Though chartered in 1922, Joseph L. Davis American Legion Post No. 47 in Havre de Grace commemorates the centennial of its founding this year, 2019, along with The American Legion as a national patriotic veterans organization.
Millard E. Tydings, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army who served as a Division Machine-gun Officer in World War I, was its first Commander immediately after the war, followed by William E. Green in 1920-1921 and Joseph P. Collins in 1922-1923.
The first meeting was held on August 11, 1919 at the City Hall with Tydings presiding. Joseph L. Davis Post No. 47 is the oldest American Legion Post in Harford County and is extremely privileged to be able to trace our continued existence for one hundred years.
Joseph L. Davis Post No. 47 has a distinguished history of service to the country and to the community. Through the decades, members have given of themselves in service by being instrumental in the founding of the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps, supporting the Perry Point Veterans Administration with visitation programs, and providing patriotic ceremonies throughout the year for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and flag retirement as well as being a social organization for its membership.
As taken from The American Legion mission, we are a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. The American Legion’s success – our success -- depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.
The Joseph L. Davis Post No. 47
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. Before the war ended on Nov. 11, 1918, more than 4 million members of the American Expeditionary Force would ship to Europe and fight. There were 47 local citizens of Havre de Grace, who died during the war, either in action, from accidents or disease. Joseph L. Davis, the namesake of American Legion Post 47 in Havre de Grace, was the first casualty from Havre de Grace. The Joseph L. Davis Post American Legion Post No. 47 was officially charted in 1922.
Recent research indicates that the Joseph L. Davis Post No. 47 building as well as the nearby Weedon Elliott VFW Post 8126 were purchased for the commemoration and “living memorial” for the veterans returning from World War II. In a small booklet, History of Havre de Grace, “The Town We Live In” by Elias W. Kidwiler and published in 1947 by the Havre de Grace Record, there is a paragraph which states:
"The veterans’ organizations and the city government were both determined at the end of the war that the monument of World War I should not be duplicated but that something should be conceived which would be of more benefit and the source of more inspiration to the living while honoring the glorious dead. Plans were made during 1945 for the building of a meeting place for the veterans’ associations and as a gathering place for all veterans. The prospects late in 1945 were excellent for the realization of such a memorial within the shortest possible time."
This quote relates directly to the transfer of the property to Joseph L. Davis Post No. 47 on Dec 1, 1947 from the President of the Havre de Grace Printing and Publishing, Inc. and publisher of The Record, Stanley M. Barrett, who also served as a Commander of Joseph L. Davis Post No. 47 during World War II.