I'm quoting what Herb Llewellyn said in the Times newspaper on Sept. 14. "In the lease agreement the city has with the American Legion they have the ability to build on the land set aside for the sports complex at any time.
To the Editor:
I'm quoting what Herb Llewellyn said in the Times newspaper on Sept. 14. "In the lease agreement the city has with the American Legion they have the ability to build on the land set aside for the sports complex at any time. The sport complex committee will decide if they want to build on leased land or if they would rather purchase the land."
This would mean that the American Legion would not get the money. Does the city really want to do that to the American Legion? This is not right. I will say the city was smart and knew what they were doing. They bought the Country Club because the Country Club wasn't making it. The Mayor talked to me about this and said the Legion wasn't making money and that there was not enough golfers to support both golf courses. I told him (the mayor) that we always paid our bills and if we had to buy a piece of equipment one year we might not make as much until we paid it off and the following year would be better and we paid our help good wages and took care of two or three families. The American Legion had the land appraised and the county came back and our taxes were three times more than it had been. The Legion didn't have that much money so the leaders of our city said they could help them and they could lease the land. They understood by talking to Llewellyn that this would void the taxes. They were shocked and surprised when they got the tax bill and it had to be paid. Verbal agreement wasn't put down in writing. Do you remember when your word was as good and a hand shake? This is off the subject, but my husband George Ball found a van in Oklahoma...no money, he called Mr. Stone at the Walnut Valley Bank and Mr. Stone told George go ahead and write a check and we will fix the papers up when you get back from Oklahoma.
Yes, our Commander for the last year and one or two of the officers signed the paper for leasing the land and the agreement was if any land was sold off that the Legion would get the money. My husband George Ball was Commander of Post 81, also State Commander of Kansas. He was also the first veterans to receive Honor the Veteran of the Year Award and the American Legion named the Post Hall as George Ball Activity Hall. I wish he was here when this all came up. I want to tell the commissioners, the mayor and Mr. Llewellyn about the American Legion.
Thirty veterans of World War I turned up at a meeting in June 1919 and met at the Segel Building on West 1st and elected or first Commander Charles Suffied and they named the Legion after Captain Edgar Dale Post 81. Captain Edgar Dale led his company in April 1918 which included many El Dorado service men in their Battle of Argonne. He lost his life there.
The American Legion passed a resolution supporting the Boy Scouts of America in 1919. The first baseball program was started in El Dorado in 1925 and it did so good, in four years the State of Kansas started the Legion Baseball Program (it started in El Dorado).
In 1933 construction was started on the Legion home by World War I veterans with the help of W.P.A. Girls and Boy's State was started by the Legion and Auxiliary in 1939. Several of our business women and men here in El Dorado attended through the years. The American Legion and Auxiliary is working all the time for our community. We had golfing and Government Day, where all the schools in Butler County sends their Juniors into El Dorado to learn what goes on at our courthouse. Scholarships are given out and I felt good thinking, I hate to see the golf course go but we will have more money to help our children attend college here. We take care of the veterans in VA Hospital and the nursing homes. Our Packages to War is so wonderful we have sent 373 packages to our service men and women who are fighting for us to keep us free! Wish you could read some of the letters that we get from them thanking us. Wow!
On Dec. 15, 1943, Harry W. Colmary, Past National Commander of the American Legion wrote on hotel stationary the first draft that was the GI Bill of Rights. Yes the veterans could go to college and buy a home because of this.
Captain Edgar Dale has 442 members, The Sons of the Legion has 54 members, Patriot Riders has 35 members, The Auxiliary has 199 members. We are a Legion family 730 strong.
I hope you can feel my heart ache, maybe you need to walk in my shoes and feel the pain that I'm in now. We worked hard as veterans for the land. The Legion men worked hard and had a beautiful golf course. It just wouldn't be right to lose this all.
Several of our commissioners have businesses here in El Dorado. Would you like it if your business would be taken away from you? I have to believe that you will see and do the right thing for our (your) American Legion.