The Post 111 designation has two interesting histories. The first is a brief history of Sam Jackson Post 111, which was located in San Benito, Texas followed by the history of S. Gus Alexander, Jr. Memorial Post 111, which is currently located in Cedar Hill, Texas. The histories are subject to modification as pertinent information becomes known or clarified.
Sam Jackson Post 111
On December 1, 1919, seventy-seven (77) veterans of World War I met in an old Army Post near San Benito, Texas and signed an application to start the Sam Jackson Post in the San Benito area. The Post was so named in memory of the first area veteran who gave his life in the service of his country. A. L. Montgomery “Monty”, who had been active in organizing the Post and in securing the charter, was elected the first Commander. The temporary charter for Sam Jackson Post 111 was approved on December 18, 1919. The original Post was located at 826 N. Stenger, San Benito, Texas. None of the original structure remains today.
Sam Jackson Post 111 sponsored several youth programs, including American Legion Baseball, which the community enjoyed for many years. The Post constructed their own baseball field, which is still in use by the community today. The Post also sponsored an Aviation Scout Troop, which actually owned an airplane at one time. The airplane was given to the Aviation Scouts in need of repair. Not being discouraged, the scouts accepted the challenge and worked with dedication to restore the aircraft for flight. After much hard work, everyone said the plane was a sight to behold and they were all so proud of their work. Once finished, they discovered one small problem....no one knew how to fly it! In the end the plane was traded for flight time for the Aviation Scouts.
The Post prospered in membership and the members applied for a permanent charter on October 10, 1953. The permanent charter was approved on January 29, 1954.
The Post’s membership and participation started failing late 50s and early 60s, so the members chose to sell their property and building to The Knights of Columbus in 1963. The funds were used to establish and provide a scholarship fund for outstanding students at local high schools in the area. The scholarship was turned over to the local VFW Post and continues to assist local students today.
As time passed by membership and participation grew worse. One of the officers, Don Martin, was without support and had no choice but to return the charter to The American Legion, Department of Texas in 1988. The Sam Jackson Post 111 charter was canceled 4 April, 1988.
S. Gus Alexander, Jr. Memorial Post 111
In September 1992, three members (Patrick "Rick" Adcock, Sherrill A. "SA" LeJune, and James "Jim" Taylor) of the Jack B. Swain Post 424 in Dallas, Texas believed there was a need for another American Legion Post to service southwest Dallas and north Ellis counties. It was agreed that they would meet again and on November 28, the first organizational meeting was held at VFW Post 8913 in Lancaster, Texas to start formalizing the process. The meeting was chaired by Rick Adcock and attended by S.A. LeJune, John R. Moehlenkamp, David Dickey, and Jim Taylor. Several initial objectives were discussed and put forth. The first objective was to meet in January 1993 to establish the formal organization and determine who would fill the various Officer positions. The second objective was to recruit 15 virgin members by December. New names for the Post were discussed and it was decided to give Post 111 the temporary name of South Suburban Memorial until such time that they could establish a Post on solid membership and financial stability. A membership drive was established by recruiting acquaintances and searching DD214 forms at the Dallas Couthouse for eligible veterans in the Lancaster, Desoto, Cedar Hill and surrounding towns. A door-to-door recruiting campaign was implemented by SA LeJune and the goal of 15 non-members was achieved. As a result, Post 111 started having regular meetings at VFW Post 8913 every other week. A Temporary Charter request was submitted and signed by: John R. Moehlenkamp, Tom W. Wait, Tom Wesson, Gerald J. Lawrence, Bill F. Bullock, David C. Taylor, W. O. Scherzer Jr., Elizabeth Metcalf, Daniel J. Walls, Charlie M. Savage, Roger A. Cooper, Albert J. Forman, Richard J. Potter, Imelda Smith, George E. Rentler, Robert O. Graham, Henry P. Rush Jr., and Gary L. Boren. On January 14, 1993 the group was granted a temporary charter for the South Suburban Memorial Post 111 to be located in Lancaster, Texas.
On January 18, 1993, another organizational meeting chaired by Rick Adcock was held in Lancaster, Texas at VFW Post 8913 to nominate individuals for formal office. Ballots for officer nominations and new Post bylaws and charter were handed out to the 16 members present: Imelda Smith, Rusty Curtis, Bill Bullock, George Rentler, David Dickie, Richard Potter, Rick Curtis, Tom Wait, Pat Metcalf, Elizabeth "Betsy" Metcalf, Jim Taylor, Gerald Lawrence, John Moehlenkamp, Gary Boren, SA LeJune, Rick Adcock, and Jim Prendergast. Guests District Commander Bob Elkins and District Vice Commander Jim Prendergast were introduced to the members and the following officers were nominated with complete approval by all members: Rick Adcock, Commander; Betsy Metcalf, Finance Officer; Gerald Lawrence, Judge Advocate; Imelda Smith, Chaplain; Richard Potter, Historian; Bill Bullock, Sergeant-at-Arms; and SA LeJune, Adjutant.
On April 13, 1993, a special meeting was assembled at the VFW Post in Lancaster, Texas to discuss and adopt a new name for the Post 111. A resolution was made to dedicate Post 111 in memory of Lt. S. Gus Alexander Jr. who was killed in action in Vietnam April 12, 1969 while serving in the U.S. Army with Company B of the 27th Infantry's First Battalion. According to U.S. Government records, Lt. Alexander's element of Company B was pinned down by a heavy volume of enemy fire on the night of April 12. "With complete disregard for his own safety, Lt. Alexander exposed himself to a heavy volume of enemy fire as he led an element to the aid of the beleaguered platoon. Spotting his wounded radio operator, Lt. Alexander went to his aid. After administering first aid to the wounded soldier, Lt. Alexander exposed himself as he recovered the radio only to find the radio damaged by the intense hostile fire. Lt. Alexander began to move back with his men when he was fatally wounded." He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. The motion to accept the resolution carried and the new name of Lt. S. Gus Alexander, Jr. Memorial Post was adopted. The changes were accepted by The American Legion, Department of Texas with a slight alteration. The new name for the Post was officially designated the S. Gus Alexander, Jr. Memorial Post 111.
Election and installation of the first Officers took place on May 3, 1993: Patrick "Rick" Adcock, Commander; Patrick D. Metcalf, 1st Vice Commander; John R. Moehlenkamp, 2nd Vice Commander; Ricky Curtis, Adjutant; Elizabeth "Betsy" Metcalf, Finance Officer; Vacant, Judge Advocate; George Rentler, Service Officer; Gerald Lawrence, Sergeant-at-Arms; Rick Potter, Historian; and Imelda Smith, Chaplain. A permanent charter was applied for and then issued to Post 111 on May 29, 1993.
Post 111 started holding "steak nights" at VFW Post 8913. This was the first successful fund raising effort by Post 111 and was so successful that the VFW Post made it their own project. On September 16, 1993, the Post held special meeting to discuss moving from the VFW Post in Lancaster to the American Legion Post 511 located in Dallas, Texas. Arrangements were made with Post 511 to share their facilities. It was agreed that Post 111 could hold their "steak nights" in order to raise funds. During Post 111's stay at Post 511, Post 111 remodeled the kitchen, built a new bar, and helped build a barbecue pit and stand.
The Post’s Articles of Incorporation were signed by Officers Rick Adcock, Pat Metcalf, Ricky Curtis, and Jim Taylor and notarized on November 23, 1993. The Articles were submitted to The American Legion, Department of Texas for approval. The Articles named the current officers of Post 111 as: Commander, Patrick (Rick) Adcock; Vice Commander, Patrick D. Metcalf; Vice Commander, John Moehlenkamp; Adjutant, Ricky Curtis; Finance Officer, Elizabeth Metcalf; Post Judge Advocate, James C. Taylor; Service Officer, Sherrill A. LeJune; Sergeant-at-Arms, Gerald Lawrence; and Chaplain, Imelda Smith. The Articles of Incorporation were approved on November 29, 1993.
Post 111 moved from the Post 511 Dallas location to Redbird Airport on June 22, 1995. Forrest "Sparkey" Sparkman found rentable space at Redbird Airport and with the help of Gary Poplin was able to rent it. However, a dispute developed in late 1996 between the Red Bird Development Corporation and Post 111 over the lease price. The increase in lease rent forced Post 111 to seek other accommodations. The Red Bird Post facility closed on October 22, 1996.
After vacating the Red Bird facility, the Post was left without a location to meet in. Larry Parks volunteered his office at 514 N. Main in Duncanville, Texas as a temporary meeting facility until a new home for Post 111 could be found. Space was once again found at the Red Bird Airport – this time in the Lobby area. The new address for the Post was 5303 Challenger Drive in Dallas, Texas. The location was approved by the membership and a lease was signed in April 1997.
While at Red Bird Airport, Intercity Investments donated a sizable piece of property to Post 111 located in downtown Grand Prairie, Texas at 130 W. Main. However, the building was in poor condition. Post 111 took possession of the building on September 1, 1998. In November, 1998, the City of Grand Prairie made a formal offer to purchase the building and threatened condemnation if Post 111 did not comply. The Post hired an attorney, who in turn, negotiated an acceptable offer. The Post sold the building to the city in May, 1999.
The sale of the Grand Prairie property provided the needed funds to allow Post 111 to look for a permanent home. After much searching, the property at 952 N. Highway 67 in Cedar Hill, Texas was purchased on April 20, 2000. This location is the current home of S. Gus Alexander, Jr. Memorial Post 111.
In 1997, Charles S. Miller, the Post Historian, began research on the original Sam Jackson Post 111 and its namesake. The research led to a formal ceremony held in 1999 in which Sam Jackson was honored along with the presentation of a flag and his medals to his nearest living relatives. The large meeting hall within the Post is dedicated to Sam Jackson.
On January 9, 2015, the Post mortgage was paid in full.
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