About the Post
American Legion Texas Chapter, Post 180
The Smithville American Legion, also known as the Robert L. Steffens American Legion Post 180 is located in Smithville, Texas. Post numbers are unique within a State, but there are other Post 180’s located within other US States.
The Post was granted a charter on October 15, 1920 and has a rich history within Smithville and the surrounding area. The Post was named for, and in honor of Robert L. Steffens, who was the first casualty of World War One. The legion was organized soon after the war was over in 1918. The men called a meeting of the veterans and organized the legion on Main Street in front of Yerger Hill’s store. The first Commander was J.G. “Garth” Nichols of Smithville, Texas.
In the early days, the Legion was established to support veterans who were thrown back into civilian life. The Legion turned itself into a nationwide employment service, with 11000 branch offices. Veterans reported at Legion posts for jobs, and over one million men found jobs in this way. The Legion began its fight for the relief of wounded and disabled soldiers. It organized a rehabilitation service to assist veterans in making claims for compensation and to obtain medical care. At the close of World War II, the Legion helped to compose the G.I. Bill of Rights and worked for its adoption by Congress.
Until 1942, membership was limited to American soldiers, sailors, marines and nurses who had served on active duty during World War 1. In 1942, the charter was amended to take in World War II veterans. Likewise, in 1950, Korean War veterans became eligible and Vietnam War veterans in 1966.
Our members and guests meet at this Hall for a variety of outings and events.
The Legion sponsors Boys & Girls State (programs which teach students about Americanism).
Commander Freddie Bertsch and the entire staff extend a warm welcome to you and invite you to enjoy the atmosphere and the events on all patriotic holidays.
American Legion Auxiliary, Texas Chapter, Post 180
The American Legion Auxiliary was organized in the early 1920’s. The first President was Mrs. Elbert Thorn and the first Secretary was Mrs. Fred Smith.
*Information courtesy of Smithville Heritage Society and The American Legion