April 8, 1920 was the date selected to assemble a group of ladies who might be interested in forming an auxiliary for the American Legion Post 95.
A temporary chairman, secretary and treasurer were appointed along with a committee to construct By-laws and a Constitution for the fledgling organization. It was agreed that the group would meet in one week at the Chamber of Commerce room for further planning.
At that meeting, officers were elected, the ladies agreed to help the Legion with the Memorial Day services, and the Secretary was allowed to purchase a book to record the minutes and a book for the Treasurer as well $1.50. They also agreed to sponsor a rummage sale revenue $54.29. The auxiliary was off to a good start. Dues apparently $1 per year.
Soon they were meeting on a monthly basis on the second Tuesday of each month at the Chamber but before long, changed to the 3rd Thursday.
At the December meeting dues in the amount of $78 had been collected with $23.50 being sent to State and National. January 1921 it was agreed to hold a Market at Gegner Meat Shop on a Saturday morning to raise funds. They earned $28. By 1923, the organization boasted 103 dues-paying members.
February 1921 It was agreed to help the Legion Post by purchasing a writing desk, chair, desk set and lamp. Legion already had a desk but wanted rugs, so Committee bought two rugs $110 – $10 paid by Legion. Material for draperies was purchased by Aux. and new curtain rods.
The purchased fabric to make cushions and saved magazines to make scrapbooks for sick soldiers. A committee was set up to visit soldiers who were ill or families in case of a death. Flowers were provided for the Legion’s opening reception – then distributed the next day to the sick. By March, the Legion had its quarters, and the auxiliary met there. Detroit & W. Second St.
Delegates were selected to attend the First Convention of the Women’s Legion Auxiliary of Ohio spring 1921 in Columbus. They were going to provide a banquet for the Legion at $1 per person, including the rental of the hall. Clean up committee of Xenia requested donations. Gave $2.
Had a Box Social for the public auction boxes off, proceeds to furnish the kitchen. Made $8 plus Legion turned over $32 from dance which followed box social, sale of sandwiches made from what was left from the box social and the sale of pop. They agreed to take care of the World War Veterans graves – there were eight in 1921.
1st National convention in Kansas City Missouri in 1921, State sent delegates. 50 cents was voted for the secretary who purchased an electric light bulb for the kitchen. Mrs. Charles Darlington was elected State Commander Oct 1921 – Legion had a banquet in her honor. Greene County had the first Auxiliary in the State.
$7.40 was used to purchase 24 yards of toweling in order to make tea towels. At a meeting, the ladies spent some time hemming tea towels, a prize was offered for the neatest work submitted. 1st Prize narcissus in bowl. Booby prize offered as well. Laundered by members and brought back for kitchen.
Bouquets were sent to families at a cost of $2 each.
A former soldier recupertting at McClellan hospital received a potted plant 75 cents & bouquet of flowers also 75 cents, Minstral show at the opera house. American legion boys Hospital Dayton Soldiers Home scrapbooks made. Easter cards sent to soldiers boys in hosp.
1922 – 70 paid members plus 5 OSSOHOME gifts for children 1922 Bought game table for Soldiers hospital $5. Poppies sold for Memorial Day. Made them. and for Armistice Day too.
2 lamps purchased for soldiers home. Gave a dozen pjs and 3 bathrobes. Home made candy, jellies & cake sent. Sweaters, shirts, hose and other articles for soldiers. World War orphans fund given to.
Handkerchiefs and razors sent to Dayton World War Boys. 3 doz wash clothes sent, Flowers on graves for Memorial Day.
Joan Baxter is a local resident and weekly historical columnist.