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Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 26 August – 10 September 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 21, 2012

(Previous installment)

Monday, August 26, 1901

The time had arrived for us to go on our journey as I was feeling some better. We got up early and got an early start as we were anxious to catch the train at Grapeland at 12:04 p.m. Bro. Zimmerman decided to come with us in the wagon and save us some walking. It was awful warm and the roads were bad, causing us to be just 10 minutes late. We were only about a quarter mile from the depot when the train pulled out, so we had to wait until 7:25 in the evening. Arriving at Palestine about 9 p.m. we had to wait there until the next morning. We happened to have a little money so we put up at a hotel. Went and heard the Salvation Army preach a little while. I tried to get into a conversation with the preacher but couldn’t.

Tuesday, August 27, 1901

We left Palestine at 8:15. Got off the train at Neches. From there we took across the country to Kickapoo 10 miles and then up to Bro. Scroggins where we reached about 4 p.m. Were very surprised to learn of the sad death of Sister Scroggins who passed from this life on the 25th. I was very sorry to hear of it as she had indeed been a mother to me and all of the elders that had been at her home any length of time.

Wednesday, August 28, 1901

Weather nice and cool in the morning but awful warm in the middle of the day. I spent the day about the house and walking all over the farm. Kept my eye on the watch for Elder Barber all day but he did not come. I was very anxious to see him. Soon after supper we held prayers. Elder P. Was mouth. Retired. We both slept on the gallery, not cots.

Thursday, August 29, 1901

Weather nice and pleasant when we arose. After breakfast I went out into the cotton field and helped pick cotton for a while. Came back to the house and read until dinner. Elder P. Then walked up the road to see if he could find out anything of Elder Barber. Met him at Bro. Shadox and in a short time both came back. Two letters for me. We spent the afternoon very pleasantly, chatting over our experiences. Ate supper. Sat on the gallery and talked until 10 p.m. Held prayers; I was mouth, and retired.

Friday, August 30, 1901

After putting in a sleepless night we arose. Wrote letters until 10 a.m., when Elder Pierce and myself started out on a short trip to visit the Saints. Stopped at Bro. Shadox where we ate dinner and had a good conversation. At 2 p.m. we walked on up to Bro. Taylor’s. Found them all well. Stayed there all night. The women folks went to one of the neighbors to attend an ice cream supper. Bro. Taylor stayed with us. Retired quite early after holding prayers. I was mouth.

Saturday, August 31, 1901

Arose quite early. Rested fine. Soon after breakfast we bid the folks goodby and started for Bro. Huston’s, a distance of 12 miles. We plodded along through the sand, hot enough so that it would burn my feet through my shoes. Arrived at his place at 12 p.m. Found him glad to see us. Partook of a nice dinner. Spent the remainder of the day talking upon the gospel. Ate supper and was not long before we retired. Elder P. was mouth in prayer. They gave us a bed apiece as it was warm.

Sunday, September 1, 1901

I arose feeling quite well. It being fast Sunday I did not partake of any breakfast. Spent the forenoon writing and talking with the neighbors as they came in. Partook of a fine dinner. Sat and talked all afternoon. The sister did not want to get any supper but Bro. Huston said he was hungry and had to have some. Held prayers and retired. I was mouth. Rested good.

Monday, September 2, 1901

Arose quite early. Soon after breakfast we bid the family goodby and started for Bro. Taylor’s. Stopped at New York and bought a shirt for 50c. Went on, arrived at Bro. Taylor’s at 11 a.m. Partook of a nice dinner. Elder Barber came over about 3 p.m. with a letter from Pa. Folks all well at home. We all went out into the cotton field. I picked 24 pounds of cotton. Came to the house about dark. After supper we sang songs until bed time. Held prayers. I was mouth, and retired on the gallery.

Tuesday, September 3, 1901

After breakfast Elder Barber and I rode with Bro. Taylor in his buggy 6 miles. Walked on to Bro. Scroggins. Had a bath, shave, and made preparations to start for Galveston on a pleasure trip. I had sent after $10.00, but it had not come yet, so I borrowed the amount from Bro. Scroggins, and at 2 p.m. we started. Bro. S. was going to Palestine with a bale of cotton so we got a ride and saved a walk of 25 miles. We traveled until 10 p.m. when we camped, ate a cold supper, and then Elder Barber and myself laid down on the wagon cover and tried to sleep but the sand flies were so bad that we couldn’t. We spent a very weary night.

Wednesday, September 4, 1901

About 4 a.m. we arose and started on our way. When daylight came we discovered that the sand flies had bitten us quite bad as there were red blotches all over our hands and faces. We arrived in Palestine at 8 a.m. Bro. Scroggins sold his cotton. Got 35c a pound. We went to a restaurant and got a meal for 25c. After so long we discovered that we had come off without our clergy permits so we had to send back to Elder Pierce for them. While we were waiting, we walked out 10 miles to Bro. Vance’s to visit them, as one of his daughters was a member, but on arriving at their place a while before sunset, we noticed that they were not as friendly as usual. It was not long until they told us that the sister had withdrawn from the church. We did not get to see her, as she was off attending a protracted meeting. Though they treated us cool, we did not want to go on as we were tired and also desirous of learning why it was that they had turned traitors, so we asked for the privilege of remaining over night and it was granted. After supper, our conversation began and everything that we would say, the old man would oppose us. At one time he was almost converted but had been influenced away. It wasn’t long until we were having it in good shape. The old lady became unhappy and asked that we quit our talk, which we kindly did. We then sang them a few songs and retired, after holding prayers. I was mouth. Were soon asleep, resting fine.

Thursday, September 5, 1901

After breakfast we bid them goodby. Did not receive any welcome back. Started back for Palestine. Rode about half of the way with a nigger. Sold him a B.B. On our way we bought a big melon for 10. Reached town about 11 a.m. At noon we had a nice dinner for 25c. Our clergy permits had not come yet. We spent the afternoon walking about the city. Had an ice cream soda for 5c. We listened to the Salvation Army on the street for a while. They were poor excuses for preachers. About midnight a man who was sleeping in the same room as we were got out of his bed and came and sat down on ours. I don’t know what he was going to do or whether he was awake or not. Elder Barber spoke to him and he was soon off.

Friday, September 6, 1901

Ate breakfast, 20c. Went to the post office and our clergy permits had come. We could not leave until 1:30 p.m. as that was the first train going south. Before we started or during the forenoon, we visited the round house and saw them repairing the engines. Went to the restaurant, meal 25c. Bought a ticket for Galveston, $3.00 half fare and at 1:30 we began to fly in that direction. We passed through several towns. Were delayed some three times on account of the boxes getting hot. Arrived at Houston at 9 p.m., too late to catch the train for the seaport town, so we had to wait until 6 a.m. the next morning. Went to the Crescent Hotel, got a good bed and had a fine bath all for 25c. Rested fine.

Saturday, September 7, 1901

We arose early and caught the train by 6 am. We traveled over a prairie most of the way. It was very thinly settled. Passed through League City, the place where Elder Huntsman spent the 8th of September during the Galveston disaster. We noticed along the road great ponds of water formed. It had been raining four days. Everything wet and boggy. We came to the bay road over trestle road for three miles into the city. It was raining when we reached there but did not last long. Ate breakfast, 25c. We then began to take in the sights. First, went to the wharf and went through three large ships. We saw several fish in the bay that were 8 feet long. After visiting all the places of interest about the wharf, we returned to the city and took a street car for the beach, 5c. The wind was blowing quite hard, causing the whitecaps to be very high. We watched them roll until we were tired and then started to buy some shells to take home. I picked out a nice collection, which I purchased for $1.00 with 30c discount. We then began to get hungry so we went to the restaurant. I had a good bake of fish, 15c. By this time we had visited all of the places of interest and, as the next day was Sunday, we decided to take the train for Waco and spend the day with the 4 elders who were laboring there. We purchased a ticket, $3.50 half fare and at 5:15 p.m. we started out. Traveled all night on the train, and at 4:20 a.m. we arrived at Waco. Slept some on the way but did not rest very good.

Sunday, September 8, 1901

We remained in the depot until 6 a.m. when we started out to find the Elders’ room. We had no trouble in finding them. They were all in bed when we slipped in upon them in surprise. After talking for two hours we all walked down to the restaurant and had breakfast, 25c. Elder Randall paid the bill for all of us. At 10:30 Elder Walser, myself, Randall, and Barber visited the Catholic Church and listened to them carry on in their hellish way for two hours. The priest did everything with his back to the audience. He did all of his work in Greek or Latin. It was disgusting to see the way they carried on. After they were through, we had a glass of ice cream soda. I put up for it, 20c. Then we returned to the room where we spent the remainder of the day chatting upon various subjects. At 5 p.m. we went out and had our supper meal, a good one for 15c. Elder Crane and I then visited around the town. Met two of the other elders and we all attended the Presbyterian Church. The old preacher in his discourse perverted the gospel a great deal, taught the people many things that were not right. He said that faith was sufficient without works; that a person did not have to work to save himself but worked because he was saved. We returned to the room and after talking for a long time, we retired, three in a bed. Held prayers; I was mouth.

Monday, September 9, 1901

Elder Barber and myself had to get up early in order to catch the train at 6:20 a.m. While we were dressing we looked out the window and saw a big fire down in town. It wasn’t long before the fire department came down the street as hard as they could run. We caught the train all okay, bought a ticket, $1.40, to Athens half-fare. Something I had eaten while on my trip tore my bowels up good, causing me to retreat to a private place occasionally. Arrived at Corsicana at 9:30. Elder Barber bought two pies, 10c a piece. Arrived at Athens at 12 p.m. Went to Bro. Luke Knight’s and had dinner. At 2:20 p.m. we took the T&NO six miles to the Saints. To our surprise we found Sister Knight very sick. They had a large crowd so we went home with Bro. Cantrell and spent the night. Rested very good.

Tuesday, September 10, 1901

Elder Barber was feeling very miserable when we arose. Stayed at Bro. Cantrell’s all day. After supper we all went to the school house. The Baptists were carrying on a big meeting, and of all the mockery I ever saw, it was there. The old preacher said that it wasn’t necessary to salvation to abstain from doing wrong. You only had to leave off your meanness for decency’s sake. Four of the people professed that they had receive religion. After meeting we learned that Sister Knight was worse, so we walked over there and sat up until 2 p.m. Returned to Bro. Cantrell’s, where we slept until morning.

(To be continued)



6 Comments »

  1. It didn’t occur to me until now that this is Elder is serving in the period of the Galveston Hurricane and it’s aftermath; our Elder visiting on the one-year anniversary. I can only imagine what destruction he saw even one year later, and of the tales the Elder Huntsman who actually weathered the storm could tell!

    Comment by Chad Too — October 21, 2012 @ 9:18 am

  2. …so of course I had to go back a year in his journal to see where our good Elder was on the fateful day. If I read properly, I think he was in Gum Springs, near present day Longview.

    He mentions the wind blowing really hard, followed by rain. That makes perfect sense if he was upwind to the east of the storm center.

    Comment by Chad Too — October 21, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  3. Ardis, I fell behind on reading this series a few weeks ago and have been playing catchup the last few days. I haven’t commented much but wanted to let you know how great this is. I’m constantly amazed at how similar these diary entries read to those of the 18th century Methodist itinerant preachers I’ve been going through lately.

    Comment by Christopher — October 21, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  4. New York, Texas! Well, I’ll be darned!

    Comment by Mark B. — October 21, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

  5. Sleeping three in a bed. My goodness. ;-)

    After the civil war, but definitely the same language. Sigh. He would have been right at home with my Holman ancestors, who were using that word as a casual reference in the late 1920s.

    Comment by Julia — October 23, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  6. Although the Holmans were perverting Baptists. ;-)

    Comment by Julia — October 23, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

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