Post 1760 History

VFW Post 1760 |
1929 VFW Charter Post 1760
The original first charter for VFW Post 1760 with Geronimo as the namesake.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1760 was chartered in Mesa, Arizona on November 19, 1929. Then known as Geronimo Post 1760 (under a different namesake) the newly formed charter elected their first post commander to be, James E. Coberly. The initial years for the Post progress was slow and had low interest.

A few years later in 1936 another well organized effort was made for the post, this time under the commandership of Merlin Shumway. It was under Commander Shumway’s administration that the namesake for Post 1760 was changed to Dode Morris in honor of Joseph Smith Morris, who was better known locally as “Dode” in the area (pronounced ‘doh-dih’). At the time it was believed Dode was the first citizen of Mesa killed in action during World War I, thus renaming Post 1760 with him as the namesake. This was in fact false as another Mesa veteran, Marion E. Rogers was killed in action 17 days before. Regardless of who was killed in action first, both those men and 4 other Mesa veterans made the supreme sacrifice for our country in the Great War.

1937 VFW National Convention
Local newspaper boasts VFW Post 1760 hosting the 1937 VFW National Convention.

Through the beginning years Post 1760 held meetings in schools, churches, homes of members or any place where the members could congregate. In 1946, Post 1760 leased the basement of the Passey-Gurtler building on W. Main. This was the first regular meeting place since the founding in 1929.

Then in 1948, Post 1760 bought the property on the northeast corner of 1st Avenue and S. Macdonald. In 1951 construction was started on a hall adjacent to the main building. And officially the Post paid off their mortgage and celebrated with a “Mortgage Burning Ceremony” on March 17, 1956. Post 1760 resides in the very same building you see and visit today as a result of many years of work by the entire membership of Post 1760.

Moving forward, Post 1760 has remained active long enough to now be one of the five oldest VFW Posts in the state of Arizona.

~ Oldest Active VFW Posts in Arizona ~

Post 541 Prescott (1921)
Post 720 Phoenix (1921)
Post 1433 Glendale (1926)
Post 1704 Globe (June 1929)
Post 1760 Mesa (November 1929)

Contributing references:
– Alice Jung, Manager at Mesa Historical Museum
– Diane Rudermann, office staff at VFW Dept. of Arizona
– William H. Pogue, Past Commander Post 1760