The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 3, Page 12.


Kouts' American Legion Post Organized In 1920, Named For Wm. Redilyack, Hero

After the death of William Redliyack, son of Mrs. Margaret Redliyack, on June 23, 1920, the first veteran that Kouts lost from its ranks, being fortunate not to lose any during the World war, Luther B. Wise and J. Raymond Benkie promoted the organization of an American Legion post in Kouts.

The two men succeeded in getting the required number of fifteen for the charter list as follows: Paul K. Gordon, Blaine Callahan, Emil Pulaski, Albert Honechouse, Luther W. Wise, Andrew Trinosky, Ewalt Rosenbaum, William J. R. Klemnz, Vaughn Lane, Barney Maxwell, John J. Shutske, Fred H. Potter, Leo C. Shutske, and Emil Hofferth.

The charter was issued to the post on July 22, 1920. On August 1, the permanent charter was received from the Legion headquarters at Indianapolis.

A special meeting was called for the members to meet at the school basement on July 9, at which time the officers were elected as follows: Luther B. Wise, commander; J. Raymond Benkie, adjutant. Thirty-three members joined the first year.

In 1921 the Post enjoyed its largest membership of fifty-two members under the commandership of Dr. S. E. Dittmer. Since then the post has succeeded in going over the top in membership each year.

In 1922, Civil war veteran James A. Hodgins presented to the post a lot, located in Section of lot 12, block 12, near the present site of the new Pleasant consolidated high and grade school now being built.

The Post presented to the officials of the Town of Kouts in 1925, a six by ten flag, as a token of esteem. The same year the Legion sold the business houses flags and staffs to be placed in the sidewalks on patriotic occasions.

On May 30, 1930, in special Memorial day services, an Elm tree was planted on the lot of Civil war veteran Albert Spencer. The tree was given to the post by Mrs. C. T. Eadus, a granddaughter of Mr. Spencer. This tree represents a memorial to all ex-service men of Pleasant township.

Each year on Decoration day, services are held at this honored tree. The Post in 1934 sold over six thousand evergreen trees to farmers, and at the same time gave a tree to each of five hundred school children of Pleasant township. In 1934 four thousand trees were sold.

The Post also presented to the postmaster a steel flag pole to be placed in front of the postoffice, and the flag pole was placed on the school grounds.

The post has been presented five citations in succession by the state department of the Legion for its service to the community.

William Redilyack Post has had fourteen commanders since its founding. They are: Luther B. Wise, 1920; Dr. S. E. Dittmer, 1921; Franklin J. Burrus, 1922; Henry Swing, 1923; William J. R. Klemnz, 1924-25; Robert Black (deceased), 1925; Franklin J. Burrus, 1926; Luther B. Wise, 1928-29-30; Simeon Rice, 1931; Albert Honechouse, 1932; Archie Metherd, 1933; J. Raymond Benkie, 1934; Louie Olsen, 1935; Emil Hofferth, 1936.

J. Raymond Benkie, present adjutant, served as adjutant for twelve years in succession.

The Post has tried to live up to the teachings of the order and the members have tried to do its part in showing the public that such a Post is much needed in the community.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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