From the vault: 100 Years ago in Grand County
November 1, 2016
Excerpts from the Middle Park Times – November 3, 1916
“A reassurance that politics have always been fraught with anxiety”
“In the last issue of the Times before the election of 1916 we desire to call the attention of our readers to some facts that may be useful in deciding on how you wish to vote in the coming election. For as far back as we have known anything about the politics of Grand County, before each election the air has been full of rumors started by interested or malicious persons which would not bear the sunlight of publication, but which have had a great deal of influence through working on the sympathies or the prejudices or both, of many people who in most cases did not know the real facts. It has been the same this fall we have heard tales that are the rankest foolishness; and some that were downright malicious.
If you have heard any of these tales this year or if you have received personal letters stating that it would be to the personal advantage of someone beside the candidate who you were requested to vote for, if you should see your way clear to support this or that candidate, we ask you in fairness to yourself and in the interest of good government for the country; to consider well the source of the request; and decide whether what would be so good for the personal interest of this party would be for your interest or for the good of the community . There are many legitimate arguments that may be used in favor of political candidates, and very naturally we say good things for our friends, but no candidate can safely mean anything personal to anyone except himself .”
Historical Note: 100 Years ago, Grand County voters were grappling with challenging election choices.
Incumbent President Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic candidate, was pitted against Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes, the Republican candidate. After a hard-fought contest, Wilson defeated Hughes by nearly 600,000 votes in the popular vote and secured a narrow majority in the Electoral College by winning several swing states with razor-thin margins. Wilson’s re-election marked the first time that a Democratic Party candidate had won two consecutive Presidential elections since Andrew Jackson won re-election in the 1832 election.
Locally, Roy L Polhamus, Schuyler Button, E.O. Pinney, and J.B. Stevens were running for Commissioner. J.S. Pettingell ran unopposed for County Justice and you can see “him” at the historic Courthouse at the Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs.
Submitted by the Heritage Coalition of Grand County grandcountyhistory.com.