Frank Milton Johnson Missionary Journal

Taken from the Missionary Journal of

Frank Milton Johnson

Compiled by his daughter, Jennie V. Johnson Harding

At the time my Father went on his mission in West Virginia, this country was the typical Hill-Billy country.  The mission headquarters was in Fairmont, but most of his labors seem to be out mostly with the mountain people.  In those days missionaries went out without purse or script, and so they depended on the county people to give them food and lodging or entertainment (as they called it).

It is very interesting to note that most of their traveling was done on foot, sometimes traveling as much has 30 miles in one day, sleeping out in the open and even staying with these hospitable mountain folks.  I think they must have gone hungry many times, and were gland and able to eat the food that these people provided for them one incident, I remember my Father telling was:  One day when they had been traveling a long time and they were very tired and hungry, they stopped and asked for lodging which they were invited to receive.  When they saw what was cooking, they weren’t so sure.  The lady of the house was cooking a chicken on the stove and they could see the feet sticking out of the kettle and the doubted if much had been taken out or off the outside,  but they did learn to eat with these good mountain people.  It was not uncommon to go to a home where they had the chickens roosting over the beds and other animals in the house.  (This may have been a joke) but one place they stayed the man of the house turned the chickens around the other way so they could sleep without getting the droppings.  These mountain people even had the mountain folks names that we read about in the comics – Yokum..

Sometimes they followed the railroad tracks as they walked and I guess their feet would be very sore.  They would have to carry their suitcases also.  They did ride on the train sometimes and also the streetcar, but I don’t imagine they had the finances for this too much.

One night as they had been walking all day through the country and mountains and they had been unsuccessful in getting entertainment, they slept out all night.  In the night they heard a mountain lion and it seemed to come closer, circling all the time, so they got up and stirred the fire up and kept the fire going all nigh, taking turns sleeping.

At the time my Father left for his mission, I was perhaps 1-½ years old.  My Mother stayed with her parents in Taber, Alberta.  I think she took in sewing and did whatever she could to make money so she could send some to my Father.  He may have had other sources of money also, his parents, brothers or sister may have sent some occasionally, but anyway I do know that money was scarce.  I think it could have been very likely that my Mother’s parents would have sent him money occasionally.

Frank Milton Johnson arrived in Fairmont, West Virginia, on December 7, 1909.

January 1, 1910

Rained all day, very disagreeable outside.  As this is the beginning of a new year I have made several resolutions, and one of them is to never buy a hat unless it is large enough or a pair of pants unless the legs are long enough to reach, at least, to the top of my shoes.

January 4, 1910

I sold several books today and I feel very much encouraged.  We held a meeting tonight but I was not asked to preach.  During my talk yesterday with the Minister he told me that Brigham Young had 65 wives.

There were several days of very cold stormy weather so they only tracted 2 or 3 hours each day, visited with some of the saints and studied.  One day Frank went out along – his companion didn’t like the stormy weather.

January 8, 1910

Weather fine. We held a meeting tonight at the home of Mr. McElbury and I spoke on “Pre-Existence”.  Two or three of the people who were at the meeting went to sleep tonight while I was speaking.  I suppose I must have hypnotized them.

January 9, 1910

We four Elders, who are laboring in this city held a meeting among ourselves and all had the privilege of telling our troubles.

January 10, 1910

Started work again today and had good success in selling books.  I met a lady who was so anxious to talk to met hat she stood on the porch for about an hour and then I told her that I would have to go and I made my escape.

January 12, 1910

Was out tracting part of the afternoon, but was most too cold to accomplish very much and the people of this city have a bad habit of letting a fellow stand on the porch while he talks and they will not ask you in.

The next few days were very cold, Frank said, “Some of the people that I met today while out tracting seem to be ‘very cold’ also.”

Sunday, January 16, 1910

Walked on the railroad tracks with the Elders to the home of Brother Bolton where we held Sunday School and had an enjoyable time.

January 17, 1910

I was tracting among the ‘Society Women’ and Poodle dogs today and nearly everyone who came to the door was carrying a poodle dog in her arms.

January 18, 1910

Rained all day so I didn’t go out to work.  Spent most of the day doctoring myself for the ‘Mange’.

January 19, 1910

Held a cottage meeting at the home of William Slaughter.

January 20, 1910

I am not able to do very much studying because I have got the ‘Mange’.  Gee Whiz!  I am certainly having a fine time ????

January 22, 1910

Another stormy day.  I have been blessed (?) lately with the Mange and I have had it all winter so bad that it has been almost impossible to study or sleep nights.

January 24, 1910

We have decided to tract six hours each day instead of four.

January 25, 1910

Weather fine.  Worked six hours today and had good success.  I have been in the habit of trac6ting during the day and scratching during the night.

January 27, 1910

Rained all day so I stayed at my room and plastered myself with sulfur and Vaseline.  By Gosh!!!  I am certainly enjoying myself!?!

January 28, 1910

I had the privilege of speaking tonight at the home of Mr. Slaughter.  My subject was the “Name of the Church”.

January 29, 1910

Rainy day, muddy day, mange day!

The next few days were stormy.  They visited with friends and saints Merrals and Evans, Cottage meeting at the home of Mr. Stafford and another one at Mr. Leeson’s.  They walked on railroad tracks each Sunday morning, and held Sunday school at Mr. Bolton’s.  Holding cottage meetings every night.

February 8, 1910

I had an interview with three ladies who were about 70 years old, and when I first came to the door one of them said, “ _____ I am a Catholic.”  These Adult ‘Maidens’ chased me out of the house when I began to explain, ‘Mormonism’ to them.  Held meeting at Stafford’s, spoke on the ‘Book of Mormon’.

Held cottage meeting most every night at Mr. Andersons, Mr. Leeson, and Mr. Hall.  Went to a town called Barnville, worked and had good success.  Mr. Bolton sent for them to come and administer to his daughter, they sat up with her during the night and returned several days to see if she was all right.  Meeting at Mr. Brown’s.  President Ryan returned to Fairmont, after visiting with the Elders.  Still doctoring for the ‘Mange’.  Had a disagreement with the landlady, she said they weren’t to use the bathroom; she really got on the ‘War Path’.  Elder Webster was Frank’s companion.  They walked to Revsville, worked there and found some very queer people there.  Held a meeting at Mr. Nelsons.  Went to the town of Webster and worked on day.  Frank and Elder Webster were transferred to work in the country.  They were to go to Rowlsburg, on the train.  They missed the train the first day, the second day they got on the train, and because of some mistake, they landed back in Fairmont.  The next day they got on the train and finally made it to Rowlsburg.  They held a meeting at a Mr. Haddix’s.  they walked up the Cheat river and spent the night with John Stout near Hannahsville.  They were very tired and weary.  Next day they walked up the Cheat River, 16 miles to a town called Parsons.  Later going to Kerens.  The held a meeting at Brother Pennington’s and also at the schoolhouse.  One day, two of the Pennington boys expressed a desire to be baptized when the weather was better

Next they went to Faulkener and spent the night in the Joseph Howel residence.  Frank said that this home was the dirtiest he had ever been in, except some of the ‘Scotch Terrier’s’ who lived on the Johnson Addition in Canada.  Later he said he didn’t think much of the Howel home, for it resembled the Scotch dens up in Canada.  They left on the train for Elkins, then they walked on the railroad track to Beverly, arriving very tired.  They went to the home of Charles Herrons.  They asked many times on the way for lodging, but everyone said, “No”.

They weren’t able to get a schoolhouse or any other public building to hold their meetings in so they went to the home of John Sachs.  One lady jumped about 3 feet in the air and said, “I am saved, but you Mormons are crazy!”  when they were holding their meetings at Brother Herrons home, Frank said, “There is a knot hole in the center of the Herron home, and each member of the Herron family, (women and all) took turns in spitting tobacco juice through this knot hole.”

They walked down the railroad to Valley Bend, where Elder Webster received word that he was to come to Fairmont immediately, so he left on the train.  Frank walked to the home of Francis Watson, better known as “Frankie”.  He stayed overnight.  He said the reason he didn’t stay with Frankie longer, was because, “Sir Francis uses snuff, and spits the juice on the floor, walls and furniture.”  He went to the home of Joe Rose and held meetings.  He said, “The people in this section are very hostile toward the Mormon Elders.  The men at the mill suggested they gather a mob to drive me out but the mob did not gather.”  He held a meeting at the home of Dave Pritt.  He said, “I had the privilege of helping Mr. Pritt and wife eat a large groundhog, (they were about as large as a badger).”

March 20, 1910

Preached a funeral sermon today at the home of Dave Ross over the death of one of his little baby girls who died about two years ago.

March 21, 1910

Walked to Mill Creek where I received a letter from President Ryan stating that Elder Earl Walker had left Fairmont two days ago intending to meet me at Huttensville, so I went to Huttensville, one mile from Mill Creek.  After some walking about town and vicinity, I found him at the home of Brother George Yokum.  Held meeting with John Oxley in Valley Bend.

March 24, 1910

We were both nearly eaten up last night with bed bugs for Brother Killingsworth is blessed very much by having more of these bugs than he needs and last night about 300 of them played hide and seek on my carcass while I was “wrapped in slumber”

They worked around this area, mentioning that the bed bugs were still at work.  Two more Elders arrived and so Frank had Elder Whitby for his companion.  The other two Elders left for the east.  They spent the night with Brother Kittingsworth and the bed bugs swarmed like bees all night.  They started traveling to the area that they were to work visiting with people and saints and holding meetings on the way.  Up to date Frank had walked 440 miles.

They stayed one night with Baxter White and found that they had landed in the middle of a free for all, family row.  They visited with or held meetings at Mr. Bender, Alfred Riffle, and Jane Pritt. They administered to Mattie Channel, traveled to Elk Water and Valley Head.  Frank said, “We have been busy for a few days trying to settle a ‘Free for All’ family row between Baxter White family and French Whites family.

April 12, 1910

Spent the night with George Yokum.  I sewed a button on my pants today, and before I finished I nearly broke my back for I had to leave my pants on me while I sewed the button on them.  Sewing and visiting is the hardest things I have ever done.

They stayed with a man named Novel Watson and at the meeting that night, Frank said he happened to look at Elder Whitby and they both laughed like little boys.  They stayed with Charles Killer and said that he was not interested in religion, but liked to talk about hogs and corn.  They traveled on west and at night asked for lodging and “everybody was willing to keep us at the house except the Mother and the daughter, but we stayed anyway.”  They traveled on to Alexander, where they asked at the Jones home for some dinner, they were invited in and also for the night.  Mr. Jones kept them up nearly all night with arguments.  Mr. Jones works at a Charcoal plant and Frank said, “During the day we went up where he was working and saw the process of making charcoal, also the different chemicals which are taken from the wood, consisting of alcohol and several kinds of medicine.”

They stared west and started asking several places for dinner, but everyone refused.  They all said that they were ‘saved’ and couldn’t give us anything to eat.  They had to ask at 26 homes before they could get lodging for the night.

They went to the home of a Mr. Lewis, whose wife was a member of the Church.  Also they visited an I. W. Golden who everyone had warned them not to visit because he had been a member of our Church but had apostatized.  Mr. Golden treated them well and said he was a stronger Mormon than he had ever been.

They walked for two days I the rain and so they came to an overhanging rock and they crawled in under and built a fire to dry out.  They spent the night in a town called Nixon with a Thomas Tinney.  They walked to the town of Buckhannon where they expected to receive books and tracts from New York City, but they were not there so they waited another day. They left about noon and traveled on the railroad track and started asking for entertainment, bet were refused so they decided to sleep with “Uncle Sam” in the “Big Bedroom”.  They built a fire alongside the tracks and spent the night.  At one place they asked for something to eat and the lady told them to stay on the porch and she handed them some bread and butter, which they ate.  They kept going back to Buchanan every day to see if their books had come.  In their travels of all the close towns they got on the wrong road at Roaring Creek Junction and went 10 miles out of their way.  They couldn’t get lodging that night so they slept in an old school house but it was so cold they got up and went down by the railroad track and built a fire and spent the rest of the night there.  Next morning they bashed the dirt from their clothes, and had a shave at the bank of the river close by.  “We traveled on east to Elkins and about 4 miles east of Elkins and spent the night with friends” both of them very tired.

May 4, 1910

Arrive at Brother Penningtons in Kerens.  Started holding cottage meetings etc.  These people treat us well and this is the nearest thing to home which I have seen since I left Canada

May 10, 1910

Started early this morning and walked up the Cheat River to a ford about 6 miles, where we were taken across the river in a boat by a boy.  About 2 miles farther up the river, we came to another ford, and were just about to take our clothes off and wade across when we saw a footbridge about a quarter of a mile farther up, so we crossed the river again on the bridge.  Spent the night with a Mr. Bowden.

May 11, 1910

Traveled all day in a rainstorm and spent the night at a house near Job on Dry Fork, both very went and tired.

May 12, 1910

This morning at about 10 o’clock we stopped at the bank of the river, under some pine trees and had a shave.  Still raining at intervals and weather very cold.  Spent the night with Jethro Davis.

They stayed with Brother Davis several days, very cold and miserable and tried to set up meetings but weren’t too successful.

May 18, 1910

Traveled west about 25 miles and tried to get lodging, but were not successful, so I spent the night by a pile of ties and looked for Haley’s Comet which according to newspaper reports was supposed to pass within a stones throw of where we eat, but we didn’t see the comet.  Hope I will not be compelled to look for this comet anymore with it’s tail extending through space five million miles more or less.

May 19, 1910

Started on again this morning, very tired, hungry and sleepy.  Got to Brother Herons very late, appreciated a good meal and the rest.

They held meetings and stayed in this area for several days.  Frank said he went out hunting groundhogs with Brother Ramsey but didn’t get any groundhogs. he did get awfully hungry so Brother Ramsey fed him birch bark which he cut from the trees. They stayed with Dave Pritt and held meetings.  Frank said, “Charles Pritt sits behind the stove all day on the floor and his wife does all the work.”

June 1, 1910

Received a letter today from Rose stating that she was very sick.  I am anxious about her.

They were working down again around the Mill Creed area holding meetings etc.

June 14,1910

Walked to Huttensville where I met Elders Warner and Ryan who had come out to hold conference with us.

Elders Ryan and Warner stayed with them several days, attending meetings etc.

June 20, 1910

President Ryan and I walked to Elkins where we joined the other two Elders.  We all rode on the train to Kirin and walked to Brother Penningtons.

June 24, 1910

President Ryan and Elder Warner left us and Elder Whitby and I walked about 7 miles up the Cheat River where we held a meeting.  I put a rock in Elder Whitbys suitcase this morning and he carried it for three miles before he discovered it.

June 25, 1910

Traveled southeast all day en-route for Harrisonburg in Old Virginia; distance 125 miles.  At about 10 o’clock we stopped for we were not able to get lodging anymore.  Built a fire by the road, where we stayed till morning.  During the night we were disturbed now and then with the yells of a panther, which seemed to stay with us most of the night.  I wished several times during the night that my Mother-in-Laws daughter had me.

June 26, 1910

After brushing some of the dust from our clothes we started on east again en-route for Harrisonburg very tired, hungry and sleepy.  At noon we succeeded in getting a lunch, which both of us appreciated, it being the first meal we had eaten since yesterday morning.  After this lunch we started on again and at night slept in a feather bed with a good supper.

Next day they walked on east, spent the night at Franklin.  Next day they traveled over to Allegheny Mountains.

June 29, 1910

We had the privilege of riding a short distance this morning and arrived in Harrisonburg at about 6 p.m.  In our travels this morning we traveled through the upper end of the Shenandoah Valley, which is a nice farming country.  Plenty of fruit and nearly all the farmers have their grain cut and hauled in this valley already.

June 30, 1910

Boarded train early this morning and arrived at Washington City at 12 noon.  After securing a room, we traveled around town in sight seeing auto passing by some of the most important and interesting places in the city.

July 1, 1910

Dominion day at Taber, also ‘Big Dance’ in evening, but don’t think I will make it.  Was resting most of the day and resting after our long walk.

July 2, 1910

Went on train to a resort at Chesapeake Beach in forenoon and was busy sightseeing in the afternoon.

Rested the next two days, it rained and they saw the fire works at night.

July 5, 1910

Visited following points of interest, Capitol and Senate Chamber, Congressional Library, Bureau of Printing and engraving where all our paper money, stamps etc. are made.  700 people work on one floor making green backs.  Went to the top of Washington Monument, highest piece of Mason work in the world, height 555 feet.  Theatre where Lincoln was shot by Booth, US treasury, one of the vaults contains 150,000,000 in silver.  Machine used for destroying old paper money, each day $250,000,000 of paper money is destroyed and replaced by that amount of new money.  Total weight of all coin 550,000 tons.

July 6, 1910

Visited following places:  Was through the White House, State war and navy building.  Saw original copy of In/e, Thomas Jefferson’s desk and sword, flag used at Fort Sumter.  Went down to Potomac River on steamer to Mount Vernon, saw tomb where rests George and Martha Washington.  Their old barn built 1735, coach, family kitchen with fireplace, cooking utensils, sword used by Washington in Rev. Bed where George and Martha died, old family spinning wheel, smoke house etc.

July 7, 1910

Went back to Harrisonburg on train, then walked about 12 miles where we stopped at a farmhouse.  During the night bedbugs were out in full blast.  Elder Whitby told me next morning the bugs were on him as thick as hope, but I told him that every time I raised the bed quilts and whistled I could see them running like sheep.

July 8, 1910

Walked all-day and spent the night with a family near Brandy Wine.

July 9,1910

Traveled on and spent the night near the own of Franklin with Brother Harliman

Held a meeting here and did their washing.  Frank said, “I have been reading in the bible today that a man is a coward who will hit a woman with anything smaller than an ax.

They traveled on west and stayed with Brother Davis and said, “I have just learned that if you want all the people to know all about your business, all you have to do is to tell your wife and instruct her not to tell a soul, and you can depend on it that the news will spread like lightning.”

They worked around in this district for a few days then they started out again.  Arrived in Elkins late at night, having walked about 30 miles that day.  Got their mail.

One day they ate so many blackberries that they were compelled to lie down under the trees before they could go on.

They ate dinner with a man who thought they were, “Josephites” and he treated us find, but when he found out that we were, “Brighamites” he drops to about 45 degrees below zero and was a poor conversationalist.

They walked to Buckhannon, then to Alexander, where they met a man who raised corn.  He told them that, “I raised a heap, sold a pile and got a right smart left.”

When they were going to Mill Creek, they saw a man who was plowing on a hill that looked so steep that Frank said, “I would be afraid to walk across his farm without spurs on my feet.”

They helped Mr. Bennett pick blackberries; also they helped Baxter White drag hay.  Frank said, “Brother White uses a grape vine for a rope, and instead of hauling the hay on a wagon, he drags it to the stack, with a horse and this grape vine.  Later, because part of Brother Whites farm is on a steep hill, he rolls his hay down the steep hill like rolling a large snow ball.”  Saw a man going to the gristmill with a bushel of corn on his back.  They stayed with Marlin Riffle and Frank said, “During the night I tried to talk to gospel to him but he didn’t enthuse, all he would talk about was ‘hogs and corn’.”

They labored in this area and battled the bed bugs at night.  Then they rode the train from Beverly to Kerens and walked to the Penningtons where they labored for a while.

August 31, 1910

We held baptismal services today at the house of Brother Pennington, after which we walked to the river and I baptized his son Corbett and in the evening we held a meeting with Henry Pennington, I gave a general talk on Mormonism.

September 2, 1910

Brother Pennington walked with us to the top of Cheat Mountain this morning to show us a cut off to Dry-Fork and when we reached the summit, he returned home and Elder Whitmby and I went on, traveling over an old log road till we came to the main road again. From there we walked to the home of Seymore Wyatt.  Elder Whitby declared he was ‘all in’ when we arrived at Mr. Wyatt’s.

September 3, 1910

This morning we blessed the hole Wyatt family, excepting the father and mother, there were seven children.  Mrs. Wyatt invited us to stay today because there was a bad rainstorm but we thought it best to go on, so we traveled all day in a bad storm arriving at Brother Jethro Davis late in the evening.

September 5, 1910

Washday.  I saw a pitchfork today with a handle 3 ½ inches thick, and over 30 feel long with two tines.  This pitchfork resembles the gig that we used to gig suckers in the Provo River, and these people use it to top out the haystacks.

September 6, 1910

Today I helped Brother Davis dig 52 bushels of potatoes with a how which is a new style of digging potatoes and not a very good style either but will do for West Virginia or China.  I tried to induce Brother Davis to use a pitchfork instead of a hoe but he refused to do so.  I believe he thought that would be too easy.

September 7, 1910

Nine months ago today I landed in Fairmont with a brand new suit of clothes and a plug hat, which was about 2 sizes too small for me.  (I wish it was 29)  worked part of the day sawing wood for Brother Davis. Held meeting in school house and I spoke on ‘Revelation’.

September 9, 1910

Traveled on train to Hendricks and walked to then town of Parsons, where we bought a large watermelon and carried it out of town.  We ate it under some trees.  While we were going through town we created considerable amusement for some of the people.  We walked to the home of Brother Pennington. Traveled up the Cheat River today toward Elkins, we came to a ford where we took of our shoes and waded across while two women stood on the porch nearby and laughed at us.  Passed through the town of Elkins and arrived at the home of Charles Herron.  Brother Heron ask us to help him build his house so we borrowed some tools, which consisted of one ax, hatchet, square, 2 saws, one saw set, file, pocket knife and a spike maul.  I bought a new plug hat today.  Blessed one of Brother Herron’s children.

Several days later they had a baptismal service where they baptized Charlie Watkins and Sylvan Pennington.  They also blessed children of these families.

September 10, 1910

While we were working today I tried to drive a nail with the hatchet but I missed the nail and it my thumb.  The first thing that I thought of was to yell like and Indian, but instead of doing that, I laid the hatchet down and counted to ten and then I said, “Damn it!”

September 11, 1910

Held meeting with Joe Ross and I spoke on “Charity”, after the meeting Elder Whitby and I went to an orchard and stole some apples.  After we had eaten them we decided that we had not done a very charitable act, so Elder Whitby advised me not to speak on ‘Charity’ anymore.

They worked for three more days on the house, helping Brother Herron to chase a pig down and also doing their missionary work in the evening or whenever they could.  Frank went to Elkins on train, returning the next day and worked on the house for several more days.  Blessed babies and held more funeral services for people who had been buried 2 years before.  Frank said,” There was a man who told me today that one of his friends had ‘done, gone, clean, plumb, bug house’.”

September 27, 1910

Today we held a meeting on the banks of the Beaver Creek and after the meeting we baptized Albert Lee Garvin and his half sister Matilda Westfall.  I learned how to make maple syrup today.

September 30, 1910

We went out in the woods today and saw a tall tree which was full of Chestnut burrs so I told Elder Whitby to climb the tree and knock some down which he did and we had all we could eat of them and our pockets full besides and we hid some under an oak tree for tomorrow.

October 1, 1910

This morning early we went out where we hid the chestnuts last night band brought them to the house and put them in our grips so we could have plenty of them to eat as we traveled, but Elder Whitby at too much of them and was sick.

They labored several more days around this area and in Huttenville, then went on train to Kerens where they walked to Brother Pennington’s.  Held funeral services for ladies who had passed away 2 years ago; baptized the wife of Charles Watkins (Kate) and Miss Mary Watkins (daughter).  Brother Pennington invited them to go hunting coons that night, “So after supper we started with five dogs, an, one lantern, shotgun, matches and pocket knives, etc.  we were out all night.  About 7:30 the dogs treed a ‘Coon’ in a tall sugar Maple and we were not able to see Mr. Coon.  We decided to build a fire under the tree and wait till morning so we could see to shoot.  Several times during the night my plug hat came very near being stepped on for I took it off.  Henry Pennington said that he could see the coon.  It was all very exciting and we spied Mr. Coon, perched on a limb.  As soon as it got light enough to see we opened fire on him , but when he fell out of the tree we were disappointed for instead of a large coon, we had killed a small cub.

October 8, Frank started keeping an account book, record book of the missionary work they had accomplished during the week.  During this time he was in Kerens.  It was very interesting to note the pamphlets and Liahona’s they distributed and books of Mormon sold, families visited, and re-visited, hours spent in tracting, hours in Gospel conversation, hours with the saints, number of Gospel conversations, hall meetings, cottage meetings, open air meetings, children blessed, baptisms, and also he kept a good record of the miles they traveled.  Hours of study were another thing that was kept in this book.

October 14, 1910

Traveled up the Cheat River in the ford and after taking off our shoes and wading the river we walked to the town of Elkins where we went on the train to Beverly and I left Elder Whitby here and traveled on down to Mill Creek where I expected to get some underwear from Utah by mail, but was disappointed.  Spent the night with Lewis Kaylor.  Met Elder Whitby next day at Charlie Herron’s home.  Labored here at the home of George Herron, they say that there was a battle fought here near the house in the Civil War.

October 18, 1910

We baptized the wife of George Herron today in Beaver Creek, and administered to the sick wife and child of Lee Garvins.

October 19, 1910

We filled our pockets and grips with apples this morning and started for Charleston.

October 21, 1910

We traveled about 21 miles today and passed by two towns and one of them is named Wild Cat and the other is called Bull Town.  Spent the night at Falls Mill.  Weather is cold.  Started out the next morning early, but traveled on the wrong road 6 miles.  Traveled about 30 miles.  Was very tired and weary but was given entertainment just south of the town of Sutton.

October 23, 1910

Had dinner with a man who treated us well, and seemed to be interested in our message.  He informed us that 3 of our Elders had passed by his place yesterday on their way to Charleston.  Had a hard time to get entertainment, but finally did.

October 24, 1910

Walked from Tale to within about 6 miles of Big Sandy, and about dark we started to ask for entertainment and kept on asking until we got to Big Sandy.  After trying the people of the town to take us in we decided rather than lay out we would go to the hotel, which we did about 9 o’clock.

October 25, 1910

Today we passed about 20 different freighters who were driving teams and they were driving ox teams.  This was a great sight to both of us.  The three Elders who were ahead of us traveled down the Elk River while we took off through the country from Framtown and cut off about 25 miles and got a day ahead of them in this way.  Spent the night near Clendenon, 12 miles from Charleston.

October 26, 1910

Arrived at Charleston about 1 o’clock this afternoon, very tired and weary having walked about 200 miles and averaged about 25 miles a day.  We were the first to arrive there for our conference.  Elder Whitby and I both looked pretty though when we arrived for our clothes were dirty and faded.  We spent the next three days resting and cleaning up, also visiting the Capitol and taking pictures of ourselves.

Sunday, October 30, 1910

President Rich arrived here today.  President Rich met with all the Elders of both conferences and gave us very good advice.  He held several meetings with the Elders.  I enjoyed his sermons.

November 1, 1910

Left Charleston by train and traveled to Fairmont where I rested for a day, then we held a conference in the south side drug store.

November 4, 1910

President Jensen told me today that I was to labor in Wetzel County with Elder Jones, and that we were to leave about November 7.

November 5, 1910

President Jensen changed his mind today and told me he wanted me to stay in Fairmont and help him with the work in the office, to take care of the books, get the Elders mail to them, write letters, etc.

Sunday, November 6, 1910

Elder Hones and I went on train to Hundred and walked to Church’s Fork, where we held Sunday school in the afternoon and held a meeting in the evening in a school house.  Worked in the office several days with President Jensen.  Elder Kessler and his wife arrived to do missionary work.

Frank worked in the office one day and then went with either Elder Kessler or President Jensen to held meetings and do missionary work.  President Jensen and Frank boarded with the Kessler’s.  Frank said that Mrs. Kessler did the cooking, but he figured he could do as good or better with his hand tied behind his back.  Apparently, Mrs. Kessler could not get along with anyone and as Frank said, “she looks as if she would make a fellow ‘thrash his beans’.”

Frank bought a new suit of clothes and said he felt pretty good.  They seemed to have good response from their missionary labors at this time.  They held singing practice also.  On December 5, Frank said he got the spirit of ‘Poetry Today’, so he wrote some poetry to Rose. Then said, “Sister Kessler is getting full of thunder.”

December 7, 1910

Just one year ago today I landed in Fairmont, ‘Hurrah’, I wish it was two years.  Sister Kessler is getting full of ‘Old Nick’.

December 19, 1910

Went on train to Moundsville, where I met Elders Cheny and Cannon and while there I visited the large mound which was built by the ancient inhabitants of the country and I also went through the state penitentiary which was a very good sight.  Came back to Fairmont in the evening.

December 25, 1910

Christmas today and everybody is happy.  Held Sunday school in the home of Mr. Brown and then President Jensen and I had dinner at Brother Nelsons home where we had a very enjoyable time.  After supper was over we held a meeting at his home.

December 28, 1910

Held a meeting tonight with Brother Downey.  Spoke on ‘Church Organization’.  After the meeting we had a very hard time getting back to our room for the mud is very deep.

This was the last entry he made in this journal, but he went on to keep his record book up to date and it is interesting to note that he probably worked in Fairmont in the office until April 11 when he went to Morgantown, traveling 44 miles in one week.  These are names of towns he was at for the next few months, averaging the miles he covered each week, around 50 or 60 miles.  The towns were:  Hannahsville, Kerens, Sanesville, Franklin, Hoorefield, Berkley Springs, Rock Eneon, New Creek, Parsons, Beverly, Jane Jew, Centralia, Removal and finally to Fairmont where apparently he finished his mission.  The last entry was in November and by that time he had his trunk checked.  It would be interesting to note that during the time he started to keep this record book they had 6 baptisms.  He estimated that he had traveled an estimated 8,375 miles, and judging from his journal the biggest percentage of those miles were on foot.  He must have worn out the shoe leather.

When he was finished with his mission he returned to Salt Lake City where he met my Mother and I, we had come from Canada.  He had arranged before his mission was finished that his Father in Utah would purchase a piece of land in Mapleton, Utah.  That is where we went and we lived in a red brick building, not far from our farm and until my Father could build a home for us.  When the house was finished we moved into it and there we lived until after the death of my Mother and Father.


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