The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

American Legion Post celebrating 100th anniversary

 

October 9, 2019

The Whitehall American Legion Post #24 will host a 100-year anniversary celebration Friday, October 18. The celebration will take place at 4 p.m. at the Veteran Park Memorial Rock next to the flagpole on Legion Avenue with a commemorative plaque presentation followed by hamburgers and hot dogs at the Whitehall Community Center.

The long heritage of the Whitehall American Legion Post #24 starting with Charles O. Daniels and 24 other area veterans who originally organized Post #24 on October 16, 1919. The first officers of the Whitehall American Legion post #24 were Charles Daniels as Commander, John Jones as Vice Commander, Edmund Miller as Adjutant, Ernest Stanley as Historian, Eugene Tuttle as Chaplain, and Ray Westmorland as Sergeant-at-Arms. The new post became very active in the community and especially focused on youth programs. Some of the activities that were sponsored by the post are still visible today. They installed a new flagpole at the high school and created Legion Avenue Veterans Park and erected a granite World War I memorial in honor of area veterans. The park was landscaped with flagpoles, walkways, flowerbeds, water fountain and a cannon on display. Today all that remains is the granite memorial, new veteran memorial rock and a flagpole. The main street through Whitehall was once called Railroad Avenue and through the efforts of the post in coordination with state officials it was renamed Legion Avenue. They constructed the familiar fishpond on Legion Avenue, which originally had a "doughboy" statue on top, which was eventually replaced with a bald eagle. At one time there were bronze plaques with World War II veteran's names laid around the base of the fountain. These plaques have gone by the wayside and today the local Rotary Club maintains the pond. In 1927 the post was renamed the Jefferson Post #24 and included all veterans from Jefferson County. In 1927 they established an annual American History contest that was open to all high school and grade school students. They started a Legion Good Citizen award in 1933 that went to deserving students. In 1934 they started the first Easter egg hunt with the help of local boy scouts. The post also organized annual dances and sponsored the annual Whitehall rodeo dance in early July. The proud lineage of community service and youth programs is a legacy that continues today with current members of the Whitehall American Legion Post #24. Post members add value to the Whitehall area and post American flags along the main streets in the summer, they conduct Memorial Day activities, Flag Day ceremony, manage the highway white cross fatality marker program, constructed and maintain a veteran memorial wall in Silver Tower Park, erected a veteran memorial rock in Veteran Park on Legion Avenue, manage the Whitehall Community Center and provide military funeral honors throughout the year. They work with the local school on the American Legion oratorical contest, student government contest, offer a scholarship to a graduating senior, and provide sponsorship to American Legion Boys and Girls State. The post also provides support to area veterans and assists with veteran issues and questions. The Whitehall American Legion Post #24 meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm at the community center and is always looking for new veteran members.

 

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