Amarillo's American Legion Post, organized in July 1919, is one of the oldest in Texas, formed two months after the group's organizational caucus in St. Louis. The post, which officially received its charter in Sep. 1919, is named for David T. Hanson, a popular Amarillo doctor who served in the Spanish-American War and World War I. Volunteering as a surgeon with the 142nd infantry, he was killed while attending to a wounded soldier at St. Etienne, France. Ernest O. Thompson, later mayor of Amarillo, was the first post commander. Hanson Post worked to secure jobs and medical care for veterans, and promoted creation of a veterans hospital in the region. The post also helped coordinate veterans' affairs before Amarillo received a branch of the Veterans Bureau in 1927. Hanson post also donated clothes, food and toys to needy veterans' families at Christmas.175 years of Texas Independence ★ 1836-2011
The post first met in the district courtroom of the Potter County Courthouse before moving to the Woodmen of the World Hall. In 1923, the Municipal Auditorium, dedicated to the war dead, included meeting space for the Legion Post; national post commander Alvin Owsley attended the dedication ceremony. The post later bought a building at Seventh and Madison streets which has been its headquarters ever since. Hanson post developed a ladies auxiliary (1920), junior auxiliary (1923), an early R. O. T. C. Unit (1928) and a Sons of the Legion (1934). In 1939, Amarillo got the Veterans Hospital which Hanson Post and civic leaders worked so hard to secure, bringing an important source of construction and medical jobs for the region. Post membership peaked around 1,200 members following World War II. The post continues to support active duty military personnel and veterans throughout the world.
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