Fun at Our First Family Movie Night

Post 555’s first ever family movie night was great success with fun for all. Disney’s Frozen was on the screen, popcorn was abundant and the bar was open downstairs. Fun for the kids, fun for mom and dad.

This was a test project and the test was successful. The Post will get busy planning our next movie event.

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LEGION ANNUAL BRUNCH

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!

Brunch

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FAMILY MOVIE NITE AT THE LEGION

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Join us for the Disney hit “FROZEN” featuring the hit song Let it Go!

Family Movie Night at the Ely American Legion featuring Disney’s Frozen

7:00 pm, Saturday March 22. Free admission. Snack bar open upstairs and bar open downstairs.

Chairs will be available but you can bring your own as well as blankets and sit on the floor. Everyone welcome.

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5th Grade Flag Essay Contest Winner

The winner of the local American Legion Fifth Grade Flag Essay Contest is Kaitlyn Sellon.  Kaitlyn is the daughter of Dustin and Sarah Sellon of Ely and a student at Prairie Creek Elementary School.  Kaitlyn wrote an essay about the United States flag that was very original and thought provoking.

The purpose of the American Legion Fifth Grade Flag Essay Program is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the United States Flag on the part of elementary-level students.  The contest also allows contestants to gain a greater understanding of flag etiquette and respect for the flag.

Kaitlyn’s essay has been forwarded for district and state level competition.  Congratulations and good luck Kaitlyn!DSC02238

Post Commander Marv Peters presenting Kaitlyn Sellon with Flag Essay Contest Award.

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Remembering the Old Ely Legion Hall 1923-1954

The current Legion Hall is not the first hall on the site. The original Ely Legion Hall was constructed in 1923 and expanded in 1928. Actually, it was two old school buildings that were moved to the site and fabricated into a hall for the Ely Post.

The building was dismantled in 1954 to make way for the new hall but during its 31 years it was used for just about every community event including stage productions and as the home court for the Ely High School basketball team.

Ely Elementary School Students in a stage production in the old Legion Hall, 1950

Ely Elementary School Students in a stage production in the old Legion Hall, 1950

The audience for an elementary stage production in 1950.  Note the basketball hoop.

The audience for an elementary stage production in 1950. Note the basketball hoop.

Dismantling the hall in 1954, front view.

Dismantling the hall in 1954, front view.

Dismantling the old hall in 1954, rear view.

Dismantling the old hall in 1954, rear view. A boxcar is visible on the old railroad tracks to the right.

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Happy Holidays from Post 555

I would like to take this opportunity to wish the members and friends of Post 555 a happy and joyous holiday season. It is also important during this season that we remember those who are currently serving and will not be with family and friends during this holiday season. Remember them in your thoughts and prayers.

I think the following video says it all:

Happy Holidays,
Marv Peters
Post 555 Commander

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History of the Post from the 1972 Ely Centennial Book

Legion Parade, Dows St, 1940s

Legion Parade, Dows St, 1940s

St. Quentin Post No. 555, Ely, Iowa, held its first meeting in March 1921. This first organizational meeting was held in the brick building on the south-west corner of Dows and Main Streets.

Officers elected were: Commander: Frank J. Krob,  Adjutant: George Motycka, Finance Officer: George McCullough, Trustees: Frank Zahradnik, Emil Broulik, Frank Hartl,

St. Quentin was approved as the name the Ely post would use because Charles Noska and Joe Dvorak were killed in action near St. Quentin.

There were forty-five charter members: Frank Krob, Charles Hanus, Ed Koss, Louis W. Jonas, Frank Sirovy, John Kohout, Charles C. Clark, Louis Cerveny, George Simon, Lumir Truhlar, George McCullough, Frank Jiroutek, F. L. Fuhrmeister, LeRoy Sword, Erba Stahle, Mike Novak, Harley Fordice, Perry Woods, Frank A. Zahradnik, Tom Phillipson, Mike Cerveny, Frank Hartl, Frank Smith, Wes Cerveny, Joseph Stastny, Tom Smith, Arthur Heiber, Joe Rouser, Joe Becicka, Alois Kadlec, Leonard V. Truhlar, John Netolicky, Leo Rahlena, George Motycka, Bud Eaton, Frank Halva, Frank W. Elias, Emil Broulik, Joe Novotny, John A. Hanus, Henry Bartosh, Charles Motejl, Milo Stransky, Henry Moses and Frank Stejskal,

Six charter members were transferred from Hanford Post of Cedar Rapids: Charles C. Clark, Leonard V. Truhlar, Louis W. Jonas, Lumir Truhlar, John A. Hanus, and Frank Wt Elias.

In the infancy of the organization there was a realized need for a community building and a commemotatory to those who fought and died in World War I for the freedom of the world. A sum of $578 was pledged by Legion members and people of the community for the construction of a memorial hall. Twenty-two individuals, members of St. Quentin Post or the community, agreed to donate free without any obligation sixty hours of working time on or towards the building of the Legion hall or donate the sum of money equal to 30¢ an hour for all hours short of the sixty hours.

A lot was purchased from F. R. Graham for the amount of $1,400 on April 21, 1922. Plans were made to construct a new building, but in the final decision the new building lost out by one vote. In 1923 the Post purchased two old school buildings from the Ely school district and moved them to their lot.

Frank Halva cut trees and sawed out timbers with his saw mill to build a moving rig to transport the school buildings to the new site. Mobile power was supplied by a steam engine owned and operated by Charles Biderman. A burned out clutch was one of the many problems encountered in moving the buildings.

Legion Parade past Krob's on Dows St in the 1920s

Legion Parade past Krob’s on Dows St in the 1920s

The smaller of the two schools was placed upon a basement foundation providing a stage, with the larger building placed on a foundation providing the auditorium area. In 1928 an addition lengthened the structure so it could be used as a basketball court. Ely High School used the Legion Hall as its home basketball court until the school closed. Almost all of the community functions were held in the Legion Hall. In the early 1930’s the building was used by the school and community to the extent that Legion meetings were held elsewhere. Many performances of Ely school plays were held in the hall. A war picture that decorated the stage drop was painted by Kalous.

Old hall being torn down in 1954

Old hall being torn down in 1954

With the return of men from World War II the Legion membership grew and the desire to have a bigger and better Legion Hall developed. Construction began in 1954 and the structure was completed in 1955. A very impressive masonry building was the end result, with a large stage and auditorium on the main floor and a full basement with complete kitchen below.

Fund raising drives and functions involved the Legion and Auxiliary members from the beginning. One of the earliest and possibly most memorable fund raising event to the individuals involved were the plays given. “The Night Riders” and “Stars and Stripes in France Forever” played to audiences at Swisher, North Liberty, Fairfax, and Ely. The cast of characters was made up of Legion and Auxiliary members plus other local talent. Legion Auxiliary members began lunching farm sales in 1962 as another venture in raising money. Dances and stags were also used as a means of raising needed funds.

New Legion Hall under construction, 1955

New Legion Hall under construction, 1955

Memorial Day and Armistice Day have been ob-served by the Ely Post since its beginning. Memorial services were held at Anderson, Baker, Sulek, Rogers Grove, St. Peter and Paul, Shueyville, and Western Cemeteries, oftentimes two on the same day. In 1946 permanent lots were purchased at Rogers Grove Cemetery and Memorial Day services have been held there since. An oyster stew supper on Armistice Day has been the tradition of past years.

St. Quentin Post in 1972 is serving the community as it has done in the past fifty years.

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Legionaires and their families gather in Ely on Veterans’ Day, 2013

Post Commander Marv Peters addresses the gathering during the Annual Veterans’ Day Soup Supper at the Ely American Legion. (Click to enlarge photos.)

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Good food, good conversation and good friends on Veterans’ Day.

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