November 1920: Politics and the Mayo Brothers #throwbackthursdays

CharlesHMayo1924In 1920, the Mayo brothers were approached to run for office. They respectfully declined, but encouraged citizens to vote and be active in the political process.

While Dr. Will was visiting South America in 1920, politicians floated his name as a candidate for governor of Minnesota. By the time Dr. Will returned home, interest was running high. While some politicians were disappointed, others were relieved that Dr. Will declined. There was consensus that Dr. Will would have been a formidable candidate.

Four years later, a movement began to draft Dr. Charlie to run for president of the U.S. He received letters of support from patients and physicians, and even from the governors of several states. National media, including The New York Times, covered the story.

Today, political symbols adorn the Plummer Building in Rochester. The building opened during the presidential campaign of 1928. Henry Plummer, M.D., supported the Republican candidate, Herbert Hoover, while his friend, Jacob Raskob, who served as the national Democratic campaign manager, backed Al Smith. The two men enjoyed bantering about their respective candidates. With Dr. Plummer’s approval, two decorative stones were added to the new building’s exterior, depicting the outcome of this particular election: a triumphant elephant and a dejected donkey.

Elephant

donkey

To see these images, stand behind the bus shelter on Second Street Southwest (Across the street is another bus shelter, surface parking lot and the Franklin Heating Station.). Look up between the lowest-level window and the second-lowest window.

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.