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Post 359  Saint Joseph, Missouri

ABOUT THIS POST

CHARTER DATE: January 16, 1946

POST NAMESAKE: American Legion Pony Express Post 359, Department of Missouri, is so named because the Pony Express used Saint Joseph, Missouri, as the eastern terminus for its route. During its period of operation from April 1860 to October 1861, it provided a vital communications link to California and the west coast of the United States during the beginning of the American Civil War that helped keep California in the Union.

FIRST COMMANDER: Charles Piro

NOTABLE MEMBERS: Carlyle Hadley, Post Commander 1950 - 1951, Fourth District Commander 1958 - 1960, Department Vice Commander 1960 - 1961 (First Post member to be District Commander and hold Department Office)

Cleo T. Martin, Post Commander 1960 - 1961, Department of Missouri Alternate National Executive Committeeman 1970 - 1974, Department of Missouri National Executive Committeeman 1974 - 1978 (First Post member to hold National office)

Charles Triggs, Post Commander 1962 - 1963, Fourth District Commander 1966 - 1968, Department Sergeant-At-Arms 1963 - 1965

Joseph D. Underwood, Post Commander 1963 - 1964 (Died in office July 13, 1964), Fourth District Commander 1952 - 1954

Charles R. Modrell, Post Commander 1970 - 1971, 1979 - 1980; Served as Boys State Chairman and S.A.L. Committee Chairman for over 30 years keeping both programs operating. He was recognized in 1998 as one of three outstanding Legionnaires in the Post for his work on the part of his fellow veterans.

Harry Spair, Department of Missouri Distinguished Legionnaire, 1974; First member of Post 359 to be honored as a LIFE Member of the Post.

James Murray, Post Commander 1974 - 1975, Fourth District Commander 1976 - 1978, Department Vice Commander 1983 - 1984

Anthony A. Drennen, Post Commander, 1985 - 1986, Department of Missouri Distinguished Legionnaire (Western Division), 1993. He was recognized in 1998 as one of three outstanding Legionnaires in the Post for his work on the part of his fellow veterans.

David N. Voyles, Post Commander 1988 - 1989, 2009, Fourth District Commander 1992 - 1994, Department Commander 1999 - 2000, Department of Missouri Alternate National Executive Committeeman 2001 - 2004, Department of Missouri National Executive Committeeman 2004 - 2008, American Legion National Vice Commander 2011 - 2012

Robert L. Beaver, Sr., Post Commander 1986 - 1987, Fourth District Commander 1998 - 2000, Department of Missouri Distinguished Legionnaire, 2001. He was recognized in 1998 as one of three outstanding Legionnaires in the Post for his work on the part of his fellow veterans.

Dwayne E. Wiley, Sr., Post Commander 1990 - 1992, outstanding public servant, member of American Legion National Security Council and Fourth District Adjutant at the time of his death (November 23, 1999).

Allan H. Lowenberg, dedicated volunteer who was honored with two national and four state awards for his volunteer work including serving on local boards including Kiwanis, Community Chest, White House Conference for Juveniles, Community Welfare Council and Interserve as well as a volunteer tutor at the grade school he attended as a youth.

Ralph E. Powell, Post Sergeant-At-Arms 1978 - 1992, Post Service Officer 1992 - 2008, Department of Missouri Distinguished Legionnaire, 2010

Jerome L. Goolsby, Post Commander 2017 - 2018; Fourth District Commander 2002 - 2004, 2006 - 2008, 2012 - 2014, 2016 - 2018; Department Vice Commander 2004 - 2005; Department of Missouri Distinguished Legionnaire, 2015

Everett L. Johnson, Post Adjutant 1946, Charter Member, 70 Year Member of The American Legion 2015

James P. Doolan, Post Commander 1955 - 1956, 70 Year Member of The American Legion 2015

William Malinowski, Post Commander 1953 - 1954, Post Adjutant 1951 - 1953, 1955 - 1958, 1960 - 1986 (Longest tenured Post Adjutant - 30 years)

Marvin Pfleiderer, Post Commander 1977 - 1978, Past Department Sergeant-At-Arms

Lewis B. Pierson , 70 Year Member of The American Legion, 2016

William C. King , 70 Year Member of The American Legion, 2017

Lloyd Pasley, 37-year member of the Saint Joseph, Missouri Police Department, retiring in 1994 as Interim Chief of Police. Served on Post 359 Funeral Detail as well as the Funeral Detail of Marine Corps League Northwest Detachment 180, performing flag folding rites, rifle squad and playing of Taps at over 1,000 funerals.

WHAT MAKES OUR POST UNIQUE: We have sponsored The American Legion JROTC Military Excellence Award Program for the Saint Joseph School District JROTC Program since 1960 and serve as a information and support outlet for veterans issues in Saint Joseph and surrounding communities.

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1940
American Legion National Headquarters issued a Temporary Charter to Pony Express Post 359 to operate out of Saint Joseph, Missouri on October 4, 1945. Full story »
Pony Express Post 359 received its permanent charter from The American Legion National Headquarters. Charter Members are: Abner D. McKinnon, Paul M. Riedle, Hugh M. Howard, Arthur C. Jones, Everett L. Johnson, Everett E. Klusman, Clifton L. Thompson, J. Glen Venable, Julian Midler, Alfred G. Roth, Stan P. Crump, Joseph E. Suhoskey, Samuel M. Spair, Carl C. Castel, Harry E. Agnew, Calvin Weinberg, Alex Mendell, Jake Lieberman, Earl C. Gartin, Charles Piro, Max E. Lance and Paul.. Full story »
The first meeting place for Pony Express Post 359 was Turner Hall at the corner of 7th and Charles Street in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Turner Hall was one of the sites for a notorious incident in 1861 when then St. Joseph Mayor Jeff Thompson (who would go on to some renown as a Brig. Gen. in the Confederate Army as a Calvary commander) led a mob of Confederate sympathizers that tore down and destroyed the.. Full story »
Pony Express Post 359 established its first Post HQ on the second floor at 116 1/2 South 7th Street above Dick's Flowers in Saint Joseph, Missouri. The Post maintained this location until shortly after the Korean War armistice. (Photo courtesy of Saint Joseph Missouri Memory Lane http://www.stjosephmemorylane.com/) (Information courtesy of The Saint Joseph Telegraph) Full story »
1950
On October 10, 1951, Sons of The American Legion Pony Express Squadron 359 was chartered by the Post. The Squadron has over the period of its existence provided valuable support to various Legion programs including Americanism, Children and Youth and Community Service. Full story »
Pony Express Post 359 established its second Post Headquarters at 913 South Belt Highway in Saint Joseph, Missouri. The location had previously housed the Tropics Night Club. (Information courtesy of The Saint Joseph Telegraph) Full story »
1960
Kenneth L. Tucker, Commander of The American Legion Department of Missouri (Post 431) spoke at the regular meeting of Post 359, giving a speech to Legionnaires and their wives on the dangers of Communism. He made a plea for better understanding of the American way of life and government in order to combat world Communism. "We must never forget that if our government is to remain free, it needs the help of every patriotic man,.. Full story »
American Legion Past National Commander Charles Bacon of Post 191 in Missouri was a special guest at Post 359's Past Commander's Ball. The ball was an annual event to honor all past commanders of Post 359 and featured a dinner and dance. Full story »
1970
Pony Express Post 359 sold a section of its property to the City of Saint Joseph as the location for a fire station. The station would help protect the city's new growing sectors to the north and east. Full story »
Pony Express Post 359 established its third Post Headquarters at the former location of The Red Clock, which was a tavern. The Post raised funding for purchasing the land and building located on what is now Missouri State Highway 6 east of the Frederick Avenue interchange on Interstate 29. The Post also sold a section of the land to the city of Saint Joseph for the location of a fire house. (Information courtesy of The.. Full story »
A Bennington Bicentennial flag was presented to the Saint Joseph Museum in Saint Joseph, Missouri, by representatives of The American Legion. Shown in the photograph from left to right are: American Legion Department of Missouri National Executive Committeeman Cleo T. Martin of Pony Express Post 359; Saint Joseph Mayor William J. Bennett; Richard Nolf, director of the Saint Joseph Museum; Wilton Balle, Bicentennial Chairman of Post 11 in Saint Joseph; and R. A. Brown, Sr.,.. Full story »
The membership of Pony Express Post 359 took part in civic celebrations of 200th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America. The city held several patriotic events that the Post participated in including a parade. Full story »
1980
American Legion National Commander Frank I. Hamilton (Post 129, Department of Indiana) visited Saint Joseph, Missouri and was honored at a dinner held at Pony Express Post 359 on May 8, 1980. He spoke at the dinner on various national issues including foreign affairs and veterans issues. Full story »
Pony Express Post 359 was awarded First Place in the Department of Missouri Scrapbook History Contest. Post Historian Avaril M. Larkham received an certificate signed by American Legion National Historian James W. Conway and Department Historian Dr. Gerald W. Anderson. It is the first time the Post had won this award. Full story »
Although neither of the participants could have known it at the time, history was made at the Past Commander's Ball held at American Legion Pony Express Post 359 in Saint Joseph, Missouri. One of the attendees (besides the living Past Commanders of Post 359) was Past National Commander (1975 - 1976) Harry Gordon Wiles of Department of Kansas Post 53. He presented a special medal to Joseph J. Frank of Missouri Post 777. Legionnaire Frank.. Full story »
Pony Express Post 359 provided support to the United States Constitution Bicentennial Commission of Saint Joseph, Missouri, which was formed to promote and celebrate the 200 years of freedom guaranteed by our Constitution. The Commission promoted a city-wide "Freedom Fest" for the citizens of Saint Joseph to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Constitution on July 4, 1987. Full story »
1990
American Legion Pony Express Post 359 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 359 received a certificate of recognition from the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kansas for outstanding service to the nation's veterans through the VA's Voluntary Service Program. The Post and Auxiliary volunteered many hours to support veterans from the area who were being treated at the Eisenhower Hospital. Full story »
Pony Express Post 359 established their fourth Post Headquarters at 4826 Frederick Avenue in Saint Joseph, Missouri, dedicating the facility on Pearl Harbor Day in 1991. (Information courtesy of The Saint Joseph Telegraph) Full story »
American Legion National Commander Bruce Thiesen of Kingsburg Post 191 of the Department of California, visited Pony Express Post 359 to attend a luncheon held in his honor. National Commander Thiesen spoke to attendees about veterans' health issues and the situation in Somalia. (Information from a story published in The Saint Joseph Telegraph on November 18, 1993.) (Attached photograph courtesy of The Saint Joseph Telegraph published November 18, 1993.) Full story »
American Legion Pony Express Post 359 celebrated 50 years of service with a party held at their Post Headquarters on July 9, 1995. Attending the celebration was Department Commander Dr. Norris Preston and his wife, Peggy. Department Commander Preston spoke on The American Legion's youth programs and their impact on the community; on the Legion being opposed to illegal aliens who are "being treated better than veterans". Commander Preston also voiced the Legion's opposition to.. Full story »
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