“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Beeville in Bee County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

American Legion Post 818

American Legion Post 818 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dave W, March 20, 2022
1. American Legion Post 818 Marker

Charles H. Lytle, U.S. Navy, was the first African American serviceman from Beeville killed in WWII. He died on January 4, 1945, when the USS Ommaney Bay sank near the Philippines after being bombed. Lytle (listed as "Major Charles Lytle” in the official casualty list) received a posthumous purple heart medal.

In 1946, the American legion granted a temporary charter to Charles Major Lytle Post 274A, under sponsorship of the local American legion Post 274, which was run by anglo veterans.

Sixteen charter members of Post 274A met in the Masonic Hall and the negro USO Club until completion of their own building in 1953 on lots donated by philanthropist Judge James R. Dougherty. His son, Dudley T. Dougherty, made further contributions and offered support at meetings. The facility hosted the negro American Legion Convention in 1953, with post commander Lymas Langley, Jr. Presiding. In 1955, the post officially incorporated as Charles Major Lytle American Legion Post 818.

In the era of segregation, the post served as a community meeting place. For instance, from 1956 to 1963, African American graduates of A.C. Jones
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High School, barred from attending the school's prom, held their own prom at the post. Graduates of the segregated Lott-Canada School used the post for proms until 1963.

In addition to Langley, other post leaders were John Mayberry, Ben Lott, George McCarty, and Eugene Langley. In 1997, due to declining membership, the post donated its building to the Jones Chapel United Methodist Church and Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, jointly. Jones chapel turned its share over to Bethlehem. After serious consideration Bethlehem gave sole ownership to the Lott-Canada Alumni Association for its reunions and other celebrations.
Erected 2014 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17988.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsWar, World II. A significant historical date for this entry is January 4, 1945.
Location. 28° 23.955′ N, 97° 45.536′ W. Marker is in Beeville, Texas, in Bee County. Marker is on West Hefferman Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1105 W Hefferman St, Beeville TX 78102, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lott-Canada School (about 700 feet away); Lott Canada School
American Legion Post 818 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dave W, March 20, 2022
2. American Legion Post 818 Marker
(about 700 feet away); Jones Chapel United Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Beeville Fallen Aviators (approx. ¼ mile away); Beeville War Dead Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); West Side School for Mexican Americans (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Railroad in Bee County (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beeville.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 7, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 7, 2022, by Dave W of Co, Colorado. This page has been viewed 425 times since then and 144 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 7, 2022, by Dave W of Co, Colorado. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 19, 2024