History

Skaneateles Post #239 – Founded in 1919

American Legion, Skaneateles
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.
The following is a sequential list of Post#239 Commanders:
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

1964-1965  Edward McGee
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
1987-1991  Kurt Reilley
1991-1992
1992-1993  Lester Snider
1993-1994
1994-1997  Edwin Chappell Jr.
1997-1998
1998-2001  Robert G. Herrmann Jr.
2001-2003  Austin Dove
2003-2008  Carlton G. Wellman
2008-2012   Kurt Reilley
2012-2014   Brad McLennan
2015 –          Eric Amberge