Wauneta’s American Legion Hall serves as not only home to American Legion Post No. 304 but also as a hub of community activities. Located at the north end of Tecumseh Avenue, the Legion Hall was completed in 1984 after years of dedicated fundraising and work by American Legion and Auxiliary members. In 1985 work on the kitchen area was finalized in 1985 allowing for the use of the building as a senior center until an independent senior center facility was later established. The Legion Hall is comprised of a large community room where dances, banquets and fundraising dinners are often held. The large kitchen is fully equipped with oven ranges and two commercial refrigerators. A small meeting room is located at the back of the building. The facility is available to be rented for use by the public.
American Legion Post No. 304 is approaching its 100th year as is the American Legion organization itself. The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans’ organization during World War I. On Sept. 18, 1921, Wauneta-area American Legion members completed organization of a local post, the Willard Hansen Post No. 304. The post was named for a young man, Willard Hansen, who had grown up in the Minden area but moved to a ranch just north of Wauneta in Hayes County in 1911 when he was 19 years old. In 1917, when the call went out for volunteers, a 26-year-old Hansen enlisted. He arrived in France in May 1918 with a machine gun company of the 138th Infantry. During the Argonne-Meuse offensive Hansen was killed on Sept. 26, 1918, making the supreme sacrifice for his country as he fell beside his gun. Hansen was initially buried at the A.E.F. cemetery near Vaquios-Meuse, France but his body was later returned to the U.S. He was laid to rest at the Fredericksburg Cemetery in Minden in 1921. Having developed many friendships and goodwill during his brief time living near Wauneta, Hansen was selected to be honored by local American Legion members in naming their post.