History of the American Legion
History of American Legion Post 178
A look at the Post’s first meeting – by Roger Bradley, Past Commander
On September 29, 1927, at 7PM, a group of World War I veterans gathered at the Millerton Fire House for the purpose of conducting the first meeting of the newly formed Millerton Post #178, The American Legion. The evening opened with a “Beef Steak supper which was enjoyed by all. Present, as invited guests, were the President of the Village of Millerton, Mr E. B. Reed and the Chief of the Fire Company, Mr W. M. Bates.”
After the “supper”, those gathered moved upstairs and the meeting was called to order by the acting President, Lloyd Swanson. “The first in line of business was election of officers. Dr Tabor, (Gilbert S.) took the chair as chairman of the election. Swanson acted as secretary in the absence of Howard Scutt who came in later. Valentine, (Oliver W.) Velley, (Orville) and Miller, (Harry B.) were appointed tellers.”
Nominations were as follows:
Commander-Swanson and Scutt. Swanson was elected.
Senior Vice Commander-Scutt was unanimously elected.
Adjutant-Valentine and Miller-Valentine was elected.
Sergeant-at-Arms-Selby, (O.R.) Brewer (Herbert E.) Hoffman, (Ed) Selby was elected.
Finance Officer-Block, (Irving) and Brewer. Block was elected
Historian-Krauss, Stickles and Scouten, (Clifford)Scouten was elected.
Chaplain-Miller and Velley. Velley was elected.
During the meeting it was voted to hold an Armistice Night Dance, November 11, 1927 in the Millerton Theater. The committee consisted of Ronald J. Silvernale, Orville Velley, Harry B. Miller and Ed. J. Hoffman.
The meeting night was set as the 1st Thursday of each month. With the conclusion of the business, the meeting adjourned. The above is taken from the minutes of that meeting recorded by Oliver W. Valentine, the newly elected Adjutant. (Secretary)
Reviewing the early minutes of the Post (1928-1935, among, the concerns of the membership was an Honor Roll honoring the veterans of the Town of Northeast, a suitable meeting place, procurement of ceremonial rifles and fund raising. Also, of great importance, was finding a permanent meeting place. Establishing a program for Memorial Day, which they did and is the same program we observe today. The members were active socially in the community conducting card parties and sponsoring movies. They held many card parties with neighboring Lakeville and Sharon Legion Posts. They also encouraged the wives to establish an auxiliary, which they did.
One year after the first meeting, September 20, 1928, the members voted to sponsor the Millerton Boy Scout Troop. That sponsorship has been continuous for 73 years. The post also sponsored the Millerton Baseball Team during this early time. The post has been involved in many of the community projects, both financially and physically. Some of that activity will be illustrated in a later article.
In addition to the members listed above, others active during this time were Yorke S. Blanchard, Reginald E. Clark, G. A. Krauss, Arthur Manning, Bernard M. Manning, William Masten, Santa A. Finkle and William S. Fellows. There once was a framed certificate of the Charter Members of the post but it was lost in the fire that consumed the old post home, January 28, 1963.