New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Lancaster

Photograph of Lancaster NH’s B&M Railroad
Station circa 1914, from Granite State Monthly,
Vol XLVI, No. 9-10, Sept-Oct 1914, page 1.

Lancaster, Coös County, New Hampshire is a small town in the northern part of the state. During World War I Lancaster had around 3,000 people, only 500 less than they have today. After WWI (in 1920) the population had dwindled to 2,819 people. The book, “Two Hundred Years, A Bicentennial Sketchbook 1764- 1964,” states: “…when President Wilson proclaimed a state of emergency in April 1917, the town responded quickly. A committee of Public Safety was formed, the school yard was plowed and planted to vegetables, and the relief work which had already been undertaken was stepped up.”

Postcard showing Central Park now known as
Centennial Park, Lancaster NH.

Though small in citizenry, the town fulfilled its WWI quota and sent 147 men to serve. Of those at least three died. It is of those three men who gave the ultimate sacrifice that I will mention here. Soldier’s Park in Lancaster is home to a Civil War monument.  Centennial Park (formerly  called Central Park) on Main Street in Lancaster NH is home to a Veterans’ Memorial that honors men and women of Lancaster NH serving in WWI, WWII, the Korean and the Vietnam Wars.  The monument exhibits a bronze eagle sitting on a bronze hemisphere, all resting on a granite base. It was cast by Gorham Silversmith and dedicated on Memorial Day 1951.  Barbara Robarts, Library Director at Weeks Library of Lancaster, provided me with some documents including this list of WWI residents who served.

The Honor Roll for WWI includes these names:
Bailey, Kenneth P.
Balch, Charles A.
Barber, Chester J.
Barber, Herbert E.
Barnett, Elmer L.
Barnett, George H.
Bass, Donald L.
Berry, Samuel B.
Boucher, Reynold
Boynton, Herbert S.
Bradley, Alphonse A.
Brisson, Frank
Brisson, Leon
Brown, Edward D.
Brown, Raymond C.
Bryan, Carl
Busi, Angelo G.
Cabana, Joseph
Carleton, Dwight E.
Carpenter, Frederic B.
Carpenter, Frederick D.
Carpenter Harry B.
Carpenter, Herbert S.
Carty, Leo L.
Carty, Patrick W.
Clark, Leon E.
Cleasby, Howard W.
Collins, Leo G.
Congdon, Forrest E.
Congdon, Neil H.
Connary, Owen Leo
Cotton, Clarence
Covell, Gerald
Crosman, Phillip C.
Cryan, Harry E.
Currier, Earle D.
Drew, Albert A.
Edmonds, John H.
Eggleston Herbert C
Finnegan, Mabelle S.
Fitzgerald, Rupert A.
Fitch, Joseph
Fletcher, Robert H.
Foster, Ralph D.
Gallant, Arthur P.
Gillespie, Bernard F.
Gilman, Harold
Gonyeau, Joseph
Green, Fred J.
Griffin, Frank J.
Groome, Earle L.
Halloway, Frederick C.
Harrison, Frederick H.
Hartford, Alfred
Hartford, F. Clark
Hart, Charles S*
Hart, Clarence F.
Harvey, Charles N.
Haynes, Guy L.
Herrick, William J.
Hicks, Harold
Hight, Ellis F.
Holton, Lucius B.
Hosmer, J. Stuart
Hurley, Patrick
Ingalls, Howard W.
James, Arthur P.
James, Leonard P.
James, Stanley G.
Jones, Irving E.
Kenney, Albert J.
King, Clarence N.
Leith, Eaton
Linscott, Raymond,
Lyon, Forrest R.
Lyons, Elizabeth A.
Lyons, Thomas J.
McCarten, George C.
McCarten, William L.
McDonough, Bernard
McGettrick, Herbert P.
McMann, William J.
Magoon, Maya M.
Mahaney, Arthur P.*
Matson, Trevor W.
Merrow, Herbert G.
Mills, Loren G.
Monahan, Philip A.
Morton, Clarence E.
Morse, Lester
Moses, Lester E.
Mountain, Robert
Mullen, Harry E.
Murphy, Michael B.
Nelson, Frank A.
Newman, Chauncey E.
Newman, Derwood A.
Nourse, Newton
Ogle, William J.
Osgood, Roland L.
Palmer, Everett E.
Pelton, Winslow L.
Poole, Fred
Partle, Perry J.
Rainville, Alfred
Reneau, Edward C.
Rines, William R.
Robbins, Clyde
Roberts, John F.
Robinson, John J.
Robinson, William H.
Roswell, George F.
Roswell, Harry G.
Saul, George H.
Saul, Joseph R.
Scott, Napoleon J.
Sharpleigh, William P.
Sheltry, Melvin
Sheridan, Frank C.
Simonds, Errol A.
Smith, Ernest J.
Smith, Homer B.
Snow, Howard K.
Spaulding, Roger W.
Statton, Hazel M.
Stickney, Bernie Lee
Stickney, Edwin A.
Stickney, Thaddeus A.
Sunderstrom, Martin
Sutton, Harold A.
Thomas, Reginald B.
Thompson, Ralph J.
Tillotson, Payson M.
Timberlake, Carl B.
Trainor, W.J.E.
Twitchwell, Franklin P.
Vashaw, Charles P.
Vashaw, Jsoeph H.
Vashaw, Tellesphore
Vashaw, Thomas W.
Wadleigh, Wilbur L. Way, Frank K.
Webber, Philip J.
Willoughby, George A.
Wilson, Donald K.*
Wilson, Parker,
Woodward, Luke B.
(* indicates died in service)

✫★✫★✫★✫★✪🌟✪✫★✫★✫★✫★
Heroes of LANCASTER NH
Died In Service During WWI

✫★✫★✫★✫★✪🌟✪✫★✫★✫★✫★

Charles S. Hart*| P1C | Killed in Action 11 Nov 1918 France |Medical Department 2nd Engineers, 2d Div.| Unknown burial |Credited to Boston MA [1]

Robert H. Fletcher| Private | Died of Disease 9 Dec 1918 France | | Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster NH| [2]

Arthur P. Mahaney* |Corporal|Killed in Action 20 October 1918 France | Co. F, 326th Infantry, 82d Division |Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster NH | [3]

Donald K. Wilson | Unknown | Died between 1918-1920 | Unknown unit |Unknown Burial |[4]

[1] Charles Sylvester Hart was born 15 June 1897 at Newbury, Merrimack Co. NH, son of Fred Stillman & Hannah Satira (Muzzey) Hart.  In 1900 and 1910 Charles was living in Newbury NH with his parents and one sibling Clarence Fred Hart.  By 1920 Charles’ then widowed mother and brother were living in Lancaster NH.  He served in the military during WWI and was reported 2 January 1919 in United Business Service & newspapers as
“Wounded (Degree Undetermined) Previously reported MIA. Private Charles S. Hart. Mrs. Hannah S. Hart, 133 Main Street, Lancaster NH.”  The official history of the Second Regiment of Engineers etc. shows: “Hart, Charles S., Lancaster N.H.; Med. Det.; Pvt 1st Class; Soissons St. Mihiel; Blanc Mont; Attigny; Missing, Argonne.”  The Gold Star Record of Massachusetts gives even more detail: Credited to Boston MA. HART, Charles Sylvester; killed in action 11 Nov 1918 [in attack along the Meuse between Muzon and Inor]. Enlisted 26 Sep 1917, R.A. Medical Dept., Fort Ethan Allen. Transferred 20 Nov 1917 to Med. Dept. Base Hospital 66; 19 July 1918 to Medical Department 2nd Engineers, 2d Div. Overseas 18 Dec 1917. He was born 15 June 1897 at Newbury NH, son of Fred S. (deceased) and Hannah S. (Muzzey) Hart of Holyoke, 1926; brother of Clarence F., jeweler. Square at Lancaster NH named in his memory.”  The Evening Star, Washington D.C. newspaper of 8 June 1919 shows him enigmatically listed under the ‘Died From Accident Or Other Causes’ section.  His burial place is unknown.

[2] Robert Hobson Fletcher was born August 1893 in Manchester NH, son of Kimball B. & Nellie (Hobson) Fletcher. He had one sibling,  Esther M. Fletcher who married  Charles H. Prout. In the 1900 U.S. Census he was living in Lancaster NH with his family.   Robert H Fletcher married 2 June 1917 in Lancaster NH to Florence A. Kingsley, daughter of Frank B. & Nettie M. (Smith) Kingsley. He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 in Lancaster NH indicating his birth date and place, at that time living at High Street in Lancaster, a married man working as a machinist for Thompson Manufacturing Co. of Lancaster. He was of medium height and stature with brown eyes and brown hair.  He served during WWI, and on 9 December 1918 died of disease in France. He is buried in Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster NH where his tombstone shows died Oct 14, 1918. Soldier.

[3] Arthur Preler Mahaney was born 14 May 1888 in Triplett, Chariton Co., Missouri, son of Napoleon B. & Emma E. (Calvert) Mahaney. He married 27 Oct 1909 in Lancaster NH to Bessie Hill-Crawford, dau of James & Lillian (Rider) Hill. She was b. in Gracine Co., KY.  In 1900 Arthur was living in Triplett, Charlton Missouri with parents and siblings: Dora, Robert, Francis, Napoleon, Tacie, Freddie, Otto, Otis and Ruth.  During WWI Arthur Mahaney served in the military, Co. F., 326th Infantry, 82d Division in France.  He was killed in action on 20 October 1918.  After the war his remains were returned to the United States, where he was buried in the Summer Street Cemetery, [aka new Protestant] Lancaster NH.  He is claimed by New Hampshire and can be found on the NH Adjutant General’s List of WWI casualties.

[5] Donald Keyes Wilson was born 23 Aug 1894 in Lancaster NH, son of Fred C. & Hannah Alice (Peabody) Wilson.  The 1900 U.S. Census shows him living with his family in Lancaster NH, having an older sibling Hershel Peabody Wilson.   He completed his WWI Registration form in Lacaster NH while he was living at 5 water Street, working as a machinist for the Thompson Manufacturing Co. He was single, of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.  He married 23 Aug 1917 in Lancaster NH to Junie M. Carbee, daughter of Frank D. & Amy (Tewksbury) Carbee. In the 1920 U.S. Census she is listed as living in Lancaster NH with her parents Frank and Annie, she is WIDOWED and working as a pianist in the moving picture industry. She married 2d) 27 May 1920 in Berlin NH to Fred S. Poole, son of H.O. & Nellie (Merry) Poole.  I have been unable to determine Donald K. Wilson’s place, date and cause of death.  Most likely he was in either a U.S. cantonment or training camp. If I discover more, I will update this post. Any readers who know more, please leave a comment.


[Editor’s Note: this story is part of an on-going series about heroic New Hampshire men and women of World War I.  Look here for the entire listing].

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