In the early days of Legion history while the war was still fresh in the minds and thoughts of those who served their country during the emergency, returning veterans were quite apt to cling to friendships and associations formed during their period of war service and to be fiercely loyal to their war time and in some cases pre-war outfits. Due to this comradeship and sense of wartime morale and esprit-de-corps it was undoubtedly the reason that Montpelier Post #3 was founded.
Montpelier Post was founded on March 16, 1919, with Fred Thomas elected as the First Post Commander.
Montpelier Post #3 was named after the Capital city of Vermont.
Membership committee was H.L. Norton Chairman, Joseph Abair, Robert Susena, Allen Lynch, William Berry, Herbert Pierce and Paul Clogston.
Following the guidelines and rules set by the National Organization, Montpelier Post #3 early in it’s career engaged in the programs of Community Service, always having in mind that the first and foremost duty was the care and welfare of its disabled comrades and the families of those who failed to return home.
In the Legion there are no Buck Privates, Sgts, Loots or Skippers all are just plain Cits, with one vote each.
In order to do all the projects set forth and sponsored by the Legion it was obvious that to do these projects we were lacking funds. On September 9, 1919 Montpelier Post #3 with a membership of 100 members set the dues at $1.00. Included with these dues was a Legion button and a Three months
subscription to the American Legion Weekly. It was proposed to hold a ball November 11th, Armistice Night, and your receipt for dues will be your ticket.
Now remember that Montpelier Post #3 had to summit to State and National a per capita of something so that they could fund their different programs as well so we might have had may be .25 cents left to take care of our budget.
Through the years to the present time Montpelier Post #3 has always been in the forefront in fighting Legion battles and making Legion history, and helping the veterans and their families.
Early in its career Montpelier Post #3 recognized the importance of having the invaluable help and aid of a Women’s Auxiliary and requested interested women to form such an organization, and gave them all necessary support and aid in doing so.
I would like to stress that this was an activity that has never been regretted and that the Women’s Auxiliary through the course of years has proved themselves to be of inestimable value and aid to the Legion in all its activities.
From late 1919’s to the late 1920’s , I cannot find any information on where the members met or what the Post did. Sometime in the 1920’s the membership met at the Odd Fellows Hall on Elm Street in Montpelier.
In 1924 Fred Thomas was elected The American Legion, State of Vermont Commander.
On August 31, 1929, Montpelier Post #3 was given a Testimonial of Appreciation for surpassing the average paid up membership of the last four years (1925-26-27-28). The commander was Maurice Joslyn with George Gingras as the Adjutant.
In 1929 Montpelier Post #3 had the pleasure of hosting a Department Convention with 3,976 members present.
In 1930 Montpelier Post #3 started a Drum & Bugle Corps and won a First Place that year. Also that year the team had to all grow a mustache.
In 1931 Montpelier Post #3 Drum & Bugle Corps won the computation in Barre, Vermont and went on to the National Convention in Detroit to march in the parade, and on the return from convention they were welcomed by the City Of Montpelier and marched in the rain on the streets of Montpelier. Montpelier’s Drum & Bugle Corps won several First Places from 1930 to 1934. In Lake Placid, NY in 1934 they did a 14.4 out of 15 points in marching and won the overall competition.
Also in 1931 Frank Corry was elected The American Legion, State of Vermont Commander.
On August 22, 1931, Montpelier Post #3 was awarded a Testimonial of Appreciation for surpassing their average paid up membership of the last four years (1928,29,30,31). The commander was T. Frank Nelson with Hurbert Gallup as the Adjutant.
Then some time between 1931 to 1940 the Post met on the Second floor in the Community Hall in back of City Hall.
On August 13, 1932, Montpelier Post #3 was awarded a Testimonial of Appreciation for surpassing their average paid up membership of the last four years (1927,28,29,30). The Commander was Perry Merrill with Hurbert Gallup as the Adjutant.
In 1935 the first Squadron of The Sons of The American Legion was formed and Harry White was made the first Commander for the program.
On August 21, 1937, Montpelier Post #3 was awarded a Testimonial of Appreciation for surpassing their average paid up membership of the last four years (1933,34,35,36). The Commander was Myers Tuttle with Ivan Edwards as the Adjutant.
Also in 1937 Montpelier Post #3 again hosted a Department Convention with 3,602 members present.
On August 29, 1939, Montpelier Post #3 was awarded a Testimonial of Appreciation for surpassing their average paid up membership of the last four years (1935,36,37,38). The Commander was Abiel Smith with James Mayette as the Adjutant.
In 1943 Montpelier Post #3 again hoisted the Department of Vermont Convention with 4,655 members present.
On August 19, 1944, Montpelier Post #3 was awarded a Testimonial of Appreciation for surpassing their average paid up membership of the last four years (1940,41,42,43). The Commander was Bernard Daniels with Fred Goodall as the Adjutant.
In 1945 Montpelier again hoisted the Department of Vermont Convention with 5,092 members present.
On July 29, 1947, Montpelier Post #3 was awarded a Testimonial of Appreciation for surpassing their average paid up membership of the last four years (1943,44,45,46). The Commander was P. H. Davidson with L.W. Pierce as the Adjutant.
In the 1940’s to early 1950’s the membership decided to have a Post Home so they rented the Third floor on Main Street over the Montclaire Restaurant
In 1952 Montpelier Post #3 again hoisted the Department of Vermont convention with 12,504 members present.
June 1955 the members voted to purchase the E.W. Bailey building at 21 Main Street and have been there ever since.
In 1956 Ray Greenwood became the Third member of Montpelier Post #3 to become the American Legion, State of Vermont Commander. Ray went on to become the Alternate NECman (64-65), NECman (1966-67) and 42 years as the National Children & Youth Committee Chairman (1954-1995).
In 1966 Montpelier Post #3 again hosted the Department of Vermont Convention with 11,222 members present.
In 2002 Montpelier Post #3 donated a Granite bench to the Vermont Veterans Cemetery in Randolph to be placed by the Chapel.
Also in 2002 Montpelier Post #3 also donated a stone and flag to the Vermont Veterans Cemetery for the circle of flags in Randolph.
In 2006 Montpelier Post #3 donated money for a Memorial Stone for Jamie Gray who died in Iraq. This Stone is placed at the Berlin Armory in memory of Jamie Gray.
In 2012 Montpelier Post #3 did several updates to the Post: Installed new windows in the rear of the building, Installed new stair treads in front entrance way, Removed old sign on front of building & installed a two new ones, Replaced roof and replaced the front of building.
Montpelier Post #3 has always stood ready and willing to carry out their sad duty in the funeral exercises and burial of Veterans of all wars and has undertaken and accomplished the task of seeing that the veterans of all wars have a proper war memorials placed at their graves and has for a good many years taken over the task of placing flags at these graves on Memorial Day. We still go all out with our Color Guard participation in local parades and funeral details.
The highest membership for the Post was over 500 members in 1958. Today’s membership is in the 300 to 350 range.
Post #3’s 2014 Membership comprises of the following Veterans:
World War II (39) Army (158)
Korean War (65) USAF (43)
Vietnam War (162) Coast Guard (4)
Persian (11)/Granada (17) Marines (27)
Panama (3) / Lebanon (14) Navy (78)
Gulf War (15) / Iraq (1)
Post #3 has: PUFL - 19 - LIFE - 80
We have had Four members of Montpelier Post #3 serve as a State Commander: Fred Thomas – 1924, Frank Corry – 1931, Ray Greenwood – 1956 and Frank Killay -2011.