American Legion Collection
This collection includes the award certificates, newspaper clippings, notes, scrapbook, and photographs of the American Legion Archie Wood – Frank Adkins Post No. 7. The majority of the photographs date from the 1950s to 1960s. These images show service projects, social events, and parades. W.J. Souza of the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle is credited for many of the photographs as the images were used in the annual Buddy Paper edition.
- 1924 - 1990
- American Legion (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
Biographical / Historical Information
Thirty-six members officially formed the American Legion Archie Wood Post No. 7 on July 31, 1919 in Clarksville, Tennessee. The namesake for the club was Archie Wood, the first Montgomery County soldier to die in World War I. Wood, a member of the Co. 112th Infantry, died on November 7, 1918 in the Belleau Woods of the Meuse-Argonne.
A clubroom opened at 128 Franklin Street for members. On September 14-15, 1922, the local American Legion chapter hosted the fourth annual Tennessee Convention. During the following year, members organized the Buddy Paper Sale, in coordination with the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, to raise money for the welfare fund. This annual event happened on the Sunday before Christmas.
The Archie Wood Post No. 7 moved first to 101 Franklin Street in 1924 and then to 108 North Third Street in 1928. Members repurposed the club room as a kitchen to assist the American Red Cross with relief work for the victims of the 1937 flood. They also aided in rescue work and delivered water from Nashville to Clarksville residents.
At the outbreak of World War II, legionnaires operated a county salvage drive to collect scrap metal and paper for the wartime plants. The organization also added a draft board to its clubroom. The Archie Wood Post No. 7 officially incorporated the name of Frank Adkins in 1946. Lt. Col. Adkins, son of Montgomery County Court Register Grover Cleveland Adkins, served as a pilot during World War II. He perished in a plane crash in February 1945.
The Archie Wood – Frank Adkins Post No. 7 purchased the former USO building on Main Street and moved their clubrooms to that space in 1946. The new building featured a lounge, coffee bar, and dining hall. The latter area also functioned as a dance hall and banquet hall for special occasions.
Legionnaires participated in a number of service projects, including Memorial Day grave decorating, the Buddy Paper Sales, and toy drive. On Memorial Day each year, Post No. 7 decorated veterans’ graves in Montgomery County. The program started with just 12 graves in 1920 and gradually grew to 300 by 1952. Members of the American Legion Auxiliary, a women’s patriotic service organization, crafted wreaths with poppies and evergreens. Legionnaires supplied small American flags to place on each grave with the wreaths.
In 1949, the American Legion Post No. 7 organized an annual Christmas toy drive. Local residents were encouraged to donate old toys to the Post building. Legionnaires worked with male students in the Manual Arts Department at Clarksville High School to repair the used toys. Then, at Christmas time, they distributed the toys to needy children in Montgomery County.
Post No. 7 hosted a yearly minstrel show featuring blackface performers. Legion minstrel shows were commonplace starting in the 1930s. It is unknown how long Post No. 7 legionnaires participated in these shows.
The Archie Wood – Frank Adkins Post No. 7 was an organization for white ex-servicemen. A separate chapter, known as the Lonnell Williams Post No. 143, was organized on February 19, 1923 for African American ex-servicemen. Although Post No. 7 excluded African American legionnaires, the organization employed black staff members. Jerry “Sonny” Roach worked as the chief cook for Post No. 7 and was in charge of the kitchen in the ca. 1950s. Other African American kitchen staff included Norman Crotzer, dishwasher, and William Milan, short order cook.
3.18 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
A collection of award certificates, newspaper clippings, notes, scrapbook, and photographs dating from 1924 to 1990 belonging to the American Legion Archie Wood – Frank Adkins Post No. 7.
Arranged by subject.
Certificates awarded to the American Legion Post No. 7 were framed and housed in boxes at the time of donation. These certificates were removed from frame enclosures, cleaned, and placed in acid-free folders. All items in the American Legion Collection were cleaned, placed in folders or photograph enclosures, and housed in the Archives. Photographs were removed from the collection and stored with the Archives Photograph Collection.
- American Legion (Organization)
- Drye, Wilma K., 1940-2008 (Person)
- American Legion Collection
- Jenna Stout
- September 13, 2018
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the Montgomery County Archives Repository
350 Pageant Lane
Clarksville Tennessee 30741 United States