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American Legion, PENINSULA POST NO. 39 — 1924

Williamsburg, Virginia

American Legion, 1924

The first steps toward organizing a Post of the American Legion were taken at a Labor Day celebration held by the citizens of the thriving community of Norge, Va., in September, 1919. The necessary application papers were filled out and forwarded to State Headquarters at once, and in due time came the charter of Williamsburg Post No. 39. The first regular meeting of the Post was held in the historic courthouse at Williamsburg, and the following named men were elected as officers of the Post: Ashton Dovell, Post commander; Barton I. Jensen, vice–commander; B. D. Peachy, adjutant; M. W. Foster, finance officer; Ira S. Meanley, sergeant- at-arms. The Post was represented at the State Convention at Roanoke by C. M. Hall.

In the latter part of the year, Williamsburg Post No. 39 was combined with Peninsula Post No. 29 and became known as Peninsula Post No. 39.

On January 7, 1920, the following officers were elected to serve for the year 1920: C. M. Hall, Post commander; T. H. Geddy, Jr., vice-commander; B. D. Peachy, adjutant; M. W. Foster, war risk officer; G. T. Brooks, sergeant-at-arms.

At a meeting held in May, 1920, the Post considered several forms of memorials for the men from their community who died in their country’s service, among them being the plan to advocate the construction of a National highway from, Williamsburg to Jamestown and the restoration of the first House of Burgesses at Williamsburg. This later named plan is now being worked out in detail by a committee from this Post, and the Post hopes to inaugurate a nation-wide movement to carry out this worthy project.

For the year 1921 the following officers served well and faithfully W. E. Hankins, Post commander; B. I. Jensen, vice-commander; I. S. Meanley, adjutant; G. T. Brooks, treasurer; C. P. Andrews, sergeant-at-arms; H. J. Hunt, war risk officer. I. S. Meanley being unable to serve as adjutant, H. L. Harris was elected to fill this post, which he did for the year. During the year several war dead were returned to their families for burial, and the Post was represented at every funeral possible.

At the annual State Convention at Norfolk the following men were present as delegates from this Post: Ashton Dovell and H. L. Harris.

The year 1922 marked the beginning of an increased interest in the Legion Post, and there were twenty-eight members enrolled in all. Under the able leadership of B. I. Jensen, Post commander, and his fellow-officers, J. L. Maxton, vice-commander; W. Gilley, adjutant; B. E. Geddy, treasurer, and T. L. Waltrip, sergeant-at-arms, several entertainments were “put over the top” in fine shape. On April 1, 1922 (despite All Fools’ Day), there was a chow barrage put over by the Ladies’ Auxiliary at Norge Hall, and it will long be rememberd by all who were present. (“Entrance 2 bits. No Jambone.”)

Dr. Junius F. Lynch, State commander, paid the Post a visit on May 22nd, and was heard by a large audience of ex-service men as well as the general public.

January, 1923, saw the officers hereafter named elected for the year: J. L. Maxton, commander; Willard Gilley, vice-commander; H. J. Hunt, adjutant; T. L. Waltrip, treasurer; V. L. Nunn, sergeant-at-arms. Several meetings and entertainments were held during the year despite the fact that the roads were torn up in several localities owing to concrete road construction. Most notable of these entertainments was an out-door oyster roast held on the banks of the York River a few miles from Williamsburg during the month of November. This affair was exceedingly well attended and several near-casualties resulted from an over-estimated capacity for oysters and the other eatables that go with roasted oysters.


At the last meeting held in 1923 the following named officers were elected for the year 1924: Willard Gilley, Post commander; B. E. Geddy, vice-commander; T. L. Waltrip, Post adjutant; A. A. Rowland, finance officer. The Post has held several entertainments, dances, etc., during the year, and thus far has a total enrollment of 52 members, the highest number the Post has ever had. We hope to increase the membership to 100 if possible as the William and Mary Post No. 90 was merged with the local post on November 11, 1923, when appropriate exercises were held in the chapel of the college. There are quite a number of ex-service men both in the faculty and student body and several have already joined the Post.

Of the Woman’s Auxiliary of Peninsula Post No. 39, nothing has yet been said. May it suffice to say that these mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters have been as loyal to their Post during times of peace as they were loyal to their county in time of war.