American Legion, HENRY N. TATE POST NO. 70 — 1924
American Legion, 1924
This Post was organized in September, 1919, charter dated September 27th, with fifteen members enrolled thereon. William A. Stuart, of Big Stone Gap, Va., the first commander of the State of Virginia, being a charter member. Mr. Stuart is now located at Abingdon, Va. A. M. Greenfield was Post commander and P. J. Groseclose Post adjutant when the Post was first organized. Both of these parties being offered better positions changed their place of residence moving to other States. Wm. B. Peters took charge of the work as commander and Paul Gundry as Post adjutant keeping the Post in working order until the time of election of officers for the ensuing year.
In the year 1920, Wm. B. Peters was made Post commander and Sam F. Dickenson, Post adjutant. Their work was so efficient during their term that at the time of election of officers for the year 1921 both were continued in office. In the latter part of his term the Post adjutant, Sam F. Dickenson, left Appalachia to take up work at another place and H. A. Pritchett was elected to fill his unexpired term. During the years 1920-21 the Post reached its highest mark in membership and probably accomplished more work than at any other time. Especial attention was given to the aid of ex-service men and their families wherever and whenever these cases were found. The commander and adjutants aided materially in securing claims for men entitled to same. The reports at the State conventions showed this Post to rank about second or third in the number of claims reported. The Post adjutant also took up the matter with all members regarding renewal of their government insurance and was instrumental in having several policies renewed. Prizes were also offered by the Post to all the schools in its vicinity, including three accredited high schools, giving prizes in gold to students in different departments submitting the best essay on “Americanism.”
In the year 1922 E. B. Moore was elected Post commander and H. A. Pritchett re-elected Post adjutant. During this year the work of the previous officers was continued and the Post showed a successful record in work done among its members and civic enterprises carried out with the different local organizations.
In the year 1923 W. T. Polly was made Post commander and Festus Ison Post adjutant. Owing to the fact of members who had been employed by the coal companies operating the various collieries in the district of this Post securing employment elsewhere, the membership was reduced. Not withstanding this fact, the Post carried on its local work among the ex-service men and co-operated with all civic organizations for the betterment of the community.
In the year 1924 the following officers took charge of the Post: C. A. Hood, Post commander; R. T. Markle, first vice-commander; G. C. Underwood, second vice-commander; W. E. Riggs, third vice-commander; J. N. Donaldson, finance officer; W. A. Jones, adjutant; E. P. Duffy, Jr., Post service officer; S. R. Jessee, Post historian; J. A. Gardner, chaplain; I. P. Tate, sergeant-at-arms.
The objective for the Post this year was to do something for the community that would be a memorial to the American Legion in years to come. In as much as the town in which the Post is located had no local cemetery to take care of its own citizens and those of the surrounding community and as various civic committees and the town council had been trying to secure such a place and failed in their efforts, the Post took over this work as its special objective for the year. A committee of Wm. B. Peters, R. T. Markle and W. A. Jones was appointed to take charge of this work assisted by the Post Commander. The committee secured an option and purchased a twenty-seven acre farm located in a beautiful valley surrounded by hills and mountains. One side of the farm is traversed by the local highway, which connects the various towns and is well macadamized and kept in splendid condition. The farm was laid off into lots, driveways and promenades and a section of nearly an acre donated to the town for a potters field. This cemetery when finished will be one of the most beautiful spots in this section and we believe prove a living memorial to the aims and ideals of service for which this Post of the American Legion stands.
The milk far this town being supplied by two dairies and no inspection made by any one of this milk at its source, the Post Commander appointed a committee to work with the town council and see that this milk was tested by the proper authorities, the Legion agreeing to stand all expenses incurred and examination to be made in accordance with instructions from State Board of Health.
This Post has at all times co-operated with all civic organizations in carrying on civic work for the betterment of the town and community and in various instances originated and carried out plans for civic betterment and worked at all times with the schools, churches, etc., in promulgating the spirit of Americanism and love of God and country in the youth of our community. We have been especially fortunate in having Post commanders whose hearts have been in accord with this kind of work.