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Post 78  Leola, South Dakota



CHARTER DATE: August 10, 1920



NOTABLE MEMBERS: 1982 State Commander-Wayne Nesby; State Vice Commander-Darrel W. Yost, Francis Kallas

WHAT MAKES OUR POST UNIQUE: First woman commander of an American Legion Post in SD (1939)-Idelette Lundquist, nee Reue

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On December 16, 1919, the following veterans held the first meeting of Roy S. Hickman Post 78 of the American Legion: William Lowry, N.J. Kramer, Joseph Lapka, A.L. LaFontaine, H.O. Arndt, George Hickman, Harold Yost, Julius Reue, Fred Hepperle, O.H. Potratz, L.E. Turner, A.O. Hildreth, and Ralph Farnum. Their charter was officially received from the South Dakota department headquarters on August 10, 1920. Charter members of Roy S. Hickman Post 78 were: Idelttte Reue, Burl Blanchard, Wm. L. Lowry, Joseph McLaughlin, Freeman Nelson, Frank G. Smith, Don Anderson, Oliver Berlin, Peter R. Geffre, Robert Schoenfelder, Joseph Koppy, Enos Peterman, Carl.. Full story »
Roy S. Hickman was born near Leola on April 29, 1896, the second oldest of four children of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Hickman. He attended country school and then public school in Leola, where he was graduated from High School in 1915. When America entered the World War, on the same day, Roy along with his brother George(who was the Post's first vice-commander) volunteered his services and was enlisted at Camp Pontis, Mobridge, SD, on June 1st, 1917. He was a member of Company “L” in the federalized South Dakota National Guard, 1st regiment. Later he was transferred to Co... Full story »
Somewhere in the mid to late 1920’s the original charter for Roy S Hickman Post 78 was lost, voided or neglected and no minutes of the meeting describing what happened is available today. So a second charter was applied for on October 24, 1931 and a temporary charter was issued on October 27, 1931. A permanent charter was applied for on January 25, 1932 and the current post charter was recorded on February 10, 1932. Full story »
Idelette Lundquist, nee Reue, who saw a lot of WWI as an army nurse in France, had the distinction of being elected the first woman commander of an American Legion Post in South Dakota in 1939. She had also served several years as post adjutant. At the time of her election she was also a member of the city council and managed a private hospital and a dairy farm. Full story »
The American Legion Roy S. Hickman Post 78 was incorporated on April 16, 1949. Full story »
Post 78 had several meeting places before making the present Legion Hall their permanent headquarters. The first meeting was held in the basement of the Bank of Leola. Subsequent meetings were held in the old Blanchard garage, the Farmer Room in the courthouse, and in the old jail house. Several attempts had been made to construct a permanent Legion Hall in Leola. Finally, on June 15, 1948, plans were formulated for the Leola American Legion building, which was to be 48’ x 110’. After 29 years it would have its first permanent, official post. Melvin Grabowska was post commander at.. Full story »
In 1959, the American Legion acquired a license from the city of Leola, and designed, built, and in the fall opened the L & L Bar. The profits from this business help the Legion to support and contribute to various community activities. Full story »
Having a membership of approximately 175 year after year, in 1981 the Leola Legion took on the task of supporting a candidate for the State Commander’s job. After roll call vote was counted, Leola’s candidate fell short by a slim margin. But the following year fortune smiled on Leola’s Legion, and Roy S. Hickman Post No. 78 became the home post of the 1982 State Commander, Wayne Nesby, who as, post adjutant for many years, held this position for one year. They have also had two men hold the position of State Vice Commander, they are Francis Kallas and Darrel.. Full story »
The Legion is an active organization involved in community, state, and national affairs. Roy S. Hickman Legion Post 78 has provided the Color Guard for many school, civic functions and local and statewide parades. Also in recent years the Post has held numerous programs at the Leola School on Flag Day, Veterans Day and special flag disposal ceremonies. Post 78 also holds Memorial Day Services with Color Guard/Firing Squad appearing at both local cemeteries every year plus at all local veteran burial services. High on the list of the Leola Legion is the concern for the young people of the.. Full story »
The following is a list of the commanders of the Leola American Legion Roy S. Hickman No 78: 1919 - 20 William Lowry 1921 A. O. Hildreth 1922 L. E. Turner 1923 H. O. Arndt 1924 Chris Merkel 1925 Wm. Fergerson 1926 Joe Lapka 1927 John Porter 1928 Frank Fritz 1929 Emil Opp 1930 Orrin Berridge 1931 G. H. Towle 1932 Christ Jacobson 1933 Martin Switzenberg 1934 Charles Boomer 1935 Charley Schmalz 1936 James Conlon 1937 Sam Bosanko 1938 George Turner 1939 Idelette Lundquist 1940 Charles Boomer 1941 Mark Holmes 1942 Wayne Schuchardt 1943 - 44 Orrin Berridge 1945 C. J. Schanzenbach 1946 Ted Jacobson 1947 Willie Mack 1948 Melvin Grabowska 1949 Ivan Kohlhoff 1950 - 51 Francis Lapka 1952 Eugene.. Full story »
During the regular meeting of Roy S. Hickman Post 78, recently elected officers were installed. Alan Wimar as Commander; Kristin Outtrim as 1st Vice Commander; Nathan Hoffman as 2nd Vice Commander; Lee Kindelspire as Finance Officer; Alvin Kallas as Chaplain. Michael Bell was appointed as Adjutant. Current executive board members are: Wayne Hoffman(Chm), Ron Geffre, Sid Schaible. Full story »
Special Thank You to James R. Schaffer and all who worked to make this history complete. Information retrieved from multiple sources: Leola Centennial and Quasi books of 1984 & 2009, McPherson County Herald records, and Post #78 wall plaques. We apologize for any omissions or spelling errors. If found or you would like to add a photo or event, please email Michael Bell at: Full story »