William Bell Post #10
Dundee, Monroe County, Michigan
Organized October 16, 1879
This Post was probably named to honor William Bell of Monroe County. He enlisted in Company I, 7th Michigan Infantry, at Monroe, on September 4, 1861 for three years. He was 31 years old. He was discharged on a Surgeon’s certificate of disability on December 5, 1862 because of wounds received in action at Antietam, Md., September 17, 1862. His foot was amputated.
In its petition for a Charter, the veterans requested the number 7 for their Post. As there was already a Post 7, they were awarded the next number available, in sequence, which was 10. The Post seems to have been off to a good start and a note on the June 30, 1883 Report indicates a successful membership drive bringing in 36 new members in the quarter just closed. The top recruiter was Comrade A. Glenn with 12 new members.
Difficulties arose by the time of the March 30, 1884 Report. It is noted on the Report that;
“51 Comrades are so far in arrears for dues as to be suspended and yet if they should be so noted by name this Quarter we would lose many if not all. It is almost a rebellion and the solid 24 will probably be able to bring them into the ranks by the end of another quarter – if not it will be a hard spring with a few of us who have fought the battle of the GAR here since 1879.
(Signed) – Yours in F. C. & L., R. B. Davis - -- N. P. Spalding, Adjt.
Another letter on January 3, 1916 recounts a different problem;
“The enclosed report is not in very good condition and prehaps [sic] not correct on account of fire. Our G.A.R. Hall was over a drug Store which took fire and destroid [sic] or damaged every article in the hall. Sons of Vet. W.R.C. and G.A.R. Papers and books damaged or destroid [sic] so that I have to guess at a part, but I am Sure of this that the bal-in hands of Q.M. when the finance Committee settled (which was the day of the fire) was $12.75.Prehaps [sic] from your books we can correct mistakes if you find som [sic]. The I.O.O.F. kindly gave us the use of their hall until we get settled in one of our own.”
(Signed) – Yours Truly, L. B. Smith
Meeting places were generally on Main Street and were identified at different times as Munger’s (1883), Rawson’s (1884) and GAR Hall. The first meeting place noted was Drew’s Hall on Tecumseh Street in 1879 and in June of 1892 at Hurd’s Hall on the same street. Between 1899 and 1912, they met at the GAR Hall on Main Street. In 1912 they indicated they were meeting at Hurd’s Hall (also noted as Post and G.A.R. Hall). In 1921 the meeting place is Dixon’s Hall on Cross Street. The final meeting place is noted, in 1929, as Wm. Bell’s Hall on Tecumseh Street.
The first Post Commander was Edwin Gray who enlisted, May 1, 1861, as a Private in Company G, 14th New York. He was discharged, May 1, 1865, as 2nd Lieutenant of Company I (unit not stated) SS.
The Last Commander was George Francisco, a Private in Co. I, 11th Michigan from August 1, 1861 to September 1, 1864.
The Post was disbanded March 5, 1938.