On February 20, 1920, five former servicemen met in the high school auditorium. Existing at the time in Statesville was an informal community consisting of former World War I Veterans. The decision to organize an American Legion Post resulted from the conclusion of these Veterans that the American Legion was the representative Veterans' organization in this country. That conclusion has been proven true as today the American Legion is the largest wartime Veterans' organization with nearly 13,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. Current national membership is over 2 million and combined with the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion, membership in what is known as The American Legion Family exceeds 3 million who care about America, Veterans, their families, and our nation's youth.
At the first meeting, Col RL Flanigan was elected temporary Chairman. A decision was made by the attending Veterans to file an application for an American Legion Post.
At the next meeting, a Certificate of Application for a Charter was presented. It was also decided at this meeting to organize a Post as soon as one hundred servicemen of Statesville had indicated their desire to join the Post.
A committee was formed to name the Post and the Post was named "American Legion Post 65”. All of Statesville’s servicemen who died in the service of their country, as a mark of respect, were honored when the Post was chartered.
A permanent organization was affected at the next meeting at which time permanent officers were elected. The first officers of American Legion Post 65 were: Commander: Mr. Joe Scott, Adjutant: Mr. Robert A. White, and Finance Officer: Mr. JN Kincaid.
The founders of American Legion Post 65 were Godfrey C. Kimball, Robert A. White, Henry H. Nicholson, Frank Deaton, George Field, Dick White, Joe L. Harrison, John A. Scott, Charles C. Mills, S. Wallace Hoffman, Robert Glen Muse, Jason Shekin Henninger, Ln Mills, and Frank A. Hill. Established in 1887, Oakwood Cemetery has been taking care of the deceased of Statesville NC with both eloquent care and dignity. In fact, twelve out of fifteen of our founding fathers are interred on its hallowed grounds. Our namesake Robert Hurst Turner is also part of a family plot which honors his family both in a physical sense and an American Legion sense. Adjacent to the cemetery grounds sits the present day Caldwell Park and tennis courts. In 1923 this was the site of our first meeting hut. To locals, this became known as a popular hangout referred to by Statesville natives as “The Legion Pool”. Shortly before 1955, Post 65 would move to a new venue on Old Mocksville Road. The city of Statesville would close the pool and build tennis courts. Oakwood Cemetery is conveniently located off East Broad Street in Statesville NC at 114 N Oakwood Drive. Take exit 50 off I77 South, turn right on East Broad Street and you are practically there. For burial information at Oakwood Cemetery please click here.
American Legion Post 65 is currently located at 2446 Salisbury Highway, Statesville, NC 28677. The former Zimmerman's Fish Camp was rebuilt beginning in February 1999. To read the Statesville Record and Landmark July 5, 2000 newspaper article click here.
A Women's Auxiliary of American Legion Post 65 was formed in 1921. The Legion has every reason to be proud of its Auxiliary. Auxiliary members are always anxious and willing to co-operate in every Legion activity.
A Sons of the Legion for American Legion Post ____ was formed on _______. The Legion has every reason to be proud of its Sons of Legion unit, which gained statewide recognition because of its programs of service.
MEMORIAL DAY has always been an outstanding occasion in this community. In addition to memorial events throughout the Statesville community, the goal of every Veteran to its last man is to keep MEMORIAL DAY sacred to the memory of our war dead of all the wars of the country; and all graves are decorated on this National Holiday.
ARMISTICE DAY, now called VETERANS' DAY, originally marked the end of fighting in World War I. It is an important holiday on the calendar of Legionnaires everywhere and in the hearts of all Veterans. It has been in Statesville. Annually the Post sponsored the Armistice Day Parade. An important tradition was established when the Post led in the memorial exercises at 11 o'clock on the morning of November 11, marking the exact hour of the cessation of hostility on the war fronts.
Registration of Graves
Since its inception, American Legion Post 65 has been a leader in this community in the area of graves registration; which has been incorporated by all the American Legion Posts in Iredell County. Grave Registration enables all interested parties to locate the site of the grave of each Veteran. American Legion Post 65 acquired a burial lot in Oakview Cemetery and this has been marked by the erection of a massive monument marking it as the burial lot for servicemen without kin. Each year, active members place a flag on each Veteran's grave.
Scholarships and Community Projects
American Legion Post 65 sponsors various scholarships for the further education of our children. We also sponsor and financially assist many worthy community projects and programs initiated by the National American Legion.
Join Us and Keep this History Alive