Colorado Springs American Legion Post 5 honors first commander

Colorado Springs, CO

John A. Carruthers was born in Ireland in 1884 but came here as a small lad in 1888. While John went to local schools, he went off to the University of Michigan to earn his law degree. At the age of 22 Carruthers passed the bar and became an associate in the law practice of Samuel H Kinsley. Young John Carruthers would have to a lot to learn from the head of the law firm.
John would learn, and in 1918 became a deputy district attorney for El Paso County. Later he would become the DA for El Paso County until 1930. Afterwards Carruthers would go on to be the legal counsel of 3 major businesses in Colorado Springs. To fill free time John had become president of the Yellow Cab Company and vice president of 7 groups. John would hold the secretaryship of the El Pomar investment company. As a member of the Colorado Republican Central Committee, John held the position of secretary. John Carruthers was on the Governor's Postwar Planning Commission, trustee of the Fine Arts Center and Veterans Trust Fund of Post 5.
For most people this would be a great story of the dash between 1884 and 1951, which would include being a husband and father. Like most people, there is a larger story. It started when the Great War did, in 1918. John Carruthers served with the field artillery. This service allowed him to become a charter member of Colorado Springs American Legion Post 5, and on May 28, 1919, he was one of the 78 signers on the temporary charter. On Aug 8, 1919, to receive the permanent charter the post had to elect officers. John Carruthers was then elected.
John Carruthers would lay the groundwork for all the American Legion posts in Colorado Springs because if Post 5 became like the other veterans groups that came before them, we would not be here to celebrate the centennial of Post 5. So John was the first commander, but his work for the military servicemembers and veterans started before The American Legion because he founded the Soldiers and Sailors club that lasted until 1923. John Carruthers would show that he also cared about the youth of the city by being the president of the Pikes Peak Counsel of Boy Scouts of America.
When John Carruthers passed in 1951 the honorary pallbearers were a who’s-who of Colorado Springs. With this plaque we unveil today, if a person passes by this hallowed ground they might know this man did great things for the community, state and nation.

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