Maplewood History: The Shaw-Stevens Post 103


On October 1, 1919 what would become the Maplewood American Legion Post 103 was organized as Shaw-Stevens Post 103. In 2007 I got a call from Evelyn Detert of this post.  She invited me to come by and photograph anything that appealed to me from their 88 year accumulation of artifacts.

This I did. Then a few years ago I got another call from a woman at the Legion Hall whose name I have unfortunately mislaid.  This kind woman invited me to come by and take just about anything that I cared to as they had sold the hall and were closing their post. This I did as well.

The task was overwhelming.  There were far more items than I could possibly deal with.  I stuffed the cab of my truck with as much as I could get in there.  Then I transferred the boxes to my garage where they sat for a year or more before I could sort through them.  I had to edit everything down to less than one box for our library has very little space for artifacts.

Photographs with no names were mostly all discarded.  Just to photograph what I thought I should was daunting.  All of that evidence of the very many lives involved, awards they had won, events they had organized or attended or both, etc. had to be discarded.  I don’t know what the takeaway is from this. Definitely putting names with the photos is a good idea but even that wasn’t enough to save a lot of them.

For quite awhile I’ve been wondering how on earth to present this collection of material to the readers of my blog.  So here it is. Any one of you would certainly have made different choices than I did. Here’s hoping that some of our choices would have been the same. See part 2 of this article here.

Some of you may be familiar with this 1960 painting by Ruth Grubb. I have run it before in previous posts. It was part of the Post 103 collection.  The location is on the eastern side of Sutton just north of the railroad tracks.
In this photograph part of the home seen in the painting is visible. This is a recent gift of Martin Fischer and is headed to the collection at the Maplewood Public Library.
As this undated image full of unidentified people clearly shows – these folks were not averse to having fun. Also a gift from Mr. Fischer.
A full frontal image of their new hall. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
Like I said, these folks knew how to have fun. I don’t know for certain where this shot was taken. It looks like it may have been in front of the F.W.Woolworth store at the western end of the 7300 block of Manchester. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
Just one of the showcases that displayed evidence of the many victories of the Legionnaires.
Why do I start thinking about going fishing when I look at photos like this one?
Here is another one. I don’t know what’s up but I’m thinking about fishing again and I don’t even like to fish!
Now here is something to believe in. This image was made at Sportsman’s Park on North Grand.  Auggie Busch had renamed it Busch Stadium prior to his building of the cookie cutter modernist one that a lot of us remember downtown.
They had conventions.

They fought communism.

It must have worked. I don’t see any communists around today.
I think this image was made standing in front of the County Government Center in Clayton.  I believe that right behind Bonnie’s left elbow is World News.  Judging from the cars the date is probably mid to late 1950’s.  Where are Jim and Bonnie today?
I’m not out of images from the collection of the American Legion Post 103. Not by a long shot. I’ll run more in my next post. I thought I’d close this post with this interesting photograph. There were no names attached to this image which is just as well because there are no faces either.





  1. Johnny Rabbitt is a very very knowledgeable source for local history. He is a client of mine and what an amazing man. I am happy that he reads your columns.


  2. Responding by email Johnny Rabbitt had this to say: All the pix & stories were interesting…but I especially enjoyed the one of the parade in Kansas City that depicted my all-time favorite K.C. restaurant ‘The Italian Garden’s’ which was next to Pusateri’s New Yorker Hotel.

    Thank you Johnny. I didn’t know that parade image was taken in Kansas City.

  3. Jim Ford and his wife JoAnn live on Richmond Heights. Both graduated from MRH in the 60s. She was the lead for the Parents as Teachers program in MRH for several years. Both are now retired. They could give you more info about this if you wish, Doug.

    • The old-timers are mostly but not always the source of the old photographs and the old stories. Jim no doubt has some of his own. I’m always happy to talk to any of them. Thanks, Pickett.

    • Joe, their 1950s building still exists on Sutton just north of the railroad tracks. If they were located in different spots before that I don’t have any of that information. Thank you for your comment.

  4. Maplewood had many civic, fraternal and social organizations. Sadly, almost all of them are now extinct: The Moose, Garden Club, Historical Society, Fats and Leans, Renaissance Society, American Legion, Masons, and many more. What happened?

    • Tom, the only one I know about is the historical society. I know you already know that story. The demise of all these organizations must be due to our modern lifestyles, I’m guessing. Good to hear from you.

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