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History of Post 215
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Harry D. Jerred

History of the Harry D. Jerred American Legion Post #215, Pardeeville, WI
(as given by Post Historian, Donald R. Silver on June, 2007)

Some time ago at a Pardeeville American Legion Post meeting, two questions came up: Who was Harry D. Jerred and; Why was his name chosen for our post?

Harry D. Jerred, born October 31, 1895 in Endeavor, Wisconsin, was the seventh child of Fred C. and Martha (Needham) Jerred who were married on September 9, 1877 and had a total of eight children. Harry was christened David Harry Jerred, but because he did not like the name David, he chose to use as his name, Harry D. Jerred. Fred C. Jerred, Sr. built many houses and barns in our area but, because it was in the days of the horse and buggy, the late 19th and early 20th century, moving often to be near his work was necessary. In 1899, Fred bought a farm in Buffalo Township, Marquette County, where later he had the Browning Mail Route, a job he held until his death on December 10, 1914. After Fred's death, his widow Martha and her two younger children, Harry and Lucille, moved to 309 North Main Street, Pardeeville, Wisconsin in 1916. Harry was employed as a carpenter for A.L. Parmelle, a local contractor, for whom he worked until he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Harry entered service on June 15, 1917, at the age of 22, enlisting at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin with Company K and went to Camp Douglas for basic training. On September 28, 1917, his company was transferred to Waco, Texas, for more training and, then Company K was deployed to Camp Merritte, New Jersey, on January 28, 1918. They arrived in France on March 3, 1918 and were attached to the 32nd Division, Company I, 127th Infantry Regiment A.E.F., and saw much action at the front. Harry was wounded on August 4, 1918 in a battle for Fismes, France on the Vesle River at the Battle of Chateau Thierry. Harry was confined to a base hospital at Nantes, France where he died at the age of 23 as a result of his wounds on September 6, 1918. He was the first Pardeeville boy to give his life on the battlefield of The Great World War. Harry's mother received a letter after his death from an attending nurse, who had been helping in his treatment at the base hospital. She gave a high tribute to Harry saying,everybody who knew Harry was deeply interested because of his pluck and splendid spirit he was a soldier to the last. No one won our admiration more than Corporal Jerred. Harry's family had written a long letter to him but, before they could send it, they received word of his death. This letter is still with the family.

Harry was a member of Pardee Lodge #171, F.&A.M. and a memorial service was held in his honor later in 1918. His remains were shipped back to Pardeeville, Wisconsin on December 14, 1920 and were escorted from the train station by the W.R.C. to the undertaking parlors of Lintner & Harrison. Impressive services were held on Sunday, December 15, 1920 at the Methodist Church, the remains being accompanied to the church by members of the American Legion, the local W.R.C. and The Masons; each order appearing as a body. The Reverend Dawson of Madison, who delivered the memorial in 1918, was in charge of the services. The body was laid to rest in The Pardeeville Cemetery, with full military honors next to his father. A firing squad, under the command of Lt John Carroll of Portage, fired three volleys over the grave and the bugler sounded Taps(as reported in the Pardeeville Times on December 20, 1918). His mother, Martha, joined them some years later on May 14, 1929.

For the answer to the second question of why and how Harry was chosen as our post's name, we have to look at when our post was started. In 1920, the 23 charter members of Pardeeville Post #215 met on a Monday evening to finalize the naming of the new post. The meeting was a particularly enthusiastic one and, after much discussion, two names were put up to a vote. The names were Harry D. Jerred and Arthur Mosher. Harry won by a vote of 12 to 10 over Arthur. Another meeting was called when the approved charter arrived from National. Harry D. Jerred American Legion Post #215, Pardeeville, Wisconsin became a corporation in March 1936 and, a supplemental charter was issued in April, 1940.


History of the Emblem

Throughout the 75-year history of The American Legion, one of the organization's most familiar symbols has been its emblem, which was adopted by the Legion on June 9, 1919 and patented on December 9 of that same year.

Eric Fisher Wood was listed on the patent papers as the inventor, though later turned the patent rights over to the Legion.

The emblem incorporated the "Victory" button (designed by A.A. Weinman of Forest Hills, N.Y.), which served as the discharge button for World War 1 veterans.

Also in the emblem are the Soldier's Star, the Victor's wreath and the letters "U.S.", which appears at the center.

The American Legion's Manual of ceremonies contains the following description of the emblem: "It stands for God and country, and the rights of man. Of its several parts, each has a meaning.

"The rays of the sun that form the background are emblematic of the principles of the American Legion - loyalty, justice, freedom and democracy and will dispel the darkness, hatred, violence, strife and evil.

"The two gold rings around the field of blue, bearing our name, symbolize two of our four main objectives: rehabilitation of our sick and diseased comrades, and care for the children of America. Within our rings is placed a wreath for remembrance of those who died so that liberty might live.

Upon the wreath is a star, reflecting the glory of victory and promising to the world perpetuation of those cardinal principles of our organization. Set upon the star are two bronze rings that typify the other two of our four main objectives: a better and more loyal Americanism, and service to the community, state and nation.

"The inscription demands that the wearer ever guard the sanctity of home, country and free institutions."

It's believed there is no significance to the dots that separate the two rings surrounding the "U.S." in the center of the emblem.

Originally, the emblem button was priced to sell for 25 cents. The official seal of the Legion was to be an adaptation of this button-seal.

Thus began the continual duty of the Legion's national headquarters to make the emblem a visible symbol of the organization, signaling the public service orientation of the many activities in which it is displayed.


 
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