Walter-Howard Shaw Post 327, Veterans of
Foreign Wars of the U. S. A.
1920 – 1970
After the return of the men of the community of Lansdowne who served
in the armed forces in World War I, a few of them gathered and decided to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars, U. S. A. These veterans applied for membership in the parent organization and became Post # 327 on January 16, 1920.
Three young men of Lansdowne paid the supreme sacrifice. To pay honor to these three, part of each man’s name was used in naming the Post. These men were:
Thus Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327.
The charter members were:
Thomas Barton, Jr. Phillip T. Potter
Lester M. Ruppert George P. Reinhardt
Howard F. Clem Christian L. Rollman
August Doneski Hiram B. Wagner
J. Herbert Gochnauer William H. Riggins
Ernest H. Kiefer R. E. Lee Stuntz
Dwight E. Kellogg R. Frank Simmons
F. Peter Metzer Harry D. Wholley
August G. Miller George P. Weber
Christopher M. Purcell William J. Weber
Charles M. Potter Frank Peterson
Thomas E. Barton, Jr. was elected the first commander.
The Lansdowne Christian Church (Hull Memorial) presented a bible to the Post in 1920. This bible is still being used at the Post meetings.
Post History (Continued)
At the Lansdowne Christian Church, in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic, a service was held every second Sunday in May. This service started on May 14, 1905, by the Grand Army of the Republic. This ceremony was monumental in its inception as it became an all- day affair. Extra coaches were added to the B & O trains to bring people out from Baltimore City to participate. The people of the community took part as well as the Posts both G. A. R. and V. F. W., from different locations of the State of Maryland. After the service meals were served and a reunion of fellowship existed.
The Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327 became active in this affair in May of 1920 and carried on the services after the Grand Army of the Republic was unable to do so.
In April 1920, to raise funds a dance and raffle was held. The first prize was 100 pounds of sugar. It so happened that sugar was hard to come by, so the winner was given a choice of coal or flour.
The Post members met at the Lansdowne Fire Hall and at different member’ homes.
Several of the comrades were interested in having an auxiliary and so on October 6, 1927, The Ladies Auxiliary to Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327 was instituted with 13 charter members. Matilda Weber Moran served as its first president.
In 1868 the National Commander of the G. A. R. had given an order which stated that the 30th of May each year be designated for the purpose of decorating the graves of all deceased comrades. Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327 carried out that order when they came in to existence and took over the work of the G. A. R. and started going to the different cemeteries in Baltimore and Elkridge.
The Post continued on through the years, striving to stay together during the years of the depression. The members continued to carry on the Memorial Services at the Lansdowne Christian and took part in the affairs of the community.
Europe became involved in war in 1939 and in December 1941 our Country was drawn into this ordeal and so World War II was on. When the veterans returned home some of them joined up with Walter-Howard-Shaw Post. Several of the veterans of World War I, who were members of Post # 327, also served in World War II.
Post History (Continued)
During this war the community raised funds and started a Memorial Park at Washington Ave., between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. After slow progress ground was deeded to our Post and a stone monument was erected on the property. This was dedicated in 1948. Memorial Services were held there for a time.
The members struggled on and continued the aim of the Post to build a home.
The Post has sponsored Soap Box Derbies. Presented flags to schools, and scouts and made contributions to worthy causes such as Lansdowne High School Scholarship Fund, March of Dimes, and others.
A “Poppy” sale is conducted every year and at present committees sell at the Lansdowne Shopping Center and the shopping Center on Patapsco Ave.
Veterans returning from the Korean Conflict became eligible for membership in the V. F. W. and those boys now returning from Vietnam are also eligible to become members.
Due to lack of interest and vandalism at the Memorial grounds on Washington Ave., the Post decided to pay tribute to the deceased comrades by placing a vase of flowers in all the churches in the community on Memorial Day.
With the cooperation of Baltimore County and through the efforts of Lansdowne-Riverview Recreation Council, the Post just recently placed a monument at Hillcrest Park which is located on Third Avenue, near the Lansdowne High School. The inscription on it reads:
This monument is humbly dedicated to all whoever fought to
preserve the freedom and dignity we now enjoy and to those
at home who also made many sacrifices and anxiously
prayed for and awaited their return. Dedicated by
Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327 Veterans of Foreign Wars
of the U. S. A. and the people of Lansdowne, Maryland”
We extend an invitation to all who served in the armed forces of the United States of America on foreign soil or at sea during times of war or military conflict to join the Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars is a good outfit……it remembers the dead by helping the loving.
Various documents and photos from the VFW archives.