(05/08/2018)

Dr. Dye in waning years on his porch on Main Street, Grantsville

By David Hathaway 2005

During the presidential election I was reminded of a unique experience I had with my grandfather, W.T.W. Dye, M.D. during the 1940 election.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a candidate for an unprecedented third term election for President of the United States.

Dr. Dye, a fervent Republican, was simply beside himself with the prospect that Roosevelt would be re-elected, but he was then confined to a wheel chair with little prospect of expressing himself at the polls.

The morning of the election he had a visit from Jim Huffman who operated a feed and grain store on Mill Street in Grantsville. It was a secretive meeting with the doctor insisting the family not be in the bedroom with them.

After lunch he was ready to "get some air" in his wheel chair on the front porch and was insistent that he be fully dressed in a suit with a hat and his hallmark string tie.

He was dressed as requested and put on the front porch. Shortly thereafter a flat bed truck arrived at the curb from Jim Huffman's establishment.

Two burly men came to the porch and picked up the wheel chair - Dr. Dye and all - and carried it to the back of the truck where the wheels of the chair were chocked and secured with cables. Then one of the men got into the cab of the truck, while the other stood at the back of the wheel chair on the truck bed. Off they went down Main Street, past the court house and to the polling place at the school house.

He was on his way to vote against Roosevelt!

I have a vivid memory of him on the truck, rolling along and tipping his hat to people along the way. At the school house a ballot was brought out to him and then he was returned to the front porch of his home.

He had arranged the operation in secret, because he knew his wife, Sophia and my mother, Eva would never have allowed such a transport to happen.

While many might question his politics, it left a great impression on me as to the responsibility of voting. I have never failed to vote in any election since I became eligible. It is distressing to see the shrinking number of persons going to the polls these days.

There was a word of advice that my grandfather gave to me often - "Grandson! If you never amount to a pinch of snuff in your life, always have a kind word for every man and tip your hat to the ladies."


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