American Legion, RUMLEY-THOMPSON POST NO. 135 — 1924
Rumley-Thompson Post No.135 was organized on April 7, 1921, by A. Karl Mock, assisted by the following charter members: V. E. McQueen, J. S. Hamm, W. G. Elliott, T. W. Fernald, W. S. Catron, H. H. Rhea, W. G. Thompson, R. E. Wright, D. S. Smythe, J. F. Craft, R. L. Barker, T. D. Ramsey, J. Hal Ramsey, B. L. Osborne, A. K. Mock, and was named in honor of Corporal M. McKinley Thompson, who died of wounds in France just a very few days before the armistice was declared, and Private M. A. Rumley, who died in America soon after the United States entered the war and but a few days after he enlisted in the army.
The first meeting was held in Mock and Wrights Furniture Store, where the following officers were elected: A. Karl Mock, Post commander; Thos. W. Fernald, Post adjutant; Vanler B. McQueen, vice-commander; J. Stuart Hamm, finance officer; W. S. Catron, historian; Herbert H. Rhea, war risk officer; W. G. Thompson and Ralph E. Wright, sergeants-at-arms.
On November 9th of that same year Mr. Fernald found that business would not allow him to be very active in Legion affairs so it became necessary for him to resign and the Post elected W. Glenn Elliott to fill in the unexpired term. About that same time Mr. Elliott was sent to Kansas City to the National convention by the Post as a guest. After arriving at Kansas City Mr. Elliott was made a State delegate and served on one or more important committees.
All the old officers were re-elected at the first meeting in January, 1922, as none of them had served a full year previous to that, with Mr. Elliott as adjutant; 1922 was the banner year for the Post with a member-ship of sixty-eight paid-up members. Early in this year the Post secured the picture Lafayette We Come and showed it two days at the local moving picture theatre, from which a very neat sum of money was realized. This money was used to purchase two standard Post banners from the National Emblem Department. We believe we are one of the first Posts in Southwest Virginia to secure flag and banner, certainly the first in a town of fifteen hundred population. We have used our flag and banner in Memorial Day exercises, parades, funerals and for decorating our local community hall on a number of occasions.
In the fall of 1922 Mr. Ralph B. Wright was sent to Charlottesville to the State convention as a delegate from our Post. Mr. A. K. Mock was sent to the National convention at New Orleans by the Post.
Mr. W. S. Catron was elected Post commander at the January meeting held in the Post’s Dugout on Main Street, and Mr. Elliott, who is responsible for the Post’s continued life, was reelected Post adjutant. The Post got along nicely for the first few weeks in the year, but both Mr. Catron and Mr. Elliott found it necessary to resign their offices early in the year and the Post had pretty rough sledding up until November 11th when Armistice Day rolled around and the Auxiliary brought it back to life by giving a banquet in the community hall. Mr. J. S. Hamm was elected commander to finish Mr. Catron’s unexpired term. Dr. O. F. Hunter was elected Post adjutant to finish Mr. Elliott’s unexpired term. However, the Post in 1923 was active enough to succeed in organizing the Ladies’ Auxiliary and to send Mr. A. K. Mock to the State convention at Fredericksburg. Miss Ellen Mock and Miss Annette Barker represented the Damascus Auxiliary at the State convention also. We were not fortunate enough to send a representative to National convention at San Francisco.
For 1924 we are fortunate to have Mr. Elliott with us again in the capacity of Post commander. Rev. Paul E. Seidler, ex-chaplain United States Navy, was elected Post adjutant at the January meeting. Mr. Seidler was formerly department chaplain for the Department of Tennessee and has been quite active in Legion affairs the past few years, both local and national. The Post should have its best year in 1924 with these two men at the helm, since both of them have the continued success of the American Legion at heart. The following members are responsible in order named for the continued life of the Post: W. Glen Elliott, Paul E. Seidler, Warena Rhea Bentley, W. Glen Thompson, Vanler E. McQueen, Herbert H. Rhea, J. Stuart Hamm, Irby H. Hand, A. Karl Mock.
In the past three years our Post has shown for the benefit of the community several moving pictures, and has heartily co-operated with the local Civic League and other organizations in nearly all their activities. Members of the Post have been very active in bringing to pass the dream of the community for many years, which was the building of one of the finest and most beautiful school buildings in the South, and one that is or would be a credit to any community. Just recently Post members cooperated in a drive to beautify our local cemetery. A day was set aside for this purpose and most all business houses were closed for the day. A number of men and boys with hoes and shovels were on hand at daybreak and worked all day cleaning up and building a beautiful drive which was surfaced with cinders from local plants. Dinner was served on the ground by the good ladies of the town. Nearly every member of the Post participated in this work either directly or indirectly. The Post has furnished several Officers for both town and county offices in the past few years and expects or rather intends to carry on in its own quiet way in the future as a very valuable community asset. We expect to send delegates to both the State and National conventions this year as we have been doing in the past. Also since our little Post has succeeded in arousing-the almost dead County Post No.15 to action this year, we pledge ourselves voluntarily to the Department of Virginia to keep that Post going strong as well as ourselves.
Deceased members – One: Thos. H. Greer, died November 28, 1923, at Mountain City, Tenn.