I found a couple of other interesting references on the subject.

    Comment by Left Field — September 2, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  7. Thanks, Left Field — that one from 1972 also dances around the question, doesn’t it, leaving us to read between the lines that the right hand thing was a tradition (but a “righteous” one?) while the later one is a little more prescriptive (“it is appropriate”) without being a commandment. The issue seems to be in flux.

    I may have to dig through some manuals from the ’60s and before to find some of “thou shalt use the right hand only” language.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  8. I was born in 1976, so while I was reading in 1983, I think it was Book of Mormon stories and not conference talks.

    My mom called while I was checking out the links, and I asked her what she thought about it, and if I had been taught and then forgot about it, or……….?

    She was baptized in 1973, and she is sure thawarfighter hand sacrament taking wasn’t part of the lessons from the missionaries. She thinks there might have been something said about it, but her first year as a member she was constantly traveling as a Rainbow Girl Grand Worthy advisor, and so she went to a lot of different wards as she traveled the state. My guess is that if someone is new you might wait a few weeks before correction them, and she wasn’t any particular place, except get home ward, for more than who Sundays.

    When her Grand Worthy advisor commitments had been fulfilled, then started college and was in a single’s ward, until my parents got married December of 1974. If it was on the way out, she may have just not paid attention, or as someone who dominate hand is very definitely her right hand. (Fun fact – my Relief Society President was in Rainbow Girls in the samy area of California. When she saw my mom, at my husband’s baptism, she immediately knew who she was. After the baptism was done, she and my mom talked for over half an hour about marriages, (both on their second and HAPPY) kids, conversion stories, and my RSP

    I also emailed a man whose parents were members, and who had been my mom’s good friend. He was the one who baptized her. Basically, he said that one of the families in the ward had some cousins from Utah, who stayed in Pismo Beach for the summer of 1965, and went around telling them they were taking the sacrament wrong. The California kids thought they were crazy and asked where in the Book of Mormon, Bible etc., this rule about the sacrament came from.

    There wasn’t a source in the scriptures of course, but he said the young men were taught to hold the tray, for passing sacrament, if they could, in their right hand. (One boy in the ward was encouraged to use his left hand because of tremors.) Both Deacons and Priests had it drilled into them that they needed to be using their right hands to be passing Sacrament.

    Comment by Julia — September 2, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

  9. ** goes at the end of paragraph #4 (I should learn not to move paragraphs around)

    and my RSPCA, who is two years younger than my mom, was thrilled to talk to the GWA, that she had looked up to as a high school junior. She even remembered what dress my mom was wearing when she spoke at an event my RSP attended. Gotta love what a small world we live in.

    ** Last paragraph I didn’t get to write.

    Was the do e in other churches as well? Does Catholic communion have a strict way of taking the wafer and wine?

    This really is interesting that it seems like a huge deal, but I would be surprised if any of my contemporaries knew much about it. It might be fun to do a poll on Wheat and Tares, or an OP on BCC to see how prevalent it was in different places and dates.


    Comment by Julia — September 2, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

  10. May 19, Pres. Duffin “bore a strong testimony to the divinity of the Prophet Joseph Smith.”

    Interesting choice of words, I assume this was shorthand for Joseph Smith’s divine inspiration, but I doubt a Mormon would use that particular phrasing today.

    Comment by Douglas Hudson — September 4, 2012 @ 8:32 am

  11. Yeah! I suspect he said (and Elder Jones elided) “… the divinity of the mission [or calling] of the Prophet Joseph Smith” which is kind of a set phrase in earlier generations. But yeah, that’s an unfortunate wording here, isn’t it?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 4, 2012 @ 8:50 am

  12. Ardis, that makes sense, no reason for Elder Jones to write out the full phrase in his diary. Thanks for the update.

    I have had a number of conversations lately with people who are not as familiar with the LDS Church as I am, and while the number of misconceptions are amazing (Mormons still practice polygamy, Mormon women all dress like the Amish, Mormons who marry non-Mormons are automatically excommunicated), I haven’t had anyone say that Mormons worship Joseph Smith. I wonder if that particular canard has died out, or if people just don’t know enough about Mormons to even come up with it.

    By the way, I owe much of my own understanding of the Church, and sympathy towards it, to Keepapitchinin–thanks for the great blog!

    Comment by Douglas Hudson — September 5, 2012 @ 10:49 am

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