The American Legion, John T. Alexander Post 17 which serves Sumner County, Tennessee and is located in Gallatin, the county seat, is the result of the ideas and desires of those fostered in Paris, France by the one thousand officers and enlisted men of the American Expeditionary Force of World War I in March 1919. After a second organizing caucus held in St. Louis, Mo in May 1919, the U. S. Congress granted the American Legion its charter which then granted its charter to the Department of Tennessee.
A group of veterans from Sumner County applied for its charter which was granted in August 1919. The permanent charter was revised in 1924. A list of the 18 members listed on the Charter Membership Roll is as follows: George Franklin Durham, John Frank Kelly, Dr. William Lackey, Robert A. Hogan, Charles D. Moore, Thomas S. Pierce, Jr., Glenn R. Walker, Sollimon V. Lipscomb, Fred R. Woodard, A.B. Perkins, Charles B. Rogan, and Joe Miller. The first 16 listed were from Gallatin and the last two were from Hendersonville. The first Post 17 Commander was Dr. Homer Reese and the first State Commander was Harry S. Berry.
Records do not show details concerning many of the original members. Most were farmers or land owners. There were two physicians, a lawyer, a postal worker, and a pharmacist. It appears that they were typical Sumner County residents of that time.
John T. Alexander Post 17 was named in honor of the first resident who died in World War I. He served as a private in the U.S. Army.
Throughout John T. Alexander Post 17’s history, our organization has met the responsibilities of the American Legion by dedicating ourselves, as veterans, to serving veterans in need, their widows and orphans, upholding and defending the Constitution of The United States of America, promoting Americanism and Patriotism, community service, support of charities and civic affairs, and all activities associated to God and Country while educating and teaching young people to be responsible and capable leaders of the future.