Page from The American Legion Weekly, May 14, 1926 describing the home of Thomas W Cole Post meeting house. The building was a standard frame structure with a front facade made to resemble a French World War 1 boxcar.
The "Forty and Eight" draws its origin from World War I. When the U.S. entered the war, one of the first things encountered by the soldiers in France was the voiture - a narrow gauge boxcar about half the size of an American boxcar. These were used to transport the soldiers to and from the fighting fronts. Each boxcar carried carried 40 men or 8 horses. Although memories of riding in them were not always pleasant, the cars nonetheless gave their name to a fraternity formed within the American Legion in 1920 — La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux.