Great Years of Scouting
South Georgia Council
Boy Scouts of America
TROOP 21 HISTORY
Troop 21 (then Troop 1) was chartered on March 2, 1931. (Click here to see the original charter). The Troop has been continuously chartered since that time. The charter is signed by two famous scouts: James E. West as Chief Scout Executive and Dan Beard as the National Scout Commissioner. The original is on display at the Troop 21 scout hut. The chartering was after Aumuckalee Council (1921 to 1922) and Nochaway Council (1921 to 1929) had closed and before Chehaw Council was formed in 1939. During this time the territory that is now Chehaw Council was run directly from the BSA National Office, which was then in New York City. The American Legion sponsored the troop for the first two years, after which the Kiwanis Club of Americus took over as sponsor. The Kiwanis Club has been the sponsor ever since.
In 1939, the formation of Chehaw Council pulled together a number of counties (or districts) each with its own Troop 1. In August of 1939, the troops in the Sumter County District all changed their numbers to numbers in the 20s. Thus, Troop 1 became Troop 21.
However, there is more to the history of our Troop. In June of 1914, Reverend J. A. Thomas, Pastor of First Methodist Church, founded the first Boy Scout troop would be a direct predessor of the current Troop 21. One of its first known duties was as the escort for the casket of troop member Benjamin Stapleton who died in 1914. The known members of the 1914 troop were: Henry Allen, James Davenport, Henry Clay, Frank Easterlin, Rufus Godwin, Joe Hightower, Ott Johnson, Jr. (Bugler); Henry Lumpkin, Norman McLeod, Loren Smith, Benjamin Stapleton, Walter Stapleton, Joe Thomas, Jr.; Will Green Turpin, George Walker, and George Wright. The troop lasted for several years.
(Click here to see articles about the 1914 Troop).
(Click here to see the articles about Americus Scouting before 1914).
(Click here to see the 1942 Troop 21 anniversary article celebrating the 1914 founding of the Americus Boy Scout troop).
After a lapse of several years, a charter of an Americus Troop, which would be another processor of the current Troop 21, was submitted to the National Council on December 23, 1918. Joseph Perkins, Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, was named the ?Father? of the scout movement in Americus and George O. Marshall, County Agent, was named the chartering Scoutmaster. The charter for the Americus Troop arrived on February 10, 1919. However, the first meeting had to be delayed as the great Spanish Flu pandemic prevented meetings of any kind until later in 1919. There were twenty-two boys listed as charter members. This Americus Troop was referred to as Troop 1. By the summer of 1923, all three Americus Boy Scout Troops had closed and there was no scouting in Americus.
(Click here to see the 1918 application article).
How old is Troop 21? It depends on whether you require the troop to have been continuously hartered. Troop 21 has been continuously chartered since 1931. However, Troop 21 has counted its age based on the founding of the troop by Reverend Thomas in 1914. There was a natural connection between the 1914 troop and the 1918 Americus Troop 1 through its members and their brothers, cousins, and sons. For example, Walter Stapleton was a member of the 1914 troop and a member of the 1918 Americus Troop 1. Frank Easterlin was a member of the 1914 troop and his son, Frank Easterlin, Jr., was the first Eagle Scout of Troop 1 (later renumber Troop 21). At the 1948 Anniversary celebration of Troop 21, Henry Lumpkin and Frank Easterlin of the 1914 troop attended as special guests and were referred to as "charter members of the troop." Thus, Troop 21 began in 1914 and died out a year or so later. It them was reborn in 1919 and stayed active until about 1923. It was then rechartered in 1931 and has been continuously charted since that time with only the number changing in 1940.
So the answer to the question is: if you require continuous chartering, then in 2006 Troop 21 celebrated its 75th anniversary. If you do not require a continuous chartering, then in 2006 Troop 21 celebrated its 92nd anniversary and in 2014 is celebrating its CENTENNIAL.
(This page last updated on: Monday, January 30, 2023 )