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.
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.