Harvey Pierre Post 2778 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States was instituted on February 20, 1933 by Comrades William Reetz, Raymond Voight, Paul Wilke, Louis Jeske, and Ferdinand Radtke The first organizational meeting was held on January 9, 1933 at Appleton’s Armory G. Building with thirteen comrades present.
The Post is named for Harvey Pierre, the first soldier from Appleton who died in World War I. He was born April 11, 1899 in Appleton. He attended Third Ward Grade School, two years of High School and was a graduate of Bushey Business College.
Harvey had been employed as a bookkeeper at Fox River Knitting Factory until his enlistment on April 11, 1917. Private Harvey Pierre had been assigned to Company “G”, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry of The National Guard and then served overseas with the 50th Machine Gun Battalion of the 42nd Rainbow Division. He was killed in action on July 15, 1918 in Champaign, France.
Harvey was a boy well-liked by the soldiers in his company. His fellow comrades wanted him to go with them wherever they went and always helped him out of his own difficulties. When he enlisted, he was under the minimum weight of 110 pounds and had not met the regulation height, so the boys made him drink water until it ran out of his ears, put weights in his shoes, and pegs in his heels so he would stand in regulation standards. Harvey Pierre was but a boy at 18 years of age.
As had been stated by John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army, Harvey Pierre bravely laid down his life for the causes of his country. His name will ever remain fresh in the hearts of his friends and comrades. The record of his honorable service will be preserved in the archives of the American Expeditionary Forces.
Harvey Pierre Post 2778’s next meeting was called to order on January 16, 1933, to nominate and elect the first officers and they are as follows – Commander: Armin Scheurle; Senior Vice Commander: Louis Jeske; Junior Vice Commander: Paul Wilke; Quartermaster: John Pierre; Adjutant: J.B. Rasmussen; Chaplain: William Speel; Officer of the Day: William Reetz; Guard: Dewey Hottenstein; Service Officer: Joseph Witmer; and Trustees: Ferdinand, D. Hedberg and Chris Guckenberger.
Armin Scheurle as our first Commander had gone on to become the State Department Commander in 1940, also bringing the first State Department Convention to Appleton in 1941.
John Pierre, brother of Harvey Pierre, was one of the original charter members and the Post’s first quartermaster. John Pierre later became commander from 1942-1943 and was committed to this organization all his life.
Harvey Pierre Post 2778’s third meeting was called to order February 20, 1933 by 6th District Council member, Walter Brown, to install the first officers, obligate members, and institute the Post. This group laid the foundation for an organization that has grown into an outstanding Post in the State of Wisconsin currently consisting of 480 members.