New Hampshire WWI Military: Private Orrin H. Edwards of Antrim NH (1893-1918)

edwards-orrin-pvt-watermarkedOrrin Herbert Edwards was born 26 May 1893 in Derby, Orleans Co. Vermont, son of Gertrude Edwards. It is unknown whether any siblings survived him. Orrin grew up in Sheffield, Vermont, removing to Antrim, New Hampshire between 1910-1914 where his mother lived. Orrin also lived briefly in Hancock NH around this same time.

Orrin’s World War I Draft Registration of June 5, 1917, indicates he was married and living in Hancock, New Hampshire, working as a farmer for Morris Fairfield of the same town. Orrin’s photograph is unusual in that he appears to be wearing distinctive dark glasses. [Editor’s note: this photograph was untouched from the original 1918 one, with the exception of adding my blog URL as a watermark].

Photograph of 'Cycle orderlies under fire' on the Western front, sheltering from shelling. From the National Library of Scotland on Flickr.

Photograph of ‘Cycle orderlies under fire’ on the Western front, sheltering from shelling. From the National Library of Scotland on Flickr.

Records show that Orrin H. Edwards served as a Private in the regular army during WW1–110th Infantry. He was either in Co. H or L, depending on which source you refer to. He was killed in action on 2 August 1918 near the end of the Aisne-Marne Offensive. The history of his Division explains, “On July 31st the 110th was relieved from the front line and marched to bivouac in the woods southwest of LaCharmel. In spite of the terrible casualties suffered during the previous days the morale and fighting spirit of the men remained excellent and the discipline of the troops was very good. On August 2nd the Regiment departed this encampment and over the next several days proceeded via marching to a new bivouac near Dravengy.”

Two different sources explain what occurred, and that information is provided here below. Orrin H. Edwards was at first buried near the location where he was killed. When the war was over, his remains were returned to the United States. He was re-buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Antrim, New Hampshire, in the same cemetery as his mother [information from a report by Ethan Beihl, Boy Scout Troop 2, in 2012.]

From Evening Public Ledger, Philadelphia PA, 15 May 1919: “Its sons disregarded every hazard to win, and in aiding to crush Germany lived up to the best traditions in the army. That it disregarded all hazards is shown in the casualty list from July 28 to September 7. In that time…the 110th Infantry suffered the greatest number of casualties in this period, for the records show that 314 men were killed, 235 severely wounded, 1168 slightly wounded, and 211 missing…The mopping up of Fismes, referred to in the official report of the French, was a costly process, and among the men who sacrificed their lives in the work were …. Orrin Edwards, H company, 110th Infantry.”

The official History of the 110th Infantry shows the following: EDWARDS, ORRIN H. (1686853) Pvt. Co L; Killed (AB) Aug 2, 1918. Statement given by Sgt. Milton Brown, Co. L. 110th Inf. “Pvt. Orrin Edwards was killed on August 2, 1918 by an air bomb. This occurred near La Charmel, France. I helped bury him on August 2, 1918, near the place where he was killed.” Buried by Chaplain Charles Schall, Sr. Chap 28th Div. Mrs. Gertrude Bonner, mother, Antrim, N.H.”


SEE: “Descendants of John Edwards”

John-1 Edwards & Lydia Crockett of Wales & Portsmouth NH.

John-2 Edwards & Elizabeth Crockett

John-3 Edwards & Jemima Wallingford

Ebenezer-5 Edwards, son of John & Jemima (Wallingford) Edwards, b. 23 Dec 1788 Haverhill MA, d 23 Nov 1856 Laconia NH; He m. 20 Sep 1813 at Portsmouth NH to Martha T. Watson, daughter of William Watson. She was b. Dover NH, and d. 8 January 1895 at Laconia NH. They lived in Plymouth NH, and Guilford (now Laconia) NH. Occupation: Hatter.
Children of Ebenezer & Martha T. (Watson) Edwards:
1. Nathaniel Watson Edwards, b. 7 Dec 1813 Plymouth NH; d. 7 Jan 1886 Laconia NH; m. Rachel Ranlet
2. Pierpoint Edwards, b. 17 January 1816 Plymouth NH; d. 1889 Ozark, Missouri; m. Margaret –. The family lived in NY, NY, Clarksville Ohio and Ozark MO.
3. Catherine Watson Edwards, b. 26 April 1818 Plymouth NH; d. 7 June 1872 Belmont NH; m Daniel Evans Bachelder
4. +John Edwards, b. 7 Sep 1820 Guilford NH; d. 21 Feb 1895 Laconia NH
5. Mary Parish Edwards, b. 24 Feb 1823 Guilford NH; d. Springfield MA; m. John Colby Morrison, resided Littleton NH.
6. Ebenezer Badger Edwards, b. 10 March 1825 Guilford NH, d. 8 July 1912 Manchester NH; Senile Dementia.; buried Manchester NH. Buried Valley Cemetery. On 28 Nov 1910 nieces Clara A. Robinson of Manchester, and Ellen L. Gray and May E. Smith of Concord petitioned the court to appoint a guardian for Eben B. Edwards, an insane person. Occupation: Stone Mason. Amanda is buried Mt. Hope Cemetery, Loudon NH. He had married 29 June 1848 in NH to Sarah A. Darrah/Derrah/Darrak, dau of Samuel & Betsey (Palmer) Darrah. She was b. 20 Aug 1835 Londonderry NH and d. 21 Sep 1896 in Manchester NH.
7. William Watson Edwards, b. 20 Oct 1827 Guilford NH; d. 10 January 1915 Waterville Maine; m. Adelaide Eliza Pinkham.
8. David Watson Edwards, b. 12 Feb 1830 Guilford NH; d. 18 May 1906 Laconia NH; m. Charlotte Beady. He was a soldier in the Civil War, serving in the 12th NH Regiment.
9. George W. Edwards, b. 26 Jan 1832 Guilford NH; d. 2 Nov 1836 Guilford NH

John Edwards, son of Ebenezer-4 & Martha T. (Watson) Edwards, b 7 Sep 1820 in Guilford/Meredith Bridge NH, d 21 Feb 1895 in Laconia NH; He m1) by 1845 at Meredith Bridge NH to Betsey Danforth Page, daughter of Robert & Jane (Danforth) Page of Concord NH. She b 4 Jan 1819 in Salisbury NH, d 23 Dec 1887 in Salisbury NH. He m2d) 23 Nov 1891 in Laconia NH to Lizzie D. Currier. She was b. abt 1845 in Bemont NH. He was a Stone Mason. Built sub-structures for bridges. [Betsey Page Danforth’s brother, Benjamin Page b. abt 1814, d. 26 Oct 1883 in Sanbornton NH. m. Lydia Smith;  Another brother was George W. Page of Milan NH who m. Almira H. Chandler; [A sister Caroline Danforth Page b 1821-1822 in Jamaica, m. Charles George Barclay.]
1850 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Franklin
John Edwards 29 Stone Mason, b abt 1821 NH
Betsey Edwards 31 b abt 1819 NH
Lenora N. Edwards 5 NH
Clara A. Edwards 2 NH
Ebenezer Edwards 3/12 NH
Geo W. Page 17 NH
1860 US Census > NH > Belknap > Gilford/Laconia
John Edwards 39
Betsey Edwards 41
Lenora Edwards 15
Clara A. Edwards 11
Eben Edwards 10
Martha J. Edwards 8
Mary E. Edwards 4
George H. Edwards 1
Children of John & Betsey D. (Page) Edwards:
1. Lenora N. “Ellen L. Edwards, b 5 Jan 1845 Northfield NH, d. 25 Jan 1922 in Concord NH; She m1st) 7 Dec 1865 in Gilford NH to Josiah H. Littlefield, son of Josiah H. & Mary A. (Abbott) Littlefield; She m2d) Eugene Spaulding. She was buried in Blossom Hill Cemetery.
2. Clara Ann Edwards, b 25 May 1848 Franklin NH; d. 16 Feb 1934 in Gilford NH; m. Joseph L. Robinson; buried Union Cemetery, Laconia NH.
3. +Ebenezer “Eben” Edwards, b May 1850 Franklin NH
4. Martha J. Edwards, b. 1852 NH; d. Feb 1906 E. Milton MA.
5. Mary Esther Edwards, b. 5 Jan 1855 Laconia NH, d. 29 Sep 1925 in Concord NH; She m1) 12 March 1881 in NH to George E. Smith, son of George & Rachel Smith. He was b. abt 1856 in Campton NH. She m2d) Charles H. Rowell.
6. George Henry Edwards, b 31 Oct 1858 Laconia NH, d. 1 Oct 1933 in Laconia, Belknap Co. NH; married; construction foreman; buried Union Cemetery, Laconia NH

Ebenezer “Eben” Edwards, son of John & Betsey D. (Page) Edwards, b May 1850 Franklin NH; d. 4 Jan 1912 Alms House, Boscawen NH age 61. He was buried in Blossom Hill Cemetery; removed to Mt. Hope, Loudon NH. He m1st) 29 April 1871 in Derby VT to Laura Ella “Nellie” Stone, daughter of Luther & Anne (Robie) Stone. She was b. abt 1853. He m2) 13 Apr 1878 in Laconia NH to Amanda M. Martin-Robbins, dau of Job & Ada C. (Bullock) Martin. She was b. 19 April 1830 in Barton, VT and died 21 Dec 1907 in Loudon NH. In 1880 living in Sheffield VT. In 1900 Lived in Hancock NH, later removing to Loudon NH.
Child of Eben & Laura Ella (Stone) Edwards:
1. +Gertrude Edwards, b. 26 Feb 1872 Danbury NH
2. Addie Edwards

Gertrude “Gertie” Edwards alias Gertie Stone, daughter of Eben & Laura Ella (Stone) Edwards, b. 26 February 1872 in Danbury NH; d. 28 March 1957 at Monadnock Community Hospital, Peterborough NH, her residence at that time being Main St, Antrim NH. The informant on her death certficate is Mrs. Vera Butterfield. She was buried with her 2d husband, Thomas Bonner, in Maplewood Cem. Antrim NH. She m1st) 13 Nov 1895 in Sheffield VT / [marriage her info] to Meshaeh/Meshach*/Meshack E. Libby, son of Meshach & Mary M. (Gilbert) Libby. He died July 22, 1910 in Sheffield VT, aged 66. Meshach Libby had m1) Martha Jane Drown; m2) Mary E. Drown.. Gertrude Edwards m2) after 1910 to Thomas Bonner, son of John & Mary (McCormick) Bonner. He was b. 1 August 1845 Bangor ME and died 7 July 1928 at Hillsborough Co. General Hospital, Goffstown NH. He was buried 10 July 1928 in Maplewood Cemetery, Antrim NH. He had married 1st) 31 July 1872 in Lawrence MA to Jennie Donovan, daughter of Patrick & Mary Donovan.
1900 US Census > VERMONT > Caledonia > Sheffield
Libby, Meshach [indexed as Michael] Head M W July 1846 53 m 4 yr VT VT NY Farmer
Libby, Gertrude wife W F Jan 1870 30 married 4 yr 3 ch 2 living NH NH NH
Libby, Orrin son W M May 1894 6 single VT NH VT
Libby, Clayton, son W M Apr 1899 1 single VT
ORIN STONE, b. May 26, 1893 North Derby, Orleans Co. VT, illegitimate
son of Gertie Stone
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Antrim
Thomas Bonner age 55 WIDOWED living with Walter Buchanan family.
1920 US Census > MA > Essex > Lawrence
Thomas Bonner Head W M Renting b 1846 Maine, Ire Ire
Gertrude Bonner Wife W F b 1873 NH NH NH
William Bonner brother W M b. 1858 MA Ire Ire
Child of Gertrude “Gertie” Edwards alias Stone:
1.Orren Herbert “Orin Stone” Edwards, illegitimate per his birth record showing 26 May 1893 in North Derby, Orleans Co. VT.  Document shows his name as “Orin Stone, son of Gertie Stone.” His birth date matches that on his WW1 Registration form.
Children of Menshach & Gertrude (Edwards) Libby:
1. female child [Elsi G] b. 30 March 1897 Sheffield VT who d. 20 April 1899 Sheffield VT
2. Clayton Libby, b. Sheffield VT, 15 March 1900; no more known

Orren Herbert Edwards [this story is about him], son of Gertrude (Edwards) Libby Bonner, b. 26 May 1893 in N. Derby VT.  [His WW1 draft registration says Newport VT, his marriage rec says Lawrence MA]; He m. 27 April 1914 in Hancock NH to Leah Maud Rellie/Rilie/Riley, dau of John H. & Mabel (Flagg) Rellie. [It is unknown if they were married at the time of his death, and his mother was listed as next of kin, not his wife].  Leah M. Riley was b. 20 April 1893 in Hancock NH. She m2d) [marr rec says 1st marriage] 2 Aug 1920 in Manchester NH to David Curtis Whipple, son of Aaron & Cora B. (Merrill) Whipple). She m3d 19 Aug 1926 in Henniker NH to Elmer E. Dow, son of Frank J. & Roxie (Rollins) Dow. They lived at 110 Conant St. and Notre Dame Ave in Manchester NH; She m4th) Feb 1943 to Charles George Ford, and lived at 92 River St., Haverhill MA. No known children.

[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].

*Additional Reading*

History of the 110th Infantry

DIARY of the 110th–Aug 2 Enemy avion bombed bivouac in woods southwest of LaCharmel, France. Regiment departed from bivouac in woods southwest of LaCharmel, France, and proceeded via marching to bivouac in woods southwest of Courmont, France. Enlisted men —-. Killed (22). Wounded (80).

In 2011-2012 Ethan Beihl of Boy Scout Troop 2 compiled a list of WAR VETERANS (all wars) buried in Antrim, New Hampshire. [pdf].


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