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POST HISTORY

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The first organization of World War 1 veterans in Corona was the Corona Service Men’s Club.  The American Legion was founded in 1919; and the formation of a Corona Post was undertaken by the Service Men before the end of that year.   Corona's first Post, Crown 116, received its charter by January 1920: but it had become inactive by August 1921.  In April 1922, a new organization was being considered; and a Post was resurrected as the Reveille Post 216 with its preliminary Charter effective December 23. 1923.  The first Commander was Gilbert L. Taggart, followed by Dewitt Menefee in 1925, and Corona City Engineer “Captain” Cuthbert Gulley, a Spanish-American War and WW1 veteran in 1926.  The Commander in 1927 – 1928 was William Henry Jameson, Jr. a WW1 Army Captain, and a grandson of one of the town founders, George Joy.

The Post held its meetings in various places until a permanent home could be found.  The plans for a new Legion Memorial Hall were discussed at a Legion Supper meeting on March 25, 1927; and Commander Jameson’s mother Mrs. Hetty Joy Jameson donated the three lots at the northwest corner of Main and 11th Streets as the site for the new Hall.  The land deal being struck, building plans were prepared by “Cap” Gully. Groundbreaking for the new facility took place on December 18, 1928.  The new Legion Memorial Hall was opened to hundreds of visitors and dedicated on the evening of Saturday March 23, 1929 with great fanfare and music provided by the colorful Legion Drum Corps of Riverside and Ontario.  The dedication was presided over by Post Commander Howard Ware; and the presentation of the Hall was given by friend of the Legion J. B. Coplen who was influential in development of the building which was accepted by Past Commander William H. Jameson, Jr..

William H. Jameson Jr. died unexpectedly from a virulent form of blood poisoning on November 30, 1932 to the shock of most Coronans.  The Legionnaires voted to rename the Post in Honor of Past Commander William H. Jameson, Jr.; and a new charter was issued in his name on April 16, 1937.

The Post 216 Legion Hall has played host to many civic, public, and private gatherings since 1929.  The Hall was used as an armory and drill hall by Corona’s Company F, 224th Infantry Regiment of the California National Guard from November 1, 1947 to May 15, 1950 until the new city armory was built.