I thought some little account of our County Association might not be without
interest to your readers. In company with two other ministering brethren we started
Thursday morning for a drive to Antioch. The Olive street plank road was to mark our
way. There are plenty of planks but we were doomed to learn by experience that
there are horrible roads in Missouri. After enjoying the hospitality of our Baptist
friends in Chesterfield, we proceeded on again for the evening drive to Antioch. But
such was the obtuseness of our understanding about keeping a certain "ridge
road," which we are hardly sure we could find now, we found ourselves away off on a
high bluff, in the woods, to all appearances lost. There were plenty of ups and
The solemn shades of evening gathered round and added to our anxiety. We
guessed and guessed, but after all, we realized we were off track. a single wagon
track lay ahead and others crossed at every few steps in bewildering number. 'That's
a long road that has no end' we remembered and pushed on. In a little while we
stopped by a cornfield. That was cheering, it revealed one sign of man's presence.
Down went the fence, and around the corn we went, rough and tumble all the way. Here
we received a direction (and such a direction) about keeping round and over, and then
turning there and at some other place, and started on about as wise as before.
In keeping 'the ridge road' we had evidently gone on an old road on the wrong
ridge. Before long, we had found ourselves down in a huge ravine, bluffs on each
side, woods all around, a creek straight in our way and beyond, another cornfield.
To our bewildered heads there was no way out. Night had come; our horse was tired
out with the tugs up and tumbles down the hills. . . we must confess that we had some
strong thoughts of camping out.
The welcome shouts of men in the distance told us we were near a human habitation.
. . but how to get out? After waiting for awhile and calling out our best, we were
led out by some boys who came to our assistance on muleback. Such a lead! May
we be kept from such another. Surely, we thought, if our horse could make out to
follow, there would be only a few pieces of our rockway get through the thicket, and over
the creek, gullies and stumps.
But 'All's well that ends well'. . . we found our way to the
hospitable mansion of Captain Tyler, whose attentions and courtesy we gratefully
enjoyed. But alas, for the poor German pastor and your correspondent, if the fates
were not against us! We were all on fire and felt something on us. Our
scratching by the brush and brambles was not the end of scratching! Travelers!
unsophisticated like ourselves. . . beware of ridge roads. . . the perspicuous directions
and numerous hangers on that may meet you in the woods.