A 42 foot flag pole was donated in the memory of the 100th anniversary of Dorsey L. Smith, Sr.’s birthday by his namesake and son, Dorsey L. Smith, Jr. “Mr. Dorsey,” as he was called by some in his later years, Dado by his grandchildren, and Pappa San by his namesake, is remembered for his strong work ethic and his ability to get things done - often when he had to make the tool he used.
At the age of 14, Mr. Smith left school to help out on the family farm. From that early age, he learned to work from daylight to dark, often with only a short break during the day. He strongly believed that everyone, by the sweat of their brow, should earn what they had. A mention of a “government handout” would upset him beyond belief.
In 1933, he started a business of water well service, which later expanded to include plumbing and electrical. He often undertook difficult and challenging jobs, ones that others thought impossible to do, and he got them done, well done, and in record time. The “how to” never held him back.
When he first started working on water wells, he would pull the pipes and rods out of the well with a tripod, a box and a tackle. After World War II, in the late 1940s, he designed a gin pole and winch mounted on a truck that would pull pipes and rods and be mobile. This same machine would put windmills up or take them down in one piece. One customer told the story of wanting to see his windmill taken down; this was a new method and important that he see it. Early on the morning of the job, he heard the truck arrive but, before he could get his shoes on, the windmill was already on the ground.
He was always figuring out how to make his work more efficient, so when air compressors became available, he purchased the first one in Blanco County. Also a first for the county was his purchase of a backhoe.
He was a small man in stature, but a larger than life man to those who knew him well. In his business ventures, he wired, for the first time, most of the houses in the area, when electricity became available. The wiring consisted only of a single light dropped from the ceiling in each room of the house. There was no need for electrical outlets since there were few electrical appliances at that time.
And, he was a good friend. At one point, in the later years of his life, a cousin, while visiting the ranch, walked to the top of a hill near the house. When he did not return, Mr. Smith went looking for him. Both being up in years, they found that neither could make it back down the hill, so they sat down and scooted down the hill, making it back to the ranch house, laughing all the way.
He was a wise man and until the last year of his life, he would ask to be carried to the pickup truck so he could ride to the ranch with his son to oversee the advancements being made there. He always had very good advice on how to accomplish any task; it might be to build a needed tool or purchase some new kind of machine.
When he got up in years, he had a hard time remembering names, so he got into the habit of calling everybody “Joe.” He would call young folks Joe and they would explain their name was not Joe, it was Henry or Mary or whatever, and when they got through explaining, he would say to them, “O.K. Joe.” So many of his friends started calling him Joe and that was just fine with him.
It is our hope that he is looking down at this flag pole, watching all the flags flying, and smiling because he knows that we all miss him.