La Societe des Quaranate Hommes et Huit
Chevaux, an independent fraternal organization of
veterans, popularly known as the FORTY & EIGHT,
was organized in 1920 by American Legionnaires
as a fun and honor society. Now composed of
veterans of both World Wars and the Korean,
Vietnam, and Desert Storm conflicts, it draws its
origin from World War l when young Americans
were sent to France to fight a war to end all wars.
The narrow gauge railroads of France had boxcars
(Voitures) that carried more than half the capacity
of American boxcars and these Voitures became
the trademark of our organization. If one could
laugh at the train ride from the coast of France to
the trenches crowded in these little boxcars only
recently vacated by eight horses, one could surely
adapt to the changes in his life when he returned
home. Membership in the Forty & Eight is by
invitation only for recognition of service to the
American Legion and/or its programs.
Mattoon received their 40 et 8 Charter on May 22,
1924 at Indianapolis, Indiana. Meetings are
currently held the first Thursday of every month.
The Mattoon Charter now has 77 members. They
have their own programs, separate from the Post,
however they are always willing to help with any
projects by any of the other Organizations.
Chef de Gare Mike Smyser
Chef de Train Joe McKenzie
Commis Indent Mike Smyser
Correspondant Dave Slifer
Conductor Bob Mathias