History of American Legion Post 522

History of American Legion Post 522

as recorded by Gib Schmitt:

When I returned from the service back in 1947, several of my friends and I went down to Menomonee Falls to join an American Legion organization.  When I got married in 1949, I moved to Hartford and transferred to the John E. Courtney Post #19.  While a member there and attending many of their post functions I was elected as Post Commander, and while serving in that capacity I had been building my home down here in the town of Richfield.  During this time some veterans who lived here in Richfield approached me and asked how they could start a Legion post right here. Knowing the proper people to get in touch with, I contacted the District Commander, Kurt Westinberger, who lived over in the Village of Germantown. We got together and held a meeting, and after explaining everything that was involved, the ten veterans signed up to form the new Friess Lake Post. We prepared all the proper papers and documents and sent them to the State Headquarters.  After a very short time word came back and we were awarded a charter which named us the Friess Lake Post #522.

We elected a Commander, Bernard (Butch) Staley, and an Adjutant who happened to be a young veteran who had just recently returned home, Jackie Niederer.  The members met there periodically and kept signing up new members; after the first year we had signed up twenty- five.  We put on a Memorial Day program each year thereafter, starting there at the lakefront to honor the naval deceased, and then each year a different cemetery was approached where we put on a very nice service for all veterans that were buried there.  On the Fourth of July each year we put on a small parade for the youngsters, and had a small picnic in the park there.  We ran several dances at the firehouse there at the lake to raise funds for the organization.  We all had a good time putting on these events and enjoyed them very much.

As the years went on, we kept moving around the township at various taverns and restaurants to try and increase the membership.  After many of these excursions we weren’t getting anywhere until a couple of brothers known as the Kindt brothers joined.  One of them, Fred, became our Commander and at a meeting at Rundquist’s Tap at Plat (later known as the Jolly Aire), Commander Fred approached the membership with a deal.  He stated, “Fellow members, my brother and I own a narrow strip of land down at Bark Lake and we have $600.00 in our treasury.  We will turn over that parcel for the $600.00 and we will drive a point for a well, and put up a case of beer on an ironing board”.  So, this became the present Post we now own.

The clubhouse was constructed by many of the volunteer members and was completed in 1968.  Afterwards, it was decided that we should give it distinction by naming it after several veterans as other Legion Posts have done.  The process began and the first selection made was a young man from St. Augustine whose parents owned the business which was known as the Down Slope Pub.  This lad being Herbert C Goetz had enlisted in the Navy early in 1942, and after his training was ordered to submarine duty in the Sea of Japan.  His submarine built, launched and commissioned right here in Manitowoc, WI.  While on a reconnaissance mission there they were torpedoed, and today, he and his crewmates still lie there in a watery grave at the bottom of the Sea of Japan.

The next selection was a young lad who had returned from the Korean War in the early 1950’s named St. Louis.  One day, on his return from work down in Milwaukee he met with a fatal car-train crash which took his life.  So today we are known as the Goetz-St. Louis Post #522 of the American Legion.