A Short History of Post # 1
Wisconsin American Legion
We are proud that our Post is numbered “ONE” because it was the first American Legion Post in Wisconsin to receive a charter after The American Legion was organized in Paris in 1919. Actually, the number “ONE” went to the Arthur Kroepfel Post, which along with five others, merged in 1924 and called themselves Milwaukee Post #1. For years, it was was informally know as the “Mother” Post and the “Officials” Post, and it’s membership included a large number of Milwaukee City & County officials and employees. The Post had patriotic, service and social programs, sponsored bands and drum & bugle corps,and participated in County, District and State golf & bowling tournaments. The Post varied in membership from about 300 to more than 1,000 shortly after World War II. It owns 2 cabins on Little Lake Tomahawk in Northern Wisconsin which were used by it’s members for rehabilitation.
Post #1 occupied a number of meeting places since 1919, including memorial buildings at 31st & Wisconsin and 34th & Capitol in Milwaukee, and it’s present location at Pilgrim & Freistadt in Germantown. When the opportunity arrived to merge with Germantown Post #321, the membership approved a resolution on the merger on December 8th, 1994. A new memorial building was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1997. The Post provides a monthly newsletter called the “No. 1 News & Views”. Post #1 is incorporated, it sends delegates to the annual State Convention, and other State Conferences, 2nd District meetings and the Washington County Council.
March 15-17, 1919
Paris, France – First caucus of representatives of the U.S. Armed Forces, called together for the purpose of forming The American Legion.
May 8-10, 1919
St. Louis – Second caucus, attended by 1100 delgates, produced the basis for a permanent organization. Arthur Weseloh ( of Post #1 ) attended the St. Louis caucus, and signed the charter application.
May 12, 1919
Wisconsin was granted it’s American Legion Charter.
June 11, 1919
Arthur Kroepfel Post #1 was the first to get a temporary charter in Wisconsin. George Washington Post #2 got it’s charter on June 24, 1919.
Sept. 2, 1919
The first Wisconsin American Legion Convention was held in Milwaukee, officers & delgates were elected, attended by Mary Shanley, Post #1
Sept. 16, 1919
The U.S. Congress chartered the American Legion.
Nov. 10-12, 1919
The first National Convention was held in Minneapolis.
May 29, 1920
The first Poppy Day in the U.S. was held in Milwaukee, and a campaign was begun to have the Legion adopt this program. Mary Hanecy, a member of Post #1 Auxiliary and President of the 32nd Div. Women’s Corp, initiated poppy distribution in Wisconsin.
June 29, 1920
The 2nd Department Convention was held in Green Bay; membership exceeded 23,000 and 281 Posts were chartered.
May 17, 1921
Arthur Kroepfel Post #1, Dr. John Rock, Commander, received it’s permanent charter.
Sept. 9, 1921
Sgt. Arthur Kroepfel’s body is returned from France and he is buried in Union Cemetary, Milwaukee.
March 10, 1924
Milwaukee Post #1 is formed by the merger of : Arthur Kroepfel Post #1, Edward Lyon Post #5, Myron Reiff Post #28, Eden Baldwin Post #34, Florence Kimball Post # 145, and Floyd Holub Post #178.
Sept, 15-19, 1924
The Department of Wisconsin was the first Department in the line of march in the St. Paul National Convention. 5,000 Badger Legionnaires marched, all wearing red “Badger” caps, with 19 musical organizations, and an inspiring “Boys of ‘76” float.
Oct. 8, 1936
Charter issued to Germantown Post #321.
Oct. 22, 1940
Milwaukee Post #1 purchased it’s first memorial building , at 3117 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwuakee
July 20, 1960
Post #1 Purchased it’s second memorial building, at 4030 N. 34th Street, Milwaukee.
Sept. 30, 1988
The property at 4030 N. 34th Street was sold to a church group.
Dec. 8, 1994
Approval of the merger of Milwaukee Post #1 and Germantown Post #321.
Oct. 19, 1996
Ground-breaking for a new memorial building at W15932 N120 Freistadt Road, Germantown.
May 26, 1997
Dedication of the new memorial building of Germantown Post #1