ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


American Legion

Beaudoin-Koehler-Draeger Post 3709


Green Bowl Tea Room / Supper Club

1413 Oconomowoc Ave


Pitterle-Beaudoin American Legion Post No. 189

206 S First St



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Watertown Historical Society Collection



1919       FOUNDING OF

The Watertown American Legion began in 1919 with Dr. A. F. Solliday as first commander. Later, the organization was named the Sgt. Frank Pitterle Post #189 in honor of Pitterle [1896-1918], who was the first Watertown man killed in action during World War I.  At the conclusion of World War II, Beaudoin was added to the post in honor of the last town casualty in World War II.


The American Legion was founded in Paris at the end of World War I.


The First Street location is the Legions fourth headquarters since its inception.  Up until World War II the Post was without a main office and members met in various locations throughout the city. But near the beginning of the war, the Legion started to gather at the old Armory and early high school building on Main St, later the Heritage Inn.


                Firing squad started, since there was no group to give veterans of World War I military honors   WDT




(Article was prepared by the American Legion Auxiliary and is one in a series)


Paris, 1919:  A group of 20 officers who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I were asked to suggest ideas on improving troop morale.  Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. proposed an organization of veterans — The American Legion.


The original purpose of The American Legion was to preserve the memories and incidence of the United States’ association in the great war, helping those who had served in foreign wars to reintegrate into their hometowns while remaining connected to those with whom they had served abroad.


The Legion served as a support group, a social club and an extended family for former servicemen.  After two planning caucuses held by a committee of officers who had the confidence and respect of their military comrades, a constitution was designed to govern the group and begin work on its programs of relief, employment and Americanism.  The organization was chartered by Congress Sept. 16, 1919.  And then . . .


The American Legion Auxiliary is a grassroots organization.  Clearly summed up, the definition of grassroots is: people who are drawn together by something they have in common that has both personal and community consequences, and grant themselves the authority to solve the problem they are facing or create the future they desire.


Women wear a number of hats — daughter, wife, mom, friend, mentor, caretaker, volunteer — and the list goes on.


What do hats and grassroots have in common?


Step back in time for a moment.  The year, 1919. Women, fashionable hats and all, were left on the home front while their men were going off to war.  Those concerned women embraced the day-to-day responsibilities of life, and soon became aware of the plight of fatherless families and the needs of returning veterans, vowing to continue their supportive role.


With that empowering dedication, in less than a year, 2,342 units of the Women’s Auxiliary to The American Legion had been organized in more than 45 states.  Now, nearly a century later, the American Legion Auxiliary continues to champion for veterans, the military and their families. All from a willingness, no — a need to do something, and look what happened!  The American Legion Auxiliary is about 800,000 strong and working to grasp the million-member mark.


Styles have changed through the years, but the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary remains constant, as does that very devotion that sparked the organization!


The American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, with its mission to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of veterans, military and their families, both at home and abroad.


For God and country, we advocate for veterans, educate citizens, mentor youths and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.



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Beloit, Wisconsin, August 24, 25, 26, 1922.




The Sgt. F. L. Pitterle Post of the American Legion and its auxiliary, having secured the assistance of the city council, plan to improve the armory building and grounds surrounding so that it will provide a better setting for the activities of the various organizations which use the armory for meeting and social purposes.


The city council recently authorized the committee on public buildings to direct the necessary improvements at the armory which will provide suitable quarters for the American Legion auxiliary and the local unit of the Woman's Relief Corps, and to install plumbing in the basement.




The auxiliary and the Woman's Relief Corps, however, have been seeking their own quarters in the armory to allow all organizations to hold meetings without conflicting with the rest of the organizations in the building.  The council has given its consent to the plan and the work is being left in charge of the committee on public buildings.


The officers of the American Legion, appearing before the council last week, told the aldermen that if the council would cooperate by having necessary rooms placed in condition, the legion would do its share toward improving the grounds by planting flowers and shrubs and placing benches for tourists and others who make it a point to stop there. 


The past summer saw many tourists stopping at the armory grounds for luncheon and rest, the council was told, and by making the place and surroundings more inviting it will attract more tourists and visitors as a stopping place while enroute through the city for other points.  The legion plans to take up the work of beautifying the grounds early next year so as to have the grounds in shape when the tourist season is underway. 


Toilet facilities at the armory at present are not in keeping with modern progress, Dr. F. C. Haney, city health commissioner, told the council and he requested some change in the type of equipment there. This is also to be provided, under the council's plan, and it will serve to give Watertown an additional restroom and comfort station.


Many citizens have expressed themselves in favor of the legion's plan and point out that it will serve a public need as well as providing suitable quarters for various local organizations and will also help to improve the grounds surrounding the armory by making it a suitable place for tourists to refresh themselves while on their journey.




    Erv Buchert, Henry Maltz, Pete Doerr, Jip Neubauer, Zem[?] Hady, Bill Beisner, Clarence Schuman, Chirp Dollase, Don Bittner (mgr), Chet Hady, Chet Blaese, Paul Hoppe, Art Zielsdorf, Harold Jahn, John Biefeld [some names are nicknames].     


Cross Reference:  Chapter on baseball  








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10 27       EDWIN KAERCHER (1893-1939)

Edwin H. Kaercher, 46, residing at 910 Western Avenue, died at St. Mary’s hospital.  Mr. Kaercher, who was auditor and office manager for the G.B. Lewis company, was a World war veteran, serving with the original Company E of this city.  He was a past commander of the Sergt. Frank L. Pitterle post of the American Legion and was president of the Last Man’s Club made up of men in Company E.



-- --           FATHER HENRY NOVOTNY (1896-1945)

A solemn requiem funeral High Mass, a moving mix of religious rite and military aspect, was held at St. Henry’s for Father Henry Novotny.  The night prior to the funeral, his earthly remains were brought to Watertown and taken directly to the church; members of Company E, with whom Father Novotny served in World War I, and the Sgt. Frank L. Pitterle post of the American Legion were among those who paid him tribute.  Prayers were said by the differing groups that assembled and a guard of honor and an all-night vigil were maintained throughout the night by members of the Holy Name Society of the parish.  Many old friends and acquaintances, old classmates, and buddies of WW I filed past the bier. 



In 1948, the Legion purchased the Green Bowl Tea Room, formerly the Wenzel Prochazka House and converted it to the Legion Green Bowl Supper Club.  It was located at 1413 Oconomowoc Ave which was laid in 1912 and was the first cement street in Wisconsin.  Twenty-five years later the Legion sold the club to George Lindberg, who then operated it as Lindberg's By The River.




The first meeting of Watertown’s newly formed American Legion band took place this week and Frank Koenig, Jr., was unanimously appointed to serve as temporary conductor.  Meetings hereafter are scheduled for Wednesday nights at 8 o’clock.  The first such meeting will be held next Wednesday when the first rehearsal will take place.  Election of officers is also scheduled.


All those who have been previously notified of the plans are asked to be present without fail, the organizing committee said today.


At present there are openings in the following sections:  Clarinet, French horn and bass.  All persons 18 years or over who are interested are asked to report next Wednesday night at the armory building.


For years people here have talked about the band that used to be a band that was second to none in the state, a band that garnered the plaudits of the people from the man on the street up to top ranking military men and governors - the old 105th Cavalry band.


Now at last Watertown is on the threshold of producing another great band, one that can carry on in behalf of good band music.


Cross reference:  Chapter on Bands  


08 20       BAND FORMED

The American Legion Band was formed June 14, 1949.  Members included some from the original Watertown Cavalry band.  Their first performance was August 20, 1949 under the direction of Frank Koenig.  The turnout was estimated at 1500 persons who gave generous applause.





Announcement is made today of the winners in the American Legion auxiliary Americanism contest entitled “America, the Land of Opportunity.”  There were over 100 entries in the contest conducted through the English departments of the junior and senior high schools.  Judges were Mrs. John Keck and Miss Leona Lewandowski.  Winners in group two of the junior high division are pictured in the first row.  They are, from left to right: Helen Hoof, first place; Shirley Johnson, third, and Barbara Adams, second.  Senior high division winners are pictured in the second row.  They are: Charles Bentzin, second; Rueben Schulz, third, and Joan Buske, first.  First place winners are eligible to compete in the state contest.




Watertown high school students who will represent the city

Herman Rohr, Wilma Kehl and Jake Sproesser, Jim Bentheimer, Robert Niere, Rueben Schultz, Don King, Bob Stallman.


The project, held each year, is sponsored by the state department of the American Legion.  The Pitterle-Beaudoin post of the Legion and its auxiliary here have been cooperating in this program for many years.  Individual local groups sponsoring the seven boys and the one girl from here besides the Legion and its auxiliary, the Watertown Lions club, Rotary club, Elks, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Order of DeMolay, and the Moose.  Two other Watertown groups which have been sponsors in the past got their applications in too late to be included this year.



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Sponsored by the Pitterle-Beaudoin post of the American Legion.







03 24       The Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion, is now far enough advanced with its plans to enlarge its property, the Green Bowl to petition to the City Council to have the area rezoned from residential to commercial in order to begin construction. The plans have been underway for the past several months and have been checked with state authorities. The Legion's petition will be presented to the City Council this evening and following the customary procedure will be referred to the City Plan Commission after which a hearing will be scheduled before any action is taken.



Work on the Green Bowl addition is to start next Monday, it was announced today by the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion, owners of the property.  Walter Otto, Watertown contractor, has been awarded the contract, having submitted the bid which the committee recommended for acceptance.  The project has been approved by the membership of the Legion.  The plans for the addition call for a large new structure for Legion purposes and there will also be new and enlarged rest room facilities. There will also be some improvements in the present quarters.


07 17       New officers of the American Legion Firing Squad announced today by officials of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, are: Ronald Millin, commander; Delbert Barner, adjutant; Roger Wilkes, first vice commander; Leroy Draves, second vice commander; Harvey Duehring, historian; Donald Lenius, finance officer; Edward Kuenzi, drill sergeant; Laverne Wanke and Lester Else, sergeants at arms.




The Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion, which each summer sponsors the largest celebration at Riverside Park, the Fourth of July festivities, today began to assemble its forces to seek defeat of the April 2 referendum which will decide whether the sale of beer is to be continued in Riverside Park and other public parks in the city.  The Legion has made it clear that it wants to continue sponsoring the celebrations but cannot do so if its largest revenue raising source at the park is halted.



Newly elected officers of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion were announced following ceremonies at which they took over their duties.  Officers are: Harold Wilde, commander; Tom Darcey, first vice commander; Howard Klug, second vice commander; Arnold T. Jorgenson, finance officer; Delbert Barner, chaplain; Conrad Ott, historian; Lester Else and Bert Sterwald, sergeants-at-arms; Harvey Duehring, trustee for three years; William Connor, service officer. 




The Riverside Park popcorn hassle, which was brought into the open at the city council meeting on Oct. 6 today seemed headed toward a solution and a report to that effect will be filed with the council at its meeting next Tuesday night.  The issue was brought into the open by the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, the American Legion when its commander told the council that officers would find it difficult to sign up a carnival for rides and concessions unless such group was given exclusive rights to concessions at the park for the annual Fourth of July celebration which the Legion sponsors each year.  A report received by the Times today stated that the solution calls for the carnival company to have complete control of all concessions on the Fourth of July midway in the park.  There is nothing to bar “outsiders” to maintain stands in other parts of the park, but they will not be permitted on the midway.   WDT



06 24       Thomas H. Gillis last night was installed as commander of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, the American Legion meeting held at the Legion Green Bowl.  Installation officer was Howard Zillge, Jefferson County Legion adjutant.  Gillis succeeds William T. Connor who has completed his term of office as commander.  Other officers installed last night are:  Edward H. Dusowsky and Trevor J. Kevan, first and second vice commanders; Conrad W. Ott, adjutant; Kenneth Wilkes, finance officer; John H. Model, chaplain; Gerald Schubert, service officer. Conrad W. Ott, historian; Roland J. Gibson and Earl E. Korban, sergeant-at-arms, and William T. Connor, trustee for three years.  WDT


07 13       The Watertown Rotary Club is going to meet at the Legion Green Bowl starting in August.  Ever since the club was founded here the membership has met every Monday noon at the Elks Club, in the lower dining hall.  The space in the lower dining hall is limited and the same table arrangements have to be followed week after week, it was pointed out.   WDT


12 03       Work is expected to start in a few weeks on the construction of a $116,000 addition to the American Legion Green Bowl as the result of a meeting Wednesday evening of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, at which members voted to proceed with the building plans which long have been under study and discussion. The vote was 51 to 21 in favor of the project. Plans call for the construction of a new dining room addition on the southeast corner of the present building. Kitchen facilities will be enlarged. More equipment will be added to the kitchen. The bar will be completely new and relocated in the northeast corner of the old building.   WDT



12 03       Edward H. Dusowsky, a member of the Watertown Police Department last night was elected commander of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, the American Legion during the annual business meeting of the organization at the Legion Green Bowl.  Others elected are: O. E. Peters, first vice commander; John H. Model, second vice commander; Palmer J. Freres, adjutant; Kenneth Wilkes, finance officer; William Kehl, chaplain; Paul E. Corbin, service officer; Conrad W. Ott, historian; Kenneth Kropf and Edward H. Sadowski, sergeant-at-arms.   WDT



04 27       Harold Wilde, a past commander of Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion of Watertown, last evening was elected to the office of commander of the Jefferson County Council of the American Legion.  Other officers elected with Commander Wilde are as follows: Vice Commander, Edward H. Dusowsky of Watertown.  Finance Officer, Howard Klug of Jefferson.  Chaplain, Russel Schultz of Fort Atkinson.  Sergeants at Arms, Zeno Schultz of Fort Atkinson, James Barrett of Jefferson.  Athletic Director, Erwin Drews Barrett of Jefferson.  Service Officer, Roland Weber of Lake Mills.  Grave Registration, Arthur R. Langholff of Fort Atkinson.   WDT



President John F. Kennedy

City Mourns Dead President

Watertown Daily Times photo, 11 25 1963


A flag bedecked Watertown, with United States flags flying at half-staff from buildings, today joined in the almost worldwide tribute to the memory of President John F. Kennedy whose funeral was held in the nation's capital.  The Watertown ceremonies were held on Cole Memorial bridge at 10 a.m., the starting time for the funeral cortege in Washington.  Participating here were Mayor Robert White who dropped a memorial wreath into the Rock River, a prayer was recited by the Very Rev. A. J. Herrmann, pastor of St. Henry's Catholic Church and a firing squad from the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion took part.  There also were other local veterans organizations represented at the ceremony. 


Business places closed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and schools, the post office, factories and banks joined in the day of mourning.  WDT



09 23       EUNICE GRUNER

Among the pleasant and topical conversation pieces in Watertown these evenings are the series of panels and a mural which Mrs. Eunice Gruner of 1010 Charles Street has done for the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, the American Legion, for the Legion Green Bowl.  That the art work is attracting attention is stating it mildly.  Mrs. Gruner, who founded Home Town Prints, a commercial art service here and which she still heads, has done, in these latest pieces, some of her most delightful art work to date.  When she was first approached with the suggestion that she consider doing something for the walls at the remodeled Legion Green Bowl she was hesitant and reluctant, but said she would consider the request and come up with an idea in case she decided to do it.   WDT


   Image Portfolio   Panels and mural at Green Bowl (Lindberg’s)




John Model last night was elected commander of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post 189, the American Legion.  Edward Sadowski was named first vice commander and William Kehl second vice commander.  Other officers named are Palmer Freres, adjutant; Kenneth Wilkes, finance officer; Kenneth Kropf, historian; Thomas Gillis, service officer; Lloyd Reckner, chaplain; Lyle Buske and Reginald Urban, sergeant-at-arms; William Connor, trustee.


10 23       A dedication service will be held Sunday, Nov. 8, at the V.F.W. Club, 1027 North Fourth Street, when the Beaudoin-Koehler-Draeger Post 3709, Veterans of Foreign Wars, pays tribute to the war dead as the nation prepares to observe Veterans Day.  The service will center about a 37-foot memorial flag pole which was erected this spring at the main entrance to the Post club rooms.  Michael Garfield, Watertown, second district commander, who with Eugene E. Schlesner directed the flag pole detail, will be master of ceremonies.  WDT



05 07       Palmer Freres, 234 North Avenue, a member of the Watertown Post Office staff and examiner in charge here for the U.S. Civil Service Commission, last night was elected commander of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post 189, the American Legion.  He will be installed May 19 along with other officers named last night.  William Kehl was elected first vice commander and Herman Rohr, second vice commander.  Other officers are: Warren Gay, adjutant; Kenneth Wilkes, finance officer; Ceylon Baker and James Anderson, sergeants-at-arms; Lloyd Reckner, chaplain; Kenneth Kropf, historian, and Thomas Gillis, service officer.   WDT


07 24       Mr. and Mrs. Harold F. Schultz of 1310 Utah Street have taken over the management of the American Legion Green Bowl.  They plan to take up their resident in the Green Bowl apartment.  Mr. Schultz has tended bar at the Green Bowl part time for the past five years.  Prior to taking over the management, he was employed at the Milwaukee Die Citing Company. His wife has been employed at the Green Bowl since last February.   WDT




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One area of the Legion Green Bowl will be opened in the near future.  It was announced today that the banquet room at the west, which suffered only minor damage in the devastating fire which occurred early in the morning of Nov. 5, is expected to be opened late in March or early in April.  With the re-opening of the banquet room, the Green Bowl will be able to accommodate the three service clubs which met there, wedding parties and dinner meetings.  Work has been underway on this room, and also the kitchen.  Just yesterday work was completed on the installation of a new ceiling in the kitchen.   WDT


05 31       GRAND RE-OPENING

The American Legion Green Bowl, closed since a disastrous fire which occurred early in the morning of Sunday Nov. 5, will reopen with a grand opening starting at 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon.  The area of the building which sustained the greatest fire damage has been completely redone.  It’s modern in every respect, and most attractive.  The bar is in a new location.  It’s in the center area on the east side. It formerly was located on the northeast side.  There are two dining areas, in addition to the banquet hall on the west side, which suffered minor damage in the fire, and which has been open for service clubs and other gatherings for the past several weeks.   WDT



The Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189 of the American Legion Saturday night honored its 50-year and charter members at a dinner dance at the Legion Green Bowl.  It was the annual Veterans Party.  Legion members who were honored include Herbert F. Schatz, Arthur A. Minning, Arthur W. Lietzke, Commander Howard Hilgendorf, Seth Perry, Arthur Ullrich, Eugene Fendt, Joseph Gerbitz, Paul Loeffler, Charles Beaudoin, Arthur W. Kohls, R. J. Conklin, Richard Hilgendorf, Dr. M. A. Schlueter, Jack Hansel, Clarence Peters, S. C. Northrop, Ben Schmutzler, L. J. Lange and O.E. Schmutzler.     WDT




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As of Dec. 31 M/M Merlin Flowers are the new managers of the American Legion Green Bowl succeeding M/M Harold Schultz.  Flowers had been employed by Midland Cooperative.  For the past five years he was manager of Old Elm Mills in Watertown, a subsidiary of Midland.  M/M Flowers and their three children, Jeff, Randy and Todd live in the apartment above the Green Bowl.



John H. Model, a member of Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, Watertown, was elected Second District American Legion Commander at a meeting held Sunday in Sheboygan.  Model is the second Watertown man to serve as district commander.  The late attorney Wallace Thauer was district commander from 1921 to 1922.     WDT


05 13       POPPY DAYS PROCLAMATION, May 23 & 24, 1969

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Proclamation signed by Mayor Wilkes.  Mrs. Howard Hilgendorf, Poppy Chair, American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 189



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A meeting of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Unit 189 of the American Legion Auxiliary was held on Wednesday, June 11 at the Legion Green Bowl.  Installation of officers was the highlight of the meeting.


The following members were installed by Mrs. Gilbert Zautner, immediate past president of Jefferson county:


President-Mrs. John Model; first vice-president-Mrs. Ceilan Baker, Sr., second vice president-Mrs. Kenneth Kropf, secretary-Mrs. Oswald Peters, treasurer-Mrs. W. T. Connor, historian-Mrs. Ronald Schmeling, chaplain-Miss Leona Lewandowski, sergeant at arms-Mrs. Douglas Beatty, color bearer-Mrs. William Benzel.


Poppy chairman Mrs. Howard Hilgendorf reported that the poppy sales held in May were successful and the money derived from this source will be used for the important Auxiliary programs of child welfare and rehabilitation.


Members were reminded to write to their Congressmen in regard to bills which are being discussed for enactment.  On June 17 a hearing will be held for the Senate Bill No. 360 in regard to withholding the state income tax from men who are now in service.  Bill No. HR6247 is to be supported by veteran organizations as it proposes to keep Memorial Day on May 30th and Veterans Day on November 11th.


Support is also needed for Resolution No. 6 which will permit prayers to be used in public buildings and in schools.   Members are further asked to write Gov. Warren Knowles to support Bill No. 11A which would allocate money for housing loans for veterans.


The hymn of the month, "O Master Let Me Walk With Thee" was sung by the Unit Trio, Mrs. Oswald Peters, Mrs. Ken Wilkes and Mrs. Gilbert Zautner, accompanied by Ms. Adelbert Lange.


The trip to Wood will be made on June 17th with the bus departing from the home of Mrs. Emma Henze at 412 Jones Street at noon.  Members who desire to donate homemade cookies may bring them to the Jones Street address for packing on Monday,



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Veterans of all wars were honored at the traditional observance on the Main Street bridge.  Sponsored by the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post 189, American Legion.  All veterans groups and their auxiliaries participated in the march from N. Seventh Street to the bridge




Members of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Unit of the American Legion Auxiliary prepare for annual trip to the Veterans Hospital at Wood, WI.  Purpose of the trip was to deliver gifts, homemade cookies and candy.  The gifts donated by auxiliary members will be displayed in the gift shop at the hospital and are available to the veterans at no cost to them.  The veterans thus are assured of a fine selection of Christmas gifts for their families. 


Mrs. Hattie Schilling, Mrs. John Model (unit president) and Mrs. Emma Henze.




Christmas gift boxes for 45 Watertown area servicemen stationed in Vietnam were prepared for mailing by the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post 189, American Legion.  Each box contains soap, iced tea, nuts, gum, toothpaste, pen and tooth brush.  William Connor, Mrs. William Connor, Mrs. Ceilan Baker Jr., Ceilan Baker Jr., Howard Hilgendorf, William Kehl, Ceilan Baker Sr., Kenneth Wilkes, Kenneth Kropf (chairman), Harold Wilde, Ronald Millin and Roger Wilkes.



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Legionnaires seeking support for a United We Stand campaign obtained about 300 signatures on pledge cards in the Watertown area.  Roland Gibson, Lloyd Reckner, Art Minning, Ken Wilkes, Tom Michele, Ernie Biefeld, John Model, Harold Wilde, Tom Gillis, Howard Hilgendorf and Ceilan Baker, Sr.




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The Watertown Veterans Council installed officers at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Clubhouse.  Richard Strohbusch, new commander, accepts the gavel from John Kube, outgoing commander.  Other officers installed were Al Stengel, finance; Robert Krueger, provost marshall, Ceilan Baker, acting adjutant, and Susie Johnson, senior vice-commander.


11 11       VETERANS DAY 1970

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The Legion was again without a main headquarters until December 28, 1984 when it purchased its present home, formerly Waldoch's, at 206 South First Street.  The Legionnaires and Auxiliary have completely renovated the former tavern where the Post holds meetings and store equipment such as wheel chairs, walkers and hospital beds.  The Legion holds a liquor license for the building but it is not open to the public.




Robert W. Krueger has been selected as the honorary marshal for the city’s Fourth of July parade.  Krueger, 314 S. Monroe St., has been active in many organizations and is a member and past commander of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion. Krueger is also a member of the Jefferson County 40 et 8, Voiture No. 750; past commander of the AMVETS Post No. 35; life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7852; Watertown Elks Lodge No. 666; life member of the Past Commanders Club; life member of the Wisconsin National Guard Enlisted Association; life member of the National Guard of the United States and has served as service officer for the AMVETS Post No. 35 for 15 years.



07 04       FOURTH OF JULY

In 1996, the City of Watertown and the American Legion Pitterle-Beaudoin Post #189 hosted Watertown's 178th annual city celebration of the Fourth of July.  The parade draws a throng of people to the business section on Main Street as well as along the parade route to the Riverside Park where the Legionnaires and Auxiliary offer food and drinks and music.  Fireworks are scheduled at night.




Post #189 is instrumental in observing Veterans Day along with various other organizations. Local veterans groups met at the Heritage Inn and march in a parade beginning at 10:30 a.m. and continue down Main Street to the Main Street bridge where a brief ceremony is held to honor all military people who did not return from war. This replaces the Armistice Day celebration of years ago commemorating the date and time of the end of World War I as silence fell over "No Man's Land" in Europe at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1948.


In 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming Nov.11, Veterans Day instead of Armistice Day and asked Americans everywhere to dedicate themselves to the cause of peace on this national holiday. Since that time, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War have brought more veterans into existence.


About 1500 American Flags are placed on area graves of military veterans before Memorial Day and are removed shortly after Labor Day by a few Legionnaires under the direction of Wes Altwies.


The larger cemeteries include: Watertown: Oak Hill, Moravian, St. Bernards [177], St. Henrys [146], Immanuel Lutheran [97]; Ixonia: Glenview Gardens [192].  Three of the 21 cemeteries only have one flag each.  The flags are placed in special metal holders called “stakes”. Stakes in use include World War I, World War II, Korea, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Vietnam, Cuba, the Civil War and two in Watertown from the Indian War.


The Watertown American Legion baseball team competes for the State AA tournament.




The colors of red, white and blue have been emerging on graves in cemeteries in Dodge and Jefferson counties as a visual reminder of veterans and the sacrifices they made to keep this country free.  The appearance of the flags is a spring ritual in 21 cemeteries in this area, thanks to the efforts of two volunteers from American Legion Post 189 and its auxiliary.  Placement of the flags is a long-standing ritual perpetuated by Wesley and Gladys Altweis, the two volunteers who visit the cemeteries each year before Memorial Day and again after July 4.  The flags are stored until the following spring, but the patriotism evoked by the symbol of freedom is never-ending for Altweis. 



American Legion Pitterle-Beaudoin Post 189 provided a complimentary breakfast at the Wethonkitha Club in Watertown on Saturday to give World War II veterans a chance to remember their war efforts from almost 60 years ago.  The breakfast was well-attended by area veterans and their guests, and coincided with National Dedication Day which showcased the opening of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Among those World War II veterans attending were Ed Trotts, Larry Ebert and Ray Berg.




Harold Wilde of Watertown was recently honored for his many years in the American Legion Post 189, capping a rich history of military related service.  The Legion honored Wilde for his 60 years of service to the organization of which he has been a very active member since 1945.  Wilde has served as past post commander, past county commander, 2nd District sergeant at arms and chairman of the Membership Committee.  His enthusiasm and participation in the organization date back to many years ago when he played Legion baseball.   WDT 




A committee from Post No. 189 consisting of Wesley Altwies, Jerry Peters and Howard Hilgendorf placed 2,272 flags on the graves of veterans in the area to honor their sacrifices.




      Harold and Nancy Schultz


Nancy A. Schultz, 83, of 18781 Hoover St., Salinas, CA, died March 6, 2007, at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital in Salinas.  Nancy was born Dec. 14, 1923, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, daughter of Terence and Myrtle Bruun.   She married Harold Schultz of Watertown, Wis., in Melbourne in 1943.  Harold preceded her in death March 12, 2003, in Haines City, FL.   Nancy came to Watertown from Australia in June 1945.  Nancy and Harold were managers of the former American Legion Green Bowl in Watertown and Nancy had worked for several local restaurants.   Surviving are daughters, Karren (Charles) Wolfram of Watertown, Sandra (Tony) Ziganay of Salinas and Patricia Schultz of Sullivan, WI.





Wtertown resident Bill Connor was named the 2008 Legionnaire of the Year at American Legion Post No. 189’s 90th birthday celebration that was held this past weekend at Turner Hall.  Connor has been a member of Post 189 for 54 years, serving as post service officer and first vice commander. He served as post commander from 1960 to ’61, the same time his late wife, Mary, was auxiliary president.  Connor and his wife are the only married couple in the history of Post 189 who served as commander and president at the same time.




Members of Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion, have been busy this week placing American flags on the graves of veterans in all local and area cemeteries.  Placing the flags on the graves of veterans on Memorial Day week has been a tradition of the local Legion Post.  In recent years the flag holders have been moved from the ground near the grave to the base of the headstone markers so they are less likely to be damaged by lawn mowing and maintenance crews.



06 05       POST NO. 189 INSTALLS OFFICERS FOR 2015-15      WDTimes article   




Madison played Plover for the State Championship.      Image Portfolio   


11 11       VETERANS DAY

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06 09       POST NO. 189 HOLDS MEETING



Blue Star Banner Chairman Lavern Schumann reported giving a Gold Star banner to Lois Bloedorn, sister of Russell Beaudoin


The regular monthly meeting of American Legion Post No. 189 was opened by Cmdr. Ken Zindars with the Pledge of Allegiance and the preamble to the Legion constitution.


The main order of business for the evening was the installation of officers for the 201617 session.  Taking the gavel from Zindars was new Cmdr. Ronald Krueger.  Also sworn in were 1st Vice Cmdr. Robert Saeger, 2nd Vice Cmdr. Kenneth Wzorek, Adjutant Larry Schultz, Chaplain Ward Genz, finance officer Roger Herbert, service officer Emily Derbas, Judge Advocate Dan Stratman, historian Douglas Clemmons, and Sgts.-at-Arms William Connor, Louis Checkai and William Rex. Wzorek and Derbas are new to the board this year. Dodge County Cmdr. Julie Muhle and Pat Sukowski, 2nd District chairman of A& G Testing, presided at the ceremonies.


Genz reported sending get well cards to Dan Weidenhoeft, Pedro Perez and Don Meier.  A sympathy card was sent to the family of Dr. Robert Liners.


Blue Star Banner Chairman Lavern Schumann reported giving a Gold Star banner to Lois Bloedorn, sister of Russell Beaudoin who was killed in action on an aircraft carrier during World War II and buried at sea.  Beaudoin is one of the servicemen after which Post No. 189 was named.


Requests for membership to Post No. 189 were received from David Hulick, U.S. Navy, Vietnam era; Dennis Daley, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam; Reginald Ingersol, U.S. Marines, Vietnam; Roland Marmes, U.S. Navy, Vietnam; Daniel Mejia, U.S. Army, Vietnam; Mike Palm, U.S. Army, Vietnam; and Brian Joyce, U.S. Army, Persian Gulf era.  All were unanimously accepted and welcomed to the post.


New commander Krueger presented past commander Zindars with a plaque honoring him for his three years of service as post commander.


Plans are underway for the annual Fourth of July celebration, which will be held at Riverside Park.  The event will be a three-day affair this year, with live music starting Saturday afternoon, July 2, and continuing through Monday afternoon, July 4.  The fireworks will be held Sunday, July 3, with July 4 as a rain date.  There will be new activities for young and old, and all are encouraged to attend and support their local veterans community.


It was also announced that Derbas, a registered nurse by profession, will donate her time once a month to assist any veterans with health concerns. This month she will be at the post on June 23 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. All time with Derbas will be done in strict confidentiality. The recent military show at the Watertown Municipal Airport conducted a raffle and an airplane ride, which was won by Bernice Baumann.



The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) was formed nearly a century ago, in 1919, when women were left behind on the home front while their men were going off to war. Those concerned women embraced the day-to-day responsibilities of life and soon became aware of the plight of fatherless families and the needs of returning veterans, vowing to continue their supportive role.


With that dedication, in less than a year, 1,342 Units of the Women’s Auxiliary to The American Legion had been organized in more than 45 states. And now, almost 100 years later, its members continue to support veterans and the military. The organization is nearly 800,000 strong and working to reach the million mark.


Some of the programs of the ALA include Americanism, Badger Girls, Children and Youth, Community Service, Education and Scholarship, Juniors, Legislative, Membership, Music, National Security, Past Presidents Parley, Poppy, Public Relations and Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation.


Unit 189 is one of eight units in Jefferson County. The other units are Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Johnson Creek, Lake Mills, Palmyra, Sullivan and Waterloo. Six counties, Columbia, Dodge, Jefferson, Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Washington, form the Second District. Twelve districts cover 72 counties and comprise the Department of Wisconsin. The ALA is organized into 52 (state) departments, with one operating in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.


Membership in the American Legion Auxiliary is limited to the grandmothers, mothers, sisters, wives and direct and adopted female descendants of members of The American Legion, and to the grandmothers, mothers, sisters, wives and direct and adopted female descendants of all men and women who were in the Armed Forces of the United States during any of the following periods and died in the line of duty during such service, or who, having received an honorable discharge, died after service: — Gulf War/War on Terrorism: Aug. 2, 1990, to date of cessation; Panama: Dec. 20, 1989-Jan. 31, 1990; Lebanon and Grenada: Aug. 24, 1982July 31, 1984; Vietnam War: Feb. 28, 1961-May 7, 1975; Korean War: June 25, 1950Jan. 31, 1955; World War II: Dec. 7, 1941-Dec. 31, 1946 and World War I: April 6, 1917Nov. 11,1918.


The American Legion Auxiliary is the largest women’s patriotic service organization in the world. Its mission is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of veterans, military and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and country, the auxiliary advocates for veterans, educates citizens, mentors youths and promotes patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.


American Legion Pitterle-Beaudoin Unit 189 officers for 2016-17 were installed at the unit’s June meeting. Officers include Karen Sherry, chaplain; Mary Petrie, president; Kathy Allermann, vice president; Sandy Sullivan, historian; Ora Kuckkan, treasurer; Rebecca Hoffman, secretary; Carol Peters, sergeant-at-arms and Jeanne Gillis, assistant sergeant-at-arms. Mae Wilkes, a past president, served as the installing officer.


-- --           OLD BASS DRUM HEAD

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Presenting Municipal Band’s old bass drum head to the American Legion



02 12       JERRY PETERS (1942-2017)

Jerome E. Peters, 74, of Watertown, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017.  Jerome Edward Peters was born on Oct. 31, 1942, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Watertown, the son of Oswald and Patricia (nee Simon) Peters.  On Feb. 2, 1980, he married the former Debra Buchta at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Watertown.


Jerry graduated from Watertown High School. He entered the United States Navy and served his country from 1960-63.  He then was employed by Kinkead Plastics in Johnson Creek for 23 years, serving most of those years as foreman.  He then purchased the former Bowl-A-Fun Lanes and became the proprietor of Jerry’s North Bowl and served there as proprietor for 17 years, at which time he retired.


Upon his retirement, Jerry became very active in the American Legion Post 189.  He was commander from 2007-13.  Jerry was honored with having the Main Street Bridge named after him for one year for all his help in the community.  He was also an active member of AARP Chapter 3056.  Jerry was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.


Jerry’s passion was softball and bowling.  He played softball for 50 years and started bowling as a teenager setting pins.  He held a 200 plus average for many years.  He also played golf and played on the Lutheran Dartball League.   WDT



The American Legion Auxiliary Unit #189 donated $300 to the Watertown Fire Department towards the purchase of extrication equipment.  The equipment is used to extricate victims that have been trapped in vehicles following collisions and other situations where victims need to be removed from equipment or wreckage.  This donation was obtained through the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #189’s fundraising efforts.



The newly installed 2017-18 American Legion Auxiliary Pitterle-Beaudoin Unit 189 officers are:  Kathy Allermann, vice president; Ora Kuckkan, treasurer; Karen Sherry, chaplain; Carol Peters, sergeant-at-arms; Sandy Sullivan, historian; Rebecca Hoffman, secretary; Mary Petrie, president; Pat Benzel, past unit president and installing officer; Julie Wright.





Fire Chief Kraig Biefeld was honored by American Legion Post No. 189 as Firefighter/ EMT of the Year at a birthday banquet held Saturday celebrating the 99th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion.  Post member Ron Krueger.




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American Legion member Larry Schultz presented a certificate to Katherine Riedl recognizing her as the 2021 Police Officer of the Year at the Legion’s birthday banquet held at Turner Hall on March 12.  A program was held introducing Katherine Riedl as the 2021 Police Officer of the Year and Amber Haumshield as the Watertown Police Support Person of the Year.




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No 1:  Pitterle-Beaudoin website 

No 2:  Watertown’s Company E Went to War, Frank Pitterle




Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin