General Leonard E. Wood American Legion Post 162

 

Post 162 History

Hillsdale’s participation in home activities during the U.S.’ 19 months of participation in World War I was typical of many rural communities The “Hillsdale Loyal League” was recognized by the Township Committee, with 53 members on April 17, 1917. The unit was led by H.I. Knickerbocker, and members were sworn in as “special police.” An additional 20 members were added by the end of the year. The group was re-designated as the “Hillsdale Home Guard” in January, 1918, and 25 rifles were purchased after a special election on July 5, 1918. A request for ammunition and bayonets was denied, and the rifles were disposed of in 1919, when the unit was disbanded.

Local citizens were busy during the war years, with Red Cross work, scrap drives and other activities supporting the war effort. In 1919, returning veterans organized American Legion Post 162, with Charles Riley as commander of 10 charter members. On July 4, 1920, the first colors were donated to the post by the Hillsdale Fire Association.

 

In 1925, the Hillsdale American Legion Post was reorganized and Kenneth Anderson was elected Commander. In 1929, the post was incorporated under the name of the General Leonard Wood Post 162. The property where the Legion Hut now stands, on Legion Place, was purchased in 1930 and Legionnaires constructed the present headquarters largely with donated labor and materials. The building was dedicated in 1932 as “Veterans Memorial Hall.” Following a fire in 2004, the interior was rebuilt and modernized by the members.  In the next decade the front entrance lobby and office was added and the back staircase was enclosed.

 

The American Legion Auxiliary of Post 162 was granted a charter on July 1, 1927, with seven members and Mrs. Elenore Vogler as president