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Mount Ayr American Legion

Photograph by Sharon R. Becker

American Flag.jpg The original American Legion Post of Mount Ayr was located in the old Jail Building. It was transferred to the American Legion circa 1928. Lyle E. HOGUE serves as the present commander of the post [2010]. Today the building serves as Pedersen Law Office.

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, March 06, 2008, Pages 1 & 14

At the medal ceremony as part of the American Legion 89th birthday are, from left: Arianna Jackson modeling Donald "Jake" Dailey's uniform, Jake Dailey, Ruth Saville modeling her late husband's uniform and U. S. Fifth District congressman Steve King.

Congressman presents medals to area veterans

World War II medals were presented to two Ringgold county veterans by U.S. Congressman Steve King at the 89th birthday part of the American Legion celebrated at the Mount Ayr American Legion Saturday.

Medals were presented to Donald "Jake" Dailey and the late Robert Saville during the ceremony. The medals honored service of both men in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Dailey received the Navy Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with one bar, Bronze Star, Combat Action Ribbon, Honorable Service lapel pin, Discharge Button and has his original discharge record to include a separation date of December 30, 1945, and the addition of a Combat Action ribbon.

Ruth Saville received the World War II Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal honoring her late husband, Robert Saville.

Ruth Saville wore her husband's Navy uniform and Dailey's great niece Arianna Jackson work Dailey's uniform to the presentation.

Congressman King noted that it was a privilege to take opportunities to thank American veterans like the one he was taking Saturday.

[Page 14] New members of the 50-year and 60-year active club membership with the American Legion were also announced.

Joining the 50-year group were Charles Bryan, Frank Dredge, James Eason, Rollin Noble, Charles Richrds and Gerald Wiley.

Joining the 60-year group were Keith Cole, Donald "Jake" Dailey, Dr. Roy Fell and Gerald Gardner.

The seven active duty members of the Mount Ayr American Legion group were also mentioned.

Lifetime memberships were presented to Harold Repp and Bob Erickson for their support of the local chapter.

A beef and noodle lunch was served with those attending bringing a covered dish to complete the meal.

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2015

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, January 17, 2013

Patriotic artwork

This silhouette of the famous photo depicting the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima in World War II sits outside the American Legion building in Mount Ayr. Creator Eleisa MURPHY of rural Mount Ayr donated the piece to the Legion last spring.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, updated March of 2013

Mount Ayr Record News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, September 12,2013

The Mount Ayr American Legion Post 172 is still growing strong.

Our membership is at 147, with 20 veterans of World War II, 33 from Korea, 70 Viet Nam, nine Lebanon/Grenada, three Panama and 11 Persian Gulf.

This year's officers are commander Lyle Hogue, vice commander John Thorp, second vice Jake Daliey, adjutant Shirley Wallace, finance officer Greg Sharp and Sergeant of arms Doug Schwandt.

What many do not know is all the Legion does for the community of Mount Ayr. This past spring the Legion was able to present scholarships to four high school graduates. Every Monday there is a dance with a live band from 6-9:30 pm. On Sundays the Legion serves breakfast from 7-9 a.m. for a minimal fee. During the school year the Legion Color Guard presents the colors at home football games. Legion has also had a presence at the Ringgold County Fair, Ayr Days, Tingley Halloween parade, and the Freedom Rock dedication. The Legion's presence is not always rewarded as the Avenue of Flags is presented every Memorial week-end, and the dedication of the color guard taking time out of their busy days to pay honor to a veteran who has passed.

Legion members have fundraiser functions throughout the year to keep Legion expenses paid. A fish fry is planned for September 29 and the Legion will participate in the "Beggars Bash" on October 6. With the help from the South Central Iowa Community Foundation Grant, the Legion will be putting up a new lighted sign along Highway 2 to show where the Legion building is located.

The Auxiliary supports the Legion and works hard to have fundraisers also.

We are here to serv. If you are not a member and have served our country, think about becoming a member.

Shirley Wallace
American Legion Post 172
Mount Ayr

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2013

 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mount Ayr American Legion Post #172

2019 will be the 100th birthday of the American Legion. In Mount Ayr, it started long before 1919.

Mount Ayr started a G.A.R. or the Grand Army of the Republic Post. Although this was set up for the soldier that had fought in the Civil War, they had no way of knowing that we would be engaged in many more campaigns.

Eighteen veterans of the war organized the Ellis C. Miller post #96 on November 3, 1880. The post was named in honor of Lieutenant Miller who had enlisted on April 7, 1861 as a sergeant in Company G of the fourth Iowa Infantry.

He was promoted to full Lieutenant on September 5, 1861 and was killed at the battle of Chickasaw Bayou at Vicksburg MS on December 29, 1862.

The men met in the Fellin Hall twice a week for the first few years. The women of the veterans soon after set up the G.A.R. Auxiliary Relief Corps in 1883, and the Auxiliary G.A.R. was established in 1896. The post was later moved in the current upstairs of the old bowling alley.

Memorial day activities for the veterans would start by marching to Rose Hill Cemetery to decorate the old soldiers graves then the older soldiers would march from the post to the square, for the reciting of the Gettysburg Address, bells from all of the churches in town would toll for five full minutes at noon. A thank-you to the citizens was placed in the paper, to thank them for those who had cars for the transportation to the cemetery for the older soldiers. Other activities included having booths at the fair, attending state encampments during the summer and helping each veterans family in need.

Whenever one of their comrades passed the post would, by the Commander's order, drape the outside of the building for a period of one month.

Many other G.A.R. posts in the county were established to include Redding, Benton, Diagonal, Tingley, Kellerton and Goshen.

During the next few years the goal is to put together information about legion facts, storeis and photos that have happened in the past 100 years. If anyone has anything to contribute please contact Shirley Wallace at 641-785-2270.

Stories can be written about the war experience, legion or anything that anyone wants to share. Shirley will be coming to the nursing homes to interview veterans. Hopefully all of this information can be put into a book.

It is also the intent to have historical information at least once a month in an article.

The Legion supports the veterans in the community, and any community function that the community has. Please come and enjoy a Saint Patrick's dinner, March 9, with us from 11:00 - 1:30.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2014

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Auxiliary gives to Legion

The Legion Auxiliary presented at check to the American Legion to wish them a Happy 95th Birthday.

Pictured above are Marla Crawford, Thelma Rusk, Phyllis Hawkins, Charlene Ford, Jeanette Lutrick and post commander Lyle Hogue.

To commemorate the occasion, the Legion write: "Reminding all of us that we are not in this for ourselves; we are in this for our brothers and sisters-in-arms. We are in this for husbands, wives and parents of those who served. As it has been since our founding, citizens of this great nation know that when America calls, American Legionnaires will continue to say "At your service!" The American Legion will always be an organization of principles, not politics. With the high expense of this past winter, the money will be used for expenses and improvements. We couldn't do it without the Auxiliary."

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2014

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, September 22, 2016, Page 22

Guard conducts training for Legion

The Army National Guard conducted a training session at the local American Legion Post 172 Tuesday, September 13. SFC Perry Graham (far right), Funeral Honors NCOIC, and Dean Brand (left) Funeral Honors Coordinator, of Des Moines/Johnston, demonstrated how to fold the flag properly. "We want to come as close to honors as in Arlington," stated SFC Graham. The demostration included funeral protocol.


  Photographs courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2017

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Page 9

By Mike Avitt

The American Legion, Inc. was started on March 16, 1919 by the American Expeditionary Forces in Paris, France. The organization was chartered by the United States Congress on September 16, 1919 and there are currently just fewer than 15,000 Amerian Legion posts operating in the U.S. today.

Ringgold Post 172 was organized November 8, 1919 with the electing of these positions: Dr. C. T. Lesan, Post Commander; Earl Horne, Vice Commander, C. F. Duncan, Adjutant; John Mills, Treasurer; Charles Jennings, Historian; and Robert Askern, Chaplain.

The Executive Committee consisted of Walter Summers, Ed Sheil, Floyd Tallman, Ernest Sawyer, and Clair Rhodes.

Plans for the first American Legion Hall were to add a second story to the newly-constructed city hall. This never materialized and my newspaper notes say the legion was located in the old Masonic Hall at 111 S. Fillmore in 1922. In 1924 they rented rooms in the Timby building on the southeast corner of the square. The legion boys finally found a permanent home in October 1928 when they bought the old Ringgold County Jail at 201 E. Monroe.

This would be the home of Ringgold Post 172 until 1978 when the current building was constructed. Most of the moving took place in the spring of 1978 and the dedication was held July 4th of that year.

I remember when the glass blocks that currently adorn the entrance were being sold as a fund-raiser in 1976 and 1977. They were $25 each, if I remember right, and that was a lot of money in those days.

The Congregate Meal Site was moved to the new legion building in July 1978 and it stayed there until a couple of years ago when it moved to the Lutheran Church. But you can still eat at the American Legion Hall on Sunday mornings.

All-you-can-eat breakfast is served every Sunday morning and the boys will even make you an omelet. It's good to eat before you go to church because then you're not sitting in church thinking about lunch. Not that I ever have ....

A big thanks to Ringgold Post 172 for all the help you've given to our veterans and all your contributions to our community!

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2017

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