Markle American Legion Post history

Larry Jenks, of Markle, stands with an American Legion seal that was donated to him by American Legion Post 85 of Huntington. The seal will be displayed in the Indiana Room in the Markle Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library.
Larry Jenks, of Markle, stands with an American Legion seal that was donated to him by American Legion Post 85 of Huntington. The seal will be displayed in the Indiana Room in the Markle Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library. Photo by Katelynn Farley.

At the Markle Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library, there is a local history room that holds items such as Huntington North High School yearbooks, local funeral records, histories of surrounding towns, a microfilm reader and more. And soon, it will hold a history of two American Legion Posts that were once located in Markle.

Larry Jenks, a resident of Markle, Vietnam War veteran and Past Commander of the Markle Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, has been spending time researching the history of the two American Legion Posts that were once chartered in Markle. His desire to research the American Legion Posts and compile a history of the Posts grew after the history of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post was compiled and placed in the history room at the Markle branch of the library.

Along with the written history of the VFW Post in Markle, there is a VFW flag and an original charter displayed in the history room at the Markle branch of the library. The VFW of Markle was mustered in during 1991. They voluntarily gave up their charter and transferred to the VFW Post 2689 in Huntington.

“Normally, you have to turn in your charter when you surrender it. They were good enough to let us keep ours, for historical purposes,” Jenks says.

With his past involvement with the Markle VFW, the leap to go digging for information about Markle’s American Legion Posts was an easy one.

“I thought that, since we had the history of the Veterans of Foreign Wars here in Markle, it would be nice to have the history of the American Legion Post in Markle,”

Jenks says. Jenks recalls one of the Legion Posts in Markle in the last 1960s. He says that it was through further research that he discovered there had actually been two Posts in Markle.

The first of the Posts, known as the Stuart/Taylor Post 260 of Markle, Indiana, was chartered in 1920. The Post was named after Floyd Stuart, a World War I veteran who was killed in action, and Hugo Taylor, a World War I veteran who died in a hospital ship in England or France. Jenks believes that both men were of Union Township in Huntington County and have headstones in the Star of Hope cemetery in Huntington.

According to Jenks, Taylor’s remains were able to be sent home to his family. It is believed that Stuart, however, was buried in France. According to an article about the Post being organized, which can be found in the Saturday, Feb. 14, 1920, edition of the “Huntington Herald”, the first American Legion Post in Markle had 31 charter members. The article also listed the names of the charter members and described the meeting, including the unanimous vote for a club room, a motion to wait for permission from the families of Stuart and Taylor to use their names in memory of the soldiers, as well as the permanent officers elected. The Legion Post kept its charter until 1936.

Currently, it would appear that there is no record of the second American Legion Post being chartered, but only of it giving up its charter. It was known as the Adams-Line American Legion Post of Markle and gave up its charter in 1968. The cancelation of the charter was presented to the National Executive Committee in its Oct. 16, 1968 meeting. Jenks believes that the second Post was chartered sometime between 1945 and 1950, by World War II veterans, as well as some Korean War veterans.

The written history of the American Legion Posts in Markle will most likely be available at the Markle branch of the library by the end of 2020. It will be displayed with an American Legion seal that was donated to Jenks by the Commander of the Huntington American Legion Post 85.

Each piece of the seal represents something different. The meanings are as follows:

Rays of sun stand for the principle of justice, freedom and democracy, loyalty and opposition to the darkness of evil.

The wreath honors those who gave their lives in service, that liberty might endure.

The star, the victory symbol of World War I, stands for honor, glory and constancy.

Two large rings represent rehabilitation for sick and disabled veterans (inner ring) and welfare of children (outer ring).

Two small rings placed over the star stand for loyalty, Americanism and service.

The words “American Legion” tie the parts together “For truth, remembrance, constancy, honor, service, rehabilitation, child welfare, loyalty and Americanism.”

Jenks believes that the history behind these organizations, as well as different armed forces ceremonies and traditions are being forgotten.

“Call me sentimental, but it’s one of the reasons that I try to do this,” Jenks says.

Jenks is part of the Veterans Council, which takes on the responsibility of flag planting and distributing Christmas Bundles throughout the year.

“We try to make sure that every veteran in every nursing home in Huntington get something on Christmas. So many of them are just put in a home and nobody seems to care,” Jenks shares.

According the Jenks, these organizations for veterans all have one thing in common.

“The VFW and American Legion are different organizations, but what they do have in common is that they have the welfare of veterans and [their] families in mind.”