American Legion, HESTER BRYANT POST NO. 43

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HESTER BRYANT POST NO. 43

Chase City, Virginia

American Legion, 1924

The first men to do any active work in the formation of this Legion Post were Comrades R. E. Williams and Goode D. Reynolds, who were instrumental in having the application for charter signed up by the required fifteen ex-service men and the first meeting was held on October 4, 1919. The charter was approved and returned on September 23, 1919, and the following names appeared thereon: Goode D. Reynolds, Sidney M. Lipsitz, Robert E. Williams, Charles E. Geoghegan, Jr., F. B. Roberts, H. L. Gregory, T. A. Brooks. J. D. Bryson, D. L. Collins, B. H. Ryland, M. C. Stembridge, W. M. Geoghegan, N. H. Williams, Jr., J. O. Lewter and A T. Finch.

The first chairman (temporary) was Goode D. Reynolds and the first secretary was F. B. Roberts. The first meeting resulted in the election of the following officers: Post commander, N. H. Williams, Jr.; vice-commander, James C. Jessup; secretary-treasurer, J. D. Bryson; war risk officer, T. A. Brooks; historian, Miss Anne Reynolds. Soon after this election F. B. Roberts was chosen adjutant and Comrade Bryson retained the treasurer place.

During the first year the membership rose to approximately eighty-five, a number of men were helped with their insurance, several smokers were held, and the Post gave a benefit picture in co-operation with C. E. Geoghegan, Sr. This picture was "Twenty-three Hours and a Half Leave," and netted the Post about $150.00. Memorial Day observed.

Comrade Sidney Walker was visited several times and comforts were furnished him. Later the Post helped bury him in Woodland Cemetery in Chase City. This buddy was a member of the Twenty-ninth Division, and before he died assistance was given his family in getting claim for disability.

Comrades R. E. Williams and M. C. Stembridge were delegates to the Legion Convention in Roanoke October 6 and 7, 1919.

Post officers for the second year follow: Commander, G. D. Reynolds; vice-commander, Miss Anne Reynolds; adjutant, D. L. Collins; finance officer, R. C. Land; war risk officer, T. A. Brooks; historian, N. H. Williams, Jr.; sergeant-at-arms, E. M. Wilmouth.

Legion again observed Memorial Day exercise after cleaning up the cemetery. One comrade buried with fitting honors.

The services of the Post was offered to the mayor and the Governor in the absence of any militia company.

Comrades J. D. Bryson and A. T'. Finch were delegates to the State Convention and the former was sent as a delegate from the Fourth District to the National Convention at Cleveland.

Post officers for the third year follow: Commander, J. D. Bryson; vice-commander, N. H. Williams, Jr.; adjutant, R. C. Land; finance officer, D. L. Collins; war risk officer, G. D. Reynolds; historian, J. D. Clark; sergeant-at-arms, John M. Hershman.

In spite of the efforts of the officers, interest lagged during this year and both membership and attendance fell off. State Adjutant W. L. Price was entertained at a smoker and Memorial Day observed with fitting ceremonies. Comrade J. O. Lewter was sent to the State Convention.

Officers for the fourth year follow: Commander, T. Whit Greer, Jr.; vice-commander, T. A. Brooks; adjutant, Alvin G. Perkinson; finance officer, W. Marshall Geoghegan; service officer, G. D. Reynolds; historian, W. A. Webb; sergeant-at-arms, C. D. Williams. State Adjutant W. B. Crush came and reorganized Post and' set it to work again. The Woman's Auxiliary was organized also and set to work.

Post sent gifts to former Adjutant F. B. Roberts in a military hospital in Washington and did everything possible while this man was undergoing the pain and anguish which finally resulted in an amputation of his right leg.

A membership drive was put on for one month which carried 240 members in the Legion Post, an increase of 182 members in one month. This gave Post the second largest membership in the State, first in increase of membership and Past Commander Greer second place in State for individual securing most members.

State Commander E. E. Goodwyn was entertained twice. The picture, Flashes of Action, was shown to capacity crowds by renting the local picture theatre, clearing about $300.00.

Five members were initiated into the "Forty and Eight" at the State Convention in Fredericksburg. These were Dave Lipsey, T. W. Greer, Jr., A. G. Perkinson, A. T. Finch and N. H. Williams, Jr.

Officers for the fifth year follow: Commander, Dave Lipsey; vicecommander, W. L. Cliborne; adjutant, A. L. Jeter; finance officer, J. O. L ewter; service officer, J. D. Bryson; sergeanat-at-arms. T. W. Greer, Jr.; historian, N. H. Williams, Jr.

Armistice Day was celebrated in a fashion never attempted before. A parade was held, led by the Danville Military Band; a sham battle was staged; a basketball game, and addresses made by Department Commander J. J. Wicker and Dan Hollenga.

Two successful moving picture benefits were held and financial and moral support given to distressed buddies. Educational Week was observed, union church services being held and members of the Post addressed various schools in the county.

Memorial Day exercises again observed and graves of all veterans decorated.

United States flags were presented to the Superintendent of Schools who will in turn present them to each school in Chase City District, in the fall. Colors were also presented to the local militia, which organization exhibits it prominently.

Two trash containers were bought by the Post and placed on Main Street. This resulted in a request from the Council to purchase four more and financial aid offered if it was needed.

More than twenty members of the Post signed a joint note and purchased ten acres of land and presented it to the town to be used as a park and playground, reserving only one quarter of an acre as a site for a club house planned for the future.

A big celebration was held on July 4th, under the auspices of the Post. Two baseball games and a track meet were held. An address was made by our good friend Dan Hollenga, and a baby show also. Appropriate prizes were awarded to the winning babies and winners of the track events.

This Post has grown to a position of respect and esteem in the estimates of the town people and is rapidly gaining a name far accomplishing things worth while. A great deal of this is due to the wise leadership of the Post officers during the past two years, and especially to Commanders Greer and Lipsey.