American Legion Post 1 marks 100 years

Published 6:00 pm Monday, May 20, 2019

American Press

Congratulations to W.B. Williamson American Legion Post No. 1 which marks 100 years of service to Southwest Louisiana veterans today, May 20, 2019.

It was on this day in 1919 that a group of World War I veterans met at Lake Charles City Hall to talk about founding an organization of veterans to continue the comradeship established during the war.

The organizational meeting was held May 20 at City Hall with Lt. Col. Bret W. Eddy, newly arrived from France, as the guest speaker.

The organizational committee included Dr. J.G. Martin, Capt. John Martin and David R. Rosenthal. The Lake Charles veterans decided to affiliate with the newly formed American Legion.

The 15 men who applied for membership were James O. Dolby, Thomas F. Porter, Bret W. Eddy, Randall A. Gormly, Leslie E. Damon, David R. Rosenthal, Eddie King, R.K. Lake, M.J. Dugan, Gordon T. Lake, Ernest S. Clements, James L. McCabe, Elmer Perry, Remi Bordelon and A.C. “Burt” Anderson.

The American Legion accepted their application and the post was chartered as Louisiana Post No. 1, the first in the state.

Post No. 1 members chose to name it in honor of Major William Burke Williamson, who was a member of the Army Judge Advocate General’s Department, and who died in Tours, France in 1919.

Among the many prominent local members of the post were former Gov. Sam H. Jones and Murphy Moss, who both served as state commanders of the American Legion.

Besides its numerous services to local veterans, Post No. 1 has been active in recognizing local outstanding students, sponsored the Boys State program in local schools and American Legion baseball.

The post also participates in parades, memorials, dedications, and sponsors such youth groups as the United States Naval Cadets Corps, LaGrange High School NJROTC and Boy Scouts of America.

Their post home is located at 1530 9th St. in Lake Charles on property donated in 1931 by Mathilda Grey Estates for the sole purpose of use for American Legion Post No. 1.

Congratulations again to American Legion Post No. 1 on the occasion of its centennial, and thanks for all the good it does for our veterans and the entire Southwest Louisiana community.””

In this undated newspaper clipping, construction begins on a new building to house W.B. Williamson American Legion Post No. 1. The land was donated in 1931 by Mathilda Grey Estates.

McNeese Digital Archives