American Legion



Lakewood Post 66, American Legion, had its beginning in 1919, not long after the Legion, as a national organization of World War veterans, was born. Lawrence H. Snyder, deceased, was the 1919 commander. Snyder was reelected in 1920, and to him is due the credit for much of the work of organization. The first meeting place was at 14614 Detroit Avenue in the hall used by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. Late in 1920, the post changed its quarters to the Old City Hall at Detroit Avenue and Warren Road.

James Gill became commander in 1921. Paul E. Sprague headed the organization in 1922, C.C. Bultman in 1923, and the present commander is Claude L. Shepherd, 14819 Clifton Boulevard. Lakewood Post is now meeting where it met at first at 14614 Detroit Avenue after a period of homeless wandering following the tearing down of the old City Hall. The dream of the present membership is for a centrally located club house which it may call its own.

The post early took an active interest in community affairs. The City of Lakewood has not yet forgotten the 1922 observance of Memorial Day. Independence Day and Armstice Day are fittingly observed each year and this is doing much to foster patriotism in the community. During Education Week, members of the post speak at the schools on patriotic subjects.

When disaster befell Lorain and vicinity, members of the Lakewood Post were among the first on the scene ready to do their bit in the relief work. At least fifteen men were in Lorain giving of their time during the first day after the disaster.

The local post has established a name for itself in the state and nation for its use of the legion ritual in connection with initiation. Its first out-standing initiation was in November, 1922, when, in Elk's Hall, the ceremony was put on in the presence of State Commander Bettmen and other Legion dignitaries, Elsie Janis entertained. Five initiations have been put on for other posts this year. At Kent, Ohio, a crack team initiated before State Commander Baker and a crowd of 300 Legionnaires.

The one great need of Lakewood Post 66 is a club house of its own. Its capacity for community service would be greatly increased. Its membership, which is now just beyond the hundred mark, would be greatly augmented. It is hopeful that the people of Lakewood will see fit to aid in the construction of a club house in the not remote future.

Meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday evenings of each month, except July and August, when the meeting on the second Monday is dispensed with. Executive committee meetings are held on the first Monday of each month at the home of one of the members.

The post has a women's auxiliary unit which meets on the same evenings, the second meeting of each month being a joint one. The Mothers, sisters, and wives of members of the post are eligible to the auxiliary. The ladies are very active in doing service for disabled ex-service men and war orphans.

The American Legion is the only organization of service men of the World War incorporated nationally.

It is non-partisan, non-political and non-militaristic. It is a civilian organization of ex-service men.

It makes no distinction between officers and enlisted men; between men who served over seas and those who did not.

The American Legion has pushed measures through Congress for the hospitalization and rehabilitation of disabled ex-service men.

Where abuses have been found, corrupt office holders have been driven from office. Adjustments have been secured in more than 600,000 cases in the Veterans' Bureau.

The Legion has secured the passage of state and federal adjusted compensation legislation.

Where there were many bureaus and much red tape, it has secured the establishment of the one Veterans' Bureau.

It is doing much to brighten the lives of the disabled in hospitals and other institutions.

Ten millions dollars have been spent in aiding needy ex-service men and their families.

The Legion is striving to provide properly for the war orphans. It has rendered much employment service. Work was given to 750,000 veterans in three weeks time during the last period of wide-spread unemployment.

The Legion is striving for a better physical development of American youth.

It is doing all in its power to promote the Boy Scout movement.

It stands for the ending of wars, especially through insisting that in case of another war, capital as well as men be conscripted.

The Legion has provided a fund of $200,000 for decorating the graves of those who lie on foreign soil.

The Legion stands for exclusion of immigration, at least until our foreign born are Americanized. It is doing much to promote education of illiterates. It was largely responsible for bringing Education Week in existence. It is leading in the promotion of patriotism and the proper respect for the flag. The legion is seeing to it that our national patriotic holidays are properly observed. It is taking over the G.A.R. for Memorial Day. It condemns the activities of I.W.W.'s, anarchists and international socialists and demands the deportation of aliens who subscribe to those activities. It is strongly opposed to the movement for peace at any price and severely condemns those who take "the slackers oath."


Lawrence H. Snyder organized Post 66 in 1919.

Lakewood Post #66 has taken particular interest in the proper observation of the patriotic holidays: Memorial Day, Flag Day, July the Fourth and Armstice Day, especially Memorial Day.

One of its outstanding services was the sending of aid to Lorain at the time of its tornado disaster. Every member who could possibly go reported to Lorain's mayor by midnight on the night of the disaster, for guard or other duty.

Past Commanders were as follows:

Lawrence H. Snyder 1919-20

James Gill 1921

Paul E. Sprague 1922

C.C Bultman 1923

Clande L. Shepard 1924

Roemer McIntyre 1925

Daniel L. Britten 1926

Roy E. Blesach 1927

H.A. Heidenfelter 1928

Fred R. Bowie 1929

Geo. D. Thompson 1930

Harry Harvey 1931

Wm. E. Attwood 1932

S.E. Shupp 1933

Wm. R. Bryant 1934

Paul W. Cater 1935

Chas. A. Delaney 1936

Geo. N. Hatch 1937-38

Sherman Heckman 1939

Charles A. Kleinhaus 1940



Lakewood Post #66 American Legion Auxiliary was organized in the late fall of 1919, at the request of the first commander of the post Lawrence Snyder. In the hall over Shoemaker's Dry Goods Store on Detroit Avenue, twelve women met that evening and elected Mrs. Chas. W. Hall, a gold star mother, as their president. Mrs. Sarah Shepard, vice president and Miss Maurer secretary, and Mrs. Florence White as treasurer.

Mrs. Hall moved away during the year, and the little organization managed to survive. The Post took over the old residence at the corner of Warren Road and Detroit Avenue when it was abandoned by the city, which up to this time has served for several years as the city hall. Mrs. Sprague elected here conducted some very interesting meetings and many of us older members can recall some enjoyable social occasions.

Lakewood, about this time, was rapidly growing and this land was sold, and soon this old landmark had to make way for progress. The summer of 1923 took our home, and the Post rented a store next to the Colonial Bank. In the fall we went back to the hall were we were organized over Shomaker's store, During the winter the auxiliary members voted to meet at the homes of the members for a time at least. For two years every month quite successful work was carried opn this quiet way.

From this time on Auxiliary has followed the Post in its moves for a home, its membership gradually increasing until it reached its height the year of 1927 when the National Convention was held in Paris. We now have 61 members.

Lakewood Auxiliary is primarily interested in service to our veterans and their families and orphans of veterans. Many of these veterans are in Dayton, Sandusky, Chillicothe, Marine and soon will be in the new hospital about to be opened in Brecksville, Ohio.

We supply them with smokes, candies, playing cards, writing materials and many other articles which they request from time to tiem.

The poppies which we sell on the street corners in Lakewood prior to Memorial Day are the work of the veterans at Sandusky and other hospitals and for which they are paid. In many cases this is the only money these men have and it helps to keep up their morale. Whether we sell these poppies we have purchased, or not, that is one part of the work, then the monies we receive are used only for welfare. We do not say thay it must be welfare in Lakewood only, as quite frequently we have requests from Cleveland which are always taken care of.

This year Lakewood Unit distributed $150 worth of new clothing, and helped one widow with cash.

The orphans at our Zenia Home are cared for at Christmas, at Easter time they have a lovely time and each summer we bringthe children here for a two week vacation, paying their transportation and keeping them in our homes and trying in every way to make life more pleasant for them. At the home we maintain an emergency shelf for which we send games, toys, etc. This is kept so that the children may have new articles from time to time. This year the Department of Ohio contributed $500 worth of toys to this shelf.

The American Legion sponsors what we call Boys State. We go to the high schools and with the aid of the principal we select a boy in the eleventh year, not lower than a C grade, with ability to spek well. We then make reservations for him and pay his transportation to Columbus where this camp is maintained. These boys have election of officers shortly after arrival, and from that time on they carry on. One day of their stay of ten, they take over the running of the entire state of Ohio. It is truly a wonderful education for any young man. Lakewood Auxiliary has sent a boy every year.

This year Lakewood Unit was the first and only one to sponsor Junior baseball, for which they received honorable mention from the Department of Ohio. The American Legion considers this a fine piece of Juvenile Delinquency work and safety as well, which is sadly needed in most communities.

In 1939 we partitioned in Wagons West, a pageant which was held in Lakewood. We made a contribution to Lakewood Hospital. Our Juniors sent a Child Life subscription to The Lakewood Mursery and one to the Hospital for the children's ward.

We have aided several families who were unfortunate enough to have their home broken up by fire. Medicine has been furnished to one family. We made a sizable contribution to Red Cross.

We have made contributions, such as toys shoes to the 40 and 8, the honor society of the American Legion. They plan to have a shop on the grounds of the Crippled and Disabled Association where they will reconstruct these shoes and toys, thereby furnishing all needy with these articles at no cost. We distribute Thanksgiving baskets to needy families, we have a Christmas party for the children of Lakewood each year. We sell tuberculosis seals for the Anti Tuberculosis League. We sell Easter seals for the Crippled and Disabled. We also assist in selling articles made by the blind for that association.

At Marine Hospital Cuyahgoa County maintains a large library, and we donated it and take care of it. The girls from the differenct Units are called upon in turn.

Eligibility for membership to this organization is through relationship of a World War Veteran, such as, Mother, Wife, Daughter, or Sister.

The following citizens have served as presidents of Lakewood Post Auxiliary #66. Thjese members compose a past president' organization which meets four times a year, and sponsors aid to disabled war nurses home in Ohio:

Mrs. Chas. W. Hall.......1920

Mrs. Sprague.............1921

Mrs. Florence White......1922

Mrs. Jane K. Scofield....1923-24

Mrs. Laura Bultman.......1925-26

Mrs. Cecelia Richardson..1927

Mrs. Myrtle Harvey.......1928

Mrs. Florence R. Moore...1929

Mrs. Jane Thompson.......1930

Mrs. M. Maxwell..........1931

Mrs. Florence Bryant.....1932

Mrs. Mary J. Shupp.......1933

Mrs. Ann Johns...........1934

Mrs. Werner..............1935

Mrs. Hazel Vermere.......1936

Mrs. Helen Cater.........1936-37

Mrs. Grace Isham.........1937-39

Mrs. Edna C. Ahlgrim.....1939-40