American Legion, Washington County Post No. 12

Topical History

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American Legion, Washington County Post No. 12 - 1924

Abingdon, Virginia

1919 - Organization

A movement was started in May, 1919, to organize the service men of Washington County into a Post of the American Legion. It was the aim of the organizers to start the Post with as nearly a representative body of service men as could be found in the county. To this end notices were published in the newspapers and circulars heralded throughout the county requesting all ex-service men on a certain date to assemble at the county court house for the purpose of organizing a Post of the American Legion. Owing to the dislike, particularly prevalent just at that time, of joining any orgnaization however remotely associated with military life, it was only after two such meetins were called that the necessary fifteen charter members were secured. Having secured the number of members requisite for a charter, the charter of the Washington County Post No. 12 was granted July 19, 1919.

1920 - Infancy of Post

From the date of organization through the year 1920, the Post gradually took unto itself strength and grew both in membership and usefulness to the service men. While during these years the Post was not what is termed a live-wire Post, giving dances, serving sandwiches and giving entertainments for the benefit of the Post treasury, yet the officers of the Post during this period were unstintingly ministering in the name of the American Legion to the needs of the service men within the great county of Washington. From July 1919 to the end of 1920 the membership of the post had increased from fifteen members to some sixty odd members. The officers for 1919 and 1920 were: Dr. George V. Litchfield, commander; A. B. Kreger, vice-commander; R. W. Bell, adjutant.

Dr. George Victor Litchfield. A sketch of the history of the Washington County Post of the American Legion, however meager, would be amiss without special mention of Dr. George Victor Litchfield. Although Dr. Litchfield was Post Commander for the first two years of the existence of the Post, it is because of his services beyond the call of duty of any office that the Post pays respect to his memory. Being one of the foremost physicians in the Commonwealth, he was particularly able to render services of unmeasured good during the period immediately following the cessation of hostilities to the date of his death, August 29, 1922, both to the Post and to the service men. This he did in a manner to win for his memory the everlasting praise and respect of the Post.

1921-1922 - Boyhood Days

During the years 1921 and 1922, the Post has reached the stage in its life when it could not be termed bad, but had reached that age were the Post, as such, preferred playing hookey to attending school.

The officers during these years were: Dr. S. H. Yokeley, Post commander; E. B. Denton, vice- commander; H. G. Carson, adjutant.

1923 - Wild Oats

During the years 1923 the Post had arrived at period of life usually referred to as Wild Oats days. During this year the paid up membership fell to four. Fortunately the Post was not long in recognizing the folly of its ways, and resolving to take to itself new rules of life. The officers fo the Post for this year were: Rhea F. Moore, Post Commander; N. O. Akers, vice- commander; G. P. Vance, adjutant.

1924 - A Banner Year

The year 1924 has been one of the most active in the Post's history. A membership drive was started in the first part of the year which ended in a total paid-up membership of seventy-odd members.

David C. Colley

The Post was indeed unfortunate in the los of its Commander David C. Colley, who died on te 16th day of March, 1924, after a brief illness of pneumonia. It was largely due to the efficient leadership of Commander Colley that the Post was able to take unto itself so much new life in 1924. The loss of this staunch young commander will never cease to be grief to the Post. The officers for 1924 are: Fred C. Parks, Post commander; E. B. Hagy, vice-commander; R. W. Bell, adjutant; and N. O. Akers, sergeant-at-arms.

The Auxillary

The efficient aid and co-operation given the Post by the auxiliary has always been one of the Post most valuable assets. The auxiliary has at all times rendered services to the Post far beyond its deserts.