Post 56 Starke, Florida

Post 56

Starke, Florida

Post 56 Starke, Florida

About This Post

Post Namesake

Pvt. WILLIE JONES, Pvt. NEAL LANGFORD AND Lt. RICHARD RAY WHITE. All three men were from Starke and were KIA in France in 1918 in WW1.

     Pvt. Willie J. Jones was born in Starke on April 5, 1898 and joined the Army in 1916, serving with the 7th Field Artillery First Division. A year later he was sent to France and was wounded in action. Two years later he was killed in action while fighting in Cantigny, France. His body rests in The American Military Cemetery at Bonvilliers, France, far from his native Bradford County.

Pvt. Neil Langford, a native of Bradford County, was born on March 21, 1899 and attended Bradford High School. He joined the Army in 1917 and was sent to Fort Mcpherson Ga. and the Mexican border before going to France where he fought on several western battlefronts, including the French regions of Cantigny, Chadeau Thierry and Soissons, where he lost his life.

Lt. Richard White was born Dec. 11, 1892,graduated from Bradford High School,received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and later a Law Degree in 1915. One year later he attended Officers Training School and then set sail for France in April 1918. As Commander of his Company, Lt. White died Sept.12, 1918 while leading his men in a charge on Mont St. Michel.

What Makes this Post Unique

City Veterans Memorial Park Named for a former post commander CHARLES SCHAEFER who was very active in our post and the community. Post 56 started and sponsored  the 1st County Fair in Bradford County.

The first American Legion Post home was a log building on West Call St. built on property loaned by Congressman Lex Green, just west of the Christian Church. Most of the materials used were donated by members who also assisted in the construction.

In 1953 Post 56 purchased property on N. Temple Ave.(U.S. 301) and the log cabin was moved to this location in 1956, remaining there until the property was sold to the county in 1966 for the construction of the new Bradford County Courthouse. The post then purchased propery on Edwards Road and built our current home at a cost of approximately $30,000, moving in to our new quarters in February of 1971. 

For several years our Post sponsored the Bradford County Fair and Strawberry Festival which was first held on West Call  St. These events were later held at the North Temple location, but continued to grow in size until the Legion stepped aside and the annual Fair and Festival management were taken over by the Bradford County Fair Associaton.

Members who served as Commander were: In the 30's Arch J. Thomas, L.D. Vining, N.D. Wainwright Jr., Cyrus H. Sistrunk and K.G. Duncan. In the 40's S.A. Weldon, L.J. Green, W.B. Sewell, Robert Green, S.G. Denmark, Albert Lee Crosby, Michael Gilhooly and Thomas Clifford Hazen. In the 50's Arch J. Thomas Jr., A.Y. (Doc) Covington, William H. Graham, Charles Partin, Clifford l. Currie, Larry H. Gibson,Harry M. Hatcher, Xenophen M. Smith, Guy Andrews, Harry H. Rabb Jr., Seeber D. Goodman. In the 60's Kenneth C. Gryder, H.A. "Buddy" Bishop Jr, Jullian McRae, William S. "Bill" Haas, George H. Pierce, S.E.Sparks, Charles J. Schaefer, William F. "Bill" Soto, Joseph A. "Joe" Gissey and Frank Williams. In the 70's William "Bill" Scoggins, Lee Taylor, Thomas F. Howell, Bryce C. Titus, Robert G. "Bob" Patterson and Otto F. Siemer Jr. In the 80's William "Bill" Wilson, George H. Pierce, Robert E. "Bob" Brown and Charles J. Schaefer. In the 90's Alcee P. Rodrigue, Walter J. Frick, Donald R. Tilley and Arthur W. "Art" Buchanan. Beginning the new century, William E."Bill" Dampier, Betty Joe "B.J." Griffis, Frank Knight, Henry A. "Hank" Williams, William R. "Bill" Cloud, Robert G. "Bob" Lawry, Roy Miller, Danny Nugent, Gary G. Grainger and currently Raymond M. "Ray" Hunt.