New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Groveton – Northumberland

The first World War I Memorial in Groveton New Hampshire. This photograph would have been taken in front of the current Post Office building, facing the street.

Groveton is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Northumberland in Coos County, New Hampshire, United States.   In 1920 the town had 2,567 residents, more than they do today.  Yet in 1918 they sent a large number of their young men and women to war.

I recently purchased a photo postcard that shows a World War monument. The look of the card seems to place it in the mid to late 1920s, and, after conferring with Betty Craggy of the Groveton Town offices (and to whom I owe a great deal of thanks), I agree with her that the location in the photo is not where the monuments are now situated.   This earlier monument would have been located on the island parking lot where State Street veers off to the left at Church Street.

Groveton NH’s WWI monument. Photograph by Beck Craggy, used here with her permission.

At some point the monument was moved, refurbished and dedicated (after WW2) on 1 January 1949.  There are four monuments now. They are located on US-3/Main Street near the Junction of West Street in Northumberland New Hampshire, and include memorials to WW1, World War2, Korea and Vietnam Wars. For this story I am going to focus on World War I.  The WWI monument is inscribed on front and back, and reads [Editor’s notes in brackets are comments, and are not found on the monument. An asterisk (*) implies the man died during wartime while in service]:

1917 1919

Close up for front of Northumberland New Hampshire’s WWI Honor Roll Monument. Photograph by Becky Craggy, used here with her permission.

*Thomas Mason Donnelly
*Wilmer R. Ellingwood
*Francis A. Downing
*Roy C. Estes
//Front: left column//
Owen Harold Astle
Charles Belanger
Grover C. Bishop [Sergt, Co K, 8th Infantry to Europe 28 Oct 1918]
J. Neal Boucher
Emil J. Bourassa [SEE in casualty list below]
Philip Boyle
Michael Boyle
Ernest J. Brado
Joachim C.H. Beaulieu
John Brecetts
John F. Brennon
Gordon W. Bricham
Thomas C. Bruce [Pvt, Co B, 302nd W.T., France]
Harry George Bruce
Lawrence T. Bruce [P1c, 38th Infantry, Machine Gun Co., France]
William F. Burns
Mary Henry Carr
Columbus Christopher
Glenn H. Cole
Harlie A. Cole
Joseph F. Collins
Harold Howes Connolly [Conley, Pvt. Unit #6 CAC, Fort Strong > Fort Banks]
Louis Courtier
David Cullins [Pvt T.C., 14th Co. 14th G.D.T.C. (Grand Division Transportation Corps), France]
Daniel Cullins
Guy W. Cushing
Herbert A. Cushing
William Asa Damren
//Front: middle column//
John Darchick
John R. Deline
Emerson Deline
Irving H. Dice [Private, Battery F, 303d Field Artillery]
Hazen Christopher Donnelly
Earl W. Donnelly
David L. Donovan
Henry Andrews Donovan [Bugler, 103rd Infantry, France]
John C. Donovan
James E. Ducharme
Ismond D. Ellingwood
Fay Harold Elliott
Earle S. Fogg
Merton S. Fogerty
William George Forrest [Private, Battery C., 303rd F.A., Europe]
Edward J. Gardner [aka Gardiner, Private F.C. Amb. 326, Detachment #194, Europe]
Arthur D. Gaudette [aka Godette, Private, Veterinarian, Base Veterinary Hospital No. 1]
Edward Gaudette
John Gaudette
Joseph A.C. Gaudette
George Gaynor
Fred Gardner
Claude Trafton Giberson
Joseph Goulette
Perley S. Graham
Hugh Grogan
Joseph Gonyer
//Front: right column//
Elwin Grant
Edwin E. Grout
Clifford C. Grout
Mark Harris
Joseph Hart
Horace Alden Hayes
Clarence Eugene Hight
Frank Hlucik [Corp. Battery C, 303rd F.A., France]
Charles F. Hodge
Agnes Teresa Houley  [SEE separate story written about her]
George J. Houley [aka George J. Hauley, Co H, 309th Inf., Res Groveton NH, mother Mrs. Fannie Hauley, France]
Gerald Francis Houley [Pvt. Supply Co., 72nd Artillery CAC, Supply Unit, France]
Henry P. Houley
Arthur S. Howe
Harry C. Howe [Wagoner, Supply Co. 23rd Infantry, France]
Ernest Huppe
Edwin Herbert Hunt
Clifford W. Hutchinson
Maurice L. Hutchinson
Edwin Herbert Jackson
Harold C. Jackson
Joseph Arthur Jackson
William E. Kellick [47th Artillery, CAC, from Camp Upton, NOK William Dalton, Friend, Groveton NH]
John W. Kennister
Fred Kimball
Michael Koluskey
Harvey Joseph Lacombe
//Front: bottom//
Delphis LeClaire [Private, Casual Co. 1, 317th Infantry]
Dennis LeClaire [Leclerc, Sergeant, B Co., 545th Engineers Service Battalion [WHITE], nok, Mrs Lucy Leclerc, Mother, Europe]

Photograph of engraved tablet on the back of Northumberland’s WWI monument. Property of Becky Craggy, used here with her permission.

*John Freeman
*Ray W. Jackson
*Clyde A. Warren
//Back:left side//
Paul N. LeClaire
Joseph LeClaire [Leclerc, Pvt, Battery E, 38th Artillery CAC]
[Delphis Leclerc, Pvt, Battery E, 103rd, Mr. John Leclerc father]
Archie Loveland
Leon B. LaCross
Henry LaRue
Joseph LaRoche
Perley Isaac Lee
David V. Levasseur
Charles H. Libby
John A. Libby
Freeman Lurvey
Fred J. Lord
Burton R. Marshall
Carroll G. Matthews
Lewis W. Mayhew
Raymond J. Mayhew
Charles J. Mackey
Edward Mercier
Edward A. McDougall
Alex McDowell
Allin H. Morancy
Linwood McHarg [M.E., 354th Aero Squadron Observation, father James McHarg, France]
Robert McIntosh
Daniel McIsaac
Duncan McIsaac
Murl W. McKeen
John McKenna

//middle column//
Herbert McLellan
Joseph F. McMann
Fred McKines
John McKinnon
Elwin McLaughlin
M.J. McSherman
Charlie McMann
Harry L. Miller
Leo Munroe
Matthew A. Murphy
Nicholas Nachod
Powel Nachod
John Nockie
Alba Newman
Scott Newman
Louis P. Parent [Lewis P.Parent, Pvt Headquarters Co, 103d Infantry, nok Mrs. Peter Parent, Groveton, Europe]
William Joseph Parent
Frank C. Perkins [Private. 130th Infantry]
John Lee Perkins
Melvin O. Perkins [Private Co. L, 103th Infantry, mother Mary Perkins]
Henry Perry
Harrison W. Rainer
Lynn F. Rice [Corporal, Headquarters Co. 303 Field Artillery, nok Mr. Lynn F. Rice, Father]
Samuel Robertson
John B. Roussey
Francisco S. Russo
John A. Rolfe

//Back:right side//
Charles Ryan
George Scott
Fred Soucie
Carl Scraynton
Earl Shaw
Arthur Bernard Shores
Charles Vincent Shores
Ervin Patrick Shores
Harold C. Shoff
George Sloane
Charles Smith
Fred A. Smith
Stern Smith
Murray Hartshorn Strain
Peter Thomas
Frank Albert Therreo [aka Tarreo, P1c, 239th Co, Military Police Corps, friends Mrs. Ella Burrill, Groveton NH, France]
Wilfred Charles Tibbetts
Robert Trowsdale
Clifford Taylor
Ezra A. Turgeon
John William Veazie [aka Veazey, Pvt Co D, 325th Infantry, 82d Div, wife, Mrs. John W., Europe]
Everett C. Walker
Edward H. Wing [Pvt, Co D, 301st Supply Train, mother Mrs. Laura Wing, Europe]
Loys A. Wiles
Neil E. Wilkinson
Milton Vance Wilkinson
Harold Alvan Wilson
Ernest York Fred Zimball

There are some names that I discovered that are not on the monument, but have some connection with Groveton, as they listed it as their home town on military transport records.
– Raymond W. Fogg, Wagoner, Supply Co. 103 F.A., 26th Div., father Ernest E. Fogg. From Somerville MA but listed Groveton NH as his home.
– Albert R. Hardy, Pvt Co M 303 Inf. Groveton NH, NOK Vernon R. Hardy, Father. Born in Vermont, buried in Nashua NH.
– Patrick J. Hurley, Lt. Col, JAG, Hqrs Div 80, Mrs. Mildred Hurley, wife, Groveton NH, France.
– Eddie E. Johnson, Pvt., HQ Co, 103d Infantry, brother Albert, Groveton NH, France.
– David C. Hooker, Pvt Sig, Co C, 9th Field Signal Battalion, nok Mr. Henry C. Hooker, Father, Groveton NH.
– Jay C. Knights, Co F, 28th Engineers/Quarry, sis Mrs. Fred Collins, Groveton NH, Europe.
– Ernest Leveridge, Pvt. Bordeaux Casual Co., No 1; Groveton NH, brother Mr. William Leveridge, France.
– Cyrus H. Libby, Corporal, 649th Aero Sqdn, SC, nok Mrs. Anna Atherton, cousin, res Groveton NH.
– Elwin L. McLaughlin, Pvt Army Reserves Material 1/5 Unit QMC, Groveton, father James McLaughlin.
– [Donald L. Needham, Messman/Passr Coal, USA CT Bavaria, father Geo F. Needham Groveton NH]
– [Mike Nocky, P1c, Co I, 103rd Infantry, Brother John Nocky Groveton NH, France]

Heroes of Groveton – Northumberland NH
(SEVEN died during WWI)


This legend shows some sources of the name and details provided in the following list.
[A] WWI Roll of Honor, Doric Hall, State House, Concord NH
[B] Adjutant General’s List of Killed in Action from New Hampshire
[C] Adjutant General’s Military Records, 1631-1976 [Maine and New Hampshire] & WWI Registration Forms
[D] U.S. Army Transport Service records
[E] U.S. Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, FamilySearch
[F] Death Certificate providing military or death information
[G] Name inscribed on the Groveton – Northumberland Town Monument, WWI
[H] Soldiers of the Great War, William Mitchell Haulsee.
* Photograph or likeness provided or available
[#] Numbers refer to a biography following the list with additional information on a particular soldier.

Bourassa, Emil J | Corporal| Killed in Action 20 October 1918 | Company B,  6th U S Engineers | Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery | Credited to Gorham NH [A][B][D][G] [8]

Photograph from 1918 NY Times insert of soldiers killed or wounded during WWI

Donnelly, Thomas Mason | Private | Killed in Action 17 Oct 1918 France | Co. H, 309th Infantry, 8th Div. | St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Groveton NH | SEE Photograph | [A][B][C][E][G][1]

Downing, Francis Alexander | Private | Died of Disease 23 Oct 1918 Fort Bliss, El Paso TX of Broncho-Pneumonia and Influenza | St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Groveton NH |[A][F][G][2]

Ellingwood, Wilmer R. | Mechanic | Killed in Action 21 November 1918 | Co. G, 309th Infantry, U.S. Army | unknown burial location |[A][B][G][3]

Estes, Roy George | Private | Killed in Action 6 June 1918 | U.S. Army, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division| Aisne-Marne American Cemetery | Enlisted from Vermont but Credited to Whitefield NH |[A][B][C][G][4]

Corporal Ray A. Jackson, Troop L, 7th Calvary, U.S. Army

Freeman, John E. | Private | Died of Disease (meningitis) 3 March 1918 France | 3rd Co., 101st Ammunition Train, Heavy Artillery, 26th Div. | Saint Francis Xavier Cemetery, Groveton NH | [A][D][G][5]

Jackson, Ray A. | Corporal | Troop L, 7th Calvary, U.S. Army | Died of Disease (influenza) 13 October 1918 | Northumberland Cemetery, Northumberland NH | SEE Photo |Credited to Indiana | [F][G][6]

Warren, Clyde Adlai | Corporal | Died of Disease (pneumonia) 23 Oct 1918 France  | 10th Engineers Forestry | Northumberland Cemetery, Northumberland NH |[A][C][G][H] [7]


[1] THOMAS MASON DONNELLY was born 21 February 1895 at Wenlock, [now Ferdinand] Essex Co. Vermont, son of John Joseph & Amanada “Manda”(LeFebure) Donnelly. In 1900 he was living in Brighton VT with his family, and siblings Earl W., Hazen C., and Mary C. In 1917 when he completed his WWI Registration form in Windsor VT, he noted he stated he was born in “Windlock” (sic) Vermont, and had been a member of the National Guard for 1 month. He was short and slender with blue eyes and brown hair. His application for a military headstone shows that Thomas Mason Donnelly served as a Private in Co. L, 1st NH Infantry, National Guard, followed by service in WWI in Co. H, 309th Infantry, 78th Division. His mother Amanda was the applicant for the stone. After the war his body was returned to the United States and reburied in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Groveton,  New Hampshire. SEE PHOTOGRAPH above.

Old photograph of artillery training at Fort Bliss, TX during WWI. Property of the Blog Editor.

[2] FRANCIS ALEXANDER DOWNING was born 15 April 1900 probably in Groton, Grafton Co. NH (his parents living there in the 1900 census when he is a month old), son of William A. & Isabelle (McDonald) Downing. In 1900 and 1910 he was  living in Northumberland NH with parents and siblings: Mary E., Bernice E. (who married Eddie A. Wilson), and Violet.   During WWI he was sent to Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, probably for artillery training.  He was a Private in Troop M., 314th Cavalry, U.S. Army  He contracted influenza while there, and died on 23 October 1918 as a result from broncho-pneumonia.  He was 18 years old. His body was returned to Groveton, NH, and he was buried in Saint Francis Xavier Cemetery.

[3] WILMER RAYMOND ELLINGWOOD was born 6 December 1893 in Groveton New Hampshire, son of Roland P. & Lettice/Lettis H. (Ellingwood) Ellingwood. In 1900 he was living in Northumberland with his parents and a sister, Bernadean. He completed his WWI Military registration in Groveton, Coos Co. NH, giving a personal description of medium height and stature with blue eyes and brown hair. He was employed by Odell Manufacturing, a paper mill in Northumberland NH. The U.S. Army Transport records show he left Brooklyn NY for Europe on 20 May 1918, as a Private in Company G, 309th Infantry, his residence was Groveton, NH, and next of kin was his mother, Mrs. Lettice Ellingwood. (Service #1748564).  On December 1, 1918 the Boston Globe listed him as one of several men missing in action. The NH Adjutant-General’s Casualty List for New Hampshire shows that he held the rank of Mechanic and died on 21 November 1918.  His burial place is not known.

U.S. Adjutant General Report for Roy George Estes.

[4] ROY GEORGE ESTES was born George Leroy Estes on 2 January 1893 in Maidstone, Essex Co. Vermont, son of Noah & Lettie (Rich) Estes, and grandson of Thomas & Sophronia (Robinson) Estes.  In 1900 he was living in Maidstone VT with his maternal uncle and family.  On his 1917 WWI Draft Registration form he was living in Stratford NH, working as a fire warden for  Vermont Timber Owner Association. He was single, short and stout with gray eyes and dark hair.  The U.S. Adjutant General records show for him: ESTES, Roy George | Res Maidstone. Official Record: Whitefield NH, Born at Maidstone |
Enlisted July 18, 1917 Ft Ethan Allen | Org.: Co M 23d Inf to June 6 1918 | Overseas Sept 7 1917 to June 6 1918 | Killed in Action: June 6, 1918 | Pl. of burial: Grave 71, Row 5, Block A, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Beleau Wood, Aisne, France.
[5] JOHN E. FREEMAN was born 28 July 1896 (birth rec says 1896 not 1897 as his tombstone shows) at Groveton, Coos Co NH, son of John & Julia S. (Morgan) Freeman.
In 1910 living in Groveton NH with his parents and sister Mary A. (who m. Thomas W. Temple, and d. in 1917).  The U.S. Army Transport Passenger List shows that he left Hoboken, New Jersey on 3 October 1917 aboard the ship Aurania.  He was a Private in the 3rd Company of the 101st Ammunition Train.   The Groveton Advertiser newspaper of  March 18, 1918 stated: “In May of last year (1917) he went to Fort Ethan Allen in Burlington VT and from there west to Westfield MA with the 101st Ammunition Train, Heavy Artillery, 26th Division. He went to France October 8, and died March 3 of meningitis. Johnny was a fine young man of good habits, gentlemanly, industrious and of a pleasing personality. His death comes as a sad blow to his parents so soon after the passing of their only daughter last summer and they have the sympathy of all in this bereavements, which brings this wear nearer home to us all.”   He died on 3 March 1918 in France of meningitis, as the newspaper mentions.  When the war ended his body was returned home to the United States for burial in Saint Francis Xavier Cemetery.  John E. Freeman’s mother died 6 months after he did.

Gold Star Honor Roll for Ray A. Jackson.

[6] RAY A. JACKSON was born 15 December 1892 in Groveton, NH son of William Henry & Celinda T. (Astle) Jackson.  In 1900 he was living in Northumberland NH with his parents and sibling: Frank b 8 May 1884; Albert A.; Gladys Ismay b 29 Jan 1890; and Harold George b 23 July 1899.  The Gold Star Honor Roll of Indiana gives the best biography of his military career: “Son of Mrs. and Mrs. William Henry Jackson; born December 15, 1892, Groveton N.H. Moved to Indiana Harbor, Ind. in 1915. Bookkeeper. Enlisted in U.S. Regular Army May 2, 1917 and was sent to Ft. Thomas KY. Assigned to Troop K, 7th Cavalry. Transferred to Ft. Bliss, Tex.; assigned to Troop L, 7th Cavalry. Died of influenza-pneumonia October 13, 1918 Ft. Bliss.  Buried in Groveton, N.H.”  He is buried in Northumberland Cemetery, Northumberland NH.
[7] CLYDE ADLAI WARREN was born 24 January 1893 in Groveton/Northumberland Coos Co NH, son of Frank F. & Flora Alvina (Wilkinson) Warren.In 1900 and 1910 he was living on Main Street in Northumberland with his family and siblings, Leon A., and Geneva F.  His father Frank was a sawyer. Clyde’s WWI Registration form shows in June 1917 he was a sawyer at the Odell Mfg. Co of Groveton, single, of medium height and stature with blue eyes and black hair. The U.S. Army Transport service shows he sailed from NYC to Europe on 10 Sep 1917 aboard the Carpathia.  While in Europe he contracted pneumonia and died. He is buried in Northumberland Cemetery, Northumberland NH. His tombstone reads: (under his parents names and dates): CORP. CLYDE A. WARREN | 10th ENGINEERS FORESTRY | DIED IN FRANCE OCT. 23, 1918 | AGED 26 YRS.

[8] Emil J. Bourassa was probably born in Canada, son of Edouard “Edward” & Emma Anna (Lettre/Letter) Bourassa. He had siblings Henri, Willie, Blanche, Jean, Lucien, Felix, Francis, George, Hosdine, Cecil and Regina.  During WWI he was a Corporal in the United States Army, serving in the 6th Engineer Regiment, 3rd Division.  He was Killed in Action on 20 October 1918, and is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.  The NH Adjutant General credits him to Gorham NH, but he is found on the Northumberland NH Honor Roll. His name is also inscribed on the NH WWI Honor Roll in the NH State House, Concord NH.

[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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10 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Groveton – Northumberland

  1. Pingback: New Hampshire World War I Military: Heroes of The Great War | Cow Hampshire

  2. Steve Mahoney says:

    Very strange that Wilmer Ellingwood is listed as KIA with a date 11-21-18 that was 10 days after the armistice. He was listed as MIA by the Globe on 12-1-18 but he must have gone missing at some point in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Steve, yes I understand. I agree the information is a bit confusing. In 1972 most of the WWI records burned in a fire and so the stories of these men have to be re-created using other records. The official records of the New Hampshire Adjutant General of casualties (which means killed in action, not disease or wounds) shows Wilmer Ellingwood’s name and the date 21 Nov 1918. I wish that I had no limit to the hours that I could devote to researching each and every soldier, sailor and nurse, however that simply is not possible. If you can discover something more about him, it would be a honor to include your findings here.

  3. Amy says:

    That is an incredibly long list for such a small town. From your experience, is that a higher percentage than you’ve seen in other NH towns?

    • Janice Brown says:

      Researching WWI isn’t easy. Each town and city has its own story about enlistment. In some places the men waited for their number to be drawn and called from the registration lottery. In other places, perhaps because of some local man’s enthusiasm, there were more enlistments even before the war began. New Hampshire at that time had a fairly significant Canadian-born population who had allegiance to England and were anxious to support their war effort, so a slightly higher number would have served. As far as the number of those who died in Groveton, it seems random and coincidental.

  4. Guy M. Fortier says:

    Emile J. Bourassa – I’m a distant cousin of Emile. Would like to talk and share his Genealogy with them. My name is GySgt Guy M. Fortier USMC Ret. My grandmother was his first cousin.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Guy, you have a few avenues. You can contact some of the Historical Societies such as Lancaster or Northumberland that cover history in the area, or you can call the Groveton Town Clerk and ask who they recommend that you give your information to. They are more appropriate than I am, for they will keep the information safe for future generations.

  5. Pingback: New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Stratford | Cow Hampshire

  6. Pingback: 100 Years Ago: New Hampshire Gold Star Mothers | Cow Hampshire

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