A Short History of Post # 1
Wisconsin American Legion
Germantown, Wisconsin

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 informally known 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 its 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 delegates, 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 its charter on June 24, 1919.

Sept. 2, 1919
The first Wisconsin American Legion Convention was held in Milwaukee, officers & delegates 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, Milwaukee

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


A Brief History of Milwaukee Post 1   originally  published in 1944

The original Post No.  1 of the American Legion of the Department of Wisconsin, was organized on May 12, 1919, in honor of Arthur Kroepfled, Sergt, Co. E. 128th Inf. 32nd Division, born May 22, 1898, enlisted June 1917, wounded August 31, 1918 at Juvigny, France, and died September 2, 1918. The charter was issued on June 10, 1919.

It was first organized under the name of American War Veterans of Wisconsin in April 1919. Upon Theodore Roosevelt Junior’s invitation, this group sent Edward Ackley, a charter member, as a delegate to the first St. Louis caucus. The Wisconsin delegation was so much impressed that it was decided that the American War Veterans of Wisconsin ought to become a branch of the American Legion.

The old Sergt. Arthur Kroepfel Post No. 1 of Milwaukee was the first Post of the American Legion to get a charter in the Department of Wisconsin, receiving a temporary charter June 10, 1919. Five years later, the Post became the widely known Milwaukee Post No. 1, through a merger with the following Posts: Edward K. Lyon Post No. 5, Myron Reiff Post No. 28, Eden J. Baldwin Post No. 34, Florence Kimball Post No. 145, and Sergt. Floyd C. Holub Post No. 178.

Lyon was Pvt. lcl, Base Hospital 22, born Mar. 20, 1894 enlisted June 2, 1917 and died April 19, 1919. The Post was organized in June 1919.

Reiff was Sergt. Co. D, 120 Field Art., 32nd Div., born April 25 1894, enlisted April 14, 1917 and was wounded on Sept. 2, 1918 at Juvigny, France. He died on Sept. 4, 1918 at Blois, France. The Post was organized in October 1919.

Baldwin was a 2nd Lieut., Hq. Co. 121 Field Art. 32nd Div., born June 23, 1896, enlisted June 2, 1917, died Dec. 5, 1918 at Blois, France. The post was organized in October 1919.

Miss Kimball, Army Nurse Corps. Base Hospital 22 was born in 1895, enlisted April 1, 1918 and died Oct. 21 1918 at Bordeux, France. The Post was organized Oct. 8, 1919 and consolidated with the Floyd C. Holub Post in Sept. 1921.

Holub was Sergt. 126 Field Hospital, 32nd Div., born July 24, 1895, enlisted March 31, 1917 and killed in action at Montfaucon on Oct. 19, 1918. Post was organized on March 29, 1920.

All six Posts consolidated to form Milwaukee Post No. 1 on April 24, 1924.

Meetings were held in various places, namely, E. M. B. A. Hall in Public Service Building, Alhambra Building, Plankington Arcade previous to consolidation.  Then in St. James Church Hall, Wells Colonial Hall and lastly in our own beautiful Memorial Building on 3117 W. Wisconsin Ave.

The records showing the past commanders of the various Posts before consolidation are not complete. The Post Commanders following consolidation are as follows:


1923 –1924 – David Weiss                 1934 – 1935 – Ray M. Shechy

1924- 1925 – Robert R. Murphy        1935 – 1936 – John J. Dolan

1925 – 1926 – Harry E. Ransom        1936 – 1937 – A. R. Freeman

1926 – 1927 – Oscar W. Lodge          1937 – 1938 – Harold G. Olsen

1927 – 1928 – Ralph Van Brocklin     1938 – 1939 – George J. Krebs

1928 – 1929 – Fred C. Horton            1939 – 1940 – John H. Taylor and

1929 – 1930 – Frank L. Grenya                                  C.  J. Horlivy

1930 – 1931 – Jack Winkler                1940 – 1941 – John A. Brenk

1931 – 1932 – Charles V. Narlow      1941 – 1942 – Arthur E. Masch

1932 – 1933— Frank E. Ruehl          1942 – 1943– Erwin W. Russell

1933 –1934 – Charles B. Plows         1943 – 1944— Ray Andorfer


In 1924, and for several years thereafter, Milwaukee Post No. 1 sponsored two brass bands; the first women’s auxiliary band of twenty-five pieces, and the all-men’s band of about 45 members, both directed by the same band director.

Mary Shanley was very active in the American Legion since its inception and took an active part in the first poppy drive which originated in Post No. 1. Mary was chairman of the contributions committee for the first pilgrimage to the Soldiers Home and other hospitals and institutions on Christmas Day in 1920. She was the first Post Historian and a delegate to the first state convention.

In September,1929 Milwaukee Post No. 1 donated a flag pole which was erected in Washington Park at a cost of $1200. A dis­tinguished gathering of Legion and other officials attended the dedi­cation ceremonies. Frank Greenya was the Post chairman, on this occasion.

Community service citations were received for 1932, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939. The Post has always been active in community service, including Rehabilitation, Americanization, Legislation, National Defense, Child Welfare, Youth Work, Red Cross and Athletics.  In recent years, the Post has taken a\n active part in scrap drives, salvage campaign’s, blood drives, Red Cross blood donor contributions, civilian defense and recruiting. In 1940, it took an active part to ger out the vote campaign. A number of Post members were active in getting the 1941 convention to Milwaukee.

The colors of Post No. 1 and its national colors have appeared at many important functions and have been carried tin all department and national convention parades.

The Post membership was down to 204 in 1924, climbed to 697 in 1925 and reached its peak in 1926 when the total was 887. Since then, it has been down to a low of 404 in 1934 and up to a high of 665 in 1942. Since the consolidation, 83 active members of the Post have died. Eleven members are serving in their second war and some of them are with overseas contingents.

In athletics, the Post members have taken an active part in kittenball, golf: dartball and bowling. One of the Post bowling teams has been county champion in the county league and the kittenball teams have also won county-wide honors. At the present time Post bowlers are carrying on the major portion of activities in the athletic field. Our bowling teams have taken part in all department Legion tournaments beginning with the first one at Green Bay when the boys made a historic trip in a snowstorm with Art Halm in his Lex­ington to the one at Kenosha in 1944, when the trip will be made by public transportation due to gas rationing. Our teams have won honors in rifle and pistol matches.

Many Post members have been active in national affairs, includ­ing conventions and have been on national committees.

We have taken care of the recreation of our members by build­ing a fine cabin in the recreation area at Tomahawk Lake. This project was in charge of Ralph Van Brocklln and he was assisted by a loyal group of members who made long trips up there and back to complete the work and finish it. Many of our members have visited the cabin and others have rented it and enjoyed it

We have bought and paid for our own Memorial Building and have used it since our first meeting in it, in April 1938.   During the past year a number of World War II veterans have become members of the Post and before long they will have a large part in carrying on to help us complete our next twenty-five years.