Post 556 Frewsburg, New York

Post 556

Frewsburg, New York

Post 556 Frewsburg, New York

About This Post

Post Namesake

Samuel Derby

Notable Members

1st Commander - Edmund Robinson, Adjutant- Willard Cass, Quartermaster - Marion Clark.  Charter Members:  Charles W. Austin, Clifford Bennett, Charles F. Brookes, Clarance R. Carlson, Rollin F. Cass, Glen Darwin, Frank Engblom, Robert L. Johnson, Ralph L. Little, Orley L. Morrell, Edmund E. Robinson, Fay Shures, Harry H, Thayer, Ray Venman

 

What Makes this Post Unique

Home of the "Soldiers Friend" Fentonville native  Reuben E, Fenton NY Congressman and Two term NY Governor was known as the "Soldiers Friend".  Fenton’s first act as a Congressman was to introduce a bill to grant relief to the surviving invalids of the Revolution and the War of 1812. His strong interest in the welfare of the American soldier would dominate his political career as the nation moved into the Civil War and then into Reconstruction. During Fenton’s congressional career, he advocated: laws to facilitate furloughs and discharges for disabled soldiers, payment of bounties and arrears of pay due wounded and deceased soldiers, and simplifying the application form for pensions. He continued his support of Veterans through two terms as Governor of New York. Fenton welcomed soldiers home form the Civil War by saying, “Soldiers, your state thanks you and gives you pledge of her lasting gratitude. You have elevated her dignity, brightened her renown, and enriched her history. The people will regard with jealous pride your welfare and honor, not forgetting the widow, the fatherless, and those who were dependent upon the fallen hero.”


 

Photos

HISTORY

1900

Reuben E. Fenton Fights for Veterans

Jul 1905

Fentonville native Reuben E. Fenton an NY Congressman and two-term Governor was known as the "Soldiers Friend".  Fenton's first act as a US Congressman was to introduce a bill to grant relief to surviving invalids of the Revolution and War of 1812.  His strong interest in the welfare of the American soldier would dominate his political career as the nation moved to the Civil War.

The New York Soldiers’ Aid..

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Reuben E. Fenton Fights for Veterans
GAR - Prelude to the American Legion

GAR - Prelude to the American Legion

Feb 1909

 

As the American Legion was being formed in the early 1920's another Veterans group was declining in memberships. The Grand Army of the Republic GAR had been created. Like the American Legion had set up districts and local chapters.

Linking men through their experience of the war, the G.A.R. became among the first organized advocacy groups in American politics, supporting voting rights for black veterans, promoting patriotic education, helping to make..

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1910

Historic Video of Argonne Battle

Oct 1, 1918

This video is out of Utube, Buyout Footage.com.  This is a free public domain video,  It is of good quality depicts a soldiers life in the Battle of Argonne.  Travel by marching, trench life and moving heavy artillery shells. 

The video lasts about 10 min. and has no sound.  To play a video you must touch on "Full story" and the video should start automatically.    To return to the history touch "View more history..

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Birth of the Frewsburg  American Legion

Birth of the Frewsburg American Legion

Sep 1, 1919

,Returning from the Army camps in America and Overseas following World War I, American Veterans, desiring to perpetuate their comradship, organized Posts of the American Legion in their home communities.  In most cases these Posts were named in honor ot the the first boy from the community to fall in battle.  The village of Frewsburg, New York was no exception to this rule. The Post is known as Samulel Derby Post No. 556 and named..

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Charter Granted to Samuel L. Derby Post 556 Frewsburg, NY

Oct 7, 1919

American Legion charters Frewsburg Post 556.


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Charter Granted to Samuel L. Derby Post 556 Frewsburg, NY
Interesting & Important History of the Post

Interesting & Important History of the Post

Oct 31, 1919

 

1919 – About twenty of the service men of Carroll met at the I.O.O.F Hall Friday evening Oct. 31st to make plans for a local post of the American Legion which will be known as Samuel Derby Post. Edmund Robinson was elected to chairman and Rowan Cass, secretary. The principal work of the evening was to arrange to support the local..

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1920

Post 556 Have a Meeting Area

Apr 4, 1920

Samuel L. Derby Post 556 members from 1919 first took turns using members homes for a night for their meetings. This short-term problem was solved when they put together enough money to rent rooms for their meetings in the rear of the Venman Building Main St. Frewsburg.  The rent for the rooms came to $6.00 per month, and they stayed at this location for about five years.  During early 1920's members attending the meetings averaged..

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Post 556 Have a Meeting Area
Post 556 Move Their Meeting Room to the Town of Carroll Building

Post 556 Move Their Meeting Room to the Town of Carroll Building

May 1, 1925

The Post moved to the Town Hall in the spring of 1925. They had a yearly lease with the town that was renewed each year for ten years.  At that point, the Town had grown, and they needed the room.  The Post moved across the street to the bowling alley, then known as Kyle &  Little.  This move lasted about three years until they moved back to the Town Hall and used the Fireman's rooms.

In..

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Rollin Cass Travels to the County Meeting

May 11, 1925

Travel in the early 1920's was difficult.  Rollin Case told of going to a County Meeting in Silver Creek or Ripley, and many other places were quite an experience.  At that time Rollin lived on the old Cass farm at the "Y" on the Ivory-Kennedy Road.  To be at a meeting at 8:00PM in Silver Creek, he would leave home around 4:30 in the afternoon, ride a horse to Frewsburg, tie it up in the..

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Rollin Cass Travels to the County Meeting

Frewsburg Auxiliary Unit 556 formed.

Nov 16, 1925

As early as  April 6 1920 Post meeting there was some discussion regarding the formation of an Auxiliary and it was voted to have a Social evening, Friday, and on April 23rd and to invite ladies with the view of starting a ladies Auxiliary. It was voted by the members that the Post secure additional rooms providing the cost was not too high. The Post voted to take over decorating the G.A.R. Graves if the..

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Legion Hold Memorial at Maple Grove Cemetery

Apr 27, 1926

 

An important photo of the Post's history left to right; Walter Stanton Mrs. Celia Derby and Joseph Fox at a Memorial service in Maple Grove Cemetery. This photo was used for many Post publications during the 20s and through the 1940's. In April 1941 at the request of the members of Samuel Derby Post, the April 1941 issue of the Chautauqua County Legionnaire was dedicated to Mrs. Derby, Gold Star Mother, whose 87th..

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Legion Hold Memorial at Maple Grove Cemetery
Harry Laughlin

Harry Laughlin "the Skipper" Devoted Service Officer of the American Legion

Aug 1926

Harry Laughlin was affectionally known as "the Skipper", Harry was the devoted Service Officer of the American Legion in Chautauqua County.  Fighting for the legitimate claims of all servicemen in our area.  In our behalf, he wore out his car and unanimously awarded a new car by the grateful Veterans of the County.


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1930

Legion Embraces Oritorical Compitition

Apr 4, 1939

Through the years Post 556 has sponcored Oritorical Contests  page under construction


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Legion Embraces Oritorical Compitition

1940

Frewsburg Post 556 and Boy Scouts man Air Warning Observatory on Oak Hill

Frewsburg Post 556 and Boy Scouts man Air Warning Observatory on Oak Hill

May 9, 1941

Volunteer aircraft observers of the Aircraft Warning Service wore these small lapel pins.

During WWII, the east and west coasts of the United States were protected by civilian volunteer aircraft spotters, members of the Ground Observer Corps. The GOC was a component of the Aircraft Warning Service (AWS) that was established in May 1941 in response to the development of heavy bomber aircraft capable of flying over 1,000 miles.

Almost one million men and women–volunteer “soldiers out of..

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Oak Hill Aircraft Warning Observatory Post (OP) Built by Post 556

Apr 9, 1942

A wooden tower was built by members of Post 556 and Boy Scouts to be used by spotters for enemy aircraft during the early years of WW II.  The elevation at the "old Swanson farm", what is now Erlanson Park was an ideal location.  Spotters were trained how to identify enemy aircraft. The photo indicates that a rabbit or two were also spotted.

 young Bill Stanton holding the rifle (then 15 yrs old), Harry Kline, young..

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Oak Hill Aircraft Warning Observatory Post (OP) Built by Post 556
Lester Eklund MIA off the Coast of Indonesia

Lester Eklund MIA off the Coast of Indonesia

Nov 24, 1943

 

Fire Controlman 3rd Class Lester Theodore Eklund was declared “Missing In Action” off the coast of the Indonesia Nov 1943. His submarine, the U.S.S. Capelin (SS-289) was probably sunk by Japanese mines or depth charges. He lived on Wheeler Hill Rd., Frewsburg, son of Mr. & Mrs Albert R. Eklund and had a younger brother Burton. He is a Hero and lost his life along with..

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Pvt. Sherrill Anderson Killed in Action on Leyte Island Philippines

Oct 23, 1944

Sherrill A. Anderson son of  Raymond  and Jessie Anderson Falconer NY. had written his last letter home in mid October.   The letter was received Nov 4th.  He was Killed In Action Oct 23rd 1944 during the battle of Leyte Island - the Philippines.  Pvt. Anderson was a member of 383rd Infantry 96th Division. Sherrill had graduated from Falconer High School 1942.  He was very interested in music playing in..

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Pvt. Sherrill Anderson Killed in Action on Leyte Island Philippines
Pfc Herbert Van Erden KIA in France

Pfc Herbert Van Erden KIA in France

Jan 13, 1945

Herbert L. Van Erden, son of Mrs. Gertrude LeBar Button and the late John Van Erden.  Born Jan 6, 1922 in Sheridan, NY. He attended Frewsburg High School.   Later he worked for the Chautauqua County Highway Department in Falconer before his enlistment. Besides his mother, he left behind two brothers:   Kenneth Van Erden,( a Sgt. stationed in England at the time of Herber's death)  and Donald also a brother listed as an Arthur Button.  Pfc..

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Edward Shure KIA at the Battle of Luzon (Philippines)

Feb 3, 1945

Pfc Edward Shures son of Eugene and Florence Hale Shures was Killed In Action while fighting in the Battle of Luzon Philippines Feb 3, 1945,.  The Battle of Luzon was one of the bloodiest of the Pacific.  Pfc  Shures was 28 years old and a member of the 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division he was awarded the Purple Heart with Oakleaf Cluster.  Buried at: Manila American Cemetery Location: Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines-Plot: F Row:..

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Edward Shure KIA at the Battle of Luzon (Philippines)
Pfc Francis E. Woodcock Dies in China Burma India Champaign

Pfc Francis E. Woodcock Dies in China Burma India Champaign

Jul 6, 1945

Pfc Francis Woodcock US Army Air Corp died July 6, 1945 in what is belived China,  Son of Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Smith of 30 Venman Ave., Frewsburg, NY. Francis went to Frewsburg Schools and had worked at an area dairy farm before his enlistment. At the time of his death he was assigned to Company G of the 475th Infantry.  His unit had just moved through Burma and entered China.  He is buried at 

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