New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Merrimack

Mattie (Kilborn) Webster
was a Merrimack teacher
who helped educate many
of the young men who
fought in WWI and
documented what she knew
about local history.

I would not have known certain intimate details of Merrimack, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire’s contributions to the WWI effort, except that my paternal grandmother, Mattie (Kilborn) Webster wrote about them. She was a school teacher in Merrimack, having graduated from the local McGaw Normal Institute (a teacher’s preparatory school). She was also the town’s first historian, compiling the town’s history on specific topics for Merrimack’s Bicentennial Celebration.

The history information immediately following about WWI is from Merrimack’s Bicentennial Pageant held on June 30, 1946,  presented on that day by speaker, Horace Patterson. I have my grandmother’s handwritten notebook that holds the original text and notes, thanks to my cousin Janice (Watkins) Trebesch who saved them for me.

As for the rest of what you will read here–it is the result of laborious but important research.  I went to a variety of sources, including the engraving on the Merrimack Soldiers and Sailors monument, and two newspaper notices that mentioned the Merrimack WWI veterans by name.  From there I sought documents from their life and death that provided me with details. Their military travel records and military stone requests were important tools.  These comprehensive details have not been published anywhere before now, as this is my unique research and compilation.  It is my gift to the people and veterans of Merrimack, and a continuation of my grandmother’s work.  It is also personal–two of my great-uncle’s names are carved into the monument.

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