History of VFW Post 369

In Honor and Memory of Those who Served
and Died in Defense of our Country...
• Past • Present • Future

Special thanks to John Castle.

  • In the Spring of 1938, there was considerable discussion among veterans about forming a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Mexico, NY. It was felt that a post could easily be formed and also be supported by the community.
  • Sixteen veterans signed an application for a charter for the Edick - Hamlink Post #369, which was approved on July 26, 1938 by M.A. Michaels, Adjutant, Central New York County Council and Frederic J. Brock, Adjutant, Department of New York.
  • This dedicated group of veterans included Robert J. Kidd, Leon P. McFee, Clarence E. Masters, George Authur Ellsworth, Ray B. Porter, Roy L. Pidge, Irvin Stevens Parish, J. Neil Ryan, Ralph A. Farmer, Charles J. Cogswell, Wesley Wallace, Joshua Jeremiah, James M. Marshall, Harry J. Hart, Ira J. Austin, and Glen H. Smith.
  • Edick - Hamlink Post #369, Veterans of Foreign Wars, was mustered on July 29, 1938. The charter was closed on October 29, 1938.
  • The Mexico V.F.W. Post was named in memory of Herbert Frederick Edick and Clarence Albert Hamlink. Edick was born in Palermo, NY on September 23, 1895, the son of Fred and Alta Groff Edick. He was engaged in mill work before enlisting in the US Army June 25, 1917 at Syracuse.

He was assigned to Co. H., 16th Infantry, 1st Division and trained at the Syracuse Fairgrounds. He embarked from New York City for overseas service on November 22, 1917 and arrived in France December 3, 1917. Edick was killed in the second battle of Marne on July 21, 1918. He is buried in the family plot in the Mexico Village Cemetery.

Hamlink was born in the New Haven area, the son of Abram and Susan Larkin Hamlink. (The family dropped the letter 'k' from their name and became known as Hamlin). He was employed at the Onondaga Hotel when at the age of 21 years. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps on June 11, 1917. He trained at Parris Island, South Carolina and later at Quantico.

He served with the 6th Regimental Marines, 95th Company, 1st Battery, AEF France. Clarence was killed in action October 6, 1918, after having only just recovered from wounds he received in a previous battle. His remains were returned to the United States and he was buried with military honors on October 6, 1921 in the Hamlin family plot in the New Haven Cemetery.

  • The newly elected officers of the Edick-Hamlink Post #369, V.F.W. were installed on September 30, 1938.
  • Meetings were held the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month. Clarence E. Masters; Commander, Robert J. Kidd; Senior Vice Commander, Ray B. Porter; Junior Vice Commander, Leon P. McFee; Quartermaster, Howard E. Fults; Adjutant, James M. Marshall; Chaplain, Joseph Sherman; Officer of the Day, and Trustees James Neil Ryan; 6 months, Ralph A. farmer; 12 months, and George Arthur Ellsworth; 18 months.

Also, Frank I. Badger; guard, Harry J. Hart; Sergeant Major, Charles J. Cogswell; Surgeon, Wesley Wallace; Judge Advocate, Carl F. Sanderson; Patriotic Instructor, and Joshua Jeremiah; Sentinel. Of the above officers, the first to die was Wesley Wallace in April 1939 and the last was Carl F. Sanderson in 1976 at the age of 80 years.

Additional charter members were Henry Nelson Howe, Edward M. Henderson, Ward Hilton (Orwell), Ernest LaVere, a Spanish-American War veteran, Harry G. Learned, Curtis R. McFee, Arthur P. Schick, Frank G. Smith, Herschel W. Watson, Jesse Woolson, Roy F. Fellers, Fred D. Whitney, John L. Putnam, Carl F. Sanderson, and Howard E. Fults.

Most of the veterans belonging to the Mexico V.F.W. were from Mexico and New Haven and served in the infantry with their foreign service being in France. George Arthur Ellsworth, known by his friends as the "Kaiser", served in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War. He served from May 16, 1898 to April 1, 1899. Charles J. Cogswell was a cook in the Navy with the foreign service in the country of Mexico. His enlistment ran from April 28, 1911 to June 21, 1921. Harry J. Hart was in the artillery and Ira R. Austin in the engineers.

Lewis Shortsleeve, a member of the Mexico V.F.W. from Arthur, NY, was the last Spanish-American War veteran to expire at the age of 83 years on July 6, 1963.

Not many months after the V.F.W. was organized, they proudly promoted the landscaping and clean-up on Spy Island around the grave of Silas Town, the Revolutionary War hero. After removing the brush and undergrowth, steps were erected at the monument and several decorative trees were planted.

The V.F.W. particularly in their early years, were very supportive of their members and their dependents in time of need. They strongly supported the sale of poppies made by injured veterans.

The right arm and strong supporter of the V.F.W. is its Auxiliary. The Mexico Auxiliary was formed in July 1940. The temporary officers chosen were Edith Kirkpatrick; President, Martha McFee; Senior Vice President, Marion Bennett; Junior Vice President, Grace Kidd; Treasurer, Matilda Smith; Secretary, Frances Pare; Chaplain, Jesse Sanderson; Guard, Marguerite Stevens; Patriotic Instructor, and Cherrie Bennett; Conductress.


Past Commanders of the Mexico V.F.D. who served as Commander of the Oswego County Council are: Floyd H. Clemons; 1948-1949, Peter Y. Goldych; 1957-1958, A. John Wasilewski; 1963-1964, Alexander M. Forbes; 1973-1974, William C. Mowry; 1/2 year 1979 and 1980-1981, and Alexander Longhway; 1994-1995.

In May, 1963, past Commander Frederic E. Tourot was appointed National Aide-de-Camp to the National Commander of the V.F.W., Byron B. Gentry.

The Mexico Veterans of Foreign Wars and other posts in Oswego County were honored to have Frank W. Marcellus of Trach-Auringer Post #7325, Constantia, serve as State Commander, 1968-1969.

In July 1988, Edick-Hamlink Post #369 was presented with an award of a Golden Anniversary Citation commemorating 50 years of service to the community. "Post 369 joins a growing list of V.F.W. Posts whose long association with the organization has made it the most successful major veteran's group in the country, with a membership of more than two million men and women."

There are two Veteran's Associations in Mexico. The V.F.W. and Stone-Davis Post #384, American Legion. They cooperate on all patriotic occasions. On Memorial Day the V.F.W. is in charge of the arrangements on even years (1998) and the American Legion on odd years (1999).

Both organizations assist in placing flags on the graves of all fallen veterans in the town of Mexico. Cemeteries visited are: Arthur, Colosse, French Street Catholic, French Protestant on Route 11, Maple View, Wellwood, South Mexico, and Silas Town on Spy Island, Mexico Point.

The officers of Edick-Hamlink Post #369 V.F.W. for the year 1998-1999 are: James J. Forkhamer; Commander, Samuel J. Piazza; Senior Vice Commander, Donald L. Babcock; Quartermaster, Kurt R. Krieger, Adjutant, Lynn C. Rasbeck; Chaplain, Donald A. Reeser; Service Officer, and Irving W. Schick; Surgeon.


Clarence E. Masters* 1938-1939
Henry Nelson Howe* 1939-1940
Glen H. Smith* 1940-1941
Glen H. Smith* 1941-1942
Robert J. Kidd* 1942-1943
George Lewis Stevens* 1943-1944
Roy E. Fellers* 1944-1945
Percy Kirkpatrick* 1945-1946
#Curtis E. Irwin 1946-1947
+Neil E. Watson* 1946-1947
Floyd H. Clemons* 1947-1948
Floyd H. Clemons 1948-1949
Russel G. Stoddard* 1949-1950
Charles Ingerston 1950-1951
Elmer Eli Stone* 1951-1952
Harvey D. Rice* 1952-1953
Earl E. Munger* 1953-1954
Robert D. Webb 1954-1955
Peter Y. Goldych* 1955-1956
William B. Costello* 1956-1957
Robert A. Simard* 1957-1958
Andrew P. Vecchio* 1958-1959
A. John Wasilewski* 1959-1960
A. John Wasilewski 1960-1961
Raymond M. Daniels* 1960-1961
Ralph Kranz 1961-1962
Frederick E. Tourot* 1962-1963
Alexander M. Forbes* 1963-1964
Alexander M. Forbes* 1964-1965
Gerald Gracey* 1965-1966
Gerald Gracey* 1966-1967
Gerald Gracey* 1967-1968
Raymond M. Daniels* 1968-1969
Horace H. Hoyt* 1969-1870
Ralph Kranz 1970-1971
Francis J. Conrad* 1971-1972
Francis J. Conrad* 1972-1973
Francis J. Conrad* 1973-1974
Samuel Piazza 1974-1975
William C. Mowry 1975-1976
Kenneth E. Farnham 1976-1977
Richard W. Martin* 1977-1978
Robert Lewis Burr* 1978-1979
Lloyd C. Backus* 1979-1980
Keith Egnew 1980-1981
Lawrence E. Griffin* 1981-1982
Charles M. Champion* 1982-1983
Charles M. Champion* 1983-1984
Lloyd C. Backus* 1984-1985
Morris L. Vincent* 1985-1986
Morris L. Vincent* 1986-1987
Alexander Longhway* 1987-1988
Alexander Longhway* 1988-1989
Alexander Longhway* 1989-1990
Howard Fellows* 1990-1991
Howard Fellows* 1991-1992
Howard Fellows* 1992-1993
Lynn C. Rasbeck 1993-1994
Alexander Longhway* 1994-1998
James J. Forkhamer 1998-2003
Paul Gorman 2004 - 2007
James Forkhamer 2007-2008
Paul Gorman 2008-2009
Russell Marsden 2009 - Present

* Deceased
# C. Irwin resigned August 2, 1946
+ N. Watson advanced to Commander August 23, 1946