American Legion, WILLIAMS POST NO. 26 — 1924
Clifton Forge, Virginia
Four years ago some of the “boys” who had served overseas in response to their country’s call decided to form a Post of the American Legion in Clifton Forge. It is probable that Rev. John Paul Tyler, D. D., took a more active part in getting the movement started than anyone else, but he was transferred to another field before the charter was granted. The work of organizing, which he had to leave, was taken up by Dr. C. N. Rucker, now of Danville, Va., and a charter was secured with the following charter members.
Stuart L. Clough, James G. Staley, George K. Anderson, Jr., Leonard A. Clarkson, E. Lee Cacy, Paul J. B. Murphy, Floyd H. Major, Claude N. Rucker, Samuel F. Chambers, John M. Chambers, F. S. Staley, Y. H. Black, welder, Charles A. Withrow, Paul J. Payne, O. N. Blackwelder.
Paul J. B. Murphy, then superintendent of public works of the city, was chosen for the first Post Commander. The Post adjutant was H. E. Bean, now of Richmond; and W. W. Sharpe was elected Post treasurer. Rev. Charles W. Sydnor was appointed Post chaplain, a position he holds to this day.
The Post was originally known as Clifton Forge Post No. 26, but at a meeting held on January 2, 1920, a committee was appointed to obtain permission from Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Williams for the Post to change its name to Williams Post, in honor of Roland and Ray Williams, the two brothers who lost their lives on the fields of France. The permission was given and the Post has borne that name since then.
The officers for the various years, in addition to those named above, have been as follows:
1920-Post commander, I.. A. Clarkson; vice-commander, Lester M. Harris; Post adjutant, H. E. Bean; Post treasurer, W. W. Sharpe; Post historian, C. N. Rucker.
1921–Post commander, Lester M. Harris; Post adjutant, J. H. Barger; Post finance officer, W. W. Sharpe.
1922-Post commander, L. A. Clarkson; Post adjutant, J. H. Barger; Post finance officer, W. W. Sharpe.
The officers for 1923 are: Post commander, Thomas Richardson; vicecommander, Frank H. Morris; Post adjutant, Frank H. Baker; Post finance officer, O. N. McMullan; Post service officer, L. A. Clarkson; Post historian, R. R. Roadcap; sergeant-at-arms, Frank Meadows.
While the Post here has never been a large one, there are some of the service men who are devoted to the ideals for which the American Legion stands and who attend faithfully to the duties in connection with the work. It is a nucleus around which, as time goes on, more and more of the exsoldiers will probably rally. The formation of the Ladies’ Auxiliary will doubtless help in increasing the membership, as they have done much for both the pleasure and the comfort of the members, assisting them materially in furnishing and fixing up their new club rooms. These rooms are in the Alleghany building and a handsome sign just below the third-story windows indicates just where any ex-service man will be given a hearty welcome.
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY
The American Legion Auxiliary to Williams Post No. 26 was organized in the courtroom at Clifton Forge on April 3, 1922. The required number of charter members had been previously secured, and a temporary charter had been sent.
Mrs. H. E. Woodward was elected president, and having been so enthusiastic and earnest in her work for the ex-service sufferers, she was reelected as the Auxiliary’s presiding officer.
The Auxiliary at present has only twenty-six members, largely due to the fact that the membership is restricted to wives, mothers and sisters of American Legion members, and to ex-service nurses and their mothers.
The Auxiliary has maintained comfortable rooms since, very soon after its organization and at present has very attractive quarters in the Alleghany building.
The Auxiliary has from the beginning shown a spirit of glad sacrifice in its service to the boys who came back, and have many plans for their future comfort.
There have been instances of individual help, when an ex-soldier needed it, and at Christmas time, through the channel of the Auxiliary, the town contributed $102.12 to make a happier Christmas for those of our soldiers in the hospitals whose restoration to health and happiness is hopeless.
The Auxiliary has sent flowers and fruit to all sick soldiers who have come within its knowledge, has sent flowers to all deceased soldiers and has attended all funerals in a body.
The National Auxiliary has just closed its annual session in San Francisco, its president being Mrs. Kate Waller Barrett, a Virginian, whom the State and nation delight to honor.
The American Legion Auxiliary has a brilliant future. It is already, though only three years old, the largest patriotic organization of American women in existence. An International Auxiliary is also in course of formation, and will add greatly to the glory of the allied countries, who fought so valiantly to make the world a safer and better place in which to live.