The Joseph B. Stahl Post of the Department of Delaware was formed in 1950, with a temporay Charter. The permanent Charter was signed on June 22, 1951 with the following 39 charter members.
John G. Wright John F. Beausang Frederick Bothner, Jr. Edward F. Swell
R. G. Russell Tod Goodwin Alex Castera John Shiles
Earl F. West Paul W. Parker Edward L Carpenter Kimber L. Shoop
Joseph S. Dugan Jr. Vaughn G. Watson Frank Del Coglin Clarence Tweed
Joseph J. Nedwick C. Wesley Robinson James S. Dorsey Joseph Vitalo
Morris Wasserman Robert G. Steimling Willard L. Godwin Gilbert A. Whiteside
Middleton B. Phelps John C. Wilson Donald W. Griswold, Jr. Donald Schnee
W.R. Childers John Jackson Ashua C. Lathbury Earl F. McGinnes
Aaron Miller Gwendoline P. Neil William J. O'Brien Stanis L. Phillips
Bernard A Roberts John T. Rothermel Michael A Santucci John Shiles
Who was Joseph B. Stahl?
Joseph B. Stahl*
Joseph B. Stahl, born June 18601 in Wurtenburg, Germany2, immigrated to the US circa !884g. He married Katherine “Katie” (Heckman’°) circa 1890’. She born Oct 1860 in Germany, immigrated to the U. S. circa 1881 Joseph was a lifelong farmer. He rented Farmland in New Castle County Between 1900 and 1920 and was located in Greenville Delaware on the Kennet Pike
He later purchased a home at 1022 Adams Street in the city of Wilmington5 and a large tract of farmland in New Castle. He and son Bernard operated a farming business and later they went into the real estate development business.
On August 27, 1839, Joseph B. Stahl, widower transfers property for the sum of Five dollars, to Wilmington Manor Inc. The property is located in New Castle and bounds New Castle Common, Red Lion, Newport and the State Road from Wilmington containing One hundred and ninety-seven acres.. Wilmington Manor Inc. transferred part of this property to the Wilmington Manor Civic Association, Inc. on September 8, 1943. Deed is sign by Bernard A. Stahl, President of Wilmington Manor Inc., and A. Bessie Jensen, Asst. Secretary in the presence of Florence M. Malcolm7. Wilmington Manor Civic Association Inc on June 23 1951 sells property to the Joseph B. Stahl Memorial Post Nov 30, Inc for the sum of Three Thousand and Fifty-One dollars and Fifty cents ($3,051.50)
*Research done by Kay (Sherman) Schorah
Joseph B. Stahl Post #30*
In early September 1950, with the guiding hands of Bill Regan, Tom Egan, and Ed Mulrooney of Post 1, who were instrumental in getting John Wright to assemble concerned veterans in his home at 110 East Frankklin Ave., Wilmington Manor. These men were representative of all branches and all ranks of the military forces of the victorious United States. These men were agreed that the memories of the grand struggle should not be forgotten, nor victory wasted. Creating a Post of the American Legion founded by the men of the A. E. F. in Paris in 1919 was their objective.
This small group of men meeting at John Wright’s home, decided in an informal caucus to apply for a temporary charter. In addition to the formality of obtaining the temporary charter of membership and organization, they were faced with a problem of selecting a meeting Area. The temporary charterees received permission to use the civic building at 3 East Jackson Ave. The building was not ideally suited for the purposes of the membership, but it sufficed. Lack of heat was only one of their minor irritants.
Their interest in each other and the post was evidenced in a mutual telephone pact. If a member missed a meeting another veteran would take it upon himself to call the absentee to ascertain the reason. Funds for the continuance of the post have stemmed from many revenue-bearing efforts. These first legionnaires were ingenious enterprisers.
The civic building did not serve their meeting purposes because of its Spartan characteristics. The cadre contacted the proprietor of Airport Inn, Mr. Smith, and he graciously consented to the use of his facilities. This was to be a stopgap until weather conditions abated.
At their first meeting in the Inn, annual dues were decided. The membership also assessed the members for an additional sum ($5.00) per capita to provide an operating cash reserve. It was prophetic for Stahl Post, the money these veterans had accumulated for an opening party saved a needy family from a dismal Christmas.
The Post members were now determined to secure a permanent Post Home and canteen. As events developed the civic building (site of the first meeting) was to be sold to a worthy community organization. Bids were submitted and the building became the first post home of Stahl Post #30 as they had made the best offer. Their first ventures in the canteen were. To say the least, modest. They ranged from retailing one case of beer, to opening on a limited basis two nights a week. From the modest beginning the Post has reached a point where it now can support most of the Post activities.
From the issuing of the temporary charter October 13, 1950 and permanent charter issued June 22, 1951, the Post has grown to a membership of over 600. Charter membership was kept available until September 1, 1951.
The Commander chosen to lead the Post though its initial formative year was the man who had given them the use of his home for their first assembly, John Wright. Under the Commandership of Wright the Post soon gave evidence of its great potential, with a membership of 40. The Post Home had been established and the celebration, July 4, 1951, has become an annual event. John Wright was killed on the DuPont Highway, while helping to direct traffic a scene of an accident.
What had begun so very well for these dedicated men, further prospered when the group chose a Commander Morris Wasserman for 1951-1952. Commander Wasserman guided the Post through on of its most crucial and developmental years. An auxiliary
group was formed under the leadership of Mrs. Ruth Cann of Post 1 and Mrs. Donald R. Schnee was the first president of the auxiliary. It consisted of ten members.
Bernard Stahl, the son of the man after whom the post is named, and the only honorary member of Stahl Post #30, was the donor of the original Post Colors, and presented Legion Caps to many members. Bernie (as we called him) was a true friend of Stahl Post #30. Commander Wasserman can remember the introduction of, Child Welfare, Americanism and Rehabilitation, Legion programs of Stahl Post #30. Three delegates were sent to the 1952 state convention. Commander Wasserman was elected Commander of District #2, the first of many honors and offices he has held in the American Legion. Membership under his watch jumped to 86.
The year of 1952 saw “Jumpin “ Joe Dugan chosen Commander, third in line. 155 members in 1952 gave the Post the Bird on the Ball Membership Trophy. The building improvements program began under the leadership of Commander Dugan. The improved canteen enabled the Post to plan an expanding program with these increased revenues.
In 1953 John Beausang was installed as the fourth in line of distinguished leaders and Commanders. The Stahl Post#30 was host to its first state American Legion convention. The veterans met in the Merryrink Roller Skating building on the DuPont Highway. The Post retained the Bird on the Ball trophy with a membership of 203. An American Legion Junior baseball team began under Commander Beausang.
Under Commander Beausang, Post #1 found itself challenged for the first time in 22 years for the possession of the most outstanding Child Welfare program. Stahl Post #30 was awarded all honors in Child Welfare. The bicycle safety rodeo began under the auspices of Commander Beausang. Some outstanding men have contributed long hours of their time and talent to insure the continuing success of the bicycle rodeo. The rodeo has contributed to the winning of the W. Floyd Jackson Safety trophy. Stahl Post #30 first won the trophy in 1953 and continued for 16 Years. Memorial Day observances of the formal nature began too, under Commander Beausang.
Commander Frank Del Coglin, our fifth Commander assumed leadership from November 1954 until June 1955, this short term was to establish a year ending in June. Post #30 continued to increase to 279 in membership and also in funds, and improved Post Home services, also in streets and parking facilities. Post #30 owes a great deal of its maturation and progress to the energies of Commander Del Coglin, a true and faithful Legionnaire.
A membership of 349 marked the beginning of Commander George Wilson Lowe”s term in 1955-1956. He was our sixth Commander. Capital improvements were made to the post canteen. An addition, improved kitchens services and facilities, with an improvement of the bar permitted and expansion of canteen services. Commander Lowe saw the members participate in the bowling leagues of the county and city. Under Commander Lowe they won the league competition and trophy in 1955.
The seventh Commander William Budinger took command in June of 1956,through his term membership increased to a high of 380. A new ice machine, walk-in cooler and one and two tenths acres of ground were added to the post assets.
The state convention of American Legion of Delaware was again held under the aegis of Stahl Post#30.Commander Frank Fox our eighth Commander 1957-1958 was host to the posts of Delaware. Membership continued to grow and again the Bird on the Ball went to Stahl Post #30 for a membership of 403. Commander Fox was relieved of his duties by Commander Sam E Thompson in June of 1958.
The annual baseball trip for youngsters to a major league game began under the administration of Commander Thompson. A building committee was formed to plan for a new post home. Since the first baseball trip a total of over 4500 Children have been given sponsored supervised trips to these games. Membership reached 283 under Commander Thompson.
In June of 1959 Commander Milton Olazagasti took command of Stahl Post #30.The junior baseball program grew as well as little League baseball. Thirteen teams were sponsored for the season. The building committee received permission to add to the Post’s assets by purchasing nine acres of prime building area near New Castle County Airport. Plans and designs for a new post home were compiled in hopes of carrying it to fruition. Estimates as to cost of the new structure is in the vicinity of six figures. Membership continues to grow reaching 394. Commander Richard Covel who had distinguished himself in the previous year by his outstanding efforts in the promotion of Child Welfare and membership was chosen Commander in June of 1960. Jacob Donahoe was given the first life membership in 1960.The annual Veterans Day Ball began in this year.
Commander Aaron Miller and Commander Braden Shoupe were the 12thand 13thin the succession of gifted commanders. Post gains were consolidated and firmed under the leadership of Commanders Miller and Shoupe. Membership under Miller was 291 and under Shoupe it was 241. During Brad Shoupe’s term the latest addition and modernization of the post home was started. Commander Robert Baker presided at the introduction of the newly completed addition to the Post Home. Membership at that time was 261
Bob Baker worked with many members and the American Legion activities and programs went on to win national and departmental awards.
Commander Gil Whiteside took over in 1964 and Commander John Spicer in 1965. They carried through a cumulative program of post improvement. The baseball team began to prove out the merit of the philosophy of community service. During the watch of Commander John Spicer the team directed by coaches Jerry Wargo and Barney Benson won the New Castle County championship. Membership under Commander Spicer was 380. Bob Baker was elected District Commander and Brad Shoupe District Vice Commander.
In June 1966 the post was led by a quiet and yet solid qualities of Commander Alphonse “Al” Christ. Not enough could be written in praise of the unselfish service given to Wilmington Manor youth by George Benson, Lee Porter, and Ralph Paglia in guiding the Stahl Post to the state championship. They carried the banner of the post until derailed in the Region 2 playoffs in Bridgeton, N. J.
A baseball diamond was constructed on the post property. An Athletic Association was formed and Tony Caputo served as the group’s first president, followed by Stan Bradley and Dan D’Agostino.
The post continued to surge forward under Commandership of Donald E. Neil. The baseball team took the state championship and went on to capture the region 2 Championship and finished in third place in the national championship of American Legion Baseball. A substantial addition to the post property was added this year and membership soared to 533.
*Don Neil, John Beausang and Hal Marshall compiled this bit of history In 1969
We've renamed the Post Hall the "TSgt Stanley P Lawruk Hall" and given him a plaque to display. All this, along with getting an approved purchase offer from Wilmington University topping the list!
We have the final purchase offer contracts from Wilmington University and we are ready to sign them while the National Commander, Brett Reistad of the Department of Virginia, makes his visit to Stahl Post for a luncheon on 7 March. Unfortunately Dr. Harmon, President of Wilmington University is currently scheduled to be out of town on that date and cannot attend. Her office staff is working on another date for her to complete the documentation of her signature.
When the National Commander visited Stahl in March, we held a ceremony for him, Stanley Lawruk, and Jim Sherman to sign copies of the Wilmington University agreements. Many of our members came to share in the occasion for our Post. The gathering of those people was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of the history of the Post. Thank you to all who took the time to join us.
I was contacted by our attorney Michael, informing us of Wilmington U's request for a 30 day extension for the due diligence of the contract. He advised that their concern was not unreasonable, and that they were making progress. They originally wanted 90 days and we requested they drop it to 60, which they did. So in reality, we are only giving them what they originally asked for. They have two concerns, which will require them and us to meet with Price Toyota and DNREC. Of course, this is delaying the final settlement.
The 30 day extension on the due diligence period for Wilmington University is up. But, difficulties have come out related to an underground contamination of Jackson Ave. From DNREC, the chemical discovered is atypical of dry cleaning chemicals, but not proven yet if that is in fact from the dry cleaner. To the point, Wilmington has requested another 30 days to discover proper cleanup requirements under DNREC. That cleanup would be under Brownfield Remediation, a minimum 6 months to register, with funds provided by the state as a condition. We don't know the most favorable way to dispose of this problem. So you can understand the complexity of the transaction we are facing. Neither party has much experience with this scenario, so Wilmington has requested another 30 days, followed with another delay to explore the registration into the Brownfield program. There is much unknown today, but as our lawyer said Friday, it's still good that Wilmington wants to proceed. I have authorized another extension. In the coming weeks we will learn how this will impact us and Wilmington.
Wilmington University made it official last Friday that they want to pursue the real estate contract by submitting amendments to the contract for our signatures. They are requesting a delay in settlement to provide sufficient time to qualify them into the remediation program of the State Brownfield Cleanup Program. As of this time I would think the possibility of us beginning construction in 2019 is virtually non-existing. This process can take up to six months, which will not allow much building to be done before winter sets in. There is a minuit chance of their application going through quicker, but it is not likely from what I've been advised. This has been a goal of Stahl to achieve for many years, and if it takes six more months, then so be it.
Wilmington U is moving ahead with the few things needed to come to the settlement table with us. A set of easement agreements has been produced and approved by the Building committee and our attorney. I look for them to be adapted officially this week. Meetings have been held with DNREC, and they are working to wrap them up too. I am waiting for the solution to the Sediment permit, expecting a call from our engineering firm Apex before I leave tomorrow. Hopefully I will have more info for the next meeting
Today I spoke with Apex, our attorney, and Dr. Varsalona over details of the sales agreement. Wilmington's attorney has said this week that they will be ready for settlement by the end of the year. Another document draft was sent to me for discussion with the committee.
Today the Building Committee had a conference with our lawyer Michael Scali in preparation of his meeting with Wilmington and NCC. He wanted us to take some steps to correct what we have the ability to concerning the underground contamination. We have already taken steps suggested by the Ten Bears Engineering firm, and will have them come in to take another air sampling test to see what effect our actions have on the contaminant level. These improvements seek to restrict outside air from entering the building from the alley between us and the dry cleaners building, which is already an acceptable level for the state standards. We are trying to actually gain a better level then even over acceptable. It could take the state another month to issue formal opinions on this issue, and our lawyer plans to urge Wilmington to accept the state's opinion at the meeting, and schedule to settlement based on NCC's findings.
April 21, 2020
Victor M Callahan,
You are receiving this notice to inform you, as members in good standing of Joseph B Stahl Post 30, of the present situation. In these dangerous days of 2020, most of us have quarantined in our homes, me included. However, our attorney, Michael Scali has been busy.
I am happy to announce that we are scheduled to complete settlement with Wilmington University on Monday April 27th. I have already submitted 24 files of signed, notarized, and witnessed documents, and Wilmington University is doing the same today.
On Monday, I will be signing, scanning, and submitting the final two documents to execute the sale of our property to Wilmington, subject to all the agreements we have been presented and found acceptable. I have invited your officers to be present to witness this event for posterity, requesting all have masks, gloves, and properly distance ourselves. Unfortunately, I am prevented from inviting the entire membership.
Also, I have asked our Second Vice, Sal Vaccarino, to set up a zoom meeting to enable members and officers who will not be present to witness this historical event in our Post’s evolution:
Topic: STAHL SETTLEMENT 04212020
Time: Apr 27, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 793 9108 5462 Password: 1cbMge
We literally have thousands of members to thank for us getting to this point, from you and I back to Commander Jim Wrightson in 1950 when our original charter was sought as a Post of the American Legion. He held meetings to plan and prepare for that charter. They purchased our existing building for $3,156, and so it went. This has involved many different programs worked on year after year, with positive contributions from kind and generous members like ourselves, who believed in what Stahl could do. And do well we have, to our community, our State, and our Legion.
I wish to thank you all for your support to Stahl Post, and for allowing me as your Commander to usher Stahl Post forward in Stahl Post’s future commitment to our community and Veterans. God bless you all, God bless Stahl, and God bless America.
Women’s Auxiliary Unit
The Women’s Auxiliary Unit was formed in June of 1951 with fifteen charter members. Mrs. Nettie Schnee was the president. In cooperation with the post, the unit assisted in many of the activities. During the years the unit held dances, served dinners and catered weddings to help raise funds for the posts many activities.