Jesse M. Dykes - (1892-1918) - Jesse M. Dykes, was the first Madison County soldier killed in action in WWI. Jesse M. Dykes was killed in the Argonne Forest, France October 4, 1918. He was buried in France and later re-interred in the Richmond Cemetery, October 2, 1921, with Military Honors. Thousands of people line Main Street to pay their respects to a soldier who had lost his life fighting for humanity. The Members of Jesse M. Dykes Post 12 took their place marching beside the casket as the honor guard and tribute to their comrade.
The Jesse M. Dykes Post 12, American Legion, has had a long and honorable past. After the American Legion was organized, a group of leading veterans of Richmond, Kentucky community decided to apply for a post charter in August 1919. The Post number 12 was awarded on August 19,1919, indicating that this would be the 12th Post chartered in Kentucky. The local veterans were very excited and exuberant about the new veteran's organization. They chose Lt. Harry D. Rice as their spokesman in securing Post 12 charter and also to chair the first called meeting, August 20,1919, consisting of 15 members. For Rice's leadership role, he was honored by being the first elected Commander of Post 12. The officers elected to Post 12 were
Harry D. Rice - Commander
D. W. Kennedy - Vice Commander
Spears Turley - Adjutant
Joe P. Chenault - Historian
Paul Burnam - Finance
Willie Elder - Master of Arms
The 15 members present at the first meeting were for organizational purposes. The Post grew rapidly, and it was hoped that most of the 2000 men who served in WWI would ultimately join the Legion. After WWII the membership reached 735.
The American Legion is the largest veteran's organization in the United States. The main interest of the American Legion is to advance the well being of veterans of all wars, especially health care of disabled veterans and non-disabled veterans, facilities permitting.
The Legion goal is to promote the American way of life on the local, regional, state and national level. The Legion has been a leader in educational, charitable and patriotic programs.