Founding of Post 41
In late 1918 and early 1919, the veterans of the World War I then known as the “Great War” were returning home. Over four million Americans had served during the war and over 126,000 had lost their lives. Clarke County had sent 272 men and women off to war and fourteen of them had lost their lives.
The returning veterans were welcomed home as heroes in the towns and cities across the country. Some of the returning Clarke veterans had started discussions about forming a local post of the new American Legion. They saw this as an opportunity to provide the returning veterans with a support group and at the same time involve them in community service. On September 12, 1919, fifteen men signed a charter application for an American Legion Post in Berryville.
It was to be named in honor of Captain Lloyd W. Williams, the first Clarke County man killed in the war. A temporary charter was issued on September 23, 1919. The Constitution of Lloyd Williams Post 41 designated that members who joined the post prior to November 11, 1919 would be known as charter members. In addition to the fifteen signers of the charter application, another fourteen men were members of the post prior to November 11, 1919.
These twenty-nine charter members all had strong family ties to Clarke County before and during the war. Many of them went on to become leaders in the community after the war. These men and other early members provided the framework and vision for a community-service organization that would make a lasting impact on the citizens of the county.
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