A Little History of Samuel L. Derby, American Legion Chapter 556
Samuel L. Derby was born on Sept 6, 1895 to Silas and Celis Derby. His family home is located on Institute St, Frewsburg, New York (corner of N. Pearl St and Institute, their is a historical plaque to signify his home). Attending Frewsburg School, he was a member of the Drama Club. Samuel enjoyed Camping, Canoeing, and Fishing. He was engaged to Helen Phillips.
On April 1, 1918, enlisted in the Army and departed to Fort Dix, New Jersey for basic training. After basic training, Sam was assigned to the 309th Infantry, 18th Division. His unit was deployed on May 21, 1918 and assigned to Company E, 309th Infantry, 78 Division, where he obtained the rank of Corporal.
During the battle of St. Juvin, France, Mouse-Argonne Sector on October 16, 1918, Samuel was shot just beneath the heart and the bullet exit just above the Shoulder Blade. Samuel died the following day on October 17, 1918 at the age of 23. Samuel Derby was originally burning in the Town of Chanpneigunelle, France, along the banks of the Argon River
The family along with the U.S. Army started the process of returning Samuel back home to Frewsburg, NY. On the summer of 1921, Samuel was returned to Frewsburg by Train. Sept 6, 1922, on his 27th birthday Samuel was laid to rest in Maple Grove Cemetery with full military honors.
After WWI the American Legion was start, and the Local Chapter of the American Legion was started on November 7, 1919, where they decided to name the chapter after Samuel L. Derby. Post can only be named after deceased veterans and Samuel Derby was chosen since he was the first military man killed from Frewsburg. Without a primary meeting place to meet, the Chapter would meet in various members homes, and they also used the Town Hall when available. With ever growing membership the chapter looked for a place to build Samuel L. Derby Post 556. Harry Kline a resident of the Town of Carroll, donated 1 Acre of property to the member and they broke ground on December 10, 1948 to build the 1st Post Building. Upon completion of the Post the first meeting was held on July 14, 1949. The old post was used until 1997, when the current Post was designated as the Primary Post 556. The old building for a a while and then was torn down. This year is the 68th Anniversary of the Ground Breaking of the old post 556.
Without the support, participation of the Community the Post would not be here. So we look forward you for your support during the upcoming year, this way we can continue supporting our Community, Schools and all the Veterans in the Area.