On March 20, 1919 (just three days after the adjournment of the Legion founding caucus in Paris, France) a group of Denver Veterans organized the Leo Leyden Post of World War I Veterans to honor the first Colorado hero to pay the "supreme sacrifice." This group became the first Legion Post in Colorado and the fifteenth to be chartered in the United States. The charter is dated June 17, 1919 and was signed by thirty members. This charter now hangs in the Post Commander's office.
J. Hunter Wickersham Post # 51 was organized October 18, 1919, at the home of W. S. (Bill) Rathbun with twenty seven charter members. In 1921 and 1922 many small Legion Posts found the going tough and early in 1923 the following six Posts; Proctor, Preston, Hewitt, Steele, Rickard and Sharp abandoned their charters and joined forces with the Marcellus H. Chiles Legion Post # 41 and became known as Columbine Post # 41. In 1925 Post # 41 restored the name Marcellus H. Chiles.
The Leyden, Chiles and Wickersham American Legion Posts consolidated and Leyden-Chiles-Wickersham Post 1 was chartered on August 20, 1931 in loving memory of Private Leo T. Leyden, Captain Marcellus H. Chiles and Lieutenant J. Hunter Wickersham all of whom gave their lives for their country
Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States; Oliver R. Shoup was Governor of Colorado; W.F.R. Mills was filling out the unexpired term of the late Bob Spear, as Mayor of Denver; and Ben Stapleton was the Postmaster. There were no sales taxes, social security taxes, income tax deductions, bank service charges, radios, movie pictures, parking meters, or air mail. Stapleton Airfield was just a prairie farm; and the popular automobiles of the day were the Essex, Paige, Durrant, Maxwell, Pierce Arrow, Willys Knight and the Franklin. Harry Truman was getting out of service and looking for a place to "light."
The first Commanders of L.C.W. Posts were Daniel Sparr, Leo Leyden Post # 1, Harold Healy, Marcellus H. Chiles Post # 41 and Bill Rathbun, J. Hunter Wickersham Post # 51. In 1930 Kenaz Huffman, a member of Wickersham Post since its inception, was elected to serve as the first Commander of the Department of Colorado American Legion Posts.
Our first Post home was located at 224 W. Colfax Avenue, the palatial home of socialite Eleanor Young. Unfortunately, the building had to be razed to make room for the new City and County building. A very highly discussed topic in the 1920's was the consolidation of small Posts and on October 14, 1930 the merger of Leyden-Chiles-Wickersham and Acacia Legion Posts was finalized in the auditorium of the Continental Oil Building. While Post meetings were held there, the Post offices were housed in the Tabor Building until 1934 when they were moved to the Fraternal Building at 14th Street and Glenarm Place.
The first annual meeting of Gold Star Mothers was held on June 14, 1931. The first annual Post picnic was held on July 17, 1933 and in November 1934 "The Last Squad" was organized with 1600 members. The first three day Armistice Day party was held in November 1937, and the July 4th "Salute to America" was inaugurated in 1939
A movement for a new building began in 1945, and in August 1950 we broke ground for an elaborate Post home at E. 14th Ave. and Broadway. The cornerstone was set in April 1951, and dedication ceremonies were held on February 12, 1952 with National Commander Donald R. Wilson officiating
The summer of 1954 we became known as the "Worlds Largest American Legion Post" and boasted a membership of 11,118 members. Omaha Nebraska Post # 1 was also in contention for this honor
When the State of Colorado acquired our Broadway home for its Judicial Building, we were once again forced to look for a permanent home. Our quest brought us to our location at E. Alameda Avenue and Leetsdale Drive. Dedication of this building was held in 1971. After 22 years in our Post at 4500 East Alameda Avenue, we decided to sell our property and purchase a one level building. We moved out of the old Post in September of 1993 and were in temporary quarters until September of 1994
On Labor day weekend September 3rd and 4th 1994, we had the Grand opening of our new facility at 5400 East Yale Avenue (I25 & E. Yale Ave) in Denver. After 22 years in Arapahoe County we are now in Denver County and enjoying our new Post home. Our current membership does not qualify us as the "worlds largest" Post any longer, but we are proud of the fact that we are the largest in Colorado.
Reserved for future use.
Reserved for future use.