Blog

Arkansas Properties on the National Register of Historic Places: Estes-Williams Post #61 American Legion Hut, Yellville, Marion County

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Friday, January 16, 2015

The Estes-Williams Post #61 American Legion Hut at Yellville in Marion County was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 16, 2001. You can read this and other Arkansas National Register nominations at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/historic-properties/national-register/search.aspx.

SUMMARY

Constructed in 1933 and 1934 the Estes-Williams Post #61 American Legion Hut is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places with local significance under Criterion A for its association with the American Legion and Civil Works Administration and under Criterion C as the best example of Rustic style architecture in Yellville, Arkansas.
ELABORATION

History of the American Legion
The American Legion was founded in France during the relatively uneventful days that followed the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. American enlisted men from all three of the principle branches of the of the service then in existence- the Army, Navy and Marine Corps were billeted in various locations for the purpose of maintaining a Military presence while negotiators worked out the details of the treaty that would outline the future for much of Europe for the next decade. These servicemen found life during the occupation uneventful, which only added to their dismay at not being able to return home to their families. A small group of officers, Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and Lt. Colonel George A. White, met to discuss the possibility of establishing a veterans’ organization that would include all branches of the military. The organization would serve the immediate purpose of providing an outlet for some of the energy and frustration felt by the troops still in Europe, and fulfill a long term goal of establishing a national veterans’ organization that would provide its members with a social organization and also as a vehicle to voice their concerns on national defense, social programs and veterans’ affairs.

Successive meetings over the course of the next several months in both Europe and America further defined the Legion’s mandate and purpose. However, it was the shooting of four Legionnaires during an Armistice Day parade in Centralia, Washington, in 1919 by Socialists IWW organizers and the trial that followed that both galvanized and tempered the Legionnaire spirit. In the trial they were portrayed as the aggressors, however, both the public and the Legion press recognized the dangers of extremism by any party. They also recognized the need for responsible vigilance against any activity that threatened the democratic form of government. The American Legion began to grow steadily thereafter through an organization of elected officers on the national, state and local level that provided a voice for its members regarding a variety of national concerns. During the Depression the American Legion distinguished itself through the expansion of local programs targeted at youth. Three main programs were American Legion Junior Baseball, the American Legion Oratorical Contest and Boys’ State.

Estes Williams American Legion Hut #61
In December 1920 a permanent American Legion Post was established at Yellville, Arkansas. The post was named the Estes-Williams Post #61. The post did not yet have a meeting hall of their own, so meetings were held at the Morris Hotel located in the town square in Yellville. There is little else known of the post until 1933 when its members submitted plans to the Civil Works Administration for an American Legion Hut to be built in Yellville. The plan was approved in a short amount of time and work commenced. The stipulations of the contract were that the Legion would provide the land and transportation for the materials and workers. The C.W.A. would provide the materials and the labor and the city council donated the land for the project.

George Cavaness, Ruey Estes and W.C. Wilbanks were the three post members elected to supervise the construction of the building. Mr. Estes was a master carpenter and given supervision of the project. The plan for the building had originally called for a 40×60-foot. building with two 8×14-foot restrooms and a 16×20-foot kitchen. It was to be built of pine logs, squared on three sides to give it the appearance of an 1800s log house. The inside walls were to be covered in plaster and a single native red marble fireplace was to be built.

Early in 1934 the government disbanded the C.W.A. Legion members then took up the job of building the hut and work continued. They made modifications to the original plan deciding to use split logs rather than three sided squared, the inside walls were covered in knotty pine instead of plaster, and a second chimney was added.

Since the completion of the building in 1934, the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary have met in the building monthly. The Disabled American Veterans chapter in Yellville also has monthly meetings in the hut. The building is also used by the Ladies Quilting Club and Boy Scouts of America. The Turkey Trot Festival, an annual event that draws national attention, was started by Legionnaires at the post.
SIGNIFICANCE

American Legion Hut #61 in Yellville, Arkansas, is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places with local significance. It is being nominated under Criterion A for its association with the American Legion and the Civil Works Administration. It is also being nominated under Criterion C as the best example of Rustic style architecture in Yellville.
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Mountain Echo, (Yellville), 16 December 1920.

Mountain Echo, (Yellville). 8 November 1933.

Mountain Echo, (Yellville). 15 November 1933.

Mountain Echo, (Yellville), 20 December 1933.



Recent Posts


Tags

White County Courthouse Arkansas Railroad History historic Arkansas properties Arkansas African American Civil War History Ozark Farming Leake-Ingham Building Marked Tree Arkansas Rustic Architecture Marked Tree Lock and Siphons Clarendon Arkansas "Let Freedom Ring" Travel Grants Monroe County Arkansas African American education 13th Amendment Burdette Plantation Newton County Arkansas Dionicio Rodriguez Cumberland Presbyterian Church Louisiana Main Street program Rosston Arkansas Walks Through History Polk County Arkansas Civil Works Administration Central High School Neighborhood Historic District Main Street Searcy Main Street Dumas Free Lesson Plan Real Estate Transfer Tax downtown economic development historic architecture Edgar Monsanto Queeny free historic preservation workshop Forrest City Cemetery Burdette Arkansas Old U.S. Post Office and Customs House Montgomery County Courthouse U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Craftsman style architecture Turner Restoration St. Francis County Historical Society Let Freedom Ring Free Courthouse Poster Benton Arkansas Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas Houston Arkansas Morrilton Arkansas Sunken Lands Renaissance Revival Architecture Booneville Historical Preservation Society Elias Camp Morris Arkansas Business History Camden Public Library American Legion New Century Club of Camden Flood Control steel window restoration workshop Phillips County Arkansas Bogg Springs Hotel Henry Koen Office Building Huntsville Commercial Historic District Main Street Arkansas Buffalo National River Folk Victorian Architecture historic telephone booth free teacher resources Camden Arkansas Mississippi Main Street Association Centennial Baptist Church Conway County Library Gothic Revival architecture most endangered historic places Historic Preservation Alliance Poinsett County Arkansas Tudor Revival Architecture Civilian Conservation Corps Duck Hunting Barney Elias House National Register of Historic Places free history tours Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium Museum U.S. Forest Service Montgomery County Arkansas Booneville Arkansas Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Pope County Courthouse Downtown Revitalization Grants Estes-Williams Post #61 American Legion Hut Freedom Park Abolition of Slavery Arkansas Preservation Awards Tolbert Gill 19th Century Road Construction Main Street Batesville Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council Pike County Courthouse downtown revitalization Paris Arkansas Main Street Arkansas:Real Estate Transfer Tax Saline County Arkansas Mississippi County Courthouse Osceola Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Mississippi County Arkansas Huntsville Arkansas Sandwiching in History Kiblah School Mid-Century Modern Architecture Little Rock Fire Station No. 2 Three States Lumber Company Evelyn Gill Walker House Fayetteville Arkansas Monroe County Courthouse Dr. Ruth Hawkins Wingmead Arkansas History Arkansas History Lesson Plans Naturalistic Architecture Main Street Texarkana Pike County Arkansas Russellville Arkansas cemetery preservsation Nevada County Arkansas Arkansas Humanities Council Madison County Arkansas Arkansas Historic Preservation Cemetery Preservation Library Doddridge Arkansas Historic Preservation Restoration Grants Arkansas Register of Historic Places Main Street Ozark Destination Downtown Conference National Historic Landmark Delta Cultural Center Prairie County Arkansas Stearns/Gehring Chapel Cemetery Roe Arkansas Freedmen's Bureau Ouachita County Arkansas Arkansas Design Network Free Cemetery Preservation Workshops Art Deco Architecture Parker-Hickman Farm Historic District Rosenwald Schools Houston Methodist Episcopal Church South Pope County Arkansas slipcover removal grants National Register of Historic Forrest City Arkansas 13th Amendment Classroom Presentation Historic County Courthouses cemetery preservation Arkansas Historic Preservation Program North Little Rock Arkansas Erbie Arkansas Carlisle Rock Island Railroad Depot Skillern House County courthouse Restoration Grants News Release Arkansas religious history Main Street Siloam Springs Helena Arkansas historic resort communities International-Style Architecture Miller County Perry County Arkansas Little Rock Central High School Trail of Tears in Arkansas Bogg Springs Arkansas Camden to Washington Road Pulaski County Courthouse Arkansas State University Heritage Sites Monsanto Chemical Corporation

Archive