Harbor Beach Post 197 was named by taking the last name of the first man from Harbor Beach to lose his life in World War I (Robert Burhans), and combining it with the last name of the last man from Harbor beach to die in Europe during that war (George J. Hagedon).
Rober Burhans was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps serving the last year of his enlistment when WWI started. His unit was one of the first units sent to France in early 1918 in Belleau Wood. His body lies in a U.S. cemetery in France.
George J. Hagedon was inducted into the U.S. Army on May 28, 1918. After he was sent to Europe, Jay became ill with the flu and died a few days later. His body was buried at Rock Falls Cemetery in Harbor Beach with Post 197 doing the Honor Guard ceremony. His portrait is hanging in the post meeting room.
The necessary papers for application for a charter were secured by Margaret Murphy, sister of Frank Murphy (Governor of Michigan) in December of 1919 and the charter was received in early 1920. C.V. Hagedon was selected as temporary commander until an election was held in September 1920 at which time Fred Ferris was elected for the full term (1920-1921).