For a small town Belmont New Hampshire’s veteran organization, the Charles Kilborn Post #58 American Legion, is amazingly active and continually vigilant to local veterans, and patriotic causes. To honor the local veterans, for many years the members of this American Legion Post has traditionally placed “both a flag and a floral tribute on the grave of every Belmont veteran on Memorial Day.”
For this story I focus on World War I specific to Belmont NH. The Veteran’s Monument, located at the intersection of Church Street and Church Hill Road was originally dedicated 99 years ago on Armistice Day [November 11] 1919. A description of the monument can be found in “War Monuments, Museums and Library Collections of 20th Century Conflicts by Steve Rajitar, and Frances Elizabeth Franks, 19 August 2010. It is a bronze plaque with a WWI scene in relief, that includes of roll of honor with the list of men who served during several wars included WWI. The WWI names combines those from Upper Gilmanton and Belmont. This is mounted on a granite base with a 2nd plaque affixed to the back honoring names of those who died during WW2, Korean and Vietnam Wars. The $5,000 needed to build this monument was donated by Moses Sargent, Jr.
Eileen Gilbert, Director, Belmont Library indicated that there were seven men from Belmont who served during World War I. One of them died in service, Charles C. Kilborn (who also happens to be my 6th cousin, 3x removed) and the local American Legion is named in his honor. The Belmont town web site reported that “as part of the 2011 Church Street reconstruction the 1919 Belmont Veterans’ Monument was raised and given a much more appropriate surrounding. The Monument is the focal point of the Belmont Memorial Day commemoration. ”
WWI Honor Roll of BELMONT NH
✪🌟✪ DIED IN SERVICE ✪🌟✪
Charles “Charlie” Cutting Kilborn was born 2 December 1890 at Belmont NH, son of Fred Simon & Eva A. (Cutting) Kilborn. In 1910 he was living with his family and siblings in Belmont NH. Siblings included William Henry “Willie” Kilborn (1888-1954, single), Sadie May Kilborn (who m. Irving Herman Brown), Ethel Alice Kilborn (1883-1943 single), and Eva B. Kilborn (b and d. 1886).
On 5 June 1917 Charles Kilborn completed his WWI Registration form in Belmont New Hampshire. He was aged 29, living in Laconia NH, working as an operative in a knitting machine shop, Scott and Williams, Laconia NH. He was the support of his parents, was single, and was of medium height and build with dark brown eyes and dark brown hair.
In September of 1918 he was called into service, probably by draw of his registration number, and was sent to Camp Upton, located near the town of Yapank on Long Island New York. The timing of his induction into the U.S. Army would sadly be his undoing.
In the paper, The U.S. Military and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, by Carol R. Byerly, PhD,”a contingent of replacement troops departed Devens for Camp Upton, Long Island, the Army’s debarkation point for France, and took influenza with them. Medical officers at Upton said it arrived “abruptly” on September 13, 1918, with 38 hospital admissions, followed by 86 the next day, and 193 the next. Hospital admissions peaked on October 4 with 483, and within 40 days, Camp Upton sent 6,131 men to the hospital for influenza.” A total of 500 men died at Camp Upton during the pandemic.
Charles Cutting Kilborn died 4 October 1918 at Camp Upton, Yapank, Long Island NY of broncho-pneumonia [a cause of toxemia is listed as a contributing cause]. His burial document does not specify the regiment to which he had been assigned, but we can probably presume, that with no former military service, that his rank was Private. He is buried in his family’s burial plot, in Union Cemetery, Laconia NH.
Also Died in Service
William G. Fugere is the name found on the NH WWI Honor Roll in the New Hampshire State House. There were at least 3 by that name who lived in New Hampshire during the World War I era. One of them, listed at William J. Fugere on his death certificate and on his reburial papers, was born in New Hampshire between 1892-1896. A William Joseph Fugere noted on his WWI Registration Form that he was born 17 Feb 1890 NH in Belmont NH. At the time of completing the form he was working as a machinist, living at 362 Union Street, Laconia NH, employed by Scott & Williams of Laconia. He noted he was married, and had a wife and child. His physical description was that he stood 5 ft 10 inches tall, and had blue eyes, and dark hair. “Can Not Read” is noted on the form, and his signature is barely legible. During WWI William J. Fugere enlisted on 6 December 1917, and served as a Corporal in the Motor Truck Co., 392nd Regiment. At the time of his death he was stationed in Nogales, Arizona. He died in service on 4 April 1919 from a “pistol shot through the heart” at the Base Hospital, Nogales AZ. From his death and military grave marker records his father was “Joe” Fugere, and his mother was Anne Fugere. The application for a military marker states that he was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, Laconia, but this is incorrect. He is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Laconia NH in Lot 113, Grave 1. Additional newspaper stories of the day carry a story about his getting married in Arizona 2 days prior to his death. Please contact me if you are family and want details. [By comment or email].
✪🌟✪ BELMONT MEN WHO SERVED IN EUROPE – WWI ✪🌟✪
I gleaned the names of those who served in Europe from Belmont NH from the U.S. Military Transport Passenger Lists of 1917-1920. Those names, with details are shown here.
– Homer Laroy Crockett, Private, Co. C, 103rd Infantry, departed NYC 27 Sep 1917 on ship Celtic. Father George S. Crockett, Gale Street Belmont NH. Returned from Bordeaux France arriving NYC on 24 January 1919 on ship Chicago. Service #67,437. NOK: Mother, Eva Crockett. [born 29 May 1894 in Georgetown MA, son of George S. & Eva (Fletcher) Crockett. He married 24 May 1924 in Belmont NH to Effie P. Sumner, daughter of Orlando A. & Bertha (Tyler) Sumner. He died 9 March 1956. During WWI, he enlisted on 10 June 1917 and was honorably discharged on 7 Feb 1919. He was awarded a Purple Heart. He is buried in South Road Cemetery, Belmont NH].
– Ralph Leon Dockham, Private, Ordinance Detachment, 38th Artillery CAC, Service #2796368, NOK mother Emma Dockham. Outgoing on ship Martha Washington, 1918. [son of Elmore Smith & Emma E. (Cross) Dockham. He was born 16 June 1888 Lakeport NH. Served in US Navy 4 years before WWI. He possibly died in 1977 in Bedford MA.].
– Nathan Drake Dow, Private, Supply Co., 37th Artillery Regiment CAC, Service #2796370 Outgoing Pocahontas (June-Sep 1918). NOK father Nathaniel H. Dow. [He was born 26 Oct 1895 in Canterbury NH, son of Nathaniel H. & Ida M. (Stinson) Dow. He married 23 July 1917 in Belmont NH to Elsie M. Smith, daughter of Elmer H. & Hattie (Weymouth) Smith. He died November 1980 in Laconia NH]
– Wesley Everett Howard, 2nd Lieut, Co H 806th Pioneer Infantry, departing Hoboken NJ on 8 Sep 1918 ship Mercury. NOK mother S. Elizabeth Howard. [born 6 Nov 1892 in Lunenburg VT, son of Wesley E. & Sarah Elizabeth (London) Howard. He is buried in Pine Street Cemetery, Whitefield NH. He married 27 Aug 1919 in Whitefield NH to Helen Pauline Page, daughter of Fred Warren & Lillian (Roberts) Page. In 1900 living in Lowell MA, In 1910 living in Belmont NH. He is buried in Pine Street Cemetery, Whitefield NH.]
– William O. “Willie” Judkins, Private, Co H., 103rd Infantry. Departed Newport News VAQ on 9 Dec 1917 for Europe aboard ship Virginian. Wagoner. Departing Brest France for Boston MA arriving 5 April 1919 on ship America. Service No. 70,231. NOK sister Mrs. Winne Mudgett. [born between 1876-1881 in Belmont NH, died 5 March 1947, son of Dudley W. & Amanda (Sanborn) Judkins. During WWI he enlisted 5 July 1916, discharged 28 April 1919. Buried South Road Cemetery, Belmont NH, military marker. He m1st) Mary A. ChaseHe married 2d) 6 Feb 1893 in Tilton NH to Mamie A. Burns, daughter of John & Mary (Carter) Burns. Divorced 30 April 1901. She m2d) 16 May 1903 in Nashua NH to William P. Jennings, son of Patrick & Bridget (Norton) Jennings.
– Peter Joseph Vezina, Private, Fort Constitution September Automatic CA 1002 R. Replacement Draft CAC. Departing NYC for Europe on 17 Sep 1918 aboard ship Maunganui. [He was born 13 Nov 1888 in Canada or NH, son of Alfred & Artemese (Morrell) Vezina. In 1910 living in Belmont NH with siblings Mary, Alfred, Fabolia, Rose E., Elizabeth, Alice, Lydia and Angelina. He married 31 May 1926 in Laconia NH to Mary Aurore Nadeau, daughter of Joseph Romeo & Clementine (Maheu) Nadeau. Peter died Feb 1963 in NH. He is buried in Union Cemetery, Laconia NH.
✪🌟✪ DEATH OF A MILITARY HERO IN BELMONT NH ✪🌟✪
Though not specific to a Belmont resident, there were deaths that occurred in Belmont NH just after the war ended to a noted military man and two others. This accident happened within the boundaries of Belmont and would have been a topic of discussion there for a long time afterwards.
The Boston Globe, Boston MA, of 29 May 1919 reported “TRAIN KILLS THREE NEWTON RESIDENTS — Lieut Command W.G. Richardson, His Son And Miss E.M. Matteson Victims. LACONIA, N.H. May 23–Lieut. Commander Walter G. Richardson, U.S.N, 59 years old; his son, Frederick G. Richardson, 20, both residents of 871 Beacon St., Newton Center, Mass., and Miss E.M. Matteson, 59 of 1828 Washington St., Auburndale, were instantly killed at the Winnesquam crossing of the B. & M. road, three miles south of this city, when the northbound Montreal Express struck and demolished the automobile in which they were riding. The bodies were thrown more than 100 feet from the scene of the crash. Miss Matteson’s nephew, whose name has not yet been ascertained, is at the hospital here, seriously injured. His left is broken and it is feared he has sustained internal injuries. Mrs. Richardson, a son, Robert, and a baby daughter, Mary, were following in another automobile and witnessed the accident. The Richardsons were on their way to their Summer cottage at Asquam Lake, Holderness. Miss Matteson also had a cottage in the vicinity, and she and her nephew were accompanying the Richardsons on the trip.”
“Officials were unable at first to learn the cause of the accident. The express was a few minutes behind schedule, but it was stated that the warning bell at the crossing was working and that the engineer blew his whistle as usual as he approached. COMMANDER RICHARDSON WELL KNOWN IN BOSTON. Walter G. Richardson entered the Naval Academy from the Newton High School in 1876 and was graduated in June 1880. He served on the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and South Atlantic Stations, and also at the Naval Observatory and as instructor at the Naval Academy. He was retired in 1889 for physical disability incurred in time of duty. He served throughout the Spanish War, however, and was one year on the Massachusetts Nautical Training ship Enterprise before becoming chief of the hydrographic office in Boston. He retired from that post in 1911. He was recalled for active service in the present war. MISS MATTESON A TEACHER IN NEWTON FOR 32 YEARS. Miss Edith A. Matteson, one of the victims of the grade crossing accident near Laconia, had been a teacher of manual training in the Grammar Schools in Newton for 32 years. She lived in Auburndale.”
The Gold Star Record of Massachusetts provides additional details: “Richardson, Walter Gates, Lieut Commander, USN, died 29 May 1919 by accident at Belmont NH; Entered 1873 at Annapolis MD, appointed Cadet 22 Sep 1876. Retired with rank of Ensign 1 July 1889; recalled 13 March 1917; assigned to duty 1st Naval District, Boston; 9 Sep 1918 to duty Branch Hydrograph Office Boston. Lieut Commander 1 July 1918. Born 5 Dec 1859 at Green River IL, son of Frederick G. and Elizabeth (McArdle) Richardson (both deceased); brother of Mrs. Clara R. Shipman of Kenilworth IL. Husband of Belle B. Richardson. Children: Frederick G. (died 1919), Robert, Mary. Of Newton Center MA.
1) Ellen Valentine Fairbanks 1862–1897,
2) Belle Wilton Brown 1864–1942 [He had married 30 Aug 1898 in Bennington VT to Belle Wilton Brown].
1) Eleanor Valentine Richardson 1897–1897
2) Frederick Gates Richardson 1899–1919
3) Robert S. Richardson 1901–1960
4) Mary Richardson 1915–1998
[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].