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HENDERSON-LEWIS LEGION POST

The Henderson-Lewis American Legion Post #545, formed in 1951, was named after Walter Henderson, who was killed in action in France during World War I, and Rodney Lewis, who was also killed in action, in the South Pacific on submarine duty during World War II.

"Henderson, Walter H., Corporal, Co. C., 362 Inf., 91st Division, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hendrickson, Spicer, and husband of Stella Holt Henderson of Livingston, Montana. He was born February 19, 1892 at Spicer. At the time the war started, he was working for a lumber company at Harlem, Montana. He was inducted into the service from that place and was sent to Camp Lewis, Washington, where he was assigned to Company C, 362 Inf., 91st division. He was appointed corporal in January, 1918. He sailed for France July 6,1918. First went into action, September 12, 1918 in St. Mihiel drive. Killed in action September 29, 1918 at Gesnes in Argonne offensive. Buried in Argonne cemetery."

Charter members were Rolf Arnesen, William Barber, Raymond Svejda, Albert Ardoff, Gilbert Rime, Myron Thompson, Alton Guttormson, Erwin Farness, Lawrence Heglund, William Fritz, Carl E. Samuelson, Albert Swart, Tony Peterson, Carl A. Crevier, John Butler, Clyde Hawes, Mahlon Caylor, Arthur Midby, Date Caylor, Charles deCathelineau, Joseph T. Thompson, Frank Roy Walquist, Helmer C. Johnson, Lester E. Rime, Edward Bloomquist, Robert W. Dilley, Wesley M. Christensen, Lawrence E. Fuchs, Albert Block, John Henderson, Elmer Gravgaard, Wayne H. Block, Edward Doyle, and Albert Pederson.

The first officers elected served a two-year term in order to provide stability. They were as follows: Commander, Rolf Arnesen; Adjutant, Art Midby; 1st Vice Commander, Dale Caylor; 2nd Vice Commander, Lester Rime; Service Officer, Elmer Gravgaard; Sergeant-at-Arms, Albert Block; Finance Officer, Alton Guttormson; Historian, Wesley Christensen; and Chaplain, Erwin Farness.

The main part of the Post home was started in early 1954 and was completed on November 30, 1954, a result of countless hours of hard work by the members and several others. In 1963 they added on to the building, and then again in 1989 they did extensive remodeling, enlarging, and redecorating.

The first meeting in the new building was in February of 1955. At that time they made a decision to join the Kandiyohi County Veterans Council and keep up the cemeteries. A firing squad was appointed with Wayne Block in charge.

The Post supports several programs which include Boys' and Girls' State, Boy Scouts, scholarships for high school students, and School Patrol; it has helped sponsor Legion baseball teams. It also built a Veterans' Memorial in the city's downtown park, which members maintain.

One of the Post's most celebrated accomplishments was the snowmobile races which they started in this area in 1970. This venture was held on Green Lake with a 30 mile marathon. The crowd was estimated at 15,000. Some people came by plane, and WCCO was here to cover the event. The Legionnaires are still very active in the community.

1917-1918-1919 World War I servicemen are recorded in the volume, "Kandiyohi County in the World War," by the Kandiyohi War Records Committee, Willmar, Minnesota. They also include the Spanish-American War veterans and Civil War veterans, as well as those many men and women who helped on the home front in Kandiyohi County.