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American Legion, NORTH RICHMOND POST No. 38 — 1924

Richmond, Virginia

American Legion – 1924

On October 18, 1921, a meeting of the ex-service men of North Richmond was held and a Legion Post formally organized.

The first regular meeting of the Post was held on the second Tuesday in November at which time a charter was applied for under the name of North Richmond Post. This, charter was granted on January 18, 1922, and the Post designated as No. 38.

At the organization meeting held in October, Henry M. Taylor, one of the leaders in the movement to establish a Post on the North Side, was elected temporary commander, and at the last meeting held in 1921 he was formally elected commander for the year 1922. The success and growth of the Post during that year was due in a large measure to the untiring efforts and capable leadership of its first commander.

During this year the activities of the Post were limited and on account of the small membership it was recognized that the first task would be to create more interest in the Legion and to increase the membership to a more substantial number. How richly the efforts of the Post were rewarded is shown by the increase from thirty-two to eighty-six members before the 1922 State Convention, representing less than a year’s time.

When the officers for 1923 were elected, Frank F. Rennie, Jr., a faithful and hardworking member of the Post, was chosen our second commander. He proved to be another earnest and inspiring leader. During his term the Post prospered in public favor and in numbers. The scope of the activities of the Post was widened and its membership increased to 183, an increase of more than 100 per cent.

For the present year, 1924, Wilmer L. O’Flaherty, a charter member and the legal advisor of the Post, was elected commander. By reason of his talent for organization and his unfailing loyalty to Legion activities, Commander O’Flaherty’s term in office has seen the membership increased another 100 per cent, to 365, though the year is little more than half spent. The membership goal for the year is set at 400, and with another five months to go this should be easily accomplished.

The activities of the Post during its three years’ existence have included everything that an organization of its kind could do: Public meetings in the interest of better citizenship; memorial services; Armistice Day celebrations; relief of disabled veterans and the unemployed; assisting in the establishing of the central council in Richmond; helping in the establishment of the other Posts in the city; helping to start the 40 and 8 Societie; and many other things for the furtherance of the welfare of the Legion in the “Community, State and Nation.”

It has been very active in promoting fellowship among the members; making members feel the Legion; making better citizens of the members by urging the payment of taxes and registering; and by serving in many ways to inspire the confidence of the public and to let the public feel and know what the Legion stands for.

It has also been very active in athletics, particularly baseball, in which it won the City Legion Championship, in 1923.

Feeling the need of the assistance of the ladies in carrying on its work in the community and for creating a greater interest in the American Legion the officers of the Post were instrumental in having the Auxiliary Unit of North Richmond Post formed in the fall of 1922. This unit has functioned well and been a great help to the Post in its work. It is the largest auxiliary in the city, and second largest in the State.

The City of Richmond presented the Post with a stand of colors which have been carried in every public parade of the Legion in Richmond, and in the parade of the San Francisco Convention, being decorated with a silver clasp for attendance at this convention.

North Richmond Post has the distinction of being the first Post in the City of Richmond to start negotiations for the purchase of a permanent home for the use of its members. These negotiations were started in the fall of 1922 when the Post was not quite a year old, and the “dream” was realized on September 15, 1923, when the North Richmond Legion club house was formally opened with a reception and dance. The opening of this club was followed by the purchasing of permanent homes by the other three Posts in the city.

Shortly after the idea for securing a permanent home for the Post was started it was found that a very valuable piece of property, 120 feet by 150 feet, could be secured at a reasonable price if taken at once. In order to get this property a corporation was formed, known as the North Richmond Legion Club, Inc., and stock was sold at $50.00 per share. In a very short while enough stock was sold to make the initial payment on the lot and the deal was closed. A few months later it became known that the State and City Bank and Trust Company planned to tear down a house a few blocks from the Post to make room for a branch banking house. However, instead of tearing down the house the bank was induced to give the house to the Post.

After considerable delay the building was moved to its present location, 2806 North Avenue, completely remodeled and became the Post home.

The property on which the house stands costs $4,200. The cost of moving and rebuilding the house was $4,150, making a total cost of $8,350. Authorities on real estate values have placed a valuation of $10,000 on the property.

North Richmond Post also has the distinction of being the first Post in the City of Richmond to give to the State a commander. John J. Wicker, Jr., present commander of the Legion in Virginia, is a charter member of North Richmond Post No. 38.

The Post has been active in the department affairs of the Legion. Past Commander Rennie has been on the. Department Executive Committee for the past two years.

In the “D” Day membership campaign put on in the Department in February of this year, North Richmond Post was winner in its class by increasing its membership a little more than 93 per cent.

In a membership contest put on between North Richmond Post and Church Hill Post, North Richmond was winner, getting 108 new members to its opponents’ 54, thereby winning a silver cup which was the prize.