Jarchow-Schroeder American Legion Post #61
Historical research found that the first North Kansas City American Legion Post was named “Schroeder-Cook Post #417” with Capt. James Byrnes as the Commander. For some reason this charter was revoked. This Post was named after Frank Wesley Schroeder and Lewis Calvin Cook.
The charter application for Jarchow-Schroeder American Legion Post #61 of North Kansas City, Missouri was submitted the 23rd of February, 1927 with H. E. Richey signing the application and seventeen other names appearing on the petition.
This charter was approved on the 3rd of March, 1927. The Post was named after Clayton F. Jarchow and Corporal Frank Wesley Schroeder, with Harry E. Richey, serving as the first Commander.
The Jarchow-Schroeder American Legion Post #61 Auxiliary was chartered the 24th of May, 1927.
In the beginning the Post didn’t have a permanent home and was forced to meet in churches, the Police Station, funeral homes, schools, etc – just about anyplace that would donate a room.
Then Past Commander Curtis, who was the principal of the North Kansas City High School arranged for them to use Room 225 – they finally knew where their next meeting would be held and fixed up the room with Legion articles, but were still looking for a place that they could call their own -- the lack of funds greatly handicapped this goal.
In 1934-35 they were offered rooms over the A. O. Thompson Lumber Company – in 1937 they were offered space by the Power and Light Company. Later records indicate that they met in the Ben Bolt Hotel, Ida’s Café, Industrial Café and the Wood Hills Club House.
Thru the years they met at many, many different places. In an undated newspaper article (another article is dated 1947) it states that there was a special called executive board meeting of the Post and at this meeting it was voted unanimously to purchase a track of land consisting of six lots, from the North Kansas City Development Company, for a new Post home, at a cost of $3500.00.
There was another special called meeting of all Legion members to have a fund raiser so that the new Post home would be free of debt.
In 1956-57 the Post members voted to sell this property for $25,000.00 – they started meeting of various locations again.
The next move was to the present Post home – on August 7, 1959 they purchased the property which consisted of 7 ½ acres. Through the efforts of the members the property was cleaned up and was dedication on June 24, 1960.
By August 15, 1962 it was decided that more room was needed so they purchased property just South of the Post on the 19th of September, 1962 - there has been many changes and upgrades through the years to bring our Post to it's present day state.
Frank Wesley Schroeder
Corporal Frank Wesley Schroeder was born in April 14, 1892 he enlisted in the Marines the 18th of January, 1918 at North Kansas City, Missouri.
He was sent overseas the 1st of May, 1918, serving in the 49th CO 5th Reg -- he suffered a shrapnel wound in a battle between St. George and St. Landress on the lst of November, 1918 and was sent to the Mobile Hospital #2 the same day where he died at 9:30 p.m. – he died just ten days before the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.
He was originally buried in an American Cemetery near the hospital and was later moved to his family plot located at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Church in Riverside, Missouri.
Clayton E. Jarchow
Clayton E. Jarchow was born the 24th of March 1889 at Wakefield, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and the College of Mines at Houghton, Michigan.
Clayton enlisted at Chicago, Illinois the 7th of October, 1917 and was sent to Camp Grant, Illinois where he was assigned to CO “I” 343rd Infantry and was then transferred to the Meteorological Service of the U.S. Signal Corps.
He was sent overseas in February, 1918, attached to the 321st Field Signal Corps -- he was discharged in April, 1918 at Camp Grant, Illinois.
Clayton died the 16th of January, 1927 leaving a wife and three children.
History of the Bell and the Cannon
The large railroad engine bell came off of an engine which carried troops during World War II and was donated by Charley Ellerbrook.
The huge 1.55 Artillery Model 59-MM (Long Tom) cannon was obtained for the Post through the efforts of Jerry Litton, then a Congressman for the 6th District of Missouri -- he was later killed in a place crash on his way to celebrate the victory of another election.
Members Galen Neill and Gene Childress drove a truck donated by Rapid Way Truck Leasing in Kansas City, Missouri, to Chambersbury, Pennsylvania to bring the cannon home to the Post May 23, 1973.
The cannon is 39 feet long, 8-ft 4-in wide and 13-ft 6-in high and weighs approximately 32,000 pounds – it cost $62,000.00 when it was new in 1941. This particular artillery piece was used through World War II and also in the Korean War.
This cannon has a title and includes the clause “if the Government ever need the weapon because of war, that the Government would ask that it be returned to the nearest facility”.
The cannon was finally placed on the platform and originally faced South, but removed from the platform to be used in a parade – when it was returned the borrowers had no way of replace it on the platform so it was placed in the “grassy” area when it remained with weeds growing up around it. Finally a member who had access to heavy road equipment moved dirt to make a ramp and moved the cannon – but when everything was done it was facing North instead of South.