While seldom seen by most, the Mayo Clinic watchmen filled an important function in the protection and security of the Mayo Clinic in the 1950s.
Little was known of the activities of these night-time guardians, yet through their vigilance and constant effort, Mayo had maintained an excellent record in such matters as the protection against thievery, looting, and the willful destruction of property. The vast stores of supplies, the hundreds of pieces of technical apparatus, the tools and devices—all of these received careful attention over the years.
Mayo watchmen helped to preserve irreplaceable medical histories and other records, protecting them from damage by the elements by closing doors and windows that were left open. They also protected Mayo's premises and surrounding properties from fire.
Watchmen were selected for their integrity—and their agility—in getting around the buildings, through the long corridors, service tunnels, and stairs. They were also selected for their ability to do a job alone, without depending on others.