New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Haverhill and Pike

Photograph showing the departure
of Grafton County NH Troops in 1917.

In 1912 the town of Haverhill New Hampshire celebrated its 150th anniversary of its settlement. At that time its almost 3,500 inhabitants celebrated in style with speeches, dinners and singing. They had no way of knowing that in just a few years their best and brightest young men would be sent off to war. Five would not return alive.

After WWI ended (by 1920) the population had dropped by about 100 people. The author of the History of the Town of Haverhill New Hampshire, William F. Witcher, published a list of all those who served in the military during World War I, along with providing a brief biography of each showing when they served and in what branch of the service. His work was invaluable in my own work presented here.

In 1912 a soldier’s monument had been installed that honored soldiers of wars before the World War.  In 1918 the local Daughters of the American Revolution quickly arranged for a plaque to be engraved.  That memorial reads as follows:

A Tribute To Those Who Served
1914 – IN THE WORLD WAR – 1918
FROM HAVERILL
PIKE AND EAST HAVERHILL

*Herbert E. Blake
*Tracy J. Ross

Aime M. Avard
Herbert L. Beamis
Harold P. Blake
Eric H. Blake
Harold P. Boland
Charles B. Bunker
Sergt Edson T. Chandler
Henry H. Dow
Ernest A. Drown
Corpl Kenneth P. Emory
Lieut W. Closson Emory
Corpl A. Donald Fletcher
Harry C. Follansbee
Lawrence A. Hardy
John I. Hoyt
Lieut Weston H. Jeffers
Andrew T. Knight
Corpl. Herman Lancaster
George D. Lavoie
Frederick A.E. Lee
1st Lieut George W. Leonard
John R. Leonard
Frank A. Luce
Fred W.M. Duffee
Corpl. Charles H. Morrill
Corpl. John H. Morrill
Herman A. Morrill
Horace E. Morse
William E. Page
S. Watson Pike
Sergt Charles E. Robinson
Duff Robinson
J McDonald Robinson
Lieut Fred G. Russell, MC
John F. Russell
Capt Walter H. Squires M.C.
Sergt. Harold W. Swan
Sergt. Herbert R. Swan
Merle S. True
Corpl Howard S. Wells
-Nurse Dorothy Morrill-
-Placed by Haverhill Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution 1918-

That same year (1918), William F. Witcher published his “History of the Town of Haverhill, New Hampshire,” which includes a listing of all soldiers, sailors and nurses from the local area who served during World War I.  [See page 237-8 for the entire listing]. Each name had a brief biography of service. [Editor’s Note: most of the photographs shown here come from this history].

On 27 January 1922 it seems that someone felt that the honor roll needed updating, for the Groton Times, Woodsville NH published the following: HAVERHILL HONOR ROLL The committee having in charge the placing of the memorial tablet to the men and women of Haverhill who served their country during the World war, asks the co-operation of the townspeople in eliminating all errors, whether of omission or commission, which may exist in the appended Honor Roll. Please communicate at once with Mrs. Norman J. Page, Woodsville, if you detect any errors.
—-
Charles C. Adams
*Harley Allison
Daniel W. Ashley
Aime M. Avard
George A. Bailey
Harold R. Bailey
Hugo G. Bailey
Herbert L. Beamis
Albert J. Bedard
Horace J. Bedard
Napoleon Bedard
William G. Bishop
Harold P Blake
*Herbert E. Blake
Eric H. Blank
Roy E. Boemig
Harold P. Boland
Wilbur F. Briggs
Leroy E. Brown
Charles B. Bunker
Fred S. Burleigh
Hazel G. Carr
Edson T. Chandler
Harold J. Clark
Thomas E. Clark
Leon F. Cotton
Edward E. Darby
Harold K. Davison
Harry C. Davison
Louis C. Desautels
Henry H. Dow
Ernest A. Drown
Burleigh H. Dunn
Shelley E. Dutton
Milo D. Eastman
Kenneth P. Emory
Wm. Closson Emory
Wilfred Farland
Donald W. Field
Girvelle L. Field
A. Donald Fletcher
Harry C. Follansbee
*Ray M. French
Errol C. Gale
Linn A. Page
Morris M. Gale
Edward F. Gallagher
Frederick T. Gates
Agesilaus C. Gray
Albany A. Guyette
William H. Guyette
Lawrence A. Hardy
Llewellyn V. Hatch
Henry A. Hoyt
Larkin L. Hosford
Luman B. Howe
John I. Hoyt
Weston H. Jeffers
Ray Jenkins
Harold E. Jewett
Raymond R. Johnson
Arlie L. Joseph
F. Ray Kezer
Roland W. Kezer
Ray L. Kimball
Perley N. Klark
Andrew T. Knight
Robert S. Kugelman
Herman L. Lancaster
Robert H. Large
Wilfred J. Larty
George J. Lavoie
Dennis L. Leclerc
Frederick A.E. Lee
George W. Leonard
Jas. Mortimer Leonard
John R. Leonard
*William H. Libby
Henry W. Lord
Frank A. Luce
John A. MacDonald
Robert A. McAllister
Peter H. McCarthy
Herbert E. McClintock
Malcolm E. McConnell
James B. McCormick
Fred W. McDuffee
Clarence W. McIntire
Norman A. McMeekin
Anthony E. McNulty
Alphonse D. Martin
Asbury T. Merrill
Harold R. Miller
Lynne W. Miller
Ralph L. Moore
Charles H. Morrill
Dorothy Morrill
Herman A. Morrill
John H. Morrill
Horace E. Morse
A. Lloyd Moulton
Laurence A. Myott
Clarence Nelson
Joseph S. Nutter
William E. Page
Fred A. Palmer, Jr.
Wenlock C. Palmer
Napoleon A. Paradie
Bernard E. Pake
Carl A. Pike
I. Watson Pike
John J. Place
Charles E. Robinson
Duff Robinson
John Mc. D. Robinson
*Tracy J. Ross
George J. Rossi
John D. Rossi
Henty T. Rowden
Fred C. Russell
John F. Russell
Carl R. Sanborn
Roy E. Sanborn
Fred A. Smith
Raymond Smith
Franklin E. Spear
W. Hale Squires
Erville R. Stimson
Raymond E. Stimson
William T. Sullivan
Robert H. Sutherland
Gerbert R. Swan
Harold W. Swan
James M. Sweeney
Bernard A. Thayer
Merle S. True
Allen S. Tucker
Maurice C. Walker
Leon C. Ward
Reymer C. Ward
Howard A. Wells
Joseph H. Wheeler
Ralph S. Williams
Harold R. Willoughby
Frank W. Wilson
A. Ernest Wood
Freeman E. Wright
Henry O. Wright
Maurice R. Young

From these lists and other sources, I have created my own list of those who did not survive the war.  I focus on them because gave made the ultimate sacrifice.

Map of Haverhill  NH from Haverhill’s
Historic Highlights booklet.

✫★✫★✫★✫★✪🌟✪✫★✫★✫★✫★
Heroes of Haverhill and Pike NH
Died In Service During WWI

✫★✫★✫★✫★✪🌟✪✫★✫★✫★✫★

Harley Allison |Corporal|Died of Disease 24 Feb 1919 France (pneumonia)|309th Infantry, 78th Division | St. Mihiel American Cemetery | Credited to Vermont |[1]

Herbert E. Blake |Fireman 3c|Died of Disease (influenza-pneumonia) 25 Sep 1918 Willard Parker Hospital, NY, NY |United States Naval Reserve Force |Number 6 Cemetery, East Haverhill NH |[2]

Ray M. French |Fireman 3c |Died of Disease 5 Feb 1918 Newport RI |United States Navy |Horse Meadow Cemetery, North Haverhill NH |[3]

William H. Libby |Private |Died of Disease 11 Oct 1918 Aberdeen MD |Co M, 328th Infantry, U.S. Army |Burial location unknown |[4]

Tracy J. Ross* |Private |Died of Disease 26 July 1917 Fort Sam Houston TX | Battery C, 3rd Field Artillery |Gum Springs Cemetery, Saratoga NY| [5]

✫★✫★✫★✫★✪🌟✪✫★✫★✫★✫★
Heroes of Haverhill and Pike NH
Survived WWI, Noteworthy Heroes

✫★✫★✫★✫★✪🌟✪✫★✫★✫★✫★

John I. Hoyt* | P1C|Co. K., 103rd Inf., 26th Div. |Cited for bravery; gassed at Verdun.|Died 25 May 1972; Buried Long Island National Cemetery | [6]

Dorothy Morrill* |Nurse| U.S. Army | Base Hospital 61 Camp Greene / and / Base Hospital 57, Beaume, at Paris | Died 1 Nov 1927 aged 34;  Buried Saint Josephs Cemetery, Leicester, Worcester Co MA| [7]

✫★✫★✫★✫★✪🌟✪✫★✫★✫★✫★
        B I O G R A P H I E S
✫★✫★✫★✫★✪🌟✪✫★✫★✫★✫★

[1] Harvey Wesley Allison was born 15 April 1895 in Newport, Orleans Co, Vermont, son of Wesley & Lizzie (Revoir) Allison. In 1900 he was living in Newport, Orleans Co. VT with mother and grandparents, Henry & Susan Reivre. Harvey registered for the WWI draft in Haverhill NH 5 June 1917. At that time he was living in Woodsville NH, a druggist at F.A. Maguire. He was single and noted he had served in the VT National Guard for 1 month. He was tall, of medium stature with gray eyes and dark brown hair.  He was assigned to the 309th Infantry, 78th Division of the Army and sent to France.   A letter he wrote to his family was printed in the Express and Standard (Newport, Vermont) on 28 Nov 1918: From the Front Line. “Somewhere in France, Oct. 14, ’18 / MY DEAR PARENTS:– / This is the first opportunity that I have had to write for quite a while, as I just came out of the lines. We were in twenty-one days, came out, had a two-days rest, and then were transferred to a different front where we now lay in reserve. I had some mighty close calls but I’m still alive and kicking. / We boys are certainly doing some great work over here and we’ve got the Dutchmen running to beat H—! all along the line. I think it will be just a matter of a short while now before it will all be over but the cheering. They are crying frantically for peace but we are giving it to them in pieces. / I’ll have all kinds of tales to tell you when I get home, such as. My first night in the trenches, My first night patrol, In the support under shell fire, etc. Believe me, I wouldn’t give my experience for a million dollars. If I can only come out with a whole skin and live to tell the tale you will hear of some wonderful things. / If you don’t hear from me for certain spaces of time you’ll know that I’m up there fighting for home and country, and that you, when you look up at that service flag back home you may say “My boy is certainly doing his bit.” I surely have done that and expect to do some more. /  I will try and send some money home as soon as I get paid. Haven’t received any money for three months, but no doubt when I come out of the lines for a rest. When you write had you just as soon put a couple sticks of chewing gum in with your letters. It will come through all right. /  I am not going to write much for I am very busy, but believe me I know you are worried and a short letter is appreciated as well as a big one so long as you find out through them that I am alive and well. / I am glad to hear that you received my insurance papers for I was worried about them. Its a heavy insurance at $6.50 per month but it is worth while. / I’ll certainly be glad when we get a rest for this noise is enough to drive any one nuts for fair. / Never fear, my dears, about my courage for you’ll always find me with the same courage and iron nerve that I had back home in the old games. You just keep up just half as much courage as I have and your boy will be home with you before long and we will all be happy again. Just keep on praying and I know your prayers will be answered.  / Goodbye, my dear ones, for now, and may God bless you, protect you and keep you all till we are together again. / With all the love in the wide world, I remain, / Your fighting soldier boy, / Corporal Harley W. Allison.  Four months later he would be dead.  Corporal Harvey W. Allison died of pneumonia on 24 Feb 1919 probably at the nearest hospital to the battlefield, and buried there.  After the war his family did not request for his remains to be returned to the United States, and so he rests as St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Plot A Row 23 Grave 19, with a simple but dignified white cross above his resting place.

[2] Herbert Elliott Blake was born 25 Sep 1896 in Haverhill, Grafton Co. NH, son of Chase Sanborn & Gertrude A. (Elliott) Blake. In the 1900 and 1910 censuses he is living in Haverhill NH with his parents and siblings Harold, Earl, and Blanche.  The History of Haverhill (by Whitcher) and the U.S. Navy Casualty Book shows additional details.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserved on 22 May 1918 at Boston MA, aged 21. He served on the USS Columbia, C.W. Morse and Adirondack, as a Fireman 3rd Class.  Like so many other service men, he contracted influenza and died of broncho-pneumonia at the Willard Parker Hospital in NYC on 25 September 1918.  His body was returned home and he was buried in Number 6 Cemetery, East Haverhill NH.

[3] Ray Melcom French was born 7 September 1896 in Haverhill NH, son of Elmer Walton & Georgianna (Dexter) French.  In 1910 the census shows him living in Haverhill NH with his parents and older brother, Erroll L French. Ray’s 1917 WWI Draft Registration Form shows his name as ‘Ray Melcom French,’ with him residing in North Haverhill NH, a farm hand for his father, E.W. French of North Haverhill. He describes himself as single, of medium height and stature, with blue eyes, and dark brown hair. The History of Haverhill adds that he enlisted 19 November 1917, at the age of 22.  He served as a Fireman 3rd class in the U.S. Navy, being assigned to Commonwealth Pier in Boston, followed by Newport, Rhode Island.  He died of pneumonia, probably due to influenza, on 5 February 1918. He is buried in Horse Meadow Cemetery, North Haverhill NH.

[4] William Herman Libby was born 19 Feb 1896 in Roxbury Mass, son of Walter Henry & Bertha (Helt) Libby. He had two siblings, Edmund W. Libby and Gertrude L. Libby.  In 1900 he was living with his family in Boston MA.  By the 1910 census he was living with his family on Maple Street in Haverhill NH.  His WWI Registration form shows him on June 5, 1917 living in Woodsville NH working as a grocery clerk for Marshall W. Field in that town. He describes himself as single, short, slight in stature with blue eyes and light hair.  The History of Haverhill (Witcher) shows that he was inducted 26 April 1918, going to Camp Dix for training followed by Proving Grounds, Aberdeen MD where he was assigned to the 328th Infantry, Ordinance Department.  He died here on 11 October 1918 of “Spanish influenza.” His burial place is unknown.

[5] Tracy John Ross was born March 1899 in Wilton, Saratoga Co. NY, son of John T. & Cora M. (Burch) Ross. His obituary printed at the time of his death states that he moved with his parents to Pike, New Hampshire about 1913, where at the age of 14 he was popular with his friends.  The obituary states he died of measles however other resources state he died of scarlet fever.  The History of Haverhill NH (Whitcher) shows that he enlisted on 16 June 1917, at the age of 18.  He was sent to Forts Slocum and Sam Houston where he was assigned to Battery C of the 3rd Field Artillery.  On 26 July 1917 he died of disease there, the first Haverhill man to give his life during the war. He seems to be buried in Gum Springs Cemetery, Gum Spring, Saratoga Co. NY, with a cenotaph in Warrensburg Cemetery, Warrensburg NY.

[6] John Isaac Hoyt* was born 24 Nov 1897 in Newbury or Bradford Vermont, son of Amos W. & Marion (Matheson) Hoyt.  He had a younger brother Earl Hoyt. John I. Hoyt died May 1972 in Ossipee, New Hampshire. He married 14 March 1925 in Lisbon NH to Christie Olive Drown-Drew, daughter of John M. & Julia (Perry) Drown. She m2nd (as Christine Olive Hoyt) on 23 May 1946 in Manchester NH to Armand Oscar Simard.  The History of Haverhill NH (Whitcher) shows that he enlisted on 9 June 1917 at the age of 20. He was sent to Camp Keyes and Bartlett, A.E.F. training camps.  He was assigned to Co. K, 103rd Infantry, 26th Division.  Shipped overseas to Europe he participated in many of the major offensives between September 1917 to April 1919–Chemin-des-Dames, Toul, Ch. Thierry, St. Mihiel, and Verdun. He was cited for bravery. He was gassed at Verdun, and reported as injured in the newspapers. He was discharged from service honorably on April 28, 1919. He is buried at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale NY. [He is also listed on the Easton NH memorial, see a 2nd photograph of him there].

[7]  Dorothy Morrill was born 23 May 1893 in Haverhill, Grafton Co. NH daughter of Eben & Nancy (Holt) Morrill.  In 1900 she was living with her family in Haverhill NH having many siblings including Lawrence, Wineford, Lucia, Eben, Charles, Frederick, John H., and Herman.  In 1920 living with sister Lucia & Family in Worcester MA working as a private nurse, aged 26 single.  The History of Haverhill NH (Whitcher) shows that she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps. on 8 August 1918, aged 25.  She was assigned to Base Hospital 61 at Camp Greene, and then from September 1918 to May 1919 she was sent to Europe serving with the A.E.F. (American Expeditionary Forces) at Beaume, Base Hospital 57 at Paris.  She was discharged honorable on 16 May 1919.   She married in 1923 in Worcester MA to John Patrick King.  She died 1 November 1927, aged 34 and is buried in Saint Joseph’s Cemetery, Leicester, Worcester Co. MA.  She has a veteran’s marker above her grave.


[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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