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Post 80  Downers Grove, Illinois



POST NAMESAKE: Alexander Bradley Burns


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Alexander Bradley Burns, for whom this Post is named was born in Downers Grove, Illinois to J.M. and Mary Burns. He had just graduated from high school when the war broke out and was one of the first to enlist in the Army. He joined Battery C of the First Illinois Field Artillery, later the 149th Field Artillery known as "Reilly's Bucks" named after Colonel Henry J. Reilly. This was part of the famous "Rainbow Division" which was composed of National Guard Units from all parts of the United States. After 4 months of training at Fort Sheridan, Illinois the.. Full story »
Before beginning to read about Post 80 I should give proper credit to the past commanders and historians of this wonderful Post for keeping records so that one day we could share the legacy of Post 80. Past Commander Morris Stevenson (1925) prepared the history from the beginning through 1939. The history from 1939 to 1969 was written by Past Commander Thomas Lanagan (1947). Starting in 1919 each commander kept a collection of documents including minutes of meetings, letters to and from the Post, old bills and photographs. Many of our past commanders wrote detailed reports of their year or.. Full story »
In the days following the Armistice the veterans of Downers Grove began returning home. Almost every day another uniformed man got off the train looked at the changes in his or her home town. By Christmas 1918 more than 30 had returned. On January 17, 1919 Mayor Kidwell welcomed them home with a party at the Curtiss Theater. Howard Jones took charge and every one had a grand time. These men were soon joined by others returning home. By March the American Legion had become a reality and meetings were held in the G.A.R. Hall. By July the name of.. Full story »
The veterans of Downers Grove received their charter dated August 7, 1919 and didn't waste any time getting started. They formed a football and baseball teams. Soon they were bragging of how great their baseball team was. During this time meetings were held in various places. The G.A.R.Hall, Masonic Hall and even an old school. These men were doing their best to follow the guidelines of The American Legion. Full story »
The meetings of this newly organized American Legion would be on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. There was business enough to require two meetings a month. club rooms were secured in the Dickie building. Activities were numerous. Aid to the Salvation Army is noted. Open house for various groups are frequent. We even find a record of the group furnishing a program for the Women's Club. Another old record looked interesting. It seems that on Wednesday evenings the Post held "Open House" for the men of the village. In October it is noted that the night was.. Full story »
Norman Anderson had a tough row to hoe as commander. Many of the members were angry at the manner in which various events had fallen thru the year before. Others had developed new interests. Everybody except a faithful few had a legitimate kick coming. At the time it looked as though everybody was wrong and no one was right. There was little done during the year and the active members complained of that. There were just two meetings held and in each case they were extremely brief and th barest routing of business was transacted. No one recognized the difficulty.. Full story »
Commander Swift started his administration by getting a crowd of thirty out to church on Armistice Sunday. Whether or not the time or place was productive of any good at least it was a start. Then without waiting for a regular meeting he started plans to put the Post back on it's feet. He called the officers together as an executive committee and outlined certain changes that he needed in the By-laws. The proposed changes gave the Executive Committee which was composed of the elected and appointed officers practically complete power over the actions of the Post. The adjutant's wife.. Full story »
Before I begin 1925 it is good to know that Stevenson is the man who recorded this history thru 1936. This is written in his own words as there were very little records of 1925. His words follow: It is difficult for one to write one's own work as Commander of this Post. The following account will necessarily be brief as the writer must trust entirely to memory. The report turned in at the end.. Full story »
The first meeting of the new year started auspiciously. William Hooper took over the Commander's chair and made his appointments about equally from those of the executive committee of the previous year and from the new members that had joined in the past two years. In two years time the membership had come up from 18 to 144 and the hope was to double it again this year. Commander Hooper planned to get a Post.. Full story »
Clark had been the man to nominate Henry Swift three years before and had been the one who had put forth the idea that a new comer in the Village would be able to pull the Post out of it's slump better than one who knew all the factions and troubles of the years before. His contention had been well founded and now the Post had elected him as commander It looked as though the.. Full story »
The majority of the Post looked forward to a continuation of the prosperous progress of the organization. But those who had stood by for the past four years recognized the fact that there had to be a lull in activities. The gains made in the past four years would have to be made permanent. Certain members who had devoted much of their spare time to Legion activities wanted a rest. Also there was further complication.. Full story »
Dr. Witt's first meeting reflected the new ideas that were to prevail. A motion was made to raise a fund to assist in the Christmas celebration for the orphans at Normal, Illinois. The motion provided that a committee be appointed to investigate and cooperate with others with full power to act as they see fit and expand a certain sum. In other years a sum would have been appropriated and the money spent with no.. Full story »
The year 1930 continued in the same manner as 1929. The new spirit communicated to the Post by Commander Witt the previous year prevailed. From this time forward certain definite activities that had become customary were taken care of in a routine manner leaving the commander time to devote to emergencies as they should arise. A substantial amount was left in the treasury and there was some let down in the careful expenditure of funds... Full story »
During Commander Johnson's (1930)year the Post had not realized that the depress Men who had held positions with companies for ten years and longer began to look anxious. Those that had joined the ranks of the unemployed had been men of a few years service. Now those in the Post who regarded themselves as secure in their jobs were beginning to look anxious and at every meeting there would be another one or two who.. Full story »
The trend of work of the entire year was indicated at the first meeting at which Commander Walter presided. The membership role was considered and there were no plans made for breaking records. Walter stressed the fact that we needed members who would work during the year. The change that started in Hannon's (1928) administration was now under way and the meetings were now serious affairs where ways and means of aiding those men who.. Full story »
Immediately upon the beginning of the year the quest6ion of relief came up. We had a representative on the Relief Committee. This committee decided that a series of entertainments should be turned over to the Relief Store. The Roman Catholic Church staged a boxing show and turned in profits of over two hundred dollars. Other churches and organizations followed and profits ran half that figure. When it came the turn of the Post, their committee.. Full story »
A new administration had taken over in Washington. The BLUE EAGLE was going to cure our economic ills according to General Johnson, while another prominent democrat, carter Glass, criticized the idea and expressed his disgust at the antics of the "BLUE BUZZARD". However an epidemic of alphabitis enveloped the country from A.A.A. to X.Y.Z. In the maze of combinations of letters, two groups emerged to bring hope to many of our members. The C.W.A. and.. Full story »
At the January meeting each member had his copy of the new by-laws and the whole thing was read and voted on. Practically the entire new set of rules was accepted by the Post. A few minor changes were decided on and held over to be voted on at the next meeting. After that the accepted by-laws were printed so that a sufficient number of copies would be on hand for future reference. The membership.. Full story »
William A. Finger was elected commander for 1936. The new officers will hold office from September 1936 to the end of August 1937. At the September meeting Past commander Dixon(1935) suggested that the Post set aside a part of the profits from the carnival against the time when the membership would be too old to conduct such affairs. The idea met with the approval of the membership and there was considerable discussion as to what.. Full story »
The new year was begun on September 10, 1936 by installation ceremonies at the Woodridge Golf Club south of Lisle, Illinois. The installing officer was Past District Commander Otis Cushing of Hinsdale. The new officers would serve until August 31,1937 The speaker was Paul Armstrong, past Department of Illinois commander. He said "It was said after the passing of the Bonus Bill that the American Legion would disintegrate, as it had no further programs for.. Full story »