Following the end of the American Civil War veterans from both the Union and Confederate forces formed the veterans organization the G.A.R. or the Grand Army of the Republic. On 28 March 1883, the George Ellis Post 171 was established in Ellis, and the first formal meetings were held in the basement of the old stone schoolhouse located south of Washington Street.
Later, the G.A.R.s meetings were moved to the building along Jefferson Street that at that time was the largest meeting hall in town. In addition to it being a meeting place for the veterans, the wood frame building with its elevated stage also served as a location for church services, social events, July 4th gatherings, sporting events, graduation's [sic], and even election headquarters. The G.A.R. band and color guard led many local parades. The first motion pictures ever shown in Ellis were shown by "Doodle" McDonald in the hall.
Eventually, local tinsmith, Andrew Kastner purchased the building and the proceeds were used to place a veterans' memorial at Mount Hope Cemetery. In the mid-1920's the hall was demolished by Kastner and Herman Erbert who replaced it with the building that stands today. It has been used as a tin shop by Kastner, an auto dealership operated first by Erbert, then Loflin, and finally Fondoble Motors. It it [sic] now used by the VFW Hall, Ellis city offices and the fire department.
The last remaining member of the Ellis G.A.R. Post, G.G. Jackson, died 26 April 1934, 51 years after the post's establishment.
Dedicated to the memory of America's Veterans - Past, present and future.