This is NOT an official web page for the Robert J. Hydon Post. In late summer 2007 I had an email from Robert G. Herrmann Sr. indicating that he and "Packy" Taylor were investigating the possibility of constructing an official web site. When they have done so I shall be very happy to link to it.


Legion logo
Robert J. Hydon 239
Skaneateles, New York 13152

Commander: Kurt Reilley
HR divider (Blue and gold rectangle)

History

The following was copied from the Skaneateles Press of  25 June 1964:

Legion Post Here Founded in 1919

     The Skaneateles Free Press, July 29, 1919 edition reported "At a meeting of service men held at the Yacht Club last evening plans were adopted for the establishment of the local post of the American Legion and it was unanimously noted that the name shall be "The Robert J. Hydon Post" in memory of the late Robert J. Hydon who died while in the service of his country.
     The first meeting of the local post was held on August 11, 1919 with 44 in attendance. Dr. E. P. Hall was the temporary Commander, J. Ray McLaughlin, Temporary Secretary (Adjutant). David Beebee representing the Army, Lester Coons representing the Navy, and Gordon Stuart, representing the Marines formed the basis for the present Legion.
     The purpose of the Legion can be best explained by quoting from the Legion Preamble:
     For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. To maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars; To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; To combat the autocracy of both the classes and masses; to make right the master of might; To promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by devotion to mutual helpfulness.
     The Skaneateles Post has had many and varied activities starting in December 1919 with dances in the old Odd Fellows Hall featuring Mose Johnson and his orchestra. In 1935 came the start of the Legion Minstrel Shows, under the direction of B. X. Brown, and featuring such names as Endmen Billy Williams, Frank Fibben, Jerry Dougherty and Art Hyatt, Middlemen Sam Milford with soloist Harold Loss, Dr. Art Rauscher, Dr. Frank Dye and Piano by Mrs. Frances Cox.
     The Legion has occupied many rented buildings for their meetings in the past years and now own their own Legion home located on Jordan Street just outside the village limits, which was first used under the then present commander Robert Flannigan on January 15, 1952. The home is located on approximately 28 acres of land, of which 16 acres were recently under option to the Skaneateles Central School, an option that they did not exercise.
     Those who have been Post Commanders are as follows;
1919-1920  Dr. E. P. Hall
1920-1921  Earl Kelly
1921-1922  Col. Harry Roosevelt, Hugh Shear
1922-1923  Harold D. Loss
1923-1924  John J. Keebler
1924-1925  T. Dean Howland
1925-1926  Rev. Donald Stuart
1926-1927  John Stott
1927-1928  Harold Cox
1928-1929  Jim Curtin, Charles Fischer
1929-1930  Francis Kelly
1930-1931  Walter Spafford
1931-1932  Frank Fibben
1932-1933  George Bentley
1933-1934  Lawrence Whiting
1934-1935  John Gregory
1935-1936  Searles Shultz
1936-1937  Carl Farnham
1937-1938  Melvin Weeks
1938-1939  Stanley Dove
1939-1940  Eugene Holben
1940-1941  Leonard Wilson
1941-1942  J. Ray McLaughlin
1942-1943  Reginald Cox
1943-1944  Frank Shaw
1944-1945  Irving Bobbett
1945-1946  William Bentley
1946-1947  John Hawkins
1947-1948  Thomas Clarkson
1948-1949  John S. Clark
1949-1950  Ernest Brice
1950-1951  Sarto C. Major
1951-1952  Robert Flannigan
1952-1953  Harold Tarnow
1953-1954  Homer Carr
1954-1955  Robert Hoffman
1955-1956  John Kovar
1956-1957  Stephen Bradley
1957-1958  H. Frank O'Neill
1958-1959  Richard I. Bobbett
1959-1960  R. Phelps Dickinson
1960-1961  W. Clair Evans
1961-1962  J. David Huxford
1962-1963  Frank W. Dewitt
1963-1964  Fred Welch

The Commanders since 1964 have been:
1964-1965  Edward McGee (Skaneateles Press, May 27, 1965)
1965-1966  John D. Legg
1966-1967  George Heintz
1967-1968  E. Purcell Ludington
1968-1969  Robert Johnson
1969-1970  Thomas Hickey
1970-1971  John F. Bundy
1971-1972  Richard Brewster
1972-1973  Robert Lyons
1973-1974  Kurt Reilley
1974-1975  Robert Lyons
1975-1976  Richard Ouderkirk
1976-1977  Frazier D. Hunt
1977-1978  Gary Lobello
1978-1979  
1979-1980  John F. Bundy
1980-1981  
1981-1982  Richard Ouderkirk
1982-1983  
1983-1984  Frazier D. Hunt
1984-1985  Timothy Millicich
1985-1986  Edwin Chappell Jr.
1986-1987  
1987-1988  Kurt Reilley
1988-1989  Kurt Reilley
1989-1990  Kurt Reilley
1990-1991  Kurt Reilley
1991-1992  
1992-1993  Lester Snider
1993-1994  
1994-1995  Edwin Chappell Jr.
1995-1996  Edwin Chappell Jr.
1996-1997  Edwin Chappell Jr.
1997-1998  
1998-1999  Robert G. Herrmann Sr.
1999-2000  Robert G. Herrmann Sr.
2000-2001  
2001-2002  Austin Dove
2002-2003  
2003-2004  Carlton G. Wellman
2004-2005  Carlton G. Wellman
2005-2006  Carlton G. Wellman
2006-2007  Carlton G. Wellman
2007-2008  Carlton G. Wellman
2008-2009  
2009-2010  
2010-2011  
2011-2012  Kurt Reilley



A framed document (undated) on the wall of the Legion Home lists the following as charter members of the American Legion Auxiliary of Post 239:

  • Mrs. Gertrude Hunt
  • Miss Alice Dove
  • Mrs. Gertrude Stott
  • Mrs. S. B. Dove
  • Mrs. Fannie Poole
  • Mrs. Hester Butterfield
  • Mrs. T. D. Howland
  • Mrs. E. M. Holben
  • Mrs. H. D. Loss
  • Mrs. Katherine Barber
  • Miss Blanche Dove
  • Mrs. Ada R. Perkins
  • Mrs. Irene Beebe
  • Mrs. Ione Simmons
  • Mrs. Roy A. Teall
  • Mrs. Charles Spearing
  • Mrs. Ernest Ford
  • Mrs. Alice Dickinson
  • Miss Laura Ludington
  • Mrs. Leslie Palmer
  • Mrs. Emma Dando
  • Miss Jennie Evans
  • Mrs. Zella L. Baker
  • Mrs. Margaret Keebler
  • Miss Katherine Keebler
  • Mrs. Adele H. Harse
  • Mrs. Nettie H. Dorland
  • Mrs. May A. Holben
  • Mrs. Mary Dewitt Matthews
  • Mrs. Gertrude M. Curtin
  • Miss Anna Ruth Dillon
  • Miss Hazel L. Smith
  • Miss Katherine Palmer
  • Mrs. Mabel H. Shear
  • Mrs. Martile S. Milford
  • Mrs. Mary Ellen Hunt
  • Mrs. Ruth S. Prudon
  • Mrs. Sylvia C. Milford
  • Mrs. Ivah L. Bobbett
  • Mrs. Clara H. Cushman
  • Mrs. Ida S. Bentley
  • Mrs. Eleanor M. Ford
  • Mrs. Nellie W. Weeks
  • Mrs. Anna H. Howland
  • Mrs. Helen Weeks Perry
  • Miss Doris E. Perkins
  • Mrs. Helen H. McGinn
  • Mrs. Mazy W. Harrington
  • Miss Stella Bentley
  • Miss Bessie L. Hunt
  • Mrs. Kate Kelley
  • Miss Josephine Kelley



The Sons of the American Legion were chartered and organized in 1936. Their first public appearance was at the dedication of the Shotwell Memorial Park on Memorial Day, 1936. I remember being dressed in white trousers, a white shirt, and a yellow tie. I was in kindergarten and don't recall much, if anything, about the ceremony. I do believe that John Thompson, the last Civil War veteran from Skaneateles, rode in an open car, accompanied by his granddaughter Valerie. She was in my class at school and wore her hair in long Shirley Temple type ringlets.

I do not have anything official, but the list of SAL members who marched would be approximated by the following:

  • Gilbert V. Arthur
  • Sonny "Doc" Arthur
  • Charlie Cox
  • Ted Cullen
  • Austin Dove
  • Dewitt Dove
  • Bill Holben
  • Robert Holben
  • Tom Howland
  • Talmadge "Tod" Howland
  • Bert Hunt
  • Dan Hunt
  • Dave Huxford
  • Jack Loss
  • Neil McLaughlin
  • Bill Shultz
  • Hall Shultz
  • Ross Shultz
  • Donald Whiting
  • Burton Wilson
  • Lester Wooster
  • Kenneth Wooster
  • Robert Wooster

NOTE: I think that I am one of three who still survive. We are Gilbert V. Arthur, Donald Whiting and Kenneth Wooster. If you know of others I should be happy to hear of them.

I am sure that there were others on that historic day that my feeble mind cannot think of at this time. Among those that have come to mind but have been rejected because they were too young in 1936 to participate (pre-schoolers) are Bruce Hunt, Jack Gregory, Bill Gregory, and Roger Shultz. (Bruce, Bill and Roger have all died since I wrote this.)




Although there apparently were earlier meeting locations, my first memory (1936) of a meeting place was over the Bridge Market in a space owned by Bert Hunt. (I'll draw a floor plan later.) Sometime during WWII those rooms were given up. The time seems to be late 1944 or early 1945. According to the Citizen Advertiser of 1 August 1944, Glenn Osborne purchased the Bridge Market from Bert Hunt at that time. An issue of 21 April 1945 of the same newspaper says that "Corp. Melvin Brewer moved his family . . . to the newly modeled apartment over the Bridge Market." Legion and Auxiliary meetings were then held on the second floor of the fire station. I remember going there (almost certainly in the spring of 1945) with my mother while she and Belle Dove (accompanied by Austin) worked in the kitchen preparing for an Auxiliary meeting. In 1947 Heath Bobbett and I gave our reports about our experiences at Empire Boys' State to the Legion in the fire hall. They must have met there until the present building was built on Jordan Street.

The first meeting at the new location was January 15, 1952. An article in The Skaneateles Press of Friday, Januarty 18, 1952 said:

The first official meeting of Robert J. Hydon Post No. 239, American Legion, was held at the post's new building on Jordan Rd. on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

A large work party assembled before the meeting and a great deal of work was accomplished. The meeting followed at 9:30 p.m.

Those in attendance were: Commander Robert S. Flannigan, Jr.; Adjutant, Harry Tarnow; Past County Commanders, George Bentley and T. Dean Howland; County Vice-Commander, Sarto Major; Past Post Commanders Eugene Holben, Thomas Clarkson, Jack Clark, Ernest Brice, Jr., Frank Fibben and Legioners William Drew, Homer Carr, Neil McLaughlin, Edward Foote, John Kovar, Edward M. Feeley and James Jerva.

Refreshments were served after the meeting.




In 2006 Carl Wellman told me that Sarto Major had supposedly gone to Washington (circa 1951) and obtained from a Navy friend the gun that is now in front of the Post. An article in The Skaneateles Press of Friday December 28 1951, regarding a paper drive, contained the following:

. . .

Proceeds from the sale of the paper will be used to help pay freight charges on a memorial naval anti-aircraft gun to be placed in front of the new Legion home in Jordan St.

The gun was procured through the efforts of Commander Sarto Major. It is now at a Naval ordinance station in Lexington, Kentucky and will be shipped in the near future.

. . .

I have looked at it and am quite certain that it is a 3-inch/50 naval deck gun. Most likely it was from surplus and may very well not ever have been in service. So far as I can tell the USN MARK and MOD numbers were never stamped onto the gun.

Taken 17 June 2006.

For comparison purposes here is a (recent) photo of a gun and crew from the SS James Brown, one of the two surviving Liberty Ships. The US Navy Armed Guard apparently had this model gun aboard all Libety Ships, this would have included the SS James Gunn upon which my brother Lester served as a member of the Armed Guard on a voyage in 1942-1943 to Iran and India. This particular model was probably used also by the US Navy Armed Guard on Victory Ships.

The 3-inch/50 seems also to have been used as a deck gun on fleet submarines during WWII. Any help in researching this particular gun in Skaneateles or the history of the 3-inch/50 in general would be appreciated.




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Kenneth Jennings Wooster
27 Abdallah Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045-3302
(607) 753-3558
File created: 21 July 2004
File modified: 21 July 2004; November 23, 2005; June 5, 2006; June 19, 2006; July 26, 2006; August 6, 2006; October 28, 2007; June 24, 2011; April 22, 2012