Providing for Veterans and our community since 1919
The life and death of Burton Woolery
The Post was named in memory of Sergeant Burton Woolery,
as he was the first service man killed from Monroe County in service to
his country on foreign soil. At this time The Post was located on South
College Ave. and the first commander was Dr. F. M. Garner.
Sergeant Woolery was the first WW1 casualty from Monroe
County to be killed on foreign soil. He was killed instantly near a
small place, Esperance Ferme in France on July 29, 1918 in the
afternoon. All four guns were in position and he was the Sergeant in
charge of the 4th gun as he was yards away a shell whistled in and
killed him. He was buried just behind the gun position where his remains
stayed until 1921.
Burton Woolery was a well-known stone operator. He graduated from Bloomington High School and
enrolled at Indiana University in 1917, where he was a member of the Phi
Delta Theta fraternity. When WW1 broke out he was a freshman at Indiana
University and he enlisted in the service to his country. He served with
Battery F of 150th Field Artillery, 42nd Rainbow Division.
His remains were returned to the United States on July
15, 1921. The photo of the funeral of Burton Woolery was taken at the
corner of 7th and Walnut Streets. The interment was at Rose Hill
Cemetery. Dr. Frank Holland, The American Legion commander, presided at
An example to aspire to, Paul V. McNutt
McNutt joined the Indiana University law school faculty in 1917, but national service disrupted his teaching. The United States formally entered into World War I in April, 1917, and within a few months, McNutt registered for military service. He spent most of the war at bases in Texas, and while he “exuded pride in his contribution,” historian Dean J. Kotlowski noted that the war’s end dashed his chance to fight in Europe. McNutt returned to the IU Law School faculty in 1919, and by 1925, he was elected Dean. Under his tenure, the Law School streamlined its administration, expanded enrollment, and oversaw the launch of the Indiana Law Journal. He held this position until he became Governor of Indiana.
McNutt’s political ambitions came to a zenith during his tenure as State and National Commander of the American Legion, using its infrastructure to win the governorship. He was elected State Commander in 1926 and, during his tenure, membership dramatically increased from 18,336 to 25,505. He was then elected National Commander on October 11, 1928, where he expanded national membership, organized events, and offered advice on foreign policy and veteran’s affairs. McNutt’s outspoken views even ignited a public feud with President Herbert Hoover. In 1929, the Hoover Administration agreed to scrap two British Naval Ships and McNutt communicated his disagreement with a telegram published in the New York Times. McNutt believed it made America more open to attack if “naval parity with Britain” was lost. McNutt’s internationalist view of foreign policy, which would serve him well during the 1940s, clashed with the isolationist current of the 1920s.
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