Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 5 July – 19 July 1901

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 5 July – 19 July 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 30, 2012

(Previous installment)

Friday, July 5, 1901

We were intending to wash our clothes at Bro. Shepperd’s but, as he was going to Glenrose, it knocked that idea all in the head. We did not have anything to do as we wanted to wait until our mail came in. We thanked the kind family and came out to a nice grove of timber. Broke some limbs for a bed and stayed there studying until 11 a.m. when we walked up to Bro. Alexander’s where we partook of a hearty dinner at 2 p.m. We left his place. Stopped in the woods again, where I had a good nap. Came on to Eulogy. Our tracts and books had come, but no letters. We came over into Summerville County and began work. The houses were very scattered. Asked for entertainment at the first house that the man was at home. Had a nice supper. He was busy until quite late but I talked to them for some time on the gospel. Retired to bed at 10 p.m.

Saturday, July 6, 1901

We rested fine during the night. After partaking of a hearty breakfast, we were soon on our way. The kind family asked us back at any time. The weather was so awful warm that it was almost impossible to travel. We came into the Rock Creek districts. Went to see the trustees about preaching in the school house. At dinner time we were unlucky as we did not get anything to eat. We were both so awful gaunt and weak that we retired to the woods and stayed there until 6:30 p.m., when we started out. It was a little cooler and we felt a little better. Came to a man who was pretty well to do. I asked him for the entertainment but he said that they were crowded and could not keep us. He had a big house and plenty of bedrooms. But he was not worthy of the blessings of taking care of the servants of the Lord. We walked on to the next house where Bro. Gibbs lived. He had but one room and his wife was not well. But he says, “Come in, you’re welcome.” We were very thankful to hear that remark as we were both tired and hungry. Partook of a fine supper (beefsteak). Then we talked upon the gospel. Were given a fine bed.

Sunday, July 7, 1901

We rested good during the night. It was very warm and we were feeling awful weak. As we had some walking to do, we thought it wisdom to partake of a hearty breakfast. About 8 a.m. we bid the family goodby and started up to the school house. It was awful warm. There was a large crowd assembled. They began their Sunday School and, in reciting their verses, some of the old men were confounded and had to turn to the Bible to read their verse. It seems like whenever we attend their gatherings, the leaders are scared half to death. After the school was over and they had rested for a short time, we began our meeting. Elder Madsen presided. I took up all the time on the first two Principles of the Gospel. The house was full of people and it got so warm that the sweat ran off from me in a stream while I was a-talking. My voice began to weaken so I stopped and we dismissed. Appointed another meeting for night. The good people all ran off and left us in the church house, and as we were strangers in the community, we had to go without our dinner. We spent the time in writing letters. At 3 p.m. the young people began to assemble again to practice singing, and of all the noise I ever heard, it was made by them. After singing an old gentleman by the name of Yocham took us home and gave us a nice supper. He was not out in the morning and thought it awful bad that the people ran off and left us. We returned to the school house and by 9 p.m. there was a good crowd gathered. Our lights were very dim. I presided and Elder M. spoke first, after which I followed for a short time. All the time we were preaching the boys or young men were running out and in, causing a disturbance, and would pitch little rocks in through the windows. As soon as we had dismissed, two young men came right up and asked us to go home with them. We suspicioned something and I said “where do you live?” The answer was just up the road a short ways. There was no one else came up so we told them all right. They said that they would wait at the door. Two older men stepped up and asked us if we had a place to stay. We told them that two young men had just asked us home and we came to find out they lived about five miles off. They were trying to lead us off and get us into a trap, but they did not succeed. We went home with Bro. Matthews, who lived about 1-1/2 miles away, and were not molested. Retired to bed as soon as we reached his place. Rested fine. Thus ended another Sabbath and the wicked men were disappointed.

Monday, July 8, 1901

It was nice and cool. I rested fine during the night. As we had to go to Eulogy to post our mail, we did not tarry long after breakfast. By 9 a.m. it was awful warm. The sweat was rolling off from us in a stream. We were greatly disappointed on arriving at the post office as there was nothing for us. We concluded to go out and visit Bro. Cunningham and wait until the mail came in. He only lived one mile from town. So we stopped in the woods, pulled off our shirts, and let our clothes dry. Continuing at 11:30, we reached his place. Were welcomed in. Partook of a nice dinner, after which we talked for some time. He was going to Walnut to take the train there and visit his wife’s sister’s husband who had been knocked off from the railroad track by a train and had his head busted. His boys and another man were going to be about the house. So I asked them for the privilege of remaining the rest of the day and washing our clothes. Our request was granted. Elder M. did the washing while I walked to the post office. Received word from Pres. Randall to come to the office as quick as we could. We stayed over night with the folks. Slept on the gallery. The bed was hard but did not sleep very good.

Tuesday, July 9, 1901

Soon after breakfast we bid the kind family goodby and started for Woodbury, Hill County. It was nice and cool. We walked along with ease until we reached Kopperl, a distance of 14 miles. Called on Bro. Greer’s folks. They were glad to see us. Partook of a nice dinner (fried fish). Bro. Greer was working in a store so we were left alone with the girls. We spent the afternoon talking and singing songs. At 6:12 p.m. we took the train for Blum, Hill County, only 8 miles. We had soon reached that point and we had met the Methodist minister and he gave us an invitation to call on him if we ever happened through the town. So as it was night we concluded to call and tarry over night if agreeable. We were informed that he was off to another little town, carrying on a meeting. Bro. Dier, the man he was staying with, asked us to come in. I told him who we were and what we had called for. “Well,” he says, “you can stay anyway.” That was just as good and we were very thankful for it. We partook of a nice supper. The old gentleman had been to Utah in the year ‘50 and was telling many things for facts that were not so. I corrected him as much as I could without causing feelings. Retired to bed at 10 p.m. Good bed.

Wednesday, July 10, 1901

It was quite late when we arose. Ate a hearty breakfast and were soon on our way to the office. We walked at the rate of 4 miles an hour for nearly two hours, when we overtook a man in a wagon and had a ride through the sand for 3 miles. We arrived at the office at 11 a.m. Found Pres. Randall and Anderson and the folks feeling tolerable well. There were two letters from home that brought the good news that the folks were all well. It wasn’t long before they told me what I had been called into the office for. Pres. Duffin had sent word for them to send a good elder to the Austin Conference to work in the city of San Antonio and they had selected me. It was quite a surprise but I was willing to go wherever the servants of God said. I spent the rest of the day getting ready for my trip.

Thursday, July 11, 1901

We arose quite early as we wanted to get an early start for the depot. Bro. & Sis. Smith were receiving many threats from their neighbors because the elders were there, so Pres. concluded to move the office to Henderson County for a while. So they packed up their things and Elder Anderson came along with us to Hillsboro. On arriving at the office at Woodbury, there was a letter from Pres. Duffin stating that if the elder had not been transferred yet to keep him as he had received word from Elder Heward, who was traveling in the East among the Saints that he was chilling and wished to be transferred to some of the Northern States. So I was permitted to remain with my brethren, but had to come east to take Elder Heward’s place. Elder Anderson and I took the train at Hillsboro at 3:30 p.m. Reached Corsicana at 6 p.m. Stayed there until 10:45. While laying around waiting for the train to come, I heard the Salvation Army preach on the street. Their main object was to get what money they could. There were 6 of them, 4 men and 2 ladies. Each one of them made a short talk and sang some pretty songs and then cried for money. The train came. We reached Athens at 12 o’clock and came down to Bro. Knight’s and woke them up and got a bed on the gallery until morning.

Friday, July 12, 1901

I rested good, what little time I had. Arose quite early. We spent the forenoon the best we could walking over the town of Athens. At 2 p.m. we boarded the T.V.N.O. for Liberty Hill. The road had just been built. Everything was loose. It kicked up as much dust as a herd of wild cattle. We reached Bro. Scroggins at 5 p.m. They were glad to see us and it seemed to me like returning home. Elder Anderson and I both slept on a cot each on the gallery.

Saturday, July 13, 1901

The weather being some damper over here in the timber, when I arose my head was stopped up some. Bro. & Sis. Scroggins were going to Athens with their daughter to have her tooth pulled. They started early in order to catch the train. I rode up the road a short distance and then walked over to Bro. Taylor’s, reaching their place at 10 a.m. Bro. Taylor had gone to the sawmill. Sister T. was over to her daughter’s place waiting on her, so I spent the day with the three girls. About night I went up to the spring and took a nice bath. Bro. T. got back home about sundown. We talked until 10 p.m. Held prayers and retired to rest. Good bed.

Sunday, July 14, 1901

Soon after breakfast while it was cool, I walked back to Liberty Hill as we were intending to preach. Bro. Taylor’s folks being sick, he decided to stay at home. I called at Bro. Henston’s and rode to the school house with him and his new buggy. There were only a few came out but we had an enjoyable time. Elder Anderson presided and spoke first, after which I followed for a while. Came home with Bro. Scroggins and partook of a hearty dinner. At 4 p.m. a cloud came over and it poured down for a half-hour. The people were all glad to see a nice rain as their crops were suffering very badly.

Monday, July 15, 1901

After breakfast I went out and helped Bro. Scroggins shell some peas for planting. Came into the house and wrote letters to my folks at home. Elder Anderson walked over to Bro Shadox and talked with him for a while. In the afternoon I walked down to the railroad that was being built through Bro. Scroggins’ field. Watched the men work for a while. Awful warm there amongst the thick timber. Spent the night with Bro. S.

Tuesday, July 16, 1901

Rested well during the night. Went over to Bro. Henston’s with a message to Miss Laura. Took the gun with me. Killed one dove. Came back. Elder A. and myself then walked down 5 miles to the Kickapoo post office after the mail. When we returned, Elders Heward and Pierce had come. It was awful warm. Sweat like everything. We spent the afternoon together. Elder Heward was sick with the chills and looked awful bad. Pierce and I went over to Bro. Kemp’s and spent the night. I took some pills. Did not sleep much.

Wednesday, July 17, 1901

By morning the pills had begun to make me feel awful bad. Elder Heward was not much better. I spent the forenoon about the house preparing for my trip east among the Saints. Partook of a hearty dinner. At 3 p.m. Elder Pierce and myself bid the folks goodby and started out with the sun beating down as hot as could be. At Frankfort we walked down the new railroad for some distance. Along came a man in a buggy and asked us to ride. Arrived at Bro. Jack Knight’s camp just before sunset. They were eating supper and were there camped out, working on the railroad. Talked until bedtime. Slept in a tent. Rested fine.

Thursday, July 18, 1901

We concluded to remain with Bro. Knight all day, so I asked him for a horse to ride to the post office. On arriving there I was disappointed again. Elder Anderson came in a short time. There were several letters for him. Before we separated, he put up the money and we had a dish of ice cream and a glass of soda water, which was very nice. Came back to Bro. Knight’s and partook of a nice dinner. Wrote a letter to Bro. Lon. Clouds came over. It thundered around but did not amount to anything, just sprinkled a little. After supper we had a good conversation.

Friday, July 19, 1901

It was nice and pleasant when we arose. As we had quite a long walk to make, we lost no time while it was cool. After walking about four miles, one of the railroad teams came along so we got a ride of eight miles to Jacksonville, which helped out considerably. While in the town, we bought a 10 cent melon and had all we could eat. Came out 4 miles to Sister Armwine. She was attending a memorial service but came in before night. Was glad to see us. Had all of the nice big peaches we could partake of and a nice supper. Talked for a while. Held prayers and retired to rest. Quite warm for a while. Nice rain during the afternoon.

(To be continued)



  1. I think that I am just not used to how they talk about mission assignments, but I don’t really understand what happened on the 10th and 11th. He was going to be transferred to Austin, and then wasn’t because someone (Elder Heward?) was sick? So he was taking his place?

    Sorry to be dense.

    Comment by Julia — September 30, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

  2. I stopped short with his description on Elder Heward on July 11: he was “chilling.”

    I’d forgotten all about malaria (until his entry on July 16 about Elder Heward), and I wondered if he was anticipating American slang 100 years or so ahead of its time.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 1, 2012 @ 9:52 am

  3. Yes, Julia, he was being transferred, but there were at least two factors that mixed up the plans: Somebody was sick and so needed to be transferred to a place where malaria wasn’t so prevalent, and the room in someone’s house (the Smiths) that the missionaries in that area were using as a headquarters (not the whole mission office, but some division of the mission, like today’s zones or districts) needed to be changed to relieve the pressures on the Smiths from people who didn’t like so many Mormons in the neighborhood. I’m not entirely clear on who ended up where, but you’ve got the right idea: Elder Jones’s plans for transfer got interrupted midway because of these other factors.

    Thanks for the laugh, Mark!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 1, 2012 @ 10:14 am

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