Community History – Ludlow – American Legion, Edgar B. Ritchie Post

American Legion, Edgar B. Ritchie Post

The Edgar B. Ritche Post was established in Ludlow in 1919. It was the 25th American Legion Post to be established in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The post was named as a memorial to Edgar B. Ritchie, the first Ludlow man to be killed in World War I. The first officers were: R.W. Buchanan (commander), J.J. Henning (vice commander), N.F. Boutet (adjutant), and W.P. Closson (finance officer).

Plans for a permanent building were underway in 1927. Architect William R. Purcell prepared designs for a “rustic” building containing a large hall. A site adjacent to the park between Adela and Victoria Streets was under consideration. Eventually, the post constructed a small hall at 856 Elm Street. On this property the first Ludlow war memorial was constructed (it was later moved to the Albert S. Ludlow Memorial Park). The Ludlow Women’s Auxiliary was established in 1936.

As the veterans of World War I grew older, the post became less active. In 1967, the group’s building and grounds were sold to a Mr. Ashcraft. At this time, the citizens of Ludlow began collecting funds to move the war memorial from the former post’s grounds to the city park. The redesigned memorial was dedicated on September 8, 1968, with appropriate ceremonies. The Edgar B. Ritchie Post donated $500.00 to the project.

Following the sale of the hall and grounds in 1967, the Edgar B. Ritchie Post met at the White Oak Café at the northeast corner of Elm and Deverill Streets. Eventually, the number of active members declined to a point that the post was dissolved.

Kentucky Post, August 23, 1919, p. 1; Kentucky Times-Star, October 28, 1927, p. 9, Ludlow Centennial Souvenir Program, 1864-1964, p. 35; Souvenir Program: Dedication of the Redesigned World War II Memorial; News Enterprise, May 14, 1970, p. 1.

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