American Legion, FRANKLIN POST NO. 6 – 1924
Rocky Mount, Virginia
Notwithstanding the fact that Franklin Post bears the number “6,” it was the first Post of the American Legion organized in the State of Virginia most probably it was the second one organized in the United States.
The latter part of March, 1919, Walter L. Hopkins, a charter member of the General John J. Pershing Post No. 1, of Washington, D. C. (now George Washington Post No. 1), enlisted the assistance of a number of ex-service men from which a committee was appointed to issue a call to all the ex-service men of Franklin county to meet at Rocky Mount., Va., on April 7, 1919, for the purpose of forming a World War Veterans’ Association. accordance with the foregoing call, seventeen ex-service men met at Rocky Mount, Va., on April 7, 1919, and formed a World War Veterans’ Association, adopted a constitution and by-laws and agreed, at a later date, to join a National Organization of the best World War Veterans’ Association. This meeting was called to order by James N. Montgomery, Jr., and Edward W. Saunders, Jr., was elected permanent chairman, Walter L. Hopkins, adjutant, Allen O. Woody, quartermaster, and Clack D. Hopkins, sergeant-at-arms. After the meeting adopted a constitution and by-laws as above set forth, the Association elected the following officers:
Commander–Walter L. Hopkins.
Senior Vice-Commander–J. N. Montgomery, Jr.
Junior Vice-Commander–A. Newton Carroll.
Quartermaster–Allen O. Woody.
Adjutant–Walter M. Greer.
Sergeant-at-Arms–Clack D. Hopkins.
Chaplain–Charlie N . Parcell.
The chairman appointed a committee composed of James N. Montgomery, Jr., Walter L. Hopkins, Louis Angle, Walter M. Greer, Newton Carroll, Buford Angle, Dalton Webb and Leonard Hodges to call a meeting of this Association and the other ex-service men of the county to meet at Rocky Mount, Va., at a future date, to be decided upon by them, for the purpose of selecting which National Organization of ex-service men it would affiliate. The foregoing committee called a meeting of the World War Veterans to meet at Rocky Mount, Va., on June 2, 1919, at which time the temporary Association voted to affiliate with the American Legion, and the Commander was authorized to make application to the Virginia Department of the American Legion for charter. Application for charter was immediately made on form devised by the Post Officers and sent to the Temporary Department Adjutant. After some delay, the Department Adjutant of the American Legion returned application devised by the officers and sent regular printed form of application for charter and under date of July 1, 1919, Franklin Post was chartered and assigned No. “6,” with the following charter members:
Lewis W. Angle, Buford B. Angle, E. G. Adams, Louis W. Bowles, A. Newton Carroll, Beverly A. Davis, Jr., E. T. Frith, Gordon G. Fralin, Walter 11-1. Greer, Charlie C. Greer, Ed-win Greer, Clack D. Hopkins, Walter L. Hopkins, Win. B. Hopkins, Leonard A. Hodges, Oscar T. Kittinger, G. B. Kesler, Harry E. Mills, C. A. Montgomery, Jr., John Ed. Montgomery, J. N. Montgomery, Jr., Rufus E. McGhee, Brvant M. Morris, D. H. Mills, L. M. Menefee, Richard Y. Melton, Charlie N. Parcell, Word Day Peake, Edward W. Saunders, Jr., A. O. Woody, Dalton D. Webb, Posey Lee Webb, P. A. Young.
Upon receipt of charter the above-named temporary officers of the World War Veterans’ Association were elected the first permanent officers of Franklin Post No. 6 of the American Legion. At the first Convention of the American Legion which was held at Roanoke, Va., in October, 1919, Franklin Post No. 6 had a paid-up membership of over fifty. James N. Montgomery, Jr., and Walter L. Hopkins were elected delegates to this Convention. James T. Montgomery, Jr.. was elected by the Convention as the first .Executive Committeeman from the Fifth District, but owing to his many duties at this time, Mr. Montgomery resigned as District Committeeman after several months of faithful service and Walter L. Hopkins was elected by the Department Executive Council to fill the vacancy, to which position he was reelected by the Second Annual Convention which was held in Richmond, Va.
The Commanders of Franklin Post No. 6 since its organization are as follows:
1919-1920–Walter L. Hopkins.
1920-1921–J. N. Montgomery, Jr.
1921-1922–R. A. Prillaman.
1924-1925–J. N. Montgomery, Jr.
The Post has had only three adjutants, namely, Walter M. Greer, Word Day Peak and J. Bradie Allman, each of whom have given a great deal of thought, time and work in assisting the ex-service men of the county.
The present officers of the Post are:
Commander–J. N. Montgomery, Jr.
Vice-Commander–L. A. Hodges.
Adjutant–J. Bradie Allman.
Service Officer–W. M. Greer.
Chaplain–Charlie N. Parcell.
Finance Officer–A. Newton Carroll.
Sergeant-at-Arms–B. B. Angle.
Of the 493 white soldiers who went into the army from Franklin county, during the years of 1919-1920 and 1920-1921, Franklin Post No. 6 had a paid-up membership of 107. Since that time the membership was slightly decreased, but the decrease in membership has been supplemented by the increased activity of the Post and its members in rendering assistance to the disabled and needy soldiers, and in rendering service to the community. There is probably no Post in the State which has been more active in Legion and community work, beginning with Armistice Day, 1919, the Post held a large celebration at. the county seat in which practically all the people of the county participated. July 4th, Armistice Day and Decoration Day have been fittingly observed in conjunction with the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other patriotic organizations. The Post secured a questionnaire from practically every ex-service man in the county and has from time to time rendered every possible assistance to the disabled ex-service men. The Post at the present time is maintaining an office where every ex-service man in the county can receive assistance for filling out his blank for Adjusted Compensation without any cost to him whatsoever.
The immense amount of work done by this Post could not have been accomplished if it had not been for the assistance rendered by the Woman’s Auxiliary of the American Legion which was organized in Rocky Mount, Va., by Mrs. Walter L. Hopkins during the month of July, 1920, the officers for the first year of the American Legion Auxiliary are as follows:
President–Mrs. Walter L. Hopkins.
First Vice–President-Miss Ann Joplin.
Second Vice–President-Mrs. H. W. Peak.
Secretary–Mrs. A. B. Garrett.
Treasurer–Miss Mable Montgomery.
The charter members of the Auxiliary, Franklin Post No. 6, are:
Mrs. Y. L. Angle, Mrs. Minnie S. Bennett, Mrs. Thomas Dudley, Mrs. Raymond Davis, Mrs. J. A. Dinwiddie, Miss Mary Dinwiddie, Mrs. A. 1;. Garrett, Mrs. C. S. Greer, Miss Flora Greer, Mrs. Walter L. Hopkins, Miss Ann Joplin, Miss Josie Menefee, Miss Mable Montgomery, Mrs. H. W. Peak, Mrs. W. T. Roberts, Mrs. W. D. Rucker, Mrs. B. S. Robertson, Mrs. E. W. Saunders, Miss Sarah Saunders, Mrs. C. J. Shoaf, Miss Loline Shoaf.
The Auxiliary has rendered unusual service to the Post. The Auxiliary got in touch with every disabled ex-service man in the county and saw that he received the compensation, medical treatment and vocational training to which he was entitled. They assisted the ex-service men to secure their back pay and also assisted the dependents of the men who died in the service, to receive the compensation and insurance which were due them.
The present officers of the Auxiliary are:
President–Mrs. Sallie Greer.
First Vice–President-Mrs. Thomas Dudley.
Second Vice–President-Mrs. Walter Greer.
Secretary–Mrs. J. B. Allman.
Treasurer–Miss Mable Montgomery.
Historian–Mrs. W. D. Peake.
Chairman of Hospitalization Committee–Mrs. N. B. Hutcherson.
Chairman of Publicity Committee–Miss Josephine Menefee.
Chairman of Membership Committee–Miss Sarah Saunders.
Franklin Post No. 6 of the American Legion and the Auxiliary, since their organization, have steadily grown in prestige and influence until it has become to occupy a high position among the civic and patriotic organizations of the county, and they have become a factor of great influence for good and they have been, in a large way, the means of inculcating “a sense of individual obligation to the community, State and Nation” with not only their members, but with the citizenry of the county.