Bunch-Walton Post 22 American Legion HutBunch-Walton Post 22 American Legion Hut
“The Lee Bunch Post #22 was formed in Clarksville in February 1919 when fifteen veterans applied to form a Johnson County post. It was named for Bunch, a resident of Batson who was the first Johnson Countian to die in World War I. The group initially met in local homes, churches and clubs, but in February 1932 the Civic Club sold the post for one dollar an island between the main stream and west fork of Spadra Creek near downtown Clarksville.
In 1934, the Civil Works Administration, which helped build Legion huts across the state, approved Project No. 36- 34 T 2, a community building in Clarksville. The Post’s ladies’ auxiliary sold cement for seventy cents per bag to finance the building’s foundation and to raise some of the local matching funds needed to secure CWA funding. On February 3, 1934, the Arkansas Legionnaire reported that the construction of the building was “well under way” and that Lee Bunch Post members “with a dignified ceremony under the supervision of the Masonic Order, laid the cornerstone of the community house and Legion home, Monday afternoon at five o’clock.”
The building was completed a few months later, and was officially dedicated on Memorial Day in a ceremony led by Charles Q. Kelley, the Arkansas Department commander of the American Legion. The Arkansas Legionnaire noted that “a fish fry culminating a membership contest between Russellville and Clarksville was given during the afternoon. Lee Bunch Post at Clarksville won the contest which made it necessary for the Riggs Hamilton Post of Russellville to pay all expenses for the fish fry.”
The Bunch-Walton Post #22 American Legion Hut, with its Normanesque appearance and castellated turrets, remains on of the most architecturally distinctive buildings in Clarksville. It continues to serve the local American Legion Post today as it has for 72 years, and stands as a monument to the members of the American Legion and to the role the Civil Works Administration played in bringing work to Johnson County in the throes of the Great Depression.”
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on July 13, 2017.
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