This Post was started in 1919 under the temporary charter as Chandler Post #35. In February 1920 the permanent charter was issued. In 1924 there was a Charter change whereby the post was known as Sahuaro Post #35. Commander W.W. Pickrell was the first Commander.
On March 9, 1920, Chandler Town Ordinance Title VII was adopted. The ordinance was signed by Chandler’s founder and first Mayor, Dr. A.J. Chandler, and by City Clerk W.W. Pickerell. (First Commander of Post 35, 1920)
There were thrity charter members. In these first years the Post had no official Post Home but the members kept active in Legion work and held meetings at different members homes for some time and at other times met at City Hall and the Woman’s Club building.
Finances for Legion activities were raised in various and sundry ways; sponsoing weekly boxing and wrestling matches, turkey shoots, horse races, etc.
In 1929 the post was rechartered with our present name in honor of Mathew B. Juan, the first Pima Indian from Arizona to lose his life in World War I. The name change was official June 12, 1929 with George V. Grosh, Commander. Mathew was a native of Arizona, being born and raised on the Pima reservation at Sacaton. Through the work of the Post and the Indian people, a monument was erected in his honor in 1932.
Post 35 is invited every year to the Iwo Jima Flag Raising Service in Sacaton to present the memorial wreath to the Mathew B. Juan memorial.
The current post home was purchased in 1937 under Commander H. Gunderson. The final payment and burning of the mortage was made in 1940 under Commander J. D. Vance.
Early in 1941, with the assistance of many of the Auxiliary members and numerous hours of work, a Serviceman’s Center was started to provide the Service personnel with a place to go during their off duty hours. Through their efforts, dances, picnics and a Serviceman’s Center similiar to the USO was provided.
In 1946, under Commander R.C. Muse, the Post was incorporated and members at the time started the Club room. At that time, the Club room consisted of two saw horses, a 1″ x 12″ plank and one #3 wash tub for cooling beer. The cash register was a King Edward cigar box. From this meager beginning and with lots of hard work, the post now has a club room to be proud of.
In 1948 members became alarmed at the lack of display of our flag, especially on legal holidays, in our city. From this concern our Flag Service was started. This service is to furnish a flag, display, recover and store for a nominal yearly fee. This program met with such success the post had a surplus in the finance account. In 1949 the post used this surplus and gave the community a safer July 4th celebration, the post started the annual fireworks display. This display was the only one in the Valley, if not in the state, free to the Public.
The Post has received many citations for various community projects. One that everyone is most proud of is the Freedom Foundation Award in 1959.
As the Sons of the American Legion was discontinued in 1937 in the Department of Arizona, members of this post started work to reactivate this organization. A charter was received from Squadron 35 in 1962. The Chandler Squadron was the first to be reactivated.
A Women’s Auxiliary of Chandler Post 35 was formed. The Legion has every reason to be proud of its Auxiliary, which gained statewide recognition because of its programs of service. Auxiliary members are always anxious and willing to cooperate in every Legion activity.
Patriot’s Day (September 11)
MEMORIAL DAY has always been an outstanding occasion in this community. In addition to memorial events throughout the Batavia the grave of every veteran of any of the wars of the country are decorated on this National Holiday. Today, jointly with Batavia’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1197 this tradition is being carried on. If one might attempt to prophecy, in an historical account, Batavia’s veteran organizations will carry on this tradition to its last man to keep MEMORIAL DAY sacred to the memory of our war dead.
ARMISTICE DAY, now called VETERANS’ DAY, originally marked the end of fighting in World War One. It is an important holiday on the calendar of Legionnaires everywhere and in the hearts of all veterans. Today, together with the Valley of the Sun Cemetery, Chandler Post 35 solemnly observes this tradition with other Chandler Veteran organizations.
Registration Of Graves
Partnering with the Valley of Sun Cemetary the Post erected a massive memorial marking it as the burial lot for service men . Each year, together with the VFW, active members of both organizations and the Valley of the sun place a flag on each veteran’s grave.
Scholarship and Community Projects
Post 35 Sponsors various scholarships for the further education of our children. We also sponsor and financially assist many worthy community projects and programs initiated by the National American Legion.
JOIN US AND KEEP THIS HISTORY ALIVE
About Matthew B Juan
Mathew B Juan (April 22, 1892- May 28, 1918) was anative American hero of World War I who died in the Battle of Cantigny. Juan was the first Arizonan to die in the war. Juan was a Pima Indian from the Gila River Indian Community. Juan was born in San Tan, Pinal Co., Arizona April 22. 1892 to Joseph and Mary B. Juan. Mathew grew up in the small agricultural town of Sacaton, Arizona(also the capital of the Gila River Indian Community). He stayed there until he reachedhigh school and left for the Sherman Institute(an indian boarding school) in Riverside, California. Upon graduation, he joined a travelling circus. In June 1917 Juan registered his Selective Service Card with the local draft board in Wichita Falls, Texas. Six months later he was drafted. He joined the 6th Co. 1st Infantry Training Regiment on December 11,1917. He boarded the troopship SS Tuscania in January 1918, bound for Le Havre, France. The Tuscania was torpedoed by a German U-boat February 5,1918 in the North Channel (U.K.), and 200 American Troops perished along with an additional 65 crew members of the Tuscania.