Saturday, May 10, 2008

Henry Spickler goes Around the World

As we near the end of another college year, some graduates might wish to reflect on the daring dream of Henry Spickler, a graduate of Mt. Morris College, who in 1901 was challenged to travel around the world by ship and bicycle. The bicycle was provided by a local newspaper in Polo, Illinois in exchange for letters describing the trip.

Having no other resources, Spickler wrote: I am the man who rode a bicycle around the world without a cent. On leaving school ... I passed out of the east door of our home in Polo, Illinois, kissed my mother and sister good-bye, and without a single penney in my pocket, with my face to the east, resolved to keep going until I rode around the earth and entered our home by its west door.

It took Spickler three years to cover 40,000 miles and visit twenty countries before he could greet his mother at the west door. He worked at 75 different occupations to cover his expenses, which ran about five to ten cents a day. He was arrested in France, locked up in Germany, and lived with brigands to the Holy Land. In India he visited Wilbur Stover, a fellow student at Mt. Morris, who had gone there a few years earlier.

Spickler wrote descriptive articles for his hometown newspaper and for the Mt. Morris Index. Brethren readers followed his adventures in the pages of the Inglenook in 1908 and 1909, and the book he wrote in 1922, Around the World Without a Cent.

Source: Preaching in a Tavern by Kenneth Morse