World War I
World War II
Legion Post 604
The Arenzville American
Legion Post 604
In 1947, when the recently reorganized American Legion
Post 604 developed plans to build a permanent meeting hall, they asked for the support of
community members. As a result of their dedication and the generous response from the
community, the Legion post built the Legion Hall, which so far has served three
generations as a site of meetings for town organizations, church dinners, dances, family
gatherings, school classrooms, musical concerts, flower shows, dramatic performances and
of course, the home of Legion Post 604. Shown below are the contents of the letters sent
out to the community in 1947 to ask for donations to pay for the hall.
Legion Hall Beginnings
Above: 1947 letters from the Commander of
American Legion Post 604, Kenneth Hierman, and Edward Wessler, President of the Community
Club, call upon members of the Arenzville community to support the effort to raise money
to build the Legion Hall. Read letter contents below.
A Call for Support
Above: Ens. Robert D. Clark addresses servicemen at the
Arenzville Burgoo ca. 1946 and calls for Arenzville veterans to support the American
Legion Post 604.
American Legion Post 604
May 12, 1947
To the citizens of Arenzville and the surrounding
Twice within twenty-five years the men and women
of our country have been called upon to forge themselves into a team and take up arms in
the defense of their country, its people, and its ideals. Both times they have seen their
military task through to its finish at great cost in lives, time and money. But each time
they have put the goals of war behind them only to find complex problems of readjustment
and reform stretching ahead of them. Since these great teams have disbanded, many of their
former members wish to maintain some sort of organization, not military, but democratic,
in order that these new tasks, of equally great importance to the community, may be better
The largest, and probably the most influential of
such veterans organizations, the American Legion, dedicated to the service of our
veterans and to the concepts for which they fought, is represented by a local chapter,
which has as its further aim: service to the community.
Like many other local organizations, the Legion
lacks access to suitable quarters for its meetings, and plans as one of its first major
projects the construction of a Legion Home, which will not only house its activities but
will be made available to any organization that is working in the public interest.
The plans provide for a building thirty feet by
eighty feet in size, to be erected on a site already obtained by the Legion, located in
the vicinity of the proposed site of the new water tower.
The main floor will be designed to accommodate
meetings, programs, dances, etc. and there will be a basement with a kitchen equipped for
serving suppers and banquets. The estimated cost is $7600, exclusive of furnishings.
In obtaining funds for this project, the Legion
has been pledged the complete support of the Arenzville Community Club and hopes for the
assistance of its other friends throughout the community. In giving such assistance, you
will have the whole-hearted gratitude of your war veterans.
Kenneth Hierman, Commander
The American Legion
May 12, 1947
How good is your memory?
You remember the dark years of the war, when
for many of us every trip to the postoffice was fruitless unless it brought one of those
familiar letters, stamped FREE in one corner, with a military address written
in the other. And you remember when every trip to the depot saw some soldier or sailor
bidding another reluctant goodbye to Arenzville and wondering when hed see it again.
You remember those telegrams, too. And the
blue stars in all the windows and the uniforms on all the streets.
Of course, you remember those things, but do
you also remember the things we said then? We said, You boys are giving up a lot for
your home folks
youre losing several years out of your lives that might be
better spent at your life work and with your own families
opportunities in business and farming
youre losing your health, some of you
some of you have lost your lives and youve risked losing them.
Yes, we said that, and more. We said
Were going to make it up to you, fellows, show you how much you mean to us and
how much we appreciate the sacrifices youre making so that we can keep living a free
country. When you come back home well be glad to see
you and well let you know it!
Well, thats what we told them,
remember? We wrote that in our letters and we wrote it in the Town Tattler that the
community of Arenzville sent the boys to keep them up on their home-town happenings. And
we filed it away in our minds as an unwritten promise of a debt we owed.
And now we have a chance to prove just how
much we meant all those promises. Our boys are back now, and most of them have organized
into an American Legion post, together with their fellow veterans of World War I. They
have big plans afoot to build a Legion Home, so theyll have some place to hold their
meetings. Theyve even offered to open it to other public-minded organizations when
it is built. But they need help.
The Arenzville Community Club has decided,
with not a single dissenting vote, as our minutes will show, to back them 100% in
obtaining such help, and we want to invite you to join with us in giving full support to
their current drive.
So when the Legion representative calls at
your home or place of business, remember that our boys are back now, trying to forget all
those things they lost, and theyre doing pretty well at picking up where they left
off and going on. They want to forget all the
army routine and discipline and drill and the uniforms and the goodbyes and the trip
overseas and the D-days and H-hours and the buddies they lost and how they missed seeing
their kids take their first steps. They want
to forget a lot that happened during those years. Chances are theyd forget those
promises we made them, too.
But were not going to. ARE WE?
Edward Wessler, President
Arenzville Community Club
|WHAT OTHERS SAY ---
I will gladly do my part.
We have done so little; they have done
so much! This is our opportunity to prove our appreciation.
All for one; one for all. Lets
help the Legion.
The entire community will
A good way to show our appreciation to
the boys who fought for us all would be to help them with their project 100%.
They did their best; now lets do
We must maintain, support and improve
our home community.
I am 100% behind our Legion.
For the services you have rendered to
the flag that is still flying to the Veterans you MUST be remembered.
We must support the Legion just as we
must expect they Legion to support and improve our home community.
Let us redeem our promises!
The boys were targets when they did
their part. It will be perfectly safe to do ours. Support the Legion.
The webmaster and the Village of Arenzville wish to thank Ruby Clark Willingham for
sending us a copy of these materials.
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