A brief history of Laconia's AL Post 1
January 03. 2018 11:59PM
LACONIA — American Legion Post 1 in Laconia was originally chartered as the Frank W. Wilkins Post 1 on July 1, 1919.
According to the American Legion website, Wilkins was the first native son of Laconia to be killed during World War I. While repairing telegraph lines, Wilkins swerved his motorcycle to avoid striking a young girl who was herding sheep in the road. He crashed his motorcycle and suffered a badly broken leg. Gasoline from the ruptured tank entered the open wound, resulting in complications that took his life.
The Post operated under this name from the time of its official charter, Feb. 27, 1920, until it petitioned to include a local World War II service member killed in action. The charter was amended to include Cmdr. James Stuart Smith, who was killed during a naval battle in the Pacific Theater. On March 16, 1946, the Post was renamed the Wilkins-Smith Post 1.
The Post has had two homes. The first was on Union Avenue near the high school. Then, in 1953, it sold that location and built at 849 No. Main St.