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Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 22 November – 3 December 1901

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 02, 2012

(Previous installment)

Friday, November 22, 1901

Arose feeling well. After breakfast we went into the cotton patch where we picked cotton until 12 p.m. By this time we had finished all of the patch. We came to the house for dinner. During the afternoon, Bro. Lewis and I went down on the creek to hunt squirrels. But the wind was blowing so hard there were none out. Returning to the house we spent the night singing and talking upon the gospel. Retired in the little room on the floor.

Saturday, November 23, 1901

When I arose I was awful sore after picking cotton the day before. During the day I had nothing to do so I took the gun and dog and went hunting but only got one squirrel as a result of my time and walk.

Sunday, November 24, 1901

We did not arise very early as there was nothing to do and it was the Holy Sabbath also. The forenoon I spent in writing letters. After dinner walked to the cemetery where we witnessed a funeral. The discourse was delivered by Rev. Renfro, after which the body was laid to rest. Their ways were very different to that of the Latter-day Saints. Chicken for dinner and supper.

Monday, November 25, 1901

We arose quite early and soon after breakfast we bid the folks goodby and went to Clifton with Bro. Lewis on the wagon. Went to the Clifton Hotel where we had a nice dinner. Bro. Lewis paid for all. We waited at the depot until 5:30 p.m. when we took the train for Blum, Hill County. Ticket, 50c. Arriving there at p.m., we called at a friend’s place for entertainment, but there was a preacher there and he would not consent for us to stay. Walked on two miles to Bro. Pyle’s, a man that had lost his wife. But we were permitted to remain over night with him. Talked until 9 p.m. when we retired. Good bed.

Tuesday, November 26, 1901

We arose early and were soon on our way before the sun rose. After walking three hours, we arrived at Bro. Smith’s, a family of Saints. During the afternoon we went with them in the cotton field to pick cotton. Spent the evening telling our experiences.

Wednesday, November 27, 1901

It was very late when we arose. The folks wanted to get through with their cotton today, so I went with them again. Picked by the side of a pretty gal all day and stayed with them again over night.

Thursday, November 28, 1901

It was late again when we arose. Elder Pierce stayed down about six miles with a sick man all night. We wanted to go on, so I had to carry both grips the six miles to where he was. I got quite tired of them before I got there. We did not stop long as we had 8 miles more to walk in order to catch the train. We arrived in Hillsboro in plenty of time. Bought us a 15c dinner and then purchased a ticket to Mertins, 25c. Left there at 3 p.m.; reached our place at 4 p.m. From there we walked out in the country 3 miles to Bro. Carpenter’s, a family of good Saints. Met Elder Craner there and had an enjoyable time until bedtime. Held prayers. Elder Craner mouth.

Friday, November 29, 1901

We arose quite early all feeling well. After breakfast I and Elder Craner drove over to town in the buggy after some things. Coming back we had a shave and a good bath before dinner. At 2 p.m. we left the place for Italy, 9 miles. We walked through in two hours. Met most all of the elders and Pres. Duffin at Bro. Wimberlie’s. Had a good time for a while, then separated for night. I came over to Bro. Slater’s, a member, for night. Talked until bedtime. Sang a few songs and had prayers. I was mouth. We had not been in bed long until down she came to the floor. We soon had it in good shape and were resting again.

Saturday, November 30, 1901

We arose quite early again. Ate breakfast, after which we walked 4 miles to the school house where we will meet in Conference. The elders all assembled at 9:30 a.m. in Priesthood Meeting, Pres. Duffin presiding. Singing on page 493, “The Time is Far Spent.” Prayer by Elder Huntsman. Singing, “Ye Elders of Israel.” Pres. Randall was then called upon to give a brief report of the Conference since last we met in this capacity. Pres. Duffin then spoke to us in regard to our labors. Said that when the Elders received tithing from the people to send it right in to the office. Said to wear good clothing and keep ourselves neat and clean all the time. And many other good instructions were given unto us by him. We closed our Priesthood Meeting and began the first public meeting, Pres. Randall presiding. After singing and prayer, the meeting was turned over into Pres. Duffin’s hands. He then called upon some of the Elders to speak, Sydell being the first speaker. I spoke for a while upon Obedience. Did not occupy much of the time as I was anxious to hear from our beloved President. Elder Pierce followed me, dwelling upon the necessity of living in accordance with the gospel. Elder Rogers and Elder Macoon also spoke a short while and each bore strong testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel. Pres. “Duffin then arose and spoke very interestingly for 40 minutes upon the conditions of the world. Showed very plainly the unselfish spirit that was manifest among the professed Christians of the world. Also showed what the light of the gospel would do for those who will live in accordance with the same. The meeting was then closed and the rich things of the earth were spread upon the benches and blessed by Pres. Duffin. All partook very heartily, and enjoyed themselves very much. There wasn’t anybody but the Saints that came out to our meeting. At 2 p.m. we again assembled in Priesthood Meeting. Pres. Duffin occupied all the time. Said that he had made arrangements while at Salt Lake with the Authorities that after this all of the Elders would get their ticket paid clear home from their field of labor. He said that our mission was one of the leading missions of the world and he desired that the Elders would be energetic in their labors, teaching the people from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine & Covenants, and tell them what God is doing in this age for the salvation of mankind.

He said do not fail to warn the inhabitants of the judgments which are about to be poured out upon the people, for he said that it was not many years in the future until the people of this land would see destruction sweep down through the land. And he promised us if we would do our duty and teach the people the gospel under the direction of the Holy Spirit we would be protected from all violence and that our bodies would not be harmed. And he said we would be blessed with friends upon every hand to provide for our wants in times of need.

The Priesthood Meeting was closed and the second public meeting began, Pres. Randall presiding. Elder Anderson was the first speaker, dwelling for some time upon the Word of Wisdom. He read from the Doc. & Cov. Section 89 and explained the same and encouraged the Saints to live up to the gospel that they had accepted. Elder Walser was the next speaker. He contrasted the doctrine of men with the Gospel of our Savior as He established it. It was getting late. Meeting was closed for the day. We were then divided up and went home with the kind families to spend the night. Elders Walser, Pierce, Holyoke, and myself went about 4 miles to Bro. Luke Fry’s, where we had an enjoyable time. Ate a hearty supper. Talked and sang songs until 10 p.m. when we retired to rest. Good beds. Slept fine.

Sunday, December 1, 19091

We arose at 7:30 after having a good night’s rest. It being the general fast day of the whole Church, we abstained from eating food, and at 8 a.m. started on foot to the Lofton Branch, or “Short Neck” as it is nicknamed, where we met all of the Elders, feeling well. At 9:20 we began Priesthood Meeting.

Pres. Duffin occupied all of the time. Advised the Elders to abstain from eating too much meat and fried eggs. Made several comparisons and showed the necessity of preserving health, for, said he, if we transgressed the laws of health we cannot expect but to have sickness. He said if we would observe these laws, we would be blessed in our labors.

The Campbellites assembled at 10:30 to hold Sunday School, and we gave way to them. They sang, prayed, passed the Sacrament among their members and closed without putting us out only 25 minutes. Our public meeting began at 11:10 a.m. with Pres Randall presiding. Pres. Duffin spoke very interestingly for one hour and a half.

He spoke upon the free agency of man and the liberality of our country in allowing all mankind to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. Referred to one of our Articles of Faith which says that we allow this privilege to all mankind. A man from the audience spoke up and asked if he could ask a question. Pres. Duffin, as firm as a lion, said, “You may after the close of the meeting.” He said, “I am stating the views of the Latter-day Saints.” Dwelt for some time upon the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Gospel. Showed how we were to discern a true prophet of God. If they made predictions and they came to pass, we were to know from whence they spoke. He referred to some of the prophecies of Joseph Smith and brought up their literal fulfillment.

After meeting one of Satan’s imps came up and asked him a few questions but it was not long before he went away a-roaring. Sold a Book of Mormon. Our meeting was adjourned until 3 p.m. We spent the time between meetings chatting with each other.

At the appointed time there was a nice crowd assembled. Our services began, Bro. Randall presiding, He was also the first speaker. Dwelt for some time upon the Holy Ghost. Showed the difference between its works today as believed in by the world and as it was in the days of the Savior. Also referred to the way it was to be bestowed upon mankind and cited references from the Bible to sustain his remarks. Bore a strong testimony to the work of the Lord.

Elder Barber was the next speaker. Took up the subject of the Godhead. Showed that the God we worship was the same that was worshipped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that he was the God that made man in His own image. Pres. Duffin was the next speaker. He, after a few well chosen remarks, took up and explained the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and showed that the everlasting gospel was contained in it. He spoke for about 40 minutes, making everything very plain. Pres. Randall then thanked the people for their kind attention, the trustees for their kindness in letting us have the house, and also the kind people for taking care of all of us. Our Conference was adjourned, and we all went to the different places for entertainment. After enjoying ourselves all day sitting under the sound of the Servants of the Lord, Elders Craner, Walzer, Pierce and myself all went back to Bro. Fry’s where we partook of a nice supper, and at bedtime were given a good bed. Rested fine.

Monday, December 2, 1901

We arose quite early and soon after breakfast we walked 4 miles to Bro. Wimberlie’s, where we met all of the Elders and received our appointments for the winter months. I was assigned to labor with Elder G.R. Craner in Coryell county, Texas. At 2 p.m. we bid goodby to our companions and started out fro Bro. Carpenter’s, where we reached at 4:10. Had a very enjoyable time with the folks until bed time. Held prayers. I was mouth.

Tuesday, December 3, 1901

We arose feeling well. Decided to remain with the kind family and have our clothes washed. Sister Dora washed them for us. We assisted all we could in making the fire and carrying the water, also washed the dinner dishes. Had a good time with the girls, Dora and Kizzie. I wrote a letter to my folks, chopped up some wood, and made preparations to leave early the next morning for our field of labor.

(To be continued)



5 Comments »

  1. I am not quite sure what it means when he says, “Pres. Duffin occupied all the time. Said that he had made arrangements while at Salt Lake with the Authorities that after this all of the Elders would get their ticket paid clear home from their field of labor. He said that our mission was one of the leading missions…,..”

    Is this just that the church would pay for their train ride home, that they were going home early, or something else I entirely missed?

    Comment by Julia — December 2, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  2. You hit it the first time: the church would buy them a ticket home when their release came. When Elder Jones left on his mission in 1899, the Church was still in just about the worst financial shape it had ever been in, after the federal government had confiscated and plundered its assets in the war on plural marriage, followed by a serious national depression. I’d have to do the research to be sure of the dating, but it’s possible that this willingness of the Church to buy return tickets late in 1901 is indicative of successful financial recovery jumpstarted by the Saints’ recommitment to paying tithing under President Snow.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 2, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

  3. Ardis- It would be interesting to see it placed within the context of church finances. I admit I know very little of the details of that time. Your comment brought up a few questions that are more broad about the series…

    The missionaries are offering tracts, but selling pamphlets and Books of Mormon too. Were these given to the missionaries for free, by the church, and then the money from the sales were used to support the missionaries? Or did they pay the church for them, and were simply selling enough so they could send the money to buy more?

    While most of their lodging, and their food, is shared with them as itinerant preachers, he does still mention the money he spent, and what it was spent on. Was all of a missionary’s money saved up before accepting a mission call? Was the family responsible for sending all the money they needed? (There has been a mention of waiting for money from home and it not coming when expected.)

    This episode talks about helping to pick cotton. The missionaries don’t seem to get or expect any pay. Was their willingness to do that hard labor because they were staying with someone LDS, or was there an expectation of service for the missionaries? Was there specific kinds of labor they were not allowed to volunteer to do?

    I know I asked about when it says “I was mouth” for a prayer. There seems to be periods of time where he doesn’t mention it for quite a while, and then it will peek in again. I am wondering if this was an expression used only in a group praying together, and would not be used when someone is praying on their own?

    I missed a number if the original posts. Was there a “post that started it all” which explained who the missionary was, the length of his call, etc., that I could go back and read. I’ve looked around the archive some and must be blind as a bat.

    Comment by Julia — December 3, 2012 @ 3:32 am

  4. Here’s hoping I don’t miss a question, Julia —

    The missionaries had to purchase their own copies of books and pamphlets, and recoup the cost by selling them. At some periods, I know, they didn’t pay the full cost, but enough so that they wouldn’t squander them; I don’t know whether in this mission at this time they paid full or part cost, but they did pay. In that case, the money they received from sales was their own money so was available for their use (although they would, of course, have to buy more copies in order to continue tracting).

    As today, the missionary paid his own way, but what arrangements they made (support from family and friends, or from pre-mission savings) was their own responsibility. Elder Jones refers a time or two to getting a check from home, and, as you recall, to not receiving an expected check on time, so he (a young single man) was likely being supported by family. It also seems to me from some clues that checks generally went to the missionaries’ accounts at their mission home rather than directly to them, in most cases.

    There was no expected requirement that the elders do manual labor. We see them picking cotton, and also, once in a while, chopping wood, bringing in water, and other chores. I’m pretty sure that was chiefly done for members, and perhaps to help out in extraordinary conditions, and not a regular thing. For one thing, they had to maintain their character as traveling clergymen, something that was hard enough for them to do, and not be perceived as tramps who would do chores in exchange for supper. I don’t know whether there were restrictions on the kinds of work they could do — I rather doubt it, since even carrying guns and hunting was not prohibited.

    Noting that someone was “mouth” would apply only to group prayers. You wouldn’t use that in reference to your private prayers, where you would be the only “mouth” possible. Today we might more naturally say “voice,” although the old “mouth” is ingrained enough that you sometimes hear it.

    Use the archive (the “Topical Guide” link, then use your browser’s search feature to find “Without Purse or Scrip in Texas” (there are a couple of other, unrelated posts with “without purse or scrip” in their title). The introductory post is first in the list of posts there.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 3, 2012 @ 6:24 am

  5. These answers are very insightful to at least one other person besides Julia.

    Comment by The Other Clark — December 3, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

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