The preliminary organization of The American Legion in New York State was held at a meeting in the headquarters office, 140 Nassau Street, New York City. The following members were present; Cornelius W. Wickersham, New York; Hamilton Fish, Sr., New York; George Brokaw Compton, New York; Wade H. Hayes, New York; J. Leslie Kincaid, Syracuse; Francis W. Perry, Brooklyn; Harrison Deyo, Yonkers. James F. Goerke, Brooklyn. There most certainly was more than these eight men in attendance.
Under discussion was the arrangements for the first Annual Department of New York Convention, which would be held in Rochester, September 20th. This date was later changed to October 10th and 11th. It was also decided that sectarian names for Posts be prohibited and a War Risk Officer (insurance) be appointed. The first efforts of the organization of the sixty-two counties of the state was started. It was felt that more ultimate progress would be made if we started with a foundation of a county organization. District Committees were to appoint a county organizer for the organization of the county and the Posts in that county. There was already a large membership in The Legion, which was rapidly increasing every day. Reports are most favorable from all districts in the state. Steps were taken to incorporate The American Legion, New York Branch, in this state so as to be protected in the use of the name. Sub-committees were appointed to include; Publicity, Membership, Finance, Program for State Convention and Arrangements for a State Convention.
These committees would act in an advisory capacity to the State Executive Committee. At the May 28th, meeting those members in attendance chose the following members to start the organization of the Department of New York.
Chairman, Cornelius W. Wickersham, New York City.
1st Vice-chairman, Robert A. Greenfield, Mount Vernon.
2nd Vice-chairman, Philip S. Perkins, Syracuse.
3rd Vice-chairman, Kenneth C. Townson, Rochester.
Secretary, Wade H. Hayes, New York City.
Treasurer, James H. Perkins, New York City.
The five Executive Committeemen are;
Henry H. Curran, New York City
James F. Goerke, Brooklyn.
Hamilton Fish, Sr., Garrison.
J. Leslie Kinciad, Syracuse.
William J. Donovan, Buffalo.
(Department of New York Records).