This history was prepared by Charter Member, Omar Hurst, and was published in the Savannah Reporter March 20, 1969. ***

On February 26, 1920 a meeting of ex-servicemen was held in the wallpaper room of the W.B. Limerick Drug Store for the purpose of organizing a post of the American Legion. Robert Gore acted as the chairman. Omar Hurst was elected acting post commander. Upon motion by Virgil Reece, seconded by Cecil Teaford, the post was named after Dick Munkres who had been killed in action in the Meuse-Argoone campaign.***

The application for the post charter was signed by 19 men, 11 or 12 of these men are still living. Signing the application were Boyd Barr, Herman Breit, Isaac Breit, Cecil Compton, Floyd Clark, Harry Duncan, Francis Dray, Lawrence Evans, George Robert Gore, Omar Hurst, Frank Hastings, Frank Hardin, Fred Kurz, Albert J. Miller, Bryon E. Nuckols, Virgil Reece, Cecil Teaford, Ray L. Teaford, and Claude Young. The charter was held open and a total of 60 names are on the roll in the clubrooms. The charter Number 287, having arrived, a meeting was held in the circuit courtroom April 23, 1920 to effect a permanent organization. ***

The following officers were elected: Eddie Gray, post commander; Francis E. Dray, adjutant; Cloyd Lamar, treasurer; Bennett Cook, service officer; Virgil Reece, employment officer; Bruce Merritt, chaplain; Cecil Teaford, historian; Byron Nuckols, athletic officer and sergeant-at-arms; Omar Hurst, Robert Gore, and Frank Hardin, executive committee. ***

The John Terhune Hall on the west side was leased for post quarters. The first meeting was September 20, 1920. The first military funeral conducted by the post was that of John Ray Killen, October 17, 1920 at Fillmore. Membership records show 161 members for 1920. January 4, 1921 it was voted to purchase a national flag, to secure pictures of deceased ex-servicemen, have them framed and hung in the post rooms. Plans were adopted to assist eligible women of the county to organize a women’s auxiliary of the American Legion at a meeting to be held at the post rooms March 15, 1921. ***

On September 6, 1921 Frank Hardin and Owen B. Boyer were elected delegates to the state convention in Saint Joseph, September 19 and 20. A motion was adopted to accept a post flag from the women’s auxiliary. This demonstrated the wisdom of having an auxiliary. ***

A dubious item appears in minutes of the meeting for August 2, 1923. Reference is made to the sale of a horse for $10 that the post had acquired in a manner not stated. ***

Financial losses, due to bank failures effected both the post and individuals, caused decreased interest and loss of membership to a low of 43 in 1927. Late in 1926 the post vacated the Terhune Hall and moved to a room over the Quality Shop. This proved inadequate and quarters were obtained over the Nicholas Bakery. ***

The National Convention for 1927 was to be held in Paris, France. It was decided to raise funds to help pay expenses of the member who would take the post flag and carry it in the big parade. ***

There were three members who expressed their willingness to make the trip. They were Comrades R.T. Dobyns, Herman Ordnung and W.O. Swenson. Their names were written on separate slips of paper, folded and placed in a hat. It was agreed they would be given preference in order of their drawing. The first name drawn was Herman Ordnung; the second, R.T. Dobyns; and the third, W.O. Swenson. Neither Ordnung or Dobyns could make the trip so Bill Swenson was assigned to this mission. Other fund raising plans failed, the post appropriated $200 toward paying his expenses. ***

The post flag had then been carried in every National Convention parade since 1921 at Kansas City, and it was resolved that as long as possible the flag should be sent to every National Convention thereafter. ***

November 3, 1927 the Nichols Sanitorium, through Comrade Swenson, offered to permit the use of a room at the sanitorium, rent free, until such time as the post membership and funds could be rebuilt. This was gratefully accepted. ***

In March of 1929 the Andrew County Court set aside a room in the basement of the courthouse for use as quarters of the American Legion. This splendid courtesy was highly effective in preserving the existence of the Post. ***

In 1932 a Post was set aside in the Savannah Cemetery for the purpose of erecting white crosses and planting poppies to commemorate the lives of the men of this country who had made the supreme sacrifice. The Legion Auxiliary was instrumental in achieving this. ***

January 18, 1933 the Post voted to sponsor the local Boy Scout troop. This has continued and enlarged to the present time. ***

The practice of sponsoring boys to Boy’s State was adopted in the late 1930’s and has been practiced ever since. ***

Activities of the Post were largely routine through the 1930’s. During this period, membership in the Legion dropped to a low of 47. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, the Post was active in measures to help prosecute and this stimulated increased membership. ***

At the October 18, 1944 meeting of the Post, the erection of an Honor Roll was authorized. This developed into the Honor Roll in the Courthouse. ***

A report was given on the bingo stand at the Barnard picnic and the Andrew County homecoming at the regular meeting August 20, 1947. Combined with reports on rides, donations and concessions and returns from raffling a car gave a net total of $3,230.06. ***

A resolution adopted April 6, 1949 conveyed an offer of full cooperation with the Savannah Chamber of Commerce in promoting a County Fair. It was decided that Dick Munkres Post would sponsor both a men’s team and a Junior League baseball team. ***

At the October 5, 1949 meeting it was voted to incorporate and proceed with lease of fair grounds and construction of stands, facilities and grading of grounds. ***

It was reported to the November 16, 1949 meeting that the Memorial Ground Corporation was issuing a total of $50,000 in bonds. Frank Hardin reported to the March 1, 1950 meeting that the fair ground abstract had been approved and deed recorded. ***

Membership as of April 12, 1950 reported to be 320. Sale of property at the southeast corner of the square to Clark & Runquist for $4,200 was approved. A net profit of $973.96 was reported on the car raffled at the fair. ***

At the October 18, 1950 meeting a committee was named to consider a proposition to build a club house on ground belonging to the Legion Memorial Park. ***

A financial report made to the October 21, 1953 meeting showed a total holding of government bonds, memorial park bonds, fair account, Dick Munkres Post account, and savings bonds to be 12,448.77. $8,500 of this was in Memorial Park bonds. At the November 2, 1955 meeting it was noted that the Veterans Day dinner would be served in the basement of the new Legion building.***

The first post meeting in the new memorial building was held October 17, 1956. No detailed report is undertaken for the last few years with which most of you are quite familiar. ***

Some of this outstanding achievements have been the reduction of indebtedness, an outstanding increase in membership and development of the memorial plot in the Savannah Cemetery. Some 60 stones represent the honored dead of World War I and II, Korean, and Vietnam wars. One more is to be added soon and dedication services will be observed next Memorial Day. ***


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