The Auxiliary Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt Post No. 264 of the American Legion, Marceline, Missouri, was organized October 5, 1920, with the following charter members: Mrs. Vivian Lancaster Mrs. Belle Stuver, Mrs. Rosa Roof, Miss Marguerite Roof, Mrs. Mary Lancaster, Miss Blanche Svensson, Mrs. Ailah Steiner, Mrs. Ruth Heryford, Mrs. Olga Scott, Mrs. Frances Bowen, Mrs. Ruth Cat, Mrs. Dan L. Eichenlaub, Mrs. Margaret E. Hoefer, Mrs. Margaret Jones, and Mrs. Sallie Roe.
Mrs. Ruth Heryford served as the first president and has had continuous membership in the unit since it was organized. Mrs. Pauline Strickel and Mrs. Lewis Adair have been members forty- two years.
The purpose of the organization is expressed in the preamble which is as follows: “For God and Country we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred per cent Americanism. To preserve the memories and incidents of our association during the Great Wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy; to participate in and contribute to the aims and purposes of the American Legion; to consecrate and sanctify our association by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.”
To accomplish these purposes, the State and National organizations have established a number of projects for which the local groups work and contribute. One of the largest programs of the Auxiliary is rehabilitation. They contribute to the needs of the hospitalized veterans which are not supplied by the government, such as stationery, stamps, toilet articles, and gifts for them to send to their loved ones at Christmas. The source of funds for rehabilitation is observance of “Poppy Day” on Friday and Saturday preceding Memorial Day. Part of the money which is paid for the poppies is given to the veterans who make them. Funds are then solicited for the poppies and are then used for the needs of veterans and their families. Poppy Day was first observed here in 1925. Again in 1928 and 1929 and then in 1933 and every year since. At first only 200 poppies were purchased but since 1946 over one thousand are purchased each year.
In 1931, a Ladies Drum and Bugle Corps was organized and the group was active for five years. They were sent by the local unit to several District and Department Conventions of the American Legion and Auxiliary. Mrs. O. G. Hetrick was the Drum Major and. most of the personnel were members of the auxiliary.
For several years the State Auxiliaries and the National American Legion Auxiliary have sponsored a Girls’ State and Girls’ Nation. This is a project for teaching girls how to run the government. Mrs. Lyle Armstrong (Mary Adair) was the first girl sent by the local unit to the Girls’ State in 1941 held at the William Woods College at Fulton, Missouri. A girl has been sent every year since that date with the exception of two years during World War II and this was because of the gas and tire restrictions.
For almost fifteen years, Unit 264 has sponsored an Americanism essay contest in both Junior and Senior High School groups. Awards have been given to first and second place winners in both groups each year. Two of the winners have gone on to District and become first place winners: Glen Clarke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Clarke and Nancy O’Connor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O. H. O’Connor.
The president of Unit No. 264 for 1963 is Mrs. Fannie Hunter and there are 36 members.