On Tuesday, May 20, 1919, a small group of veterans called together by Robert Treacy, Jr., met at the historic Armory in Bismarck to organize an American Legion post. Harold V. Semling was appointed temporary secretary of the meeting. He distributed a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws that had been adopted by the National Assembly. He also gave a brief history of the organization, its purpose and objectives. At that time Post No. 1 of The American Legion Department of North Dakota, was born.
One of the first acts of this group was to adopt the name of Lloyd Spetz for the Bismarck post. Private Lloyd W. Spetz was the first man from Burleigh County to lose his life in service to his country in World War I. Private Spetz was with Company A of the 164th Infantry and met his death at the Toul Sector of the west front in France.
There were 16 charter members: Arthur Jones, Fred K. Schnecker, Paul M. Jewell, Ambrose H. Galliger, W. H. McGraw, Lester F. Powers, Harold V Semling, Philip M. Webb, Lewis Warren, Donald McPhee, Charles Spiro, Fred L. Page, Noel Thoraldson, Gerald L. Richolt, Frank G. Hydden and Robert Treacy.