Only a few months after the end of World War 1, members of the American Legion Expeditionary Forces meet in Paris to iron out what would become the American Legion.
Based on a similar French Veterans Organization, it’s mission was to attend to the medical, employment and educational needs of military veterans returning home from the European battlefields.
Veterans in communities throughout the United States were offered a chance to form an American Legion Post to help Veterans living in their local areas. Many were eager to do so.
About 27 Veterans from Garden City, Kansas petitioned for a Post Charter. It was granted on June 16, 1919.
Within a year, the Post was named in honor of former Garden City resident Harry H. Renick, who was killed in September 1918 by machine gun fire during fighting in the French Argonne Forest.
Harry Hamilton Renick
Harry H. Renick was born July 12, 1894, on his grandparent’s ranch near Hiattvile, Bourbon County, Kansas. His parents, Robert Strother “Strouid” Renick and Nancy “Nannie” Aureila Renick were second cousins.
In 1913, the family moved to Garden City, Kansas.
Harry graduated from Washburn College Law School in 1916.
He enlisted in the Kansas National Guard on Augut 5, 1917. He was mustard into Federal Service and received several months of training at Camp Doniphan, Oklahoma.
He soon found himself on a troop ship with the 35th Infantry Division headed for England.
The first battle for the 35th Division at Saint Mihiel, France, was so easy that the reserves were never called in.
However, things soon changed. The Battle of Argonne began.
On September 30, 1918, the 35th Division was trying to take the village of Exermont.
It was here that 24 year old Corporal Harry Hamilton Renick was killed by German machine gun fire.
A friend said he saw him hit, in th ejuglar, vein, during heavy mortar shelling.
Later, when fellow soliders went back to retrieve the body, they were unable to locate him.
His name is listed on the Tables of the Missing at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial.