Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Tuesday June 22, 1954


The 34th annual meeting of the Matthews-Killeen Post 614 of the American Legion, and the 19th annual meeting of the Last Man's club connected with the Post, will be held at the Veterans' Club, 173 Broadway on Thursday, at 6:30 p. m.

The bottle of champagne donated 19 years ago by Joseph A. Del Vecchio, a Past Commander of the Post, will be taken from the vault of the Adirondack National Bank by Bill Kerr, its custodian, and will hold its traditional place of honor on the dinner table as the members will give a toast to their departed comrades.

In 1919, a few men who had developed tuberculosis as a result of their war service sought Saranac Lake as a place to cure, and Dr. Edward N. Packard was assigned by the U. S. Public Health Service as Medical Examiner. These few men increased from time to time and reached more than 500.

A Legion Post was formed by these veterans and was originally known as the Jackson A. Matthews Post 614, in 1923. In 1927 the name of the Post was changed to the Matthews-Killeen Post. The name of Frank Killeen, a late Past Commander of the Post was added recognition of his diligent work in behalf of the disabled veterans hospitalized here.

The Commander of the Post is now Joseph A. Dunn, of 37 Church st.

At present there are 32 members of the Last Man's Club, the majority of them residing in Saranac Lake. Others are from Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and Virginia.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 5, 1968

Last Man's Club to Hold Last Meeting


Back in the year 1935 at one of the meetings of the Matthews-Killeen Post 614 American Legion being held at the Local Elks Club, the members attending suffering no pain at the moment and having before them a bottle of sauce none had the strength to open, decided to form a Last Man's Club among the group, the survivor to take all.

The Matthews-Killeen Post was composed of disabled veterans of World War I who had come to Saranac Lake for their health and at the height of what is often referred to by old timers of the area as "The Good Old Days" numbered its members in the hundreds. A list of Its Past Commanders read like a Hall of Fame Plaque one might find on the wall of the local Elks Club, one of the famous bistros of the times like Downing and Cane's or one of the Service Clubs in the Village. Names like Bill Kerr, Mike Barry, Stan McCaddon, Ed Brill, Harry Delin, Ed Cady Jr., Ed Billings, Marshall Trivelli, Stan Beals, Ben Talbert, Watson French, Amos Erkander, John Wylie, Henry Hudson, Bill Riordan, Joe De Vecchio, Jim Porcopio, Max Adler and Greg Powers.

The grim reaper has cut a wide swath thru this field and of all the hundreds only nine remain, Ed Brill, Dr. Leetch, Tony Durell, Pat Collins, Bill Rankin, Art Niederbuhl, Win and Patsy Ezzo. Of this group Dr. Leetch now resides in Vero Beach, Fla., Art Niederbuhl is leaving the Adirondacks to make his home in the land of the bean and cod and many of the others are now only part time residents, spending the winter months in warmer climes.

In as much as all nine are at present in residence in Saranac Lake the consensus has agreed to hold the last meeting of the Last Man's Club at the Saranac Lake Vets Club on Tuesday evening August 6th for the purpose of draining the bottle which has reposed in the vaults of the Adirondack Bank these many years and then disband. It will be a nostalgic farewell to an era in Saranac Lake history that ended for all but these few many years ego.