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Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 28 May – 8 June 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 09, 2012

(Previous installment)

Tuesday, May 28, 1901

It was quite late when we arose. Soon after breakfast we were on our way to see the trustees. The first one was not at home, so we decided not to try to preach in the community on account of it being warm and didn’t want to walk any more than we had to. We visited the families in Allen’s Bend. At noon we partook of a nice dinner at Bro. J.H. Hearsley. Had a long talk. Continuing, we stopped under the shade trees and took a good rest. After visiting all of the families in the Bend we had started out to seek a place for to tarry. Came to Mr. Ward’s. The lady said that she had heard our people preach. We told her that we were preaching wherever we could, both in public and private houses. She then gave us an invitation to preach in her house, which we gladly accepted. There were but a few came in and it was very late before we got started. I did all of the talking. After closing, we held prayers and retired at 11:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 29, 1901

It was nice and pleasant. We had a good talk with the Brother and, before leaving, he bought a Book of Mormon. He also gave us a warm welcome to return. They seemed to be well pleased in what they had heard from us. We walked out to the school house where we stopped for a while and took a nap as we did not get much sleep during the night. Continuing, we visited several families. Sold one book. Stopped at Bro. Bryant’s where we ate dinner. Elders Walser and Rogers had stayed with them the night before. After taking a little sleep in the woods, we went down on Steel’s creek first and went to see the trustees about the school house. Were successful in getting it. We stopped on the creek to have a bath. I had just started to wash and along came a woman. I managed to get my clothes on again without her seeing me. We started out to find a place to tarry. Norated our meeting as we went. Came to Bro. Johnson’s where we were taken in. Had a good conversation and a fine bed. The spirit of the Lord rested upon me and I was able to explain the Gospel in its plainness.

Thursday, May 30, 1901

It was very cloudy when we arose. Looked very much like rain. Soon after breakfast we began canvassing and norating our meeting. Came to the school house about 10 a.m. It began raining so we remained at the place until 1 p.m. We then walked up to the store. Mr. Roberts, a man who was at one time a Mormon, owned half interest. He had fallen by the wayside because he could not endure the persecution that was placed upon him. He acted very distant towards us. It continued to rain so we could not do anything, so we again returned to the school house. The clouds finally broke away and it began to clear off. We did not have any dinner so we started out to get supper. Were led to the right place. A man by the name of Wood welcomed us and we had a good talk and nice supper. When we got ready to go and fill our appointment, he insisted that we leave our grips at his place and come back and stay over night. Arriving at the school house, there was quite a nice crowd out to hear us. I presided. Elder Madsen spoke first for a short time and then I followed for some length upon the First Principles. Enjoyed a good flow of the holy spirit.

Friday, May 31, 1901

I rested fine during the night. Elder Madsen said that it rained considerable during the night but I never heard a thing. It was quite cloudy when we arose. After breakfast we talked for a while upon the mission and trials of the Prophet Joseph. At 8 a.m. we began our work. Stopped in the school house where we wrote our journals and held prayers. Before we left, two ladies came and swept out the house and filled the lamps for us. Continuing, we finished canvassing the community. Met one old lady who was awful prejudiced. Would not take a pamphlet. At noon we stopped at Bro. W.W. Vinson’s where we partook of a nice dinner. Came back by the store. Stopped and talked a while with the clerk. Retired to the school house where we spent the remainder of the day reading and writing. At 9 p.m. the people had all come in. Had a nice congregation. Elder Madsen presided. He spoke for 15 minutes upon the organization of the Church, after which I followed for 50 minutes upon the Apostasy and Restoration. A goodly portion of the spirit was in our midst. After meeting the prettiest young lady in the community asked us home. We thanked her and walked up the road with her alone, something strange for a Mormon elder. She prepared us a fine bed and we were soon asleep.

Saturday, June 1, 1901

I rested fine during the night. When I awoke I was scratching myself all over. Partook of a nice breakfast. The man wanted to go to work so we did not tarry very long. Thanking him for his kindness we took our leave. Went to the store and post office and mailed some letters. Then started north up the railroad to the next community. We thought we would try and preach there but when we came to look around there were but a few families and they were in an awful scattered condition, and we were informed by one of the leading men of the community that the people were awfully divided. They would not come to the school house for preaching, even tried to break up the public school. So we concluded not to preach there. The people were all very busy harvesting their grain. At noon we came to Bro. Hall’s, where we partook of a nice dinner. Did not talk much with him as he was awful busy. After leaving his place, we took a nice bath in the creek, which was very refreshing to us. Came to an old school house where we went in and had a good sleep. After a good rest, we concluded to go into Morgan after our mail as it was only a short distance. But on arriving at the post office we were really disappointed. Night came on. We began seeking for a place to tarry. The first place the man was not at home. Next place was very crowded with harvest hands. Next place, Bro. Womack’s, we were taken in. Given a nice supper. Had a good talk and a good bed. It was 8:30 when we got in.

Sunday, June 2, 1901

The weather was clear and pleasant. Rested good during the night and still sleepy when I arose. It being Sunday, we did not wish to travel so I asked the kind family if we could remain with them. My request was granted. Several of the neighbors came in. We were left alone most of the day. At 12 we partook of a nice dinner, which had been prepared by the kind sister. The day was quite warm and awful long. I began to think that I was going to wear out my pants sitting around so long. About night we walked out into the garden and helped dig a few potatoes. Night came on. We talked until nearly 10 p.m. when we retired to rest.

Monday, June 3, 1901

Before leaving Bro. Womack we gave him a Voice of Warning to peruse at his leisure moments. Soon after breakfast we thanked the kind folks and were soon on our road. Came to the creek where we stopped and took a shave and held prayers. Continuing, we went into Morgan and received letters from home. Folks all well. We went to the barber shop and had our razors sharpened. I then went to the shoemaker shop and had 35c worth of work done on my grip and shoes. After finishing our work in town, we came out into the country and began our labor. At noon we were invited into a house, G.H. Dyer. Partook of a fine dinner and had a long talk upon the gospel. He was a very strong old Baptist brother and said that it would be hard to change him. After leaving his place we stopped in the woods where we rested for two hours. Continuing, we came in to Dierville community. On inquiring of Bro. Allen, a good old Baptist, about the trustees of the school house, we were informed that we could not preach there. He said, “You are around advocating Mormonism.” “Yes,” I said. “Mormonism is Bible-ism.” He went on vilifying our people and the prophets of God. I kindly headed him off on everything and bore him a strong testimony of the Gospel. Stopped with Bro. Newman. Were treated fine. Had a good supper. Sang songs. Held prayer and retired to rest at 11 p.m. Good bed.

Tuesday, June 4, 1901

The night was too short. Did not get all my sleep out. Partook of a nice breakfast. We were contemplating washing our clothes at Bro. Newman’s, but on account of the weather being so cloudy we decided to wait until some other day. We thanked the kind family. They gave us the privilege of returning at any time. We started out to work but the houses were so scattered that we were soon through with the country. Our next work was in the town of Morgan, where we arrived at dinner time. As we did not have a friend in the place, we stopped out at the edge of town and called at a house. Were invited in. Had a good talk and a nice dinner. His name was Andrews. At 3 p.m. we commenced work in town. Left our grips at one of the stores. While canvassing we met Mrs. Rogers, who had charge of the Campbellite Church. Before asking her anything about it, she said that we could preach there. We thanked her and continued norating the meeting. By the time the news had spread over the place that the Mormons were in town, and as we passed down the street, sentiments could be heard from every lip. We met the editor who took our names and said he would make mention of our visit to the place. We were rejected two or three times. The time came to seek a place to tarry. We retired to the woods in prayer and asked our Heavenly father to direct us to a place. The second place we asked, we were ordered out of the yard while explaining our object among the people. The next place Bro. Cook, a very poor hard-working man, took us in and treated us with courtesy. Had a good talk. Retired to rest at 9:30. Good bed.

Wednesday, June 5, 1901

During the night it rained some and was quite wet when we arose. Soon after breakfast the man had to go to work at 7, so we thanked him for his kindness and began the duties of another day. First went into the woods and had our prayers and then came back to town and began canvassing. We were only invited into one house. The gentleman was at home. We had a long talk. Could not make him see anything. He was as blind as could be. Met one preacher. When we approached his house the folks began to play a fiddle, but I stood at the door knocking away. Finally he came out but would not take a pamphlet. Said that he didn’t want us around the place. We thanked him and went on.

At 11 a.m. we had finished the town so we walked out into the country for dinner. Came to Bro. W.M. Hornbuckle’s, where we partook of a nice dinner. He was not very sociable. Could not get him to talk on religion. We were tired and did not want to work anymore so I asked him if we could remain at his place until night. Was granted. At 6 p.m. we started back to the church in town to fill our appointment. At 9 there had about 35 persons come out. I presided. Elder Madsen spoke first for 15 minutes after which I followed for 40 minutes, giving in brief the organization and restoration of the gospel. After we were through two men came up. And, as we could do no better, we had to separate in order to get entertainment. Bro. Perry took me home with him. Bro. Rogers took Elder Madsen with him. Reaching his house I was given a good bed and was soon in the land of Nod. Rested well.

Thursday, June 6, 1901

Bro. Perry had to call me before I awoke. Had a good night’s rest. After breakfast he had to go about his business. It was quite early so I waited until 8 a.m. Then, thanking his folks, I went to the post office where I met Elder Madsen. He enjoyed a good night’s rest also. The mail train was due at 10 o’clock. Thinking that we would have some, we concluded to wait. We retired to the woods or down on the creek bottom, where we had our prayers and waited until the mail had come. But we were disappointed. We then started out in the country to begin work. It was getting so hot that we couldn’t hardly stand to travel. Visited several houses. No one asked us in to even take a rest. At last we came to Brother Hickox, where we had a nice dinner and a good conversation. At 2 p.m. they went to work so we started out. While going across a field we came to a binder standing under some trees with a wagon cover over it. We spread the cover out on the grass and slept there until 5 p.m. as it was so awful warm. By 5 it was a little cooler, but very little. We visited several houses. Began asking for a place to tarry. Were refused twice. Came to Bro. Whaley, who took us in. Were treated fine. It was so warm that we could not rest when we went to bed.

Friday, June 7, 1901

The night was so warm that I could not sleep. Just rolled and tumbled all night. Before daylight the flies came so thick that they nearly ate me up. After breakfast we concluded to wash our underwear if agreeable with the family. Although he was not very friendly, I made our wants known and we were granted the privilege. By 8 a.m. we had our washing all done and by 10 they were dry. We packed our grips, thanked the folks, and were on our way. The sun came down very hot. Stopped at Bro. Morrison’s, where we ate dinner, after which we went to the creek where we had a good bath. We then laid down on two big rocks and slept for one hour. Continuing on, we saw the trustees of the school house. Were successful in getting it to preach in. Visited several more families. Began asking for a place to tarry. The first house we were told that we could stay, but after they considered the matter, the lady came to us and said that she didn’t believe that she could keep us. The next house an old lady not hardly able to do her work said if we couldn’t do better to come back and they would do the best they could for us. About dark we came to Bro. Rundell. He stood and studied about it for some time before he could say yes. Had a nice cold supper. Retired at 9 p.m. Good bed. Weather cooler.

Saturday, June 8, 1901

It was nice and pleasant during the night. I put in a good rest. After breakfast the gentleman said that he had to go to his work so we thanked him and began visiting the people. Stopped under a beautiful shady tree where I had a nap for a short time. Continuing, we came to Bro. J.E. Warren. Sold him a book and partook of a nice dinner with him. At 1 p.m. we continued finishing the community. Came to one old man who said he knew all about us. I talked to him and I believe told him things that he had never thought of. We stopped on a stream of clear running water where we took a bath and changed our clothing, also had a shave. We came up to the school house and to our surprise the benches were all laying scattered around like some old out house. We had almost decided that the people would not come to such a place, but we waited to see. At 9 p.m. the house was full of people and we had a good time. Elder Madsen presided. I took up all of the time on faith and repentance. We went home with Bro. Morrison. Good bed.

(To be continued)



3 Comments »

  1. “I had just started to wash and along came a woman. I managed to get my clothes on again without her seeing me.”

    Do you think he meant that she came to the creek to bathe? It seems like an odd way to describe the scene.

    I was also curious what grain is harvested in early June.

    Comment by J. Stapley — September 9, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

  2. Winter wheat is harvested in Texas in June, Google sez. I suppose those of us in more northern climes are more used to grain that has barely started to grow in June.

    And while I can’t add any understanding to the scene at the creek, isn’t that one of the funniest lines we’ve seen in this diary?!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 9, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

  3. I interpret the scene as the creek being near a seldom used road/path, and the woman passes by on the path.

    Comment by The Other Clark — September 11, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

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