Page 1 -- Early History of the Junius F. Lynch Post 35 American Legion
Page 2 -- Past Commanders of the Junius F. Lynch Post 35 Americna Legion
Page 2 -- Resolution of Commendation of and Gratitude to
B. Arthur Hubbard, Jr. MD of July 2013
Page 2 -- Resolution of Commendation of and Gratitude to
Captain Michael R. Murray, USN (Ret.)
Links to Post 35 History for June 2013 through May 2014 by Post Historian George E. Olsen
EARLY HISTORY OF THE JUNIUS F. LYNCH POST NO. 35, AMERICAN LEGION
COMPILED BY: LINWOOD E. BRADSHAWPost Historian 1943 – 1944
The present Junius F. Lynch Post No. 35, American Legion, Department of Virginia, was organized in 1926 by Col. Junius F. Lynch, U.S.A. There were twenty-five charter members and the post was originally known as Tidewater Post N. 35. A few months after its organization, Col. Lynch was elected Commander; other officers elected were Andrew J. Davis, Vice-Commander, F. W. Cressman, Adjutant, and Linwood E. Bradshaw, Finance Officer.
During the World War No. 1, Dr. Lynch was a Colonel in the Medical Corps for the Forty-second Division, often called the Rainbow Division. He was elected Department Commander of the American Legion, Department of Virginia at the Department convention held in Norfolk in 1921. The Legionnaires of Norfolk considered it a signal honor that this position should be held by one of their number. It was known that he was deeply interested in the work done by the Legion and he demonstrated this up to the time of his death in 1932. In January 1929, Dr. Lynch resigned as Commander of Post No. 35. The Post created the office of Commander Emeritus, to which Col. Lynch was elected. He was very proud of this, a title which he felt was exclusively his own and held by no other living Legionnaire.
Andrew J. Davis succeeded Dr. Lynch as Commander, and Linwood E. Bradshaw was continued as Finance Officer. Mahood P. Hardy was elected Commander in 1930. The preceding year the membership had totaled thirty-five. During Commander Hardy’s term of office, it was decided that there was an urgent need of a Post home, which could be used for a regular meeting place. We had been holding monthly meetings at various places, sometimes in restaurants downtown, sometimes at the Country Club. Furthermore, the need for a definite objective for the accomplishment of some worthy purpose was considered equally urgent.
Old Dominion Post N. 67 had been organized a short while before. Some of those instrumental in the organization of that Post has been approached by Col. Lynch on numerous occasions with the idea that they join with him in making Post 35 the outstanding Post in the city. They had made many promises and Colonel Lynch was very much piqued that instead of cooperating with him in building up Post 35, they had directed their energies toward the formation of an entirely new Post. Post 67 grew rapidly, principally because they had established a Legion home at East Ocean View. Their monthly meetings were always special occasions for their members. At the election meeting of that year, Colonel Lynch suggested the consolidation of the two posts. A committee was named to discuss consolidation with a committee of Post 67. Fred E. Martin and Mahood P. Hardy were on the committee form Post 35 to meet with Post 67. No consolidation came out of the meetings, however.
Finally, Trail’s End at Willoughby Spit was selected as a meeting place. Each time an effort was made to have some attractive form of entertainment, and at several meetings thereafter Godfrey Fluxe and Mike Hanlon with their piano accordions, furnished all of the harmony in quality and volume that anyone could ask. Their entertainment, which was furnished without cost to the Post, added materially to the interest of the meetings.
Throughout the winter of that year, considerable thought and study was given to a method or arrangement which would make possible a home owned by the Post. Finally, a prospectus was drawn up, a plan contemplating the acquisition of a good sized lot at some point on the water, the exact location to be determined. It was proposed to erect on such a lot a Post home, to provide a hall for assembly at Post meetings, and such other additional facilities as might be deemed advisable. On the rear of the lot, living units of such quality and quantity as might be possible were proposed, to permit the Post to offer, rent free, quarters for certain periods during the summer months to needy veterans and their families, who might be ill themselves or have illness in their families, and who were financially unable to provide accommodations at vacation or health resorts. The formation of a stock company to finance the proposition was contemplated.
The officers of the Post felt sure of Colonel Lynch’s interest in a home for the Post and upon the return to the city of Colonel and Mrs. Lynch from their winter’s sojourn in Florida, they called upon Colonel Lynch and told him of the progress the Post had been making in membership and left with him for study the prospectus, asking him for his ideas in the matter. Colonel Lynch read the plan and thought it a fine idea, such a fine idea that he read it to Mrs. Lynch. He stated that her reaction was even more pronounced than his won, and that she instructed him to advise the Post that she had a cottage at Willoughby which they did not use a great deal, but for which they had been offered $15,000, and that she would be delighted if the Post would see fit to accept the property as a gift for a Post home, provided the cottage could serve our purpose. Colonel Lynch explained that it had been built primarily for a summer cottage. Fred Martin and Mahood Hardy visited the cottage with Colonel Lynch, expressing great appreciation for the generosity of Mrs. Lynch and himself. They entered into a discussion as to his idea of a suitable plan for accepting and using the property. The discussion resulted ultimately in a plan to deed the property to a Board of Trustees composed of five members of the Post whom the Colonel himself named. It was his wish that the trustees be self-perpetuating and that in case of vacancy, the Trustees themselves elect from the Post membership another member fill the vacancy. His long range vision provided even for the time when the membership of the Post would be extinct and that the Trustees should then be selected from the male descendants of the Post membership.
It was shortly before this that the first death in the membership of the Post occurred. John W. Parsons, Jr., who was the Vice-Commander, was killed in and automobile accident. He had been a most loyal and interested member, and the effect of his sudden death was most profound on the membership of the Post. As soon as the Post learned of his death, the Commander visited the widow and she requested that we arrange for a military funeral. This was the first military funeral conducted by the Post.
It was decided that the announcement of the gift to the Post of the cottage at Willoughby would be made at the June meeting of the Post to be held at Trail’s End. The meeting was a great success and an excellent dinner was served. The meeting was the largest in the history of the Post up to that time. Colonel Finch of Chase City, Virginia, made the address of the evening. Colonel Lynch was intimately acquainted with Colonel Finch who, like himself, had been an officer in the Medical Corps of the Army during the War. Shortly before this Colonel Finch had been announced as a candidate that year for Department commander. During the evening the gift of the Post Home to be known as Lynch Anchorage, was announced. This was a most enthusiastic meeting. The membership at that time had increased from thirty-five to about one hundred, and about ninety percent of the members were present. From that time on there was never and difficulty about membership.
Shortly after the Trustees took over the cottage, a few of the members and their wives saw that the place was cleaned, and we soon began to have meetings at Lynch Anchorage. The Cottage was partly furnished when it was given to us and we were able to furnish it almost completely with furniture and furnishings given by a few members of the Post, and some of the department stores, furniture stores, etc. in the city. One or two months later a special meeting was held, to which were invited wives and families of the Post. Colonel and Mrs. Lynch were present, as well as some of the Department officers, and other prominent Legionnaires. This was another outstanding meeting.
The year 1932 marked the passing of Colonel Lynch, the beloved founder and benefactor of our Post. Soon after his death a special meeting was called at Lynch Anchorage, on October 3rd, 1932 at which time the following resolutions were passed:
“WHEREAS, the Tidewater Post No. 35 Department of Virginia, has had in Colonel Junius F. Lynch a friend in that Colonel Lynch was never too busy or too occupied with his own affairs to advise and consult with the individual members of our Post or to offer his advice and help in the affairs of the Post as a whole; and
WHEREAS, Colonel Lynch has always evinced a spirit of the deepest and most fervent comradeship for each and every member of our Post, whether in social or business activity; and
WHEREAS, this Post has been the recipient of a tangible expression of the regard of Colonel Lynch for each and every member and for the Post as a whole in the gift by him to our Post of a club house and cottage at Willoughby Beach, Virginia; and
WHEREAS, Almighty God has seen fit to summons this comrade to his last roll call and in His inscrutable wisdom to remove from our mortal ken through the portals of death this beloved friend and comrade, Junius F. Lynch.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that in memory of the founder of this Post that the name of the Post be changed from Tidewater Post No. 35 to the Junius F. Lynch Post No. 35 in memory of this unselfish and generous gentleman, citizen and soldier;
AND BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be spread upon the minutes and that the Adjutant of the Post be ordered to send a copy of the same to Mrs. Lynch and to Mrs. Millard, Colonel Lynch’s daughter.”
From that date on our Post has been known as Junius F. Lynch Post No. 35.
The Post’s quarters were severely damaged during the hurricanes of 1933 and 1936. An erosion committee was appointed to secure an appropriation to erect jetties to protect the waterfront at Willoughby and Ocean View. This committee was actively supported by other members of the Post and worked for two years in conjunction with committees of other civic and fraternal organization to get this accomplished.
The members of Post 35 were largely instrumental in organizing the Norfolk County Council of the American Legion, an organization to handle some of the affairs of the different posts in the vicinity. Fred E. Martin was elected the first Chairman.
In the winter of 1937 an oil painting of Colonel Lynch was unveiled in the assembly room of the quarters, and a memorial to the other deceased members of the Post also has been placed in this room.
The Junius F. Lynch Post N. 35 is one of the few Legion Posts in the country which has seen fit to limit its membership to approximately on hundred veterans.
In 1939 arrangements were made for the quarters to be used for six weeks during the summer by child welfare organizations, as it has been the wish of Dr. and Mrs. Lynch that the property should be used partly for charitable purposes. Altogether over two hundred children were accommodated.
The Post was never able to fully accomplish the purposes for which the cottage was given because the zoning restrictions at Willoughby prevented the erection of additional houses and the financial loss to the Post as a result of two disastrous hurricanes prevented any large expenditures of funds for purposed other than restoring the property.
In 1940 during the annual convention of the American Legion Department of Virginia, Post 35 gave a party at Lynch Anchorage for visiting Legionnaires, and other comrades. A large crowd attended this party which was a most enjoyable one.
In June 1941 the Post gave another party – this time for British seaman who were temporarily stationed at Norfolk while their ship was undergoing repairs. About seventy-five British seamen attended this party. Post 35 furnished transportation by special street car from Norfolk to the Anchorage and return. Music was furnished by a band, and refreshments served. The party was quite a success and provided an outing for these British men that perhaps otherwise they would not have had. However, the afternoon’s pleasure was marred by the accidental drowning of one of the British sailors who ventured out too far.
In 1941, the Junius f. Lynch Post gave to the Commonwealth of Virginia its Governor, Colgate W. Darden, Jr. And in the same year the Department of Virginia, American Legion, claimed another comrade of ours, Fred E. Martin, for Department Commander. Our hats off to those comrades.
1944 witnessed another distinction for Post 35 when one of its former comrades was elected Judge of the Circuit Court of Norfolk, succeeding the late Allan R. Hanckel. On the day Judge Jacob first presided in his court, he was presented and American flag by Post 35 with appropriate ceremonies.
Commanders of Post No. 35 in addition to those already mentioned, have been Fred E. Martin, W. Garland Jones, Clyde H. Jacob, George E. Ferebee, Sydney L. R. Wigg, G. Benson Ferebee, Jr., Wallace G. Robertson, Ben R. Brown and the present Commander Wilson Johnson.
Following is a list of the deceased members of the Junius F. Lynch Post No. 35: Junius F. Lynch, John W. Parsons, Jr., Charles F. Pilley, Joseph L. Hume, Cuthbert C. Lee, George E. Ferebee, Harold F. Coates, Willard H. Ray, Hermon O. Stickney, Calvin H. Childress, Allen J. Clay and John A. Lejeuone.
LINWOOD E. BRADSHAW
Post Historian 1943 - 1944