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1220 Newton Street, Jasper, Indiana

The American Legion Post 147

POST HISTORY

(continued)

During World War II the Post and Auxiliary took it upon themselves to provide Christmas parcels containing food, smokes and articles of clothing, playing cards, etc., for the boys in service.

The Post gave its full measure of support to the legislative program which the national organization sponsored to provide a "Bill of Rights" for the benefit on the men in service and a program of rehabilitation after their discharge.  The Post also provided a meeting place for the local Post of War Dads and for Ladies' Clubs for the purpose of knitting for the servicemen, for Nurses' Aid courses, for the County Defense Council and the Fire Warden Schools.

From its very inception the Post has taken full charge of the burial of service men who died overseas, as well as comrades who answered the last call of the Great Commander here at home.  During World War II it provided a committee to call upon the families of men who were killed in service, helping to spread gently the message contained in the telegram which invariably began: "It is with deep regret that the War or Navy Department announces"---and to offer what consolation and assistance it was possible to give in that tragic moment.

A burial crew, consisting of a color squad of four men, a rifle squad of nine men, six pallbearers, a commander, chaplain and two buglers, a complement of over twenty men has always been provided.

The Post also sponsored a band and later a drum and bugle corps for many years and back the Juvenile Band and later the Jasper High School Band, financing their trip for appearance at a number of state conventions.

An annual event dating back to 1921 is the Thanksgiving Eve Turkey Dinner.  This event has always been well attended and has been the high spot in the membership drive each year.  It has been held in various places, including the Jasper Bakery Warehouse, Tivoli basement, and the Rustic Tavern.  In recent years, however it has been held in the new spacious Legion Home.

Another Affiliated group, the 40 & 8,was organized in 1924 and has been active in promoting the interests of the Post.  It has especially aided in membership drives and is now sponsoring a Nurses' Education Aid program which is helping a dozen or more girls to pay their way through nurses' training.

Dubois County Post has always been a favorite host for district conventions, both the old Third and the present Eighth District.  The first one was held on August 25, 1923.  This event established the Post's reputation for hospitality.  In later years many state and national figures accepted invitations to attend Jasper convention bids.  These included National Commander Paul V. McNutt and almost every State Command and Adjutant.

As previously stated, the first club room of the Post was in the Haberly Building on the Square.  Since then the headquarters of the Post have been in the fillowing places:  The Melchior Building, the Zurich Building basement (popularly known as the DUG-OUT), the Ideal Building, and the Rustic Tavern.  Now we are very proud of our spacious, modern Post Home located at 1220 Newton Street.

It was while located in Reising's Store that the Post made history during the great flood of 1937, by serving as an outpost for relief supplies for Ohio River flood sufferers.

In 1939 a lot was purchased from Victor Fierst near the corner of 13th and Newton and immediate steps were taken to build a new home.  It was dedicated on Armistice Day of 1939.  During the following year the lots on both sides of the Home were purchased.  The mortgage on the new home was burned on the following Armistice Day, November 11, 1940.  This home was incorporated in the present home and enabled the Post to carry on in business while the new home was under construction.

During the fifty years of the Post's existence, a number of its members have been called to higher posts of duty in the Legion.  Among these are Charles E. Scales, Albert Rumbach, Harold Reker and C.U. Gramelspacher, who served as District Commanders.  The latter, C.U., affectionately known as "Gramy," advanced from District to Southern Vice-Commander and then to the top spot of State Commander.

George Litchfield and Harold Reker served as Southern Vice-Commanders.  John H. Wuchner, after serving several years as Post and District Chaplain, was elevated to the high and important post of State Chaplain.  Many other members have served successfully and efficiently on various state and district committees.

The present American Legion Home was dedicated in 1950, when C.U. Gramelspacher was Commander.  Other Officers and distinguished guests were Susan Buckler, President of Post 147 Auxiliary, Herbert Thyen, Mayor of Jasper, Lt. Governor of Indiana John Watkins.  The first manager of the Legion Club in the new building was William Luegers and Paul Hoffman, the Chairman of the Building Committee.

The success of the Legion Club as a center for entertainment, recreation and civic activities was enhanced by the selection of good managers and watch full House Committees.

In 1950 a Voluntary Liquidating Trust Fund was started up to pay the enlarged building off along with other pledges.  This was met by the many American Legion members of Post #147 who loaned money, including all of the many small and the large offerings for help.  The Post thereby saved money and the building was paid off sooner along with all the pledges, and in 1964 the mortgage burning ceremony was held at Post 147 with all indebtedness paid.  Members who served on the Voluntary Liquidating Trust Fund were: Ed Jones, President; Harold Reker, Sec. Treasurer; and members Paul Hoffman, Linus Bohnert and Clem Eckstein.  Following the death of Clem Eckstein, Othmar Bockelman was appointed to serve on the Trust Fund.

American Legion Post 147 has chosen commanders from veterans of five wars.  The first Commander of Post 147 was Victor Salb a veteran of World War I. Edwin J. Seng was elected as the first commander from World War II veterans and Roland Horney was the first of the Korean veterans to be elected commander.  Two past commanders, C.U. Gramelspacher and Otto J Schaaf, had the honor of being elected to four terms each.  William Weber sets the record of serving for 5 terms.

The following is a list of the names of Commanders  who served Post 147 through our 89 year history.  The years listed indicate the date of the completion of each respective term of Office.

1.   1920  V.M. Salb
2.   1921  Charles E. Scales
3.   1922  Charles E. Scales
4.   1923  Grover E. Salb
5.   1924 Albert Rumbach
6.   1925  Rupert Klueh
7.   1926  Edgar P. Hoffman - resigned 1-6-1926 for county office, succeeded by
              
Harry Schutz
8.   1927  Hobart McDonald
9.   1928  Theodore H. Dudine
10.  1929  Adolph E. Haller
11.  1930  Clarence Brown
12.  1931  Homer E. Jones
13.  1932  William F. Dudine - resigned 8-1932, Candidate   
                  for Judge succeeded by John Wuchner
14.  1933  Dr. F. C. Jones
15.  1934  Victor F. Sturm
16.  1935  Edwin J. Kuebler
17.  1936  C. U. Gramelspacher
18.  1937  C. U. Gramelspacher
19.  1938  C. U. Gramelspacher
20.  1939  A. J. Reising
21.  1940  James Wallace
22.  1941 John Wuchner
23.  1942  Joseph Hennessy
24.  1943  Otto J. Schaaf
25.  1944  Otto J. Schaaf
26.  1945  Otto J. Schaaf
27.  1946  Otto J. Schaaf
28.  1947  Edwin J. Seng
29.  1948  Edwin J. Seng
30.  1949  Albert s. Russell
31.  1950  C. U. Gramelspacher
32.  1951  Paul Hoffman
33.  1952  Edward F. Jones
34.  1953  Glen Gramelspacher
35.  1954  Glen Gramelspacher
36.  1955  Harold F. Reker
37.  1956  Claude Miller
38.  1957  Richard Krodel
39.  1958  Charles H. Nolan - resigned 4-30-1958, transferred job to Norwalk, Ohio, succeeded by
               Herbert Beck   
40.  1959  Robert Gunselman 
41.  1960  Leo Hief
42.  1961  Karl J. Himsel
43.  1962  Claude Miller
44.  1963  Aloysius M. Schuler
45.  1964  Roland Horney
46.  1965  Lester Armstrong
47.  1966  Jerry Huls
48.  1967  Othmar Janet
49.  1968  William Hedinger
50.  1969  Lowell E. Glendening
51.  1970  Otto Kress
52.  1971  William J. Krodel
53.  1972  Dennis Critchlow
54.  1973  James Weisheit
55.  1974  Jack T. Brandt
56.  1975  Robert H. Hedinger
57.  1976  Gerald L. Elliott
58.  1977  William e. Weber
59.  1978  William P. Kress
60.  1979  Robert L. Buehler
61.  1980  William M. Hopf
61.  1981  Dr. Thomas L. Eversman
62.  1982  Dennis L. Davis
63.  1983  Dennis L. Davis
64.  1984  Michael K. Temple
65.  1985  David L. Davis
66.  1986  Edward F. Jones
67.  1987  Edward F Jones
68.  1988  Harold F. Reker
69.  1989  William Duvall
70.  1990  William Duvall
71.  1991  Ambrose Buechlein
72.  1992  Ambrose Buechlein
73.  1993  Ambrose Buechlein
74.  1994  William E. Weber
75.  1995  William E. Weber
76.  1996  William E. Weber
77.  1997  William E. Weber
78.  1998  William E. Weber
79.  1999  Tom Bohnert
80.  2000  Tom Bohnert
81.  2001  Tina Fuhrman
82.  2002  Tina Fuhrman
83.  2003  John Birk
84.  2004  John Birk
85.  2005  Aloysius Schuler
86.  2006  Aloysius Schuler
87.  2007  Dennis Davis - passed away in office,  
                Term completed by Aloysius Schuler
88.  2008  Daniel B Lawson
89.  2009  Phil Freeman
90.  2010  Phil Freeman
91.  2011  Leroy Blemeel
92.  2012  Leroy Blemeel     

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