New Hampshire World War I Military: 2nd Lieut Harry Dickinson Thrasher of Plainfield and Cornish, Famed Sculptor

Photograph of sculptor, Harry
Dickinson Thrasher, in Cornish NH
standing outside the Studio of the
– Saint-Gaudens workshop
in Cornish NH, after the winter of
1904 when this structure was built.
Courtesy of Saint-Gaudens NHS and
Mrs. Jay Russell. Used with

I learned about Harry Dickinson Thrasher by chance while researching the WWI heroes of a seacoast town. The Portsmouth Herald newspaper of 21 Sep 1918 on page 4 posted this brief notice: “American Sculptor Was a Native of New Hampshire. New York, Sept 21, — Lt. Harry Dickinson Thrasher, a well known sculptor, was killed in action in France Aug 1, while serving with the camouflage section of the army, according to information received here today by the National Sculpture Society, of which he was a member. He was 36 years old and a native of Cornish, NH. In 1909 he won the scholarship of the American Academy in Rome. He enlisted as a private, was promoted to a sergeant and won his commission as lieutenant after his command had reached the front.” [Editor’s note:  I should mention here that in researching him I discovered that Harry D. Thrasher is my 8th cousin 1x removed, through his 2nd great-grandmother, Olive Eastman.]

Harry D. Thrasher’s name does not appear on the New Hampshire Adjutant General’s list of casualties of World War I, nor does it appear on the engraved listing of New Hampshire’s WWI Roll of Honor in Doric Hall of the NH State House, though I believe it should. His name IS on the Town of Plainfield memorial plaque to WWI that sits on the lawn of the Philip Read Memorial Library.  How many times a day do people pass by? Do they ever wonder about his name on the plaque–the only one engraved in bold letters?

Sculptor Harry D. Thrasher with model, Frances
Grimes, a fellow artist in Cornish at Saint-
Gaudens’ studio. Taken before 1912. Courtesy of
Saint-Gaudens NHS and Mrs. Jay Russell.
Used with permission.

He was a New Hampshire man, a hero who made the supreme sacrifice–let us not forget him. Harry Dickinson Thrasher was born on 24 May 1883 in Plainfield New Hampshire, the son and 6th child of Wallace P. & Eliza E. (Dickinson) Thrasher. His father was a teacher, wheelwright and casket maker, and later a writer who was well respected in that  small town. From 1902 to 1907 Harry worked in the adjacent town of Cornish for the famed sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and was considered one of his most talented apprentices. While working there he became associated with Maxfield Parrish, Frances Grimes and other artists.

In 1907 Harry D. Thrasher moved to New York and worked for Adolph Alexander Weinman, another protege of Saint-Gaudens. In New York Harry attended classes at the Art Students League with James Earle Fraser and earned the Saint-Gaudens Figure Prize in 1908 for the best figure in the sculpture classes. Then in 1911 Thrasher was awarded a three-year scholarship by the American Academy in Rome.

The Buffalo Commercial (Buffalo NY) of 2 Aug 1911 on page 5 announced: “The works of the competitors in the final competitions of the American Academy in Rome for the annual prizes, are on exhibition in New York. The prize winners are: Architecture, George Simpson Keyl, University of Pennsylvania; sculpture, Harry Dickinson Thrasher, New York city [Editor’s note:”Memory,” was the name of his winning sculpture]; painting, Ezra Winter, Chicago, Ill. The scholarships in the three branches, architecture, sculpture and painting are $1,000 a year each for three years. In addition, each winner, on his departure for Rome, receives his traveling expenses to that city, and, on completion of his full three-year course there, receives his return expenses to his home in the United States. During their sojourn in Rome, the students live in the academy free of charge.”

After his scholarship ended in 1914 Harry D. Thrasher returned to the United States where he worked for James Earle Fraser and settled in Baltic, Connecticut, but a war was brewing in Europe. [Thrasher was a member of the National Sculpture Society and the Society of Mural Painters. His work can be viewed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.]

America Embattled
by Harry D. Thrasher, from
Arts & Decoration, Vol 10,
Part I, page 82;Artspur
publications, incorporated, 1918

The book ‘American Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: A catalogue of works by artists born between 1865 and 1885,’ Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY); 1999, by Lauretta Dimmick and Donna J. Hassler states in part: “Thrasher’s oeuvre consists of both portraits and more imaginative ideal compositions, among them ‘Boy Pretending He is a Faun,’ exhibited at the Architectural League of New York in 1915, and ‘America Embattled.’ With Kenyon Cox, he designed the Prentiss Family Memorial erected in 1917 in Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland Ohio. In 1916 Thrasher displayed ‘Portrait of a Boy and Young Duck (cat no 359) in the winter exhibition of the National Academy of Design, and in 1917 he became a member of the National Sculpture Society. Examples of Thrasher’s work, along with those of Frances Grimes and Fraser, were shown at the Madison Art Gallery, in April-May 1918.”

Mrs. Harry Thrasher, American
Red Cross worker in Tivoli,
making her daily round of visits.
The smiling woman, whose soldier
husband has left her with the care
of three small children while he is
fighting, has just been promised a
Red Cross layette from America for
another infant about to arrive.
Italy Tivoli, 1918. [27 August date
received] Photograph. Retrieved
from the Library of Congress
(Accessed September 13, 2017.)

Some time between the 1913 and 1917, Harry D. Thrasher appears to have married a woman named Carlota Dorcas Davis, a writer.  In 1913 Harry Dickinson Thrasher, while still living in Rome, signs Carlota’s request for a passport as a witness. At that time she is not married and lists her occupation as writer. By September of 1917 her name is mentioned as being one of a small number of Red Cross canteen workers (as Mrs. Carlota D. Thrasher) who was being sent to Europe.  She was stationed in Italy.  The Library of Congress has a photograph of her in their archives, (shown here) with the notation indicates that they may have had children. After his death she continued to travel. In the 1930’s she owned a farm house in Connecticut that she rented to the famed author, D.H. Lawrence. She appears to have died in 1975 probably in New York.

One source states that Maxfield Parrish wrote to the Secretary of the Army recommending Thrasher for the Camouflage Corps, as he thought that artists would serve well in that unit. What we do know is that Harry D. Thrasher enlisted in the United States Army, and was assigned to the Camouflage Corps of 103rd Army Engineers, first as a private, then he was promoted to a sergeant and finally won his commission as lieutenant after his command had reached the front. Camouflage during WWI is a fascinating topic that I won’t cover here.  An article called “The War of Deception: Artists and Camouflage in WWI,” at the National Park Service web site states that “…Thrasher is credited with devising an artificial horse carcass to be placed next to a ruined weapons caisson. A scout or sniper could hide inside the horse unseen. Beginning with natural camouflage and theatrical deception, as time went by the technique was organized into specific patterns.”

On 11 August 1918  2nd Lieut. Harry B. Thrasher was killed in action.  The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader of 1 May 1919 Thursday,  page 1 states [excerpts]: “The 103rd engineers, a unit of the 28th or Pennsylvania National Guard division…. ‘On August 4, the regiment went south of Fismes and engaged in road construction. Casualties were constantly hitting the regiment severely. Four officers were lost between that date and August 17, Lieutenant Harry C. Hill, Captain John H. Ballamy, Lieutenant Harry D. Thrasher and Lieutenant Colonel Frank J. Duffy.‘”

As was common at that time he would have been buried near where he fell in battle, and later his body was removed to the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et- Nesles, France. His remains lie in Plot D Row 11 Grave 12.

SCULPTURE: Boy Pretending He
Is A Faun from Yearbook of the
Architectural League of New York
and Catalogue of the Annual
Exhibition, Vol 30-31,
Architectural League of New
York, 1915

The book, Arts & Decoration, Vol 10, Part 1, page 82 and108 Artspur publications, Incorporated, 1918 published this extensive article following his death.
LIEUT. HARRY DICKINSON THRASHER. First American Sculptor To Give His Life For Country’s Honor. “Those who knew the late Lieut. Harry Dickinson Thrasher, U.S.A. of the Camouflage Section, Engineer Corps, who was killed in action in France, August 11, were not surprised when the cables announced that the young American sculptor had given his life on the field of honor, and another golden star added to the legion now testifying to the heroism of our soldiers. His associates in MacDougal Alley, where the sculptor was well known, all unite in praise of his sterling worth, of his enthusiasm as a soldier, and talents as an artist who gave bright promise for the future. In one of his last letters written to a friend in Washington Mews, Lieut. Thrasher said: “I cannot tell where I am, or where I am going, but when I return I can tell what war is for I am seeing it now.” His comrade in arms also wrote about the same time, and indicated in his letter that shells were falling thick and fast. In one letter he spoke of the fierce action, and said that he proposed to go and join Thrasher. Like many other young patriots, Lieut. Thrasher felt the lure of the Aviation Service. He wanted to join the flying men, but was rejected, possibly on account of his eyesight. But when the Camouflage Section was organized, he was one of the first to volunteer. He enlisted as a private, was promoted to the rank of a Sergeant before sailing for France, and received his commission as Second Lieutenant last July. The young sculptor was a member of a group of New York artists engaged in Camouflage work at the front, the masking of batteries and other illusion devised by painters and sculptors on the battle-field. Among his companions were Homer Saint Gaudens, son of the noted sculptor, Sherry E. Fry, a sculptor, Barry Faulkner, a mural painter, and the late Alfred Herter Jr., [Editor’s note: this was actually Alfred Herter’s son Everit Albert, killed in June of 1918] who gave up his life in battle about six months ago. Lieut. Thrasher was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, thirty-five years ago, and it is related that when he was a youngster, some one asked him what he intended to do when he grew up, and he said: “I intend to go to New York.” He became a student of arts as an apprentice in Saint Gaudens’ studio at Cornish, at the age of eighteen, and later he fulfilled his ambition to come to New York.

For a time he studied with James Earle Fraser, in his MacDougal Alley studio, and executed numerous busts and portraits. “He was always trying for a big quality, a heroic quality, I might say,” said Mr. Fraser in speaking of the sculptor. He was original and showed imagination in his work, which had the merit of appealing to his fellow-artists in the Alley and Washington Mews. Lieut. Thrasher’s last sculptural work was the modeling of the Prentiss Memorial for Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio, which was designed by Kenyon Cox. This memorial represents two standing female figures clad in flowing robes, and is characterized by simplicity in treatment and feeling. The work was displayed at the last annual exhibition of the Architectural League catalog. The memorial was unveiled in Cleveland about the time the sculptor departed for France. After working for a time in New York where he was a student at the Art League, he won the Saint Gaudens prize for modeling in the nude. Encouraged by his success, he continued in his endeavors, and finally received the award of a scholarship at the American Academy in Rome,–the Prix de Rome, which gave him an opportunity for study abroad. While in Rome he pursued the study of art industriously, and perhaps a distinctive example of his work while in Italy was the design for the “Spirit of America,” which represented an imaginary city beautified, with America the central figure in a court of honor. This work was accomplished by the sculptor in cooperation with a painter and an architect, and it received high praise indeed from his fellow artists. Another work which attracted considerable attention was the figure of a boy holding a pair of horns on his head, faun-like in effect, and fraught with imagination. This figure was displayed here in New York and is a typical example of the sculptor’s art. He also executed a portrait of Master John Goodwin, and a portrait of a woman, before he joined the army, and previous to his enlistment he had designed many sketches which he planned to complete upon his return from the war. Another work which attracted considerable attention is entitled, “America Embattled,” and was exhibited at the Gorham Galleries last season. It typifies young American manhood in a stalwart figure study of limb and as an emblem the eagle is introduced, with outstretched wings. After returned from Rome to New York, he occupied a studio for a time in lower Sixth avenue, not far from MacDougal Alley, where he was a frequent visitor in the atelier of James Earle Fraser, who often gave him helpful advice and instruction in regard to his work. The members of the art colony in MacDougal Alley and Washington Mews form a little group, and here ideas are exchanged with one another and sketches submitted for discussion or approval. Lieut. Thrasher was an active member of this art colony, which includes the names of many talented painters and sculptors. He was always enthusiastic in pursuit of his artistic studies, but when war was declared he gave up his work and declared to his friends his intention of enlisting. At the time of his death he was with the 103d Engineers, engaged in camouflage work, assigned to painters and sculptors. This task calls the artists right up to the front, for the big guns must be concealed, and many ingenious schemes are employed to carry out certain illusions to thwart the plans of the enemy. Therefore, the work of the camouflage corps is fraught with many dangers, and frequently the members of this section of the army are under fire.”

Plainfield NH WW1 memorial,
located at the Philip Read Memorial
Library. Harry Dickinson Thrasher’s
name is in bold letters. Photograph
by Mary King, Library Director.
Used here with her permission.

In the book, Footprints of the Past, by Virginia Colby & James Atkinson, published by NH Historical Society, 1996 – page 415, it is noted that a few days after Thrasher was killed, on Aug 15, 1918 Barry Faulkner wrote to Francis Grimes about the death of Thrasher.”He was lying on his side and looked almost alive, and had that happy humorous expression, he had when he’d made one of those humorous comments we used to love so well.”

In 1924 the American Academy in Rome erected a memorial in its inner courtyard to its two fellows who had died in action (Thrasher and the architect Walter Ward) with a fresco by Barry Faulkner and a marble bench with relief designs by Paul Manship, both of whom had Cornish connections. The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) of 13 March 1924 published this story: “U.S. HEROES HONORED. Memorial Unveiled in Rome to Sculptor and Architect in Rome. ROME, March 12.–A monument commemorating the death during the war of two American artists, Harry Dickinson Thrasher, sculptor and Walter Ward, architect, was unveiled today on Janiculum Hill, overlooking the Tiber river.
Professor Barry Faulkner, of the American Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, told how Thrasher, lieutenant in the Fourth Engineers, was killed in France, and that Ward, who studied at Princeton and Columbia Universities, was a warrant officer on a United States destroyer in the North Sea, Ward died after an operation. Henry P. Fletcher, the American Ambassador; Rev. Walter Lowrie, rector of the American Church at Rome, and the American military and naval attaches attended.  The plaque reads as follows:
Killed in Action
At Fond De Meziers, France
August 25, 1918

— SOME SCULPTURES by Harry D. Thrasher —
1. Young Duck, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
2. America Embattled.
3. Boy Pretending He is a Faun.
4. Thrasher’s last sculptural work was the modeling of the Prentiss Memorial for Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio, which was designed by Kenyon Cox.

Some Information Sources:
1. FamilySearch and other sites providing primary evidence of genealogical value
2. Newspaper archives (various) from 1914-1922.
3. American Sculpture: A Catalogue of the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum, various years and authors [excerpts].
4. Footprints of the Past, Images of Cornish, New Hampshire and the Cornish Gallery, by Colby, Virginia Reed, and James B. Atkinson, pp 413-17, Concord. New Hampshire Historical Society, 1996. [a brief excerpt]
5. Arts & Decoration, Vol 10, Part I, page 82,108, Artspur publications, incorporated, 1918
6. Biographical review containing life sketches of leading citizens of Merrimack and Sullivan counties, New Hampshire by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Boston, pub 1897, page 159-161

Photographs of Thrasher honor event, left to right Julien Icher, Virginia Drye, Stewart Hodgeman and Peter Burling. Courtesy of Virginia Drye.

*****I would like to recognize those who helped me with this story–namely Henry Duffy, Curator of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service), who provided me with some fine details of Harry D. Thrasher’s life and the photographs that you see here of him.  Also helpful was Mary King, Director of the Philip Read Memorial Library, Plainfield NH who provided me with photographs of Plainfield’s WWI monument; and Virginia Drye who provided info and photographs of the 2018 event described here.

2018 sign to honor Harry Thrasher placed by interested citizens. Courtesy of Virginia Drye.

UPDATE August 2018:  On August 11, 2018 a group of Plainfield and Cornish residents laid a wreath on Thrasher Road on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm, in commemoration of the centenary of his death. The group also placed a marker at the site where Thrasher’s home once stood, on the Plainfield-Cornish line. (Thrasher Road is about a mile south of Plainfield Village on Route 12A, on the left). The event was well attended, about 25-30 people while soft rain fell. Virginia Drye read the description of Harry’s death from the Barry Faulkner book, and Peter Burling and Virginia Drye laid a wreath on the marker. Julien Icher offered a few works of gratitude on behalf of France.

[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].


Henry-1 Thresher & Mary Southwick, of Boston MA & Purpoodock Maine
Joseph-2 Thresher & Mary Watson

Henry-3 Thrasher, son of Joseph & Mary (Watson) Thresher b abt 1720 Salem MA; m. 3 Sep 1747 in Hampton NH to Mary Brown, daughter of Jacob & Mary (Green) Brown. She was b. 22 May 1722. History of Hampton Falls” — Brown , Henry Thresher lived on the road leading from the Line Meeting House to Fogg’s Corners.”? He resided in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire in 1747 and was residing in Raymond, New Hampshire as of 1776.
Children of Henry & Mary (Brown) Thrasher:
1. Hannah Thrasher, b. 2 June 1749 Hampton Falls NH
2. Mary Thrasher, b. 30 April 1751 Hampton Falls
3. +Jacob Thrasher, b. 1 March 1754 Hampton Falls NH
4. Joseph Thrasher, b. 8 Nov 1756
5. Sarah Thrasher, b abt 1759
6. Rhoda Thrasher, b. 18 March 1763
7. David Thrasher, b. 7 March 1765 Hampton Falls NH; d. 18 March 1819

Jacob-4 Thrasher, son of Henry & Mary (Brown) Thrasher was born 1 March 1754 in Hampton Falls, Rockingham Co. NH and died 29 June 1827 in Hampton Falls NH. According to an early biography he settled in Salisbury NH and later in Cornish NH. He married 1st) by 1782 to Olive “Ollie”Eastman, dau of John & Lydia Eastman. She was b. 3 Nov 1760 in Salisbury MA and d. 26 April 1812 in Cornish, Sullivan Co. NH. He married 2d) 5 Sep 1813 in Charlestown NH to Mary Nicols. She was b. 1753 and d. 4 Feb 1823. They are buried in Flat Cemetery, Cornish Flat, Sullivan Co. NH.
Children of Jacob & Olive (Eastman) Thrasher:
1. Mary Thrasher b 20 March 1782 Deerfield NH
2. +John Thrasher b 5 Feb 1784 Deerfield NH
3. Henry Thrasher, b. 26 Sep 1785 Deerfield NH
4. Lydia Thrasher, b. 8 February 1788 Deerfield MA
5. Dr. Jacob Thrasher Jr., b. 24 Apr 1789 Deerfield MA; m. 23 July 1815 in Deerfield NH to Elisabeth S. Branscomb
6. Olive Thrasher, b. 6 Oct 1791
5. Ephraim Thrasher, b. 8 April 1793
6. Betsey Thrasher, b. 9 May 1795 Grantham NH
7. Martha Thrasher, b. 12 May 1797
8. Benjamin Thrasher, b.27 January 1801
9. Hannah Thrasher, b. 11 Sep 1803

John-5 Thrasher, son of Jacob & Olive (Eastman) Thrasher, was born 5 Feb 1784 in Deerfield NH, and died 15 Sep 1863. He married Betsey Walker, dau of Peter Walker. Surveyor and stone mason [see bio]. He is buried in Flat Cemetery, Cornish Flat, NH [see photo on findagrave]
Children of John & Betsey (Walker) Thrasher
1. Esther Thrasher, b 1808; m. Moses Wright of Cornish, lived Cornish and Unity NH; had issue.
2. Sylvia/Silvia Thrasher, b 1811; m. Sylvester Stowell of Cornish a machinist, resided Newport NH.
3. Ithamar Thrasher, b.1813, d. Corinth VT 1864 age 54; m. Mary Ann Cotton. Children: Benjamin, Francimore, Edwin, Ellen, Annette, Arthur, Carrie and Henry.
4. +Samuel Powers Thrasher, b Oct 1815 Cornish NH [see]
5. Martha Thrasher, b 1818; m. Joseph Wheeler, resided Newport NH.
6. Dorothy Thrasher, b 1827; became 2nd wife of Sylvester Stowell, died in Unity NH.

Samuel Powers-6 Thrasher was born October 1815 in Grantham NH, son of Jacob & Betsey (Walker) Thrasher. He died 12 April 1872 in Claremont NH. Stone mason. NH State Senator. He m. Ann Wakefield Haven, dau of James and Calista (Wakefield) Haven of Newport NH. Had 13 children. Buried Pleasant St. Cemetery, Plainfield NH.
Children of Samuel P. & Ann W. (Haven) Thrasher:
1. Laura Thrasher, b. 4 Sep 1845, d. 30 May 1895; m. Henry Seaver. Their daughter Flora married her cousin Manton Thrasher (see next).
2. Winfield Scott Thrasher, b. 5 May 1847; m. Mary Allen dau of Hon. Norman N. Allen. 10 children.
3. Flora A. Thrasher, b. 3 Oct 1849; m. 14 Dec 1869 in Franklin, Merrimack Co. NH to Frank L. Simmonds of Franklin and Tilton NH. 4 children.
4. +Wallace P. Thrasher [see]
5. Charles Henry Thrasher, b. 10/19 January 1852 in Cornish NH, died 30 May 1892 in Newton/Lowell MA; building contractor of Newton and Boston MA. d. 3 May 1892 lockjaw; m. 17 January 1874 in Claremont NH to Ida Dickinson, 7 ch.
6. Frank P. Thrasher, b. 10 Sep 1853 Cornish NH; m1) Eva Stevens of Claremont, 3 ch; m2d) 4 Dec 1872 in NH to  Imo Lanou of Irasburg VT; m3d) 14 May 1902 in Wakefield MA to Fannie Walters, dau of George & Fanny (Waltman) Walters.
7. Ned Thrasher, b. 30 January 1855; postmaster Rindge NH; m. 22 Dec 1877 in Rindge, Cheshire Co. NH to Emma L. Walker, 5 ch.
8. James B. Thrasher, b. 29 Sep 1856; m. 1 January 1881 in NH to Anna Glines of Claremont NH; res. North Adams MA, shoe manufacturer.
9. Samuel P. Thrasher, b. 9 May 1858; CT State Law and Order League secretary, res. New Haven CT; m. Etta Bristol, 6 ch.
10. Emma Eldora Thrasher, b. 16 May 1860 in Cornish NH; instructor of stenography in Hartford CT. She m. 21 Dec 1907 in Springfield MA  to Louis Sherman Johnson, son of Sherman D. & Mariann T. (Williams) Thrasher.
11. Elmer John Thrasher, b. 22 Jan 1862 Cornish NH; sign painter; m1st) 14 April 1898 in Detroit, Wayne Michigan to Esther Erminae M.I. Turner, daughter of William & Euphrasia (Corin) Turner. They had 3 children.  He m2d) 15 August 1908 in Cheboygan Michigan to Blanche N. Storum Gardnier.
12. George McClellan Thrasher, b 3 Sep 1863 Cornish NH; d. June 1891, mechanic at Winchester Arms Co of New Haven CT.
13. Nettie May Thrasher, b. 22 Jan 1865 Cornish NH; m. 25 Nov 1884 in Newport NH to Edwin Sargent, son of Daniel H. & Clarinda Woodbury (Harwood) Sargent; resided Rindge NH, 3 ch.

Wallace P. -7 Thrasher, son of Samuel Powers & Ann W. (Haven) Thrasher was born 10 May 1850 in Cornish NH and died 31 January 1902 in Plainfield NH. He m. Eliza E. Dickinson, dau of Aaron & Eliza (Marshall) Dickinson. She b 21 October 1850 Cambridge/Cambridgeport MA and d. 3 April 1935. They are both buried in Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield NH. [See his bio in Biographic Review of Merrimack and Sullivan Counties NH] Casket maker.
1880 US Census > NH > Sullivan Co. > Plainfield
Wallace P. Thrasher 30 mechanic
Eliza E. Thrasher 29 keeping house
Weston M. Thrasher 8
Carlton W. Thrasher 6
Manton J. Thrasher 4
Annie M. Thrasher 2
Ann W. Thrasher 54 mother
1900 US Census > NH > Sullivan Co. > Plainfield
Wallace C Thrasher Head M 50 New Hampshire
Eliza E Thrasher Wife F 50 Massachusetts
Annie M Thrasher Daughter F 22 New Hampshire
Nettie E Thrasher Daughter F 20 New Hampshire
Harry D Thrasher Son M 17 New Hampshire
Maurice M Thrasher Son M 15 New Hampshire
Flora H Thrasher Daughter F 9 New Hampshire
Nina L Thrasher Daughter F 6 New Hampshire
Children of Wallace P. & Eliza E. (Dickinson) Thrasher:
1. Weston M. Thrasher, b 18 January 1872 Claremont NH; m. 28 July 1897 in Lewiston ME to Cecile E. Felt, daughter of Francois F. & Olive M. (Morgan) Felt. Cabinet Maker, expert wood worker; res. Lewiston Maine
2. Carlton Wallace “Carl” Thrasher, b 8 Oct 1873 NH, d. 28 June 1969 in Marlton, Burlington Co. NJ. He m1st) 22 June 1899 in Windsor VT to Nellie Howard McMahon. He married 2d) 2 June 1915 in Milford NH to Florence Elizabeth Bowler (1890-1967). He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Milford NH.
3. Manton James Thrasher, b. 11 November 1875 Cornish NH, died 21 Oct 1940 [or 9 April 1947] in Lynn MA; drug store clerk first in Windsor VT, later at Nelson’s Drug Store Lynn MA and later owner of Harriman Drug Co Union St. Lynn; m. 12 Oct 1898 in Windsor VT to Flora Gertrude Seaver (his cousin), daughter of Henry H. & Laura (Thrasher) Seaver. She was b. Nov 1870 in Norwich VT. He is buried in Pleasant Street Cemetery, Claremont NH
4. Annie M. Thrasher, b. 13 June 1878, died 10 Feb 1902; buried Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield NH.
5. Nettie Eliza Thrasher, b. 4 June 1881 Plainfield NH; m. 9 June 1906 in Plainfield NH to George Burton Pierce, son of Charles & Lucia (French) Pierce. Two children: Flora Pierce (m. Oliver Cahill) and George Pierce.
6. Harry Dickinson-8 Thrasher**, b. 24 May 1883 Plainfield NH, died 11 August 1918 Fond de Mézières, France. Buried Oise-Aisne American Cemetery This article is about him, see photographs and biography at top of page.
7. Maurice McLellan “Morris” Thrasher, b. 25 June 1885 Plainfield NH, died 24 November 1973 in Alexandria VA. He married Ruth Fiske (1891-1956). They are buried in Norwich Bridge Cemetery, Huntington MA.
8. Flora H. Thrasher, b 23 August 1891 Plainfield NH; m. 14 April 1912 in Hartford VT to Ephriem/Efram J. LaFountain. Children included Maurice E., Richard L, Sylvia M., Monton H., and Wallace W.; lived Hartford VT.
9. Nina Laura Thrasher, b 15 Feb 1894 Plainfield NH, died 1983; m. 27 June 1917 in Windsor VT to Jay Harold Russell. They are buried in Hartland Village Cemetery, Hartland VT. Children: Lauren Ellen (Russell) Gallagher (1918-2009), Wallace Addison Russell (1922-1997), Laura Ellen (Russell) Vogel (Steven L.), Robert Harold Russell (1927-2016).


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13 Responses to New Hampshire World War I Military: 2nd Lieut Harry Dickinson Thrasher of Plainfield and Cornish, Famed Sculptor

  1. takomadonna says:

    This is fascinating. Thank you

  2. Amy says:

    I’ve never heard of the camouflage corps. And you wouldn’t think they would be so close to the line of fire. How tragic that he was killed on Armistice Day, although I thought it was November 11, not August 11? And wasn’t 36 old for enlisting? He must have really wanted to serve.

    I can’t say I ever heard of him as an artist, but the idea of an artist enlisting as a soldier certainly is not what one would expect.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Amy, so glad of your sharp eyes, and it happens when I am working on more than one story at a time. He died on August 11th which was 2 months before Armistice Day and not the actual day. Revisiting the story was good, however, since in researching him I found I am a distant cousin, and so added that information.

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

  4. Pingback: New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Cornish and Plainfield | Cow Hampshire

  5. Joanna Weinstock says:

    I just read your September 1917 blog about Harry Dickenson Thrasher. Do you know if he ever went by the nickname “Les?” My grandfather, Harold Cressingham, was also an artist in the camouflage section with Homer Saint Gaudin. We have his sketchbook with a portrait of “Les Thrasher” April 1918 in Ansouville (?) France. I can send you a photo of the sketch if you give me directions. I found this sketch and your blog while helping my granddaughter in Andover NH with a high school research project on WWI. Will suggest she share your blog with her history teacher at Procter. I am amazed by all your research.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Joanna, I would love to see the photo. My email is I so appreciate your reading my blog and commenting, and letting me know about this. Your grandfather would certainly at least have known Harry Thrasher, they were in the same camouflage section.

    • Arthur Snyder III says:


      I’m doing some research on the Internet. I’m in search of information on your grandfather – Harold E. Cressingham. Can you refer me to a good site I can visit. Of real interest would be images of his work.



  6. Jo LaFontaine says:

    Harry Thrasher was my Great Uncle. My grandmother was his sister, Flora. I hadn’t come across him being called Les but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t. I would love to see the sketch, also. I was just looking for information on which trip his Gold Star Mother took when she went on the government sponsored trip to France to visit his grave when I came across this.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Jo. Thanks for reading the story of Harry Thrasher and commenting. Your great-uncle was a hero, in addition to being a talented man. I have no information on whether his mother went on the Gold Star Mother’s trip or not. Did you check with the local historical society?

    • Janice Brown says:

      Jo, I discovered this just now, hope it helps.

      GOLD STAR PILGRIMAGE (at top of passenger list)
      Sailing on the ship, Republic, From Cherbourg France, Sept 22, 1930 arriving at port of New York Oct 2, 1930
      THRASHER, Eliza E. 79 F married b. Oct 21 1850 Cambridge Mass PP2382 Cornish Flat NH

      • Jo LaFontaine says:

        Thank you for that information,I knew Eliza Thrasher went to France, but I didn’t have the dates. I have a photo of her signing something with several French officials. She actually had a rather bad time of it on her trip. She caught a bad cold and was quite sick. She spent most of her time in her hotel room almost missing seeing Harry’s grave. But she was able to make one visit to his grave.

        Harry married Carlota in London during his time at the Academy, this from a letter he sent to his mother, Eliza. The Academy frowned on marriages while he was there so Carlota lived nearby in an apartment. I do not believe they had any children.

        If you have a copy of that sketch, previously mentioned, I would love to have a copy of it.

        Thanks, Jo

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