American Legion celebrates, honors recipients

Ellis Parsons was a World War II veteran, Hartsville resident, and an American Legion member. It turns out that Ellis was a continuous American Legion member for 75 years. On March 30, 2023, Ellis Parsons was presented, at his home, a framed certificate in recognition of his continuous membership accomplishment in support of fellow veterans and youth. The presenters are members of the Hartsville American Legion Post 53. The presenters were Larry Stegner, Curtis Tyner, Dave Carlton, and John Benjamin. Ellis’ son, Ellis Parsons, Jr, assisted his father during the presentation. Unfortunately, Ellis passed away in May 2023 at the age of 106. The Post 53 certificate presenters are all grateful we had the chance to meet this member of the greatest generation in person. Pictured here, front row: John Benjamin (kneeling) and Ellis Parsons (seated); back row standing: Curtis Tyner, Ellis Parson, Jr., Larry Stegner, and David Carlton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

On April 18, 2023, the Hartsville American Legion Post 53 presented a historical plaque to Brian Gandy, County Historian, Darlington County Historical Commission and Museum. The following is how that came to be.
The Hartsville American Legion Post 53 is in the process of refreshing its facility at 105 Society Avenue. The Post building is on the north side of Prestwood Lake at the corner of North 5th Street and Society Avenue. Updates are being made both inside and out.
There was a large brass plaque mounted on one of the walls inside the Post building. It was one of those things you see, but don’t see because it has always been there. The plaque, along with everything else on the walls had to come down for the walls to be painted. The plaque, upon closer inspection, was a memorial to the Darlington County citizens killed during World War I. It was erected in 1923 by the Robert Lide Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Hartsville, SC. The consensus of the Post 53 members was that this plaque was for all of Darlington County and should be in the Darlington County Museum rather than hidden away at a local American Legion Post in Hartsville. The Museum staff was contacted and agreed that the museum should have the plaque.
County Historian Brian Gandy attended the monthly Post 53 meeting on April 18, 2023. Brian accepted the plaque on behalf of the museum and explained its significance. The plaque is one of two similar plaques that had been mounted in a Darlington County courthouse that was taken down in 1965 to make way for a modern courthouse. The other plaque, which honored an individual Darlington County resident killed in World War I, had found its way to the Darlington County Museum long ago. The details of how the plaque in the Post 53 building found its way there in 1965 are lost to history, but these two World War I memorial plaques are now reunited in the Darlington County Museum. Pictured here: Brian, on the left, explaining the significan

The July 20, 2023, Hartsville American Legion Post 53 meeting was the date to draw the winning ticket for the quilt. The 20th was also the date American Legion Boys and Girls State attendees were returning to share their experiences with the Post 53 membership. Girls State attendee Germany Huffman drew the winning ticket for us. Post Commander John Benjamin presented a $449 check to Swamp Fox Quilters representative Timi Bronson for their share of the raffle proceeds. Chandler Peel of Hartsville was the winner of the quilt. Chandler stated that the quilt was very nice when he received it. Pictured here: Chandler Peel receiving his quilt. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Swamp Fox Quilters and Hartsville American Legion Post 53 partnered to raise funds in support of veterans. Swamp Fox Quilters is associated with the Quilts of Valor organization. Quilts are made and presented to deserving veterans in recognition of their service to the United States. The American Legion supports veterans, youth, promotes Americanism, and promotes a strong national defense.
The partnership was that Swamp Fox Quilters provided a quilt to be raffled and Post 53 sold the raffle tickets. The proceeds were to be split 50/50 between Post 53 and Swamp Fox Quilters. Six raffle ticket sales dates were held over the spring of 2023. Hartsville’s Henderson Ace Hardware Store graciously allowed raffle ticket sales in front of their store on 4th Street for most of the raffle ticket sales dates. A total of $898 was raised by the quilt raffle. Pictured here: Germany Huffman on the left who drew the winning ticket and Timi Bronson in the center receiving the check for Swamp Fox Quilters from John Benjamin on the right. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Author: Stephan Drew

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