Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 28 September – 10 October 1901

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 28 September – 10 October 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 04, 2012

(Previous installment)

Saturday, September 28, 1901

Was feeling well when we arose. Soon after breakfast Elder Craner and I went to the post office. No mail for us. Also visited all of the express offices but our literature had not come as yet. At 10 a.m. we started out to work. Elder Anderson and I had to walk out about 3 miles to ours. We labored among a hot bed of Campbellites all day, and every few families, there would be a preacher. Were showed the gate by a person or two who professed to be a follower of Jesus Christ. We were invited into one house. They were Presbyterians. Had a warm conversation. He had received the Holy Spirit before baptism and made the assertion that baptism was not essential. Another place, Mrs. Rogers who was a cripple, was hurt about 10 weeks ago on a street car while going to Sunday School. We sat and talked on the gallery for a while and as we were about to leave, she desired that we hold prayers with her before leaving, which we did although the people were passing by all the time. Very queer way the sectarians have got into. We took the street car and returned to our room. Had a nice bath and then went to supper. At 7 p.m. we visited the fire department and watched the horses come into their places as they were spoken to. Very smart. At 8 p.m. we began our open air service on the steps of the City Hall. There were but a few present. Our crowd was moving. They would come up and listen for a while and then go away. Elder Craner spoke for 40 minutes upon the apostasy and Restoration. When we closed, there were but 3 remaining. We returned to our room, where we talked for a while and then retired to bed.

Sunday, September 29, 1901

After breakfast Elders Craner, Anderson, and I took a walk over in East Waco to see how much work we had to do. On our way spectators were commenting about us. Went up into the tower of the colored college, also the cotton mill where we got a view of the city. Returning to our room, we spent the day writing letters to our friends and relatives. At 5 p.m. we went to supper. Listened to the Baylor students cry away for a while. Spent the evening at the room.

Monday, September 30, 1901

At 8 a.m. Elder Anderson and I went to the post office but there wasn’t any mail and were disappointed in not getting our literature. After returning we made preparation to go to work. We just had enough tracts for the day’s work. Elder Craner and I went out. The first house we visited, a Catholic lady asked us in and after talking for a while she gave us a nice drink of buttermilk. Visited several more families. Were invited in again. Talked with three ladies, one of them had married a member of the Josephite Church. At 2 p.m. we were through. We then visited the Baylor University. Met the president, Dr. Cooper, and had a short talk with him. He gave us the privilege of visiting the building but on account of the classes being in session, we were unable to go through the main part of the building. We then returned to our room, where we rested for a short time and then went to supper. Came back to the room about dark, sat and read and wrote letters until 11 p.m. Retired to rest after holding prayers.

Tuesday, October 1, 1901

At 8 a.m. Elder Anderson and I went to the post office. One letter from Elder Barber. Our literature had come, which we were glad of as we were out. We had finished the western part of the city, so we crossed over the Grazos River into East Waco. The first house we visited were invited in and had a nice conversation. The man of the place was a holiness preacher and he was in jail for deserting his family and running off with a widowed lady. During the day we were invited into several houses. Could not sell any books. At noon we bought us 10c worth of apples for our dinner. At 4:30 we quit and came to supper after which we came to the room. Spent the evening reading and writing.

Wednesday, October 2, 1901

Arose feeling well. Ate a hearty breakfast, after which we made preparations to go to work. At 10 a.m. we left the room, called at the post office and found one letter for me from home. Received word from the folks that they were having the measles. We began work. Were invited into several houses where we conversed upon the gospel a short time. One old man, when I told him who we were, he began to vilify us and also to tremble as is generally the case with such people when they slander the servants of the Lord. He said in a very rough manner, “I don’t believe in any such doctrine.” During all the time that we were talking his old woman was back in the room ha ha-ing to beat time. We had for our dinner 10c worth of apples. At 3 p.m. we quit and returned to our room, where we studied for a while, then went to supper, after which we waited until 8 p.m. as it was our night to hold forth at the City Hall. No one came to hear us so we came home. Elder Craner treated us to soda water. As he was going to start early the next morning for Athens, he was busy packing his grips until bed time.

Thursday, October 3, 1901

I arose quite early and walked to the depot with Elder Craner, as he was going to Athens to tend to things in the office. Returned just in time for breakfast. At 10 a.m. Elder Anderson and I went out and finished up the city. Visited 34 families. The last one rejected us. Returning to our room, we spent the remainder of the day in peace. I was feeling awful, so I laid on the bed most of the day. At 6 p.m. went to supper. Spent the evening reading the word of the Lord. I was mouth in prayer.

Friday, October 4, 1901

Arose feeling tolerable well. At 8 a.m. Elder Anderson and I walked to the post office after our mail. Were disappointed in not receiving our money. They were out at the office but said that they would send it as soon as possible. We returned to the room for a while and then went downtown and sold our torch lamp to a second-hand store. It cost $1.50 but we were only able to get 50 for it. We then visited the cottonseed oil mill and saw the seed start in as hull and when it had passed through all of the processes, it came out in meal and oil. It was quite a sight for a person who had never seen anything like it. We returned to our room and rested until 6 p.m. when we went to supper at the usual place, Cousin Georges. At 7 p.m. we walked down to the depot to meet Elder Barber as we expected him in, but he did not come. On our way back we stopped and listened to the holiness preacher for a while. He made several assertions that he could not prove. Returned to our room. Retired.

Saturday, October 5, 1901

After breakfast Elder Anderson and I walked to the post office. Our money and literature had arrived all okay. As I was needing a pair of shoes, we went to the Sanger Bros. Department Store and bought a fine pair worth $3.50 for $2.95. Returning to the room, I put them on and we then went back. I took the old ones and sold them for 10c. Elder A. had a piece put on his shoe. We then came back to the room again, bought a pound of grapes and 10c worth of apples. After taking a good rest we again went back in the city and down to the Baylor University where we watched a game of football between the Baylor team and a team from Austin. It cost 50c to get in the fence, but we with several others got onto a pile of dirt and saw the whole thing for nothing. The Baylor team beat the other one very bad. Went to supper and then to the depot and met Elder Barber. We spent the evening very pleasantly.

Sunday, October 6, 1901

It was quite late when we arose. As it was Sunday, we did not have to get up early. Elder Anderson and I went to the post office but there was no mail. We remained at our room until 12 sleeping and reading. Then went down to the Jackson house (Cousin George) where we were given a fine dinner free of charge. We then sat on the steps of the City Hall and watched the show outfit pass by. We returned to our room where we spent the rest of the day. I went down town and bought a few cakes and pies for our supper. We read and wrote letters until 11 p.m.

Monday, October 7, 1901

We arose quite early feeling well and able to eat a hearty breakfast. Elder Pierce and I walked to the post office but there was no mail for us. At 10 a.m. we watched the parade as it passed down the street. The beautiful fine horses and nice music was indeed grand. At 12 p.m. Elder Anderson and myself walked to the show ground, bought a ticket for 50c and then entered the large Adam Forpaugh & Sells Brothers Show. We first visited all of the animals and saw the following named beasts:

Tiger, antelope, camel, ostriches, sacred cows from India, Asiatic taper, lions of Africa, Bengal tiger, llama, fallow deer, spring fox, American elk, zebra, bear, leopard, mountain lion, panther, Andes Taper, S.A., black leopard, giant kangaroo, ibex of Africa, parrots, polar bear from Greenland, hippopotamus from Egypt, Cassowary from Asia, emu from Australia, Nepalese goats, and India walrus.

After taking a good look at all of the animals we went into the big tent. Got a high seat, and there we sat for nearly two hours watching the men and women perform upon the trapeze, the horse racing, horse dancing, and many other amusements. Returned to our room and made preparations for supper. Went to the Jackson house. Came back to the room and read until bed time. Retired to rest.

Tuesday, October 8, 1901

We all arose feeling well. After breakfast we began making preparations to leave the city as the work was finished. The people had been given a good warning and we were ready to bid them adieu as we had received but little encouragement. Yet we were satisfied that we had done our duty unto them. Elder Barber and I went down town. I bought a pair of socks. He had his shoes shined. At 10:30 a.m., Elder Pierce and myself bid Elders Barber and Anderson goodby. We were going into Coryell County and they in Fall and Robertson, visiting friends. We had only 15 minutes to catch the train so we had to walk fast. Arrived at the depot in time. Bought a ticket to Gatesville, Coryell County, for 70c half-fare. The train was so crowded that I had to stand up in the aisle 12 or 15 miles. We arrived at our destination at 1:30 p.m. we took a walk around the town sizing it up. Bought 10c worth of cakes and apples and went down on the Leon River and ate our dinner. In a short time it began raining. We hurried under a gin mill and were kept dry. It was so late we decided not to start on the town, so we went out into the country and sought for entertainment. We canvassed five families and were refused entertainment at two of the places. They made the claim that their women were sick, which is generally the case when a Mormon elder is hunting for a place to tarry. The last place was Bro. A.H. Gregory, a man who was well to do. He made several excuses but I kept talking and finally he said that we could stay. He was very prejudiced. Partook of a fine supper and after, we sat and talked until 9 p.m. upon different subjects, the gospel being the leading one. He asked several questions which we answered to the best of our ability. Retired to rest. Good bed. Slept fine.

Wednesday, October 9, 1901

We arose quite early after having a good night’s rest, feeling well. Partook of a hearty breakfast. When we went to give the brother a pamphlet he refused to take it, but after exchanging a few words, he thought it his duty to prove the same. We bid them goodby and were soon on our way toward town. Stopped in the woods where we held prayers and wrote our journals. We entered the town at 9:30 a.m. Went to a grocery store and were granted the privilege of leaving our grips. Inquired where the mayor lived. Went to see him and get his consent to commence labor in the town. On arriving at his house, we were informed by his wife that he was not at home, so we went to work anyway. By noon we had visited 50 families; were invited in several places where we gave them a short conversation and sold one book. At noon we bought 5c of bread and 5c of candy and retired to the river where we ate them and rested for 3 hours. Coming back into town, the people had just begun to find out who we were and what our business was. In passing the bystanders, we could hear them passing remarks concerning the Mormons. I also noticed a sign on the fence of a theater that was to come off in the opera house, entitled “Utah, a New Play Touching on Mormonism.”

We continued visiting the people in the afternoon, talking with several. Night came on. We had no place to stay in a strange place without any money. We went forth trusting in a higher power, and, after asking three places, we were taken in by Bro. E.R. Tuldy. Partook of a nice supper. Talked on the gospel until 9 p.m., held prayers, I was mouth. The kind folks told us to make ourselves at home and if anything got the matter through the night, to tell them.

Thursday, October 10, 1901

We arose early. Ate a fine breakfast. Sat and read until time to go to work. Thanked the family and were on our way. Commenced canvassing. By this time everybody had learned who we were and as we were walking down the street, one smart alec yelled out to the top of his voice “Brigham Young.” At several houses they rejected us. At 11 a.m. we were invited in to a fine house where I had the privilege of talking with three women upon the gospel. After leaving them I went and bought 5c of bread and 10c of apples and we retired to the river and ate our small dinner. Rested until 2 p.m. when we began work again. Canvassed until 4 p.m. We then got our grips and went out in the country for entertainment. Stayed with Bro. J.L. Powell over night. After supper our conversation drifted off on religion. Retired to rest at 9 p.m. Mosquitos bad.

(To be continued)



  1. ” Listened to the Baylor students cry away…” What does “cry away mean?

    Anyone know what the S.A. they saw on the 7th, (along with all the other animals) would be? Scott and I are both stumped.

    It seems that being a missionary in the cities is much more expensive than in the countryside.


    Comment by Julia — November 4, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  2. I’m only guessing on the “cry away” part, but since Baylor was/is a Christian university, and it’s Sunday, and there’s a derogatory hint in the term “cry away,” it may be that students were practicing preaching, or holding the equivalent of a testimony meeting.

    “S.A.” is almost certainly “South America” — notice that he’s indicating the exotic origin of most of the animals in his list.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 4, 2012 @ 11:51 am

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI