“Twenty years ago,” said the passenger with the red ribbon in his button hole, “I knew that man whom you saw get off at the last station. He was a young man of rare promise, a college graduate, a man of brilliant intellect and shrewd mercantile ability. Life dawned before him in all the golden colors of fair promise. He had some money when he left college. He invested it in business and his business prospered. He married a beautiful young girl, who bore him three lovely children.… No one dreamed that the Poorhouse would ever be their home. But in an evil hour the young man yielded to the tempter. He began to drink beer. He liked it, and drank more. He drank it and encouraged others to drink. That was only fourteen years ago, and he was a prosperous wealthy man. Today where is he?” The clergyman in the front seat, solemnly: “A sot and a beggar.” The red ribbon man, disconsolately: “Oh, no; he is a member of Congress, and owns a brewery worth $50,000.” Sometimes it will happen that way.
From the Missouri Historical Society Bulletin , April, 1963