Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 28 December 1901 – 4 January 1902

Without Purse or Scrip in Texas: 28 December 1901 – 4 January 1902

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 23, 2012

(Previous installment)

Saturday, December 28, 1901

During the night there was a norther came up, so when we arose it was quite disagreeable. Leaving their place, we came into the little town of Pearl where we received our mail from home. Two letters from Father. Folks well as usual. We then came back north in the cove facing the cold north wind and it a-blowing at the rate of 90 miles an hour. The last house we had in the community was Bro. L.M. Butt. We were invited in at his place. Had a short talk with the gentleman. Found it very hard to make him understand anything as he was very illiterate. Before leaving, however, he gave us a nice dinner which was very much appreciated as we were hungry. At 3 p.m. we journeyed on, facing the wind, toward the Lovejoy community to fill our appointment on the morrow. We called on Bro. Lovejoy to spend the night. His wife was down in Fulla county visiting or rather taking Christmas, but he said we could stay anyway as he never turned away anybody that was traveling without money. The boys and himself prepared a nice supper, after which we enjoyed the comforts of his warm fireplace. He was very reasonable. Different subjects were brought up. Discussed and laid aside many. At 10:10 we retired to bed.

Sunday, December 29, 1901

It was late before we arose. Ate a hearty breakfast. The wind continued to blow from the north. We read until 11 a.m. and then walked to the school house to keep our promise good. We met there 10 persons. It being cold, no more dare venture out. They were very indifferent. We held a short meeting anyway with what few there were present. Elder Craner presided and took up the time himself. Began first by showing that our people had been most shamefully misrepresented, then took up the First Principles in brief for 40 minutes. It being quite late, I did not say anything. After the close, a few questions were asked and answered. We were invited home with Bro. George Smith. Shortly after arriving at his place, we partook of a nice dinner, prepared to suit the taste of a king. At 4 p.m. we began making preparations to leave as we did not feel like imposing on the good people, but Bro. Smith insisted on us remaining until morning. That just suited us. We spent the remainder of the day perusing our books and talking with them whenever the opportunity presented itself. Ate supper. Spent a pleasant evening talking upon different subjects of the Bible. Retired at 10 p.m.

Monday, December 30, 1901

A while before we arose the bed fell through with us, that is a few slats fell down. But we laid there until the time came to begin to move. The wind had ceased to blow and from all appearances we expected a pleasant day. Soon after breakfast we bid the kind family goodby. An invitation was extended us to return at any time. We came up the road a short distance. Retired to the woods where we had our prayers and wrote letters to the editor. Came into the post office in Pearl where we received mail from home, also our literature. Were notified from the office that Father had sent me $10.00 to be placed to my Book of Mormon account, also a blank from the office to sign to procure a clergy permit for 1902. After getting our mail in readiness to post, we left our grips in the store and began working the little town. There were several men in the place and they would stand and watch us as we approached every house. At 12 noon we called on Bro. C.W. Yates where we were invited in. Sold a book, and after a short conversation were given a nice dinner. Continuing on to the next house, we met the doctor, a man who did not believe in any denomination and was in doubts as to whether there was a God or a savior of the world. We talked with him for a short while. Sold him a book and took our departure, not wishing to talk with anybody that shut his ears against the truth.

We soon finished canvassing the place. Came back to the store. Sold the merchant a book. Got our grips and came out south. Stopped in the woods where we wrote and studied for a while. As night was coming on, we began asking for a place to tarry but were refused three times. One old fellow we asked him if he knew anything about our people. He said, “no, and furthermore, I don’t want to know.” At 7:30 we called on Bro. G.D. Edmundson where we were taken in and treated like gentlemen. Partook of a nice supper. Did not have a chance to talk with him much as he took up a paper and read. At 8:40 p.m. we were shown our bed and retired feeling quite fatigued.

Tuesday, December 31, 1901

It was quite early when we arose. After breakfast, we were privileged to shave ourselves before starting out on our labors. After getting through we bid the kind family goodby and walked two miles to the post office in Pearl to procure our mail. Received one letter from Elder Anderson at the office, also the Improvement Era. While there I bought me some shoe soles, 15c. Also 5c of apples. While in the store one of Satan’s votaries came in and jumped on us for an argument. His principle theme was polygamy. We downed him on that and he soon resorted to other things. He said if we would give him time he would make Christians out of us. We came back in the country and began work again. The second family, Bro. J.F. Harper, we were invited in and a nice dinner was soon prepared and we ate very hearty. The young man had met our elders in the old states. Leaving their place, we stopped in the woods where we wrote and read a while. Continuing on, we visited several more families and at night we called on Mr. John Doyle, an Irishman, where we were given entertainment. The old man was a very jolly old fellow. Shortly after we had called some drummers (Jews) that he was acquainted with, wanted to stay all night too. “All right,” the old man says, “we will have Mormons, Jews, and gentiles with us tonight.” Ate a hearty supper, after which our conversation drifted off on the subject of religion, and, as is generally the case, polygamy was brought up. We refuted their false ideas. At 9:30 p.m. we retired to our bed of rest. We slept on the floor. Rested fine.

Wednesday, January 1, 1902

It looked very much like rain when we arose. After breakfast we began our work as usual. The kind family invited us back whenever we were in the community. We walked down the road to where Mr. Dodds, a trustee, was plowing. We stopped on the outside of the fence to wait until he came around. When he came up, we bid him good morning. I suppose he knew who we were, for when he came up, he turned the corner as quick as possible and started back up the land and said to us in a rough manner, “get over the fence and come on, if you want to talk with me.” We then asked him to stop just a moment but he said he didn’t have time to stop and the way he went over the rocks, the plow nearly threw him off every few feet. We did not bother with him longer, but went on to Mr. Carpenter, another trustee, and a nice man. He gave us his consent, and we called at the school house and had the teacher give out our meeting through the school children. We then visited all of the families nearby in the community and called back to Bro. Doyle, as he promised to help us norate it, if agreeable with other trustees. On arriving at his place, we found them all away from home, except the young man. The women folks had gone over to a neighbor’s to eat New Year’s dinner. We were invited in by the young man and he prepared what cold grub he could find for us. Our dinner consisted of cake and peaches mostly. About 2 p.m. The folks returned and we spent the afternoon talking and writing. The old Irishman got off several jokes that kept us laughing. We also sang a song to them with his daughter accompanying on the organ. I also tacked on a pair of half soles on my shoes. After supper he drove us to the school house in the buggy. We met there a nice congregation and at 7:15 p.m. we commenced our meeting in the usual manner. I presided. Elder Craner spoke first, for 30 minutes. I followed for 30 minutes upon the principle of laying on of hands. The people gave good attention and we had a very good time. We went back home with Bro. Doyle and at 10 p.m. we retired to our bed of rest.

Thursday, January 2, 1902

It was 8 a.m. before we arose. After breakfast we gave the folks a Blue Book. The sister said that she was glad that she had us, as she remarked that we had learned her something, and further, said she, she was always delighted in talking with smart people. On leaving the place, they gave us a hearty welcome to return whenever we could find it convenient. We walked north through the pastures to the Cow House, where we began the duties of another day. The country was very rough and we were continually climbing up and down hills in order to find all of the families. At noon we came to Bro. W.A. Smith, and after introducing ourselves to him, he asked us to the house to dine with him. Partook of a nice dinner. Talked for a short while and then continued on down the creek visiting the respective families.

Met one old lady who was very prejudiced and would not accept a pamphlet, as she said that she would not have her children read our doctrine for anything in the world. Leaving her place we came across the hills to the school house, or toward it. On our way we sat down and rested for a while and then came on, and met Mr. J.D. Williams who invited us to stop and take supper with him. His invitation was gladly accepted as we were tired and hungry, having taken a long cold walk.

After supper we came on to the school house where we met a large crowd. The house was full. We commenced our meeting at 7:20 p.m., Elder Craner presiding. He made a few opening remarks and then introduced me to the audience. I spoke for 30 minutes upon the Apostasy and Restoration. Elder Craner then occupied 40 minutes upon Revelation and the Book of Mormon. We had an enjoyable meeting. The people gave good attention. We sang for the closing song “In Our Lovely Deseret,” and some of the people were carried away with it. After closing, the professor bought two of our books. We were taken home by Bro. J.D. Carpenter. We were treated excellent. Retired to rest at 11 p.m. Good bed.

Friday, January 3, 1902

It was quite late when we arose. Partook of a hearty breakfast, after which we made our wants known to Bro. Carpenter and were granted the privilege of bathing our bodies. At 9 a.m. we bid the kind family goodby and went on our way rejoicing. While in the community, we had made several lasting friends and we were perfectly welcome to stay at any of their homes. We came over to the Cow House Creek where we began our work again. We found the people very indifferent. At noon we called on a gentleman by the name of Ward. They were eating dinner. Elder Crane told them who we were and what we were doing. “Well,” he said in a rough manner, “we don’t want you here. Go on ahead.” The second place, Bro. Bone, a church member, invited us in and we were given a place to rest on the gallery. Elder Craner then told him who we were. “Well,” he said, “I don’t want to hear anything from you.” He said he never could think of the Mormons but what he thought of the Mountain Meadow Massacre. “Well,” I says, “you don’t think the Mormons did that, do you?” “Yes, sir, they did.” We tried to reason with him but he was so full of the spirit of the evil one that we could do nothing with him. Leaving his place we called on Bro. J.T. Sanders, a gentleman. He had his wife prepare us the best he had for our dinner. Thanking them for their kindness, we came into King. And there I found one letter from my sister Ella. The folks were all feeling tolerable well. Frank sent me a stick of candy for Christmas. After the mail arrived, we walked to Bro. R. Shoaf and gained his consent to preach in the school house. Were also granted the privilege of remaining over night with him. Had a nice supper (beef). Talked until 9 p.m. Retired to rest.

Saturday, January 4, 1902

During the night it began raining a little but did not last but a short while. When we arose it was very cloudy and quite cold as the norther had augmented. Ate breakfast (beef again). It being cold we sat and talked until 10 a.m. The old man confessed that he had learned something about the Mormons. He said that he was greatly surprised to learn what we were teaching. He being one of the trustees, he gave us the privilege of preaching in the school house, and he being the only one at home, we acted on his authority. We began work again. Visited several families. Came to the widow Graham, who was very prejudiced and would not take a pamphlet. As we started to leave, her son came out and asked us to stay and have dinner with them. When we sat down to eat, we were asked if we would have coffee. We told her no. “Well,” she said, “I would rather be a Baptist and use all of the habits that I am accustomed to than to be a Mormon.” Before leaving we got her to take a pamphlet. The first house in the afternoon the old man showed us the road, pointing north and said to take it. I spoke up and said we wanted to go this way, pointing east. “I don’t care,” he says, “which way you go.” We then went out in the woods and sat down for a while. Continuing, we called on Bro. Connell, a Missionary Baptist, who gave us entertainment. Were treated fine. Nice supper. Conversed some upon the gospel. Retired to bed at 9:30. Good bed.

(To be continued)



  1. At least they aren’t sick. Interesting details about his father adding $10 to his Book of Mormon fund. I was wondering what it means by “also a blank from the office to sign to procure a clergy permit for 1902.”

    Comment by Julia — December 23, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  2. The elders carried clergyman certificates (I don’t know what body issued them), which often allowed them to travel by train at a cut-rate, and receive other courtesies extended by merchants and the public to clergymen. The blank would have been the form they had to fill out and return, sent to them by the mission office.

    The $10 on his Book of Mormon fund relates to something we talked about a few weeks ago — the elders had to pay for (all? a portion?) of the cost of their tracts and books,a cost they then recouped by selling the proselyting materials to people they met. If they gave something away, they had to make up the difference out of their own pocket. So Elder Larsen’s dad was likely trying to help him pay off an account that may have been building through the more than two years he had been serving at this time.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 23, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  3. They get up very late, eat a hearty breakfast, both have a bath, and are on their way by nine. Many times they get up late and are on their way by eight. I wonder what early is to them.

    Comment by Carol — December 23, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

  4. I would like to know how the mail system knew where they would be.

    Comment by Kris — December 23, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  5. Kris, I think most of their mail from home was sent to the mission office, then forwarded to them. They seem to have planned their work well enough for the mission home to know a few apweeks ahead when they expected to be in such-and-such a place.

    Me, too, Carol — their “late” sometimes seems pretty early.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 23, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

  6. I had remembered our conversation about them buying their Book of Mormons, which is why I thought the fact that there was an account that his father could put money in an interesting detail. Does anyone know how many Book of Mormons could be bought with the $10?

    So the pass was kind of like a forerunner to 501(c)3 status for a church, but it went with an itinerant preacher or missionary. That makes sense. I guess it is like having a VISA in some countries that specifies you are there as a missionary and restricts what you can do, usually working at a job and sometimes receiving national health care or other social system benefits.

    Thanks as always for broadening my horizons.

    Comment by Julia — December 24, 2012 @ 1:29 am

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