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Post 8  Winter Haven, Florida



CHARTER DATE: June 3, 1919

POST NAMESAKE: Frierson Nichols

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On June 3, 1919, Winter Haven, Florida, was granted a Charter for the formation of an American Legion Post. The original charter hangs in the Main Room of Post 8. It was signed by Henry D. Lindsley, Chairman, National Executive Committee, in the Temporary Headquarters of the American Legion, 19 West 44th Street, New York, New York. Listed on the document are the following names of Winter Haven men requesting a Post: A.P. Butts, Cyprus L. Lee, E.H. McLean, Ervin Smith, John G. Bacon, E.W. Harrington, G.D. Brewer. T.V. Snivley, E.A. Commander, H. Tyron and T.F. Ballout. Full story »
E.L. McClain (aka E.L. McLean on Charter) was elected first Commander. His sudden death resulted in F.E. Brigham filling the rest of his term. Commander Brigham served 1919-1920, 1925-1926, and 1926-1927. He serve as Department Commander from 1952-1953. Full story »
The National Post Charter, dated February 10, 1921, hangs in the Main Room of Post 8. This document shows the name of the Post as Frierson-Nichols. The name was selected to honor the first two individuals who died in World War I. Rhea Preston Frierson was born on October 18, 1895, and joined the Army in 1917. He was promoted to Sergeant in August 1918, and became ill with influenza on a ship on his way to France and died in a hospital in Brest, France, on his Birthday October 18, 1918. Veryl L. Nichols entered the Army on March.. Full story »
On August 14, 1924 the Charter for the Post 8 Ladies Auxiliary was signed by the National Secretary in National Headquarters, Indianapolis, Indiana. It was signed on August 25, 1924, by the Legion Department of Florida. Full story »
By 1933, when the depression was at it's worse, Frierson-Nichols, Post 8, saw the need to come to the aid of the City of Winter Haven. There was only enough funds to allow those students who could pay for the classes to attend school in the mornings. The Legion provided a principal, Legionnaire Louis Eigle, wives and young ladies for teachers, and a janitor to what became the afternoon school. These students did not have to pay for the service of the teachers. From March to the end May, the afternoon classes managed to produce results in the same proportion.. Full story »
(June 1 is an approximately date in 1935 as the exact month and day is unknown). Although she was not a member of the original Drum and Bugle Corps, Priscilla Eveleth Rich became an important part of the Corps. The Corps recruited her while she was still in High School to be Drum Major. A painting of her hangs in the Main Room of the Post and her hat and jacket are in a glass case in the TDY Room. Ms. Rich traveled around the country with the Corps, leading parades with the Winter Haven Drum and Bugle Corps. In.. Full story »
In order to comply with a request from the Federal Government, Post 8 formed an Honor Guard to assist with the many funerals that had resulted at the request of families wanting their loved ones returned after the end of World War II. The then Post 8 Commander J.R. "Andy" Anderson appointed Captain R. Elmo Hood to be the Unit Commander from 1946; he remained at this post until he retired in 1965. He then became Captain Emeritus, a rank he held for many years. In the first funeral held was that of Sergeant John Olson of Dundee. Sergeant Olson's.. Full story »
F.E. Brigham became the first member of Post 8, Winter Haven, to become a Department Commander. (Month and day are estimated as the true date is not available.) Under listing of Past Department Commanders, you may note that F.E. Brigham has no hat and that there were two Commanders for 1952-1953. Pictures of him in Post 8 show him wearing a hat for the Forty and Eight. The Post 8 old timers remember that Commander Brigham was killed in a traffic accident while returning from the Convention and his election. Full story »
R. Elmo Hood, a Post 8 member since 1945 became Department Commander for 1957-1958. He was Captain of the Honor Guard beginning in 1946 and remained in that position until his voluntary retirement in 1967. When Captain Hood was outgoing Department Commander, he chose to march at the front of the State Champion Post 8 Honor Guard at the National Convention instead of riding in the car provided. (Unable to locate the day and month, so 1 June is an estimate of the true date.) Full story »
After years of moving from one place to another, from 1919 to 1964, the Post completed a new home!! The original home in 1919 was a metal building, perhaps not the best place to be in the Florida heat. The Legion made some land deals over the years, moving from one location to another. There was even a long-term rental (29 years) of a building located in downtown Winter Haven. In 1964, H. R. Summerville, was Commander and Ben Ashmead was Adjutant when the building was completed. The Building Committee consisted of: J.W. "Bill" Clarke, Chairman; J.R. Anderson; Billy Ross.. Full story »
Squadron 8 became a part of Post 8, Winter Haven, Florida, on February 19, 1976, when the request was signed by National Headquarters. It had been signed by Department on January 5, 1976. Full story »
Post 8 Member Ray Maddox, who was Post Commander in 1977-1978, became Department Commander for the Legion year 1980-1981. (1 June is an estimate of the Department Convention as the exact date was not available.) Full story »
Post 8 member Ray Weaver became Department Commander for the Legion year 1996 - 1997. He was the 4th member of Post 8 to become Department Commander. (1 June is an estimate of the date of his election to this office.) Full story »
On June 1, 2004, Thomas Seitzinger, Post 8 Commander in 1999-2000 and Adjutant for many years, was elected to the office of Florida Department Commander for the Legion year 2004-2005. Past Commander Seitzinger has held many Post, District, State, and National Legion offices. He was selected as "A Notable Member" of Post 8 in the 2014-2015 yearbook. (1 June is an estimate as true date is not available.) Full story »
Frierson-Nichols, Post 8 elected to become a Non-Smoking post effective September 9, 2013. There was much discussion about this decision. After all the discussion, a vote was taken and there was a two to one margin in favor of becoming a non-smoking post. There were some individuals who actually transferred their membership to other nearby posts over this matter; however over a period of time, most have returned to Post 8. Many new members came to the Post as they heard that there was no longer smoking in the Post home. Smoking is allowed on the deck overlooking Lake Silver... Full story »