New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Franklin

WWI Soldiers Monument. From 1921 Franklin NH Annual Report

By the time the 1918 City of Franklin Annual report was printed in January of 1919, WWI had ended with an armistice declared only 2 months earlier. Those who had served (in many capacities) were beginning to return home. Edward G. Leach was Mayor during that year, and had the foresight to preserve the records of those who served.

In his inaugural address in January of 1918 he indicated: “I recommend that a Roll of Honor be kept by the City Clerk in a book kept solely for that purpose of those who have and may enter the country’s service during this war, with suitable description of their service; that this list be published in the 1918 City Report; that after the war it be further perpetuated by a marble tablet in the City Hall Building; that their taxes be abated during the war; and that suitable appropriation be made or a fund raised to render aid that may be needed by them or their dependents. I also suggested a hope that the Grand Army may so revise their constitution, if necessary, so to take them into membership or that some arrangement be made so that they can occupy jointly with the Grant Army their hall for a separate organization. Edward G. Leach, Mayor.” [1918 Franklin Annual Report, Mayor’s Address, page 8.] Continue reading

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100 Years Ago: Two Years Before Armistice Day

I continue my articles about World War I, and what was happening in New Hampshire and the world 100 years ago, with a story about 11 November 1917. Though now we celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11th, one hundred years ago we did not.

It was not until November 11, 1919 that the first Armistice Day occurred, and Veteran’s Day followed. [Editor’s Note: the Armistice that ended WWI was on November 11, 1918, but it was not until a year later that anyone celebrated an “Armistice Day.”] In fact it was not until 1954 when the 83rd Congress amended the 1938 act that designated Armistice Day as a holiday, changing the word “Armistice” to “Veterans.” President Dwight Eisenhower signed this legislation into law. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Claremont

Soldiers Monument in Broad Street Park,  Claremont NH. Photograph by Colin Sanborn, used here with permission.

Like many other New Hampshire locales, in 1918 the then Town of Claremont celebrated and recognized its returning heroes of World War I. A simple painted sign existed at first, the names of those who gave their lives acknowledging service until the wood began to decay, was removed, and then was lost in time.

In 1967 a modern monument was erected in Broad Street Park, facing City Hall. [The 1972 Annual Report of Claremont shows a photograph and specifies the year]. The names of many of those who lost their lives are inscribed on this stone.  A list of ALL who served from Claremont NH can be found in the August 21, 1919 edition of the Republic Champion newspaper.

Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Littleton

Old photograph postcard of Littleton NH in the 1910s; from the collection of J.W. Brown

Littleton New Hampshire has well-recognized its military heroes. The Littleton Community Center building was designated at the 1920 Town Meeting as Littleton’s memorial to the soldiers and sailors of World War I.  A monument can be found to those who participated in several wars on Route 302 in Littleton NH across from Post Office near the bank.  Arwen Mitton of the Littleton Public Library says that this monument was the subject of a Boy Scout Eagle project in the  last ten years.   And as recently as 2003 the bridge on Cottage Street was dedicated as The Veterans Memorial Bridge honoring veterans all over the years, including those who served and died during WWI. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Tidbits: More Ghostly Stories of Long Ago

The Ghost Story, by Frank French. From a wood engraving, 1886. Black ink on tissue paper. New Hampshire Historical Society. Used with permission.

In 1873 New Hampshire newspapers reported on a well-documented case of a haunting of a school house in Newburyport, Massachusetts. “The Haunted School-House, published by Loring of Boston, can be found at the book-stores in the city. It is a pamphlet descriptive of the ghostly puzzle at Newburyport and is illustrated throughout.” –Mirror and Farmer (Manchester NH) 29 March 1873, page 6

The Newburyport ghost refuses to be quieted. Mr. Moulton has been put in charge of the school, but the ghostly knockings are still heard; while the boy on whose evidence the report of the committee was made, has been sent to prison for 30 days for stealing–a fact which weakens his evidence materially. pictures. –Mirror and Farmer (Manchester NH) 15 March 1873, page Continue reading

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