VFW Post 305 History

Instituted November 5, 1921


"Man's greatness is revealed when he is willingly and graciously helping the less fortunate. This has truly been displayed by the members of Post 305 over the years.  Through fifty years of service the post has met the challenge brought on by major wars and minor skirmishes by depression and prosperity.  They have met the test of time."

Ara L. Fish, Department Commander
On the Golden Anniversary for VFW Post 305

In the Fall of 1921, the VFW Post 305 was founded in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The first Commander, Leonard P. Loken, was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. He and 137 founding members, many of whom were veterans for WWI, received the charter for the new Post, making it the second oldest VFW Post established in the state of Wisconsin.

In June 1922, the first meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Wisconsin was held. S. Knox Kreutzer from Wausau was elected it’s Commander and Loken was elected first Vice Commander. After that meeting adjourned, a wire was received from Kreutzer that he could not be Commander so Loken was convinced to step up. Loken took over the VFW of Wisconsin leadership in 1923. At that time, there were 12 posts in the state.

On January 29, 1945, Major Richard I. Bong, the biggest flying ace from WWII, was invited by VFW Post 305 to speak at a public meeting at the city auditorium in Eau Claire. He was a new member of the VFW and was looking forward to becoming an active member. (Unfortunately, Major Bong was killed in a test plane crash August 6, 1945).

Basil O. Lee was Commander of VFW Post 305 in 1946, the Silver Jubilee year. Under his leadership, membership climbed to over 1100 members, including James A. Guinn of Bloomer, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from WWII.

In 1947, VFW Post 305 buys the 512 Galloway Street Hall. Money is spent in renovation, but the property is sold in 1951 because it is simply too small. The Post considers buying past properties where it has met, but can't find any that will serve their needs.

In 1950, Rev. Roy B. Schmeichel, a member of VFW Post 305, was elected National Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In 1951, VFW Post 305 puts in a bid of $5,000 on the Davis (Dells) beach property which is being sold by the city. Originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1932, it offers an ideal spot to meet plus room to expand as membership grows. The city accepts their offer and the Post moves into its new home.

In 1954, an addition to the clubhouse was erected for $15,000. In 1958, the post bought the Sherman Tank parked out from for $100.

In 1960 the mortgage for the clubhouse was burned.

Two members of VFW Post 305 served in three conflict. Robert J. Nelson, a life member of VFW Post 305, served in WWI, WWII, and the Korean war. Vernon A. Gran, another life member, served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

History Of VFW Post 305 Meeting Places
1921 to 1931     City Auditorium (Also known as, "American Legion Auditorium".)
1931 to 1936     SAF Building and Knights of Pythias Hall
1937 to 1947     Wittkopf’s Hall
1947 to 1951     512 Galloway Street Hall is purchased, remodeled, but sold in 1951
1951 to Pres     Davis (Dells) Beach Property purchased

To download a scanned copy of the 1971 50th Anniversary Book, please click here.


1300 Starr Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54703


Phone: (715) 552-8438

Email:  info@vfwpost305.com