The American Legion organized October 1919 in the old firehouse building in Arendtsville. The Legion derived its name from a local hero of World War I. Ira Ellsworth Lady was born April 15, 1891 at Arendtsville, Pennsylvania, the son of Mr. & Mrs. Hiram C. Lady. He graduated from West Chester Normal School in 1913, and later served as an instructor at that institution.
On November 6, 1917 he entered the service of the United States at Camp Meade, Maryland serving with CO. A, 316th Infantry, 79th Division until volunteering for immediate service in France. In January he was transferred to Camp Stuart, Virginia and assigned to Machine Gun Company of the 4th U.S. Infantry, 3rd Division. He was appointed Sergeant February 1, 1918, and on April 6th sailed from Newport News, Virginia on board the “Great Northern”. He landed at Brest, France. After a few weeks training he entered the lines with his company against the German offensive between Reims and Soissous, serving in the Arsne defense from June 1st to June 15th; Chateau-Thierry from June 6th to July 14th; Champagne-Marne defense from July 15th to July 18th.
On August 1st he was appointed to attend Army candidate school at Laugres, France. Having completed this course in less than the required time he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on September 25, 1918 and assigned to his old division, the 79th. On October 31st he was commissioned a first Lieutenant of infantry. Early in November, while leading his company during the Argonne drive, he received a severe wound which resulted in his death November 22, 1918 at the age of 26 years.
The first commander was Edwin A. Roberts, Arendtsville. The first finance officer was George Klepper. In 1932 the American Legion moved to West York Street, Biglerville to the property now owned by Fred Strickhouser, Sr., across from the new post office. The trustees were Robert Eicholtz, Stanton House and Jacob C. Lawver.
During World War II lookout posts were located in back of the Strickhouser property and were manned 24 hours a day by people of the Biglerville area.
Because of the rapid growth of members from World War II the Legion had to seek larger quarters for the organization; therefore in 1950 there purchased the Koser property on East York Street and were there until they sold the building to Steven and Violet Ondek in 1966.
On November 24, 1965, Ira E. Lady Post 262 became incorporated and is now known as the Home Association of American Legion Post 262, Inc.
Immediately they started to build their 40’ x 60’ legion building consisting of a kitchen, 2 offices and an activity room. The building is located on the east side of 4th Street across from the old Boyer’s Crate Factory.
The American Legion Honor Guard holds Memorial Day Services in Biglerville, Arendtsville, Bendersville and Wenksville, and stands as honor guard for military funerals. They sponsor awards to high school students for academic achievements. They sponsor bowling leagues and junior league baseball. They contribute to charitable organizations (Scotland School for Veteran Children) and donate to local organizations. They also give service officers information and furnish rehabilitation equipment to the community. The following are the present officers:
Commander Eugene Shaffer
1st Vice Commander Rick Pelc
2nd Vice Commander Keith Tschida
Adjutant Shawn Newman
Finance Officer Clyde Funt
Trustee Bob Mallette
Trustee Gary Deardorff
Past Commander Phil Stoner
Chaplain Dennis Weaver
Judge Advocate Rick Miner
Historian Janet McGuirk
Service Officer Bob Finch
SGT. At Arms Vernon Stine
Manager Krista Sharrah
Assistant Manager Brianne Griffie