New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Mont Vernon

Close up of Soldier’s Monument
in Mont Vernon NH showing WWI
veterans. Photograph copyright
Janice W. Brown.

On Tuesday September 9, 1919 the Nashua Telegraph newspaper conveniently published the following article on page 3. MONT VERNON. Sept. 9. The following is this town’s Roll of Honor of the men who served–in the World War and whom this place is to welcome back next Saturday. Out of a population of 225, eight enlisted: Everett C. Bates, Aviation; Homer E. Curtis, National Army; David H. Herlehy, National Army; Ernest T. Russell, National Army; 2nd Lieut. Howard Russell, aviation; Ernest L. Scott, National Army; Harold Trow, Signal Corps; Clement Stinson, S.A.T.C.; and George N. Orlando, of the Marine corps who gave his life for the country’s cause, being killed at the first battle of the Marne in France. One mother sent two sons, and a third was to be drafted just as war closed.”

View of Mont Vernon NH’s WWI
and soldier’s monument, dedicated
on 5 September 1927. Copyright Janice W. Brown.

Mont Vernon New Hampshire’s WWI monument can be found in a small triangle of land at the intersection of Route 13, Grand Hill Road, and Smith Road. the engraved stone plaque shares a pedestal with heroes of the Civil War (carved on a separate face side).

The Nashua Telegraph of September 6, 1927, page 5 provided information on this monument’s dedication. “TOWN DEDICATES MEMORIAL. Ceremonial Program at Mont Vernon on Holiday. [Special to the Telegraph]. MONT VERNON, Sept. 6 — Yesterday was a gala day in the history of Mont Vernon when the town’s memorial to the men who had participated in the World war was dedicated with impressive ceremonies; in addition to that, Labor day was celebrated. Many guests were present in addition to the townspeople who turned out for the festivities. Early in the morning, the Weare band gave a concert. Sports and games took place prior to the dedication of the memorial. Charles Langdell of Wilton won the obstacle race, which was the main sporting event of the day. At 11 o’clock in the morning the dedicatory exercised commenced. The address of welcome was given by Prof Arthur F. Stearns of the Stearns School. He sketched briefly the history of the building of the memorial monument, and presented the deed of the monument lot, purchased by a few Mont Vernon citizens to the town. Chairman Arvid G. Erlando of the Board of Selectmen, made the acceptance in behalf of the town. The memorial stands on the site of the “old Mont Vernon House” which was burned and which left an unsightly cellar hole in the heart of the village. Some patriotic citizens of the town purchased this plot and then came the grading and the vote of the town for the erection of a war memorial. Following Mr. Stearns’ talk, Old Glory was raised, the gift of Robert Bean of New York, and was saluted. Little Mary Smith, the four year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Smith of Mont Vernon walked up to the monument and kneeling, placed a wreath upon its base. Hon. Charles W. Tobey of Manchester and Temple, was the speaker of the day. In referring to the Sacco-Vanzetti case, he said “The safeguard of the nation lies in the hands of the citizens of small towns of the country, like Mont Vernon.” The memorial of the war men is a massive die of spotless white granite from Milford. On three of its faces are the names of the soldiers of all three of the American Wars. Finely carved has relief emblems carved at the top, Martin M. Comolli of Milford [F1], this state, was the designer and supervised the erection of the memorial. The rest of the program was of a festive nature. Lunch was served at noon by the Ladies of Mont Vernon. There was a ball game between the village boys and the guests of the Nashua Country club in the afternoon, and the affairs of the day wound up with an old fashioned dance in the town hall. The Committee in charge comprised Prof. Arthur F. Stearns, William P. Woods, Mrs. Anna Atwood, Mrs. Annie Perham, Mrs. Ruth Holst, Mrs. Helen Stearns, Cecil F. Smith, Mrs. Ella Sawyer, Mrs. Maud Kittredge, Mrs. Katherine Smith, Mrs. Abbie Morgan, Mrs. Edith L. Talbot, George Coggin, George D. Kittredge, Ralph Morgan, Mrs. Maud Smith, Winifred Stearns, Miss Elaine Boutwell, Miss Hazel Fox, Olaf Brusquani, Charles Hartshorn, Harry Blood and Arthur Temple. The executive committee were Prof. Arthur F. Stearns, Cecil F. Smith, Mrs. Edith L. Talbor, William Lamson, Ralph D. Morgan and Arthur M. Hazen.”

The engraving on the World War I section:
Everett C. Bates
Homer E. Curtis
George N. Erlando*
David H. Herlehy
Ernest T. Russell
Howard F. Russell
Ernest D. Scott
Clement Stinson
Harold A. Trow

During WWI


Everett Bates with wife Nina
at Altamonte Springs FL in 1953.
Photo from Altamonte Springs Public Library.

[1] Everett Chester Bates was born 1 July 1887 in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co., New York, son of George E. & Lillian Lecroix (Fisher) Bates, and he died 22 November 1975. He is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, Mont Vernon NH.  // [Lillian was the daughter of Halsey & Julia (Gray) Fisher and she d 17 June 1948 in Amherst NH].   // Everett C. Bates married 4 June 1917 in Spring Lake, Ottawa Michigan to Nina Irene Landman, daughter of John W. & Cora (Sleight) Landman. He was a hotel keeper at the time of his marriage.  Everett C. Bates’ father owned two hotels, The Grand Hotel in Mont Vernon NH (open for the summer season) and the Altamont Springs Hotel in Florida (open for the winter season).   Everett helped his father run these hotels George Bates ran the Altamonte Springs Hotel from 1901 until his death in 1931. Everett C. Bates ran the Altamonte Springs Hotel after his father’s death and until it burned in 1953.   // Everett C. Bates had one sibling, Violet Bates,  who married 19 June 1912 in Mont Vernon NH to Harold Hartshorn Wilkins, son of Aaron M. & Lucy A. (Hartshorn) Wilkins. They had a family and are buried in Amherst NH. Official military records show that during WWI Everett C. Bates enlisted 3 April 1918, and was released 23 Dec 1918.  There are two different press releases that offer varying information about his service. A) 15 Dec 1917 Orlando Sentinel: Re George Bates. His son, Mr. Everett Bates, is now in Atlanta Ga, taking the examination for entering the aviation school.  B) 5 May 1918 (same source).  Mr. and Mrs. George E. Bates of the Altamonte hotel, at Altamonte Springs left for the North yesterday. They will stop over at Gettysburg, Pa to see their son, Everet C. Bates, who is training in the tank service there and expects to sail for England soon. Mrs. Bates Jr. is now at Gettysburg.

[2] Homer Eugene Curtis was born 6 November 1896 in Milford NH, son of Stillman & Grace L. (Murdough/Murdo) Curtis.He married 30 Aug 1919 in Newington NH to Grace Louise Tuck, daughter of George & Effie (Chapman) Tuck. She was b. in Stratham NH.They had a son, William T. Curtis, b about 1934 in NH (poss Portsmouth). The 1900 U.S. Census shows him living with parents and sibling Mabel in Mont Vernon NH.  By 1917 his father Stillman Curtis had moved to 200 Church St. in Newton MA.  Homer had one sibling, a sister Mable Mary Curtis who married in 1922 to Clinton Ray Smith.  Homer E. Curtis WWI Registration form was completed on 5 June 1918 at local Board No. 2 for the County of Hillsborough NH (probably in Milford NH). He was single, slender with a medium build, and had light brown hair and light blue eyes.  He was employed, working for Stanley Motor Carriage Company of Newton MA.  By the 1940 U.S. Census, Homer E. Curtis was living at 145 Porpoise Way, Portsmouth NH with wife and son.

Photograph: Marines of the 5th Marine
Regiment, Second Battalion with captured
German trench mortar. Courtesy of
National Archives and American Battle Monuments.

*[3] George Needham aka George Needham Erlando was born 31 July 1897 in Worcester, Worcester Co. MA, son of Ida Needham.  She married 11 May 1901 in Brookfield MA to Arvid Erlando, a naturalized citizen of the United States, who was originally from Sweden. [Arvid was employed as the general organizer of the United Shoe Workers of America.] In 1910 George was living with his parents in Chicago IL. At some point before 1917 his parents had moved to Mont Vernon.  a news-clipping of 7 August 1917 Nashua Telegraph. “MONT VERNON BOY WITH MARINES IN FRANCE. Mont Vernon, Aug. 7. George Erlando, a private of the 43rd company, son of A.G. Erlando, of Mont Vernon, N.H. is with the first expedition of U.S. marines to place the American flag on the firing in France, according to advices just made public. Private Erlando enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on April 28, 1917 at its Boston, Mass recruiting station.”  By 28 April 1917 he was assigned to Company D, at the Headquarters Recruit Marine Depot in Philadelphia PA, Navy Yard Barracks.  He was No. 117323, USMC.  United States Marine Corp records show that he was sent to France during WWI, a Private with the 43rd Company, 5th Regiment of Marines [Second Battalion-Foxtrot Company].  He died of wounds received in action on 14 June 1918 in the Chateau-Thierry Section.   After the war ended his remains were returned to the United States and reburied in Greenlawn Cemetery, Mont Vernon NH in his family’s plot.

[4] David Henry Herlehy was born 1 April 1898 in Nashua, Hillsborough Co. NH, son of Patrick H. & Mary E. (Sullivan) Herlehy, and grandson of David J. & Ellen (Ahern) Herlihy.   In 1900 the family was living in Nashua NH. By 1910 they had moved to Mont Vernon where they remained and where David would have received most of his schooling. Records show he finished his 2nd year of high school.  David had siblings Ellen, John, Margaret and Mary. His official military records list him as David HERLIHY and that he enlisted in the U.S. Army on 1 September 1917, and was released on 31 March 1919. He married Barbara D. Odelstierna.  In the 1940 US Census he is living in Amherst NH with his wife, Barbara, and children Barbara E, and Patrick E. They also had a daughter Patricia Ellen. David Henry Herlehy/Herlihy died in 1985 and is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Amherst, NH.

Demobilization – Arrivals Home –
Second Division arriving at New York City,
New York.  That wonderful sight to so many
American soldiers,  the Statue of Liberty, as it greeted the
  2nd Division as it arrived at New York, New York. From the
National Archives
. 165-WW-139A-1

[5] Ernest Truman Russell was born born 19 Dec 1898 in Woburn MA, son of William E. & Emma T. (Fraser) Russell. In 1900 he was living with his family in Peabody MA.  By 1910 they had all moved to Mont Vernon NH. Ernest had siblings, Howard F. [see following entry], and Bruce E. (who later lived in Hampton NH).   The U.S. Military Transport Passenger Lists show that Ernest T. Russell was a Private First Class in Company B of the 326th Field Signal Battalion when he departed for Europe on 14 August 1918 from Newport News Va aboard the ship K Den Nederlanden.  His Service Number was 1225856.    Additional records showed that he returned to the United States from Brest, France aboard the ship, Mobile arriving in Hoboken NJ on 27 June 1919, a member of the same army company and battalion as on departure.   Ernest T. Russell married 19 June 1926 in Milford NH to Annie Lois Broome, dau of George Ferdinand & Angeline (Leopold) Broome.  They had two sons. A newspaper article of November 1943 indicates Ernest T. Russell was living in Marlborough, Cheshire Co., NH.  He died there in February of 1987.  He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Marlborough NH.

[6] Howard Fraser Russell was born 26 March 1897 in Somerville MA, son of  William E. & Emma T. (Fraser) Russell. In 1900 he was living with his family in Peabody MA.  By 1910 they had all moved to Mont Vernon NH. Ernest had siblings, Ernest Truman [see prior entry], and Bruce E. (who later lived in Hampton NH).  The U.S. Military Transport Passenger lists show that Howard F. Russell was a 2nd Lieut. in the ASA, as part of a Casual Company sent to Europe from Hoboken NJ on 30 August 1918 aboard the ship, Susquehanna.   He returned home as a member of the Brest Casual Company from Brest, France at Hoboken NJ on 5 July 1919 aboard the ship, Leviathan. At this time he is listed as a Second Lieut. in the 141st Aero Squad [SEE VIDEO].   Howard F. Russell married 5 July 1926 in Somerville MA to Mildred E. Farley daughter of George W. & Alberta C. (Cave) Farley. In 1940 they were living in East Providence, Rhode Island. The 29 Nov 1961 edition of the Nashua Telegraph newspaper printed: “Howard F. Russell, formerly of Amherst, who retired this week after 18 years as general manager of the Improved Risk Mutuals Insurance Co. in White Plains NY will return here to live, Mr. and Mrs. Russell will live on Christian Hill. While living in the White Plains area, Russell was active in a number of civic organizations–president of the White Plains Community Chest, president of the CIvic and Business Federation of the Chamber of Commerce, director and member of the executive committee of the YMCA, president and director of the Rotary club, a trustee of the Home Savings Bank, and director of the Westchester County Assn.”

[7] Ernest Clifford Scott was born 29 Oct 1892 in Crockett, Contra Costa Co., California, son of Arthur Daniel & Charlotte Terrell (Ford) Scott. [Arthur died in 1919, Charlotte died in 1915.]  He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 in Mont Vernon NH. He was 24 years old and a single farmer. He described himself as tall, medium stature with brown eyes and brown hair. The U.S. Military Transport Passenger lists show Ernest C. Scott departing New York City on 25 September 1917 bound for France aboard the ship, Saxonia. He was a Private in Headquarters Co., 103rd Infantry.  Ernest returned from Brest France, arriving in Boston MA on 5 April 1919 aboard the ship America.  At that time his rank was Mechanic in the Headquarters Co., 103d Infantry. His service number was 69759.   In 1930 he was living in Mont Vernon NH with his aunt Lizzie Frances (Ford) Slate.  She was the daughter of Timothy & Sarah J. (Fuller) Ford and spouse of Charles Slate.  Lizzie was sister to Ernest’s mother Charlotte. In 1942 when he completed his WWII Draft form Ernest C. Scott was living in New Boston NH.

Daniel Chase Stinson from The Granite, 1920 (UNH yearbook)

[8] Daniel Chase Stinson is not mentioned on the Mont Vernon WWI monument, but he should be.  He was born 9 June 1886 in Mont Vernon NH, son of William H. & Ellen (Contant) Stinson.  His siblings included William C., Grace I., Cecil R., and Dorothy M. (wife of Chester H. Butterfield). Daniel C (or “D. Chase” as he sometimes listed himself) attended the local schools, including high school in nearby Goffstown and Manchester New Hampshire.  In the fall of 1903 he entered New Hampshire College (now called the University of New Hampshire).  He moved to Massachusetts where he was a resident in Boston and Roxbury for 9 years, a real estate dealer, before the United States entered the World War.  The Gold Star Mothers of Massachusetts book details: “Enlisted 5 June 1917, Marine Barrack’s Norfolk VA; assigned 22 July to  (ship) “Louisiana;” 1 March 1918 to Quantico Va; 18 April to Casual Co.; 17 May to 138th Co., 2nd Replacement Battalion; 8 June to 17th Co., 5th Reg. 2nd. Div, United States Marine Corps. Overseas 6 May 1918.  He died 16 June 1918 of wounds received in action same day (near Belleau Wood).  He is credited to Massachusetts so his name does not appear on official records here.  He is buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in France.  There is also a cenotaph at Greenlawn Cemetery in Mont Vernon NH.

[9]  Clement Russell Stinson was born  2 December 1894 in Mont Vernon NH, son of William Stark & Myra W. (Clement) Stinson.   In 1900 living in Mont Vernon NH with parents and siblings Mildred Louise Stinson (b 1896 who m. 1920 to Leon Albert Patterson) and Katherine Shepard Stinson (b 1898 d 1921 Portsmouth NH of appendicitis, school teacher). Clement R. Stinson completed his WWI Draft registration at Mont Vernon NH on 5 June 1917. He was single, an electrician for Berganni of Milford NH. The physical description he gave was short, of medium stature with brown eyes and brown hair. Clement R. Stinson married 13 December 1919 in Milford NH to Edith E. Gutterson, daughter of Marcos U & Amy L. (Patterson) Gutterson. She was b. in Newtonville MA. In 1940 he was living in Milford NH with wife and children, Russel S., Nelson M., Winston H., Virginia K., Ralph W., Henry C., and Marion L.  The newspaper notice at the top of this article indicates he was in the S.A.T.C. (Student Army Training Corps) during WWI.

Photograph of Mont Vernon NH
cemetery. Copyright J.W. Brown

[10] Harold A. Trow was born  10 January 1897 in Mont Vernon NH, son of Louis/Lewis A. & Mildred A. “Millie” (Goodrich) Trow.  U.S. Military Transport Record Passenger lists show that he departed Newport News VA aboard the ship K Den Nederlanden. At that time he was a Private First class, Service number 1225885 in Company C,  326th Field Signal Battalion.  He returned to the United States from Brest France, landing in Hoboken NJ on 27 June 1919, rank of CHR, SIG, CPS. for Headquarters and Supply Detachment, 326th Field Signal Battalion.  He died in 1951 and his obituary follows: Obituary 4 June 1951. Mont Vernon, June 4–“Former Chief of Police Harold A. Trow, 54, of Mont Vernon, a native of that town and manager of the Hartshorn poultry farm, died at a Manchester hospital Saturday. He was the son of Louis and Mildred (Goodridge) Trow. He was a veteran of the Mexican Border campaign and overseas duty in World War I. Mr. Trow was active in the local Congregational church, the Milford American Legion post, and the local Purgatory Falls Fish and Game Club. Besides his wife Mabel, he is survived by a daughter Mrs. Allan M. Hazen of Milford; a son, Robert G. Trow of Mont Vernon; his mother, Mrs. Louis A. Trow of Milford, and two brothers, Stewart A. Trow of Hudson and Jesse Trow of Amherst. The funeral arrangements are under the direction of L. Paul Ecklund.”

My thanks to Sandy Kent of the  Mont Vernon Historical Society for taking the time to speak with me about the heroes of WWI.

[F1] Footnote 1: According to his obituary and other sources, Martin Marco Comolli was born 24 Jun 1887 in Brenno Italy. He lived in Milford for 65 years before going to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Brecksville, Ohio in November of 1967. He died two months later on 23 January 1968. He was of the locally famed Comolli family of monument carvers. A veteran of World War I, he was a member of the Riccardi-Hartshorn Post, American Legion. He was a charter member of the Souhegan Valley World War I Barracks in Milford NH. He had married on 22 October 1929 in Milford NH to Katherine M. Casey. At the time of his death he had a daughter, Mrs. Vincent Aveni of Cleveland Ohio and 4 grandchildren. Services were held in St. Patrick’s Church in Milford. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Milford 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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