New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Lancaster

Photograph of Lancaster NH’s B&M Railroad
Station circa 1914, from Granite State Monthly,
Vol XLVI, No. 9-10, Sept-Oct 1914, page 1.

Lancaster, Coös County, New Hampshire is a small town in the northern part of the state. During World War I Lancaster had around 3,000 people, only 500 less than they have today. After WWI (in 1920) the population had dwindled to 2,819 people. The book, “Two Hundred Years, A Bicentennial Sketchbook 1764- 1964,” states: “…when President Wilson proclaimed a state of emergency in April 1917, the town responded quickly. A committee of Public Safety was formed, the school yard was plowed and planted to vegetables, and the relief work which had already been undertaken was stepped up.”

Postcard showing Central Park now known as
Centennial Park, Lancaster NH.

Though small in citizenry, the town fulfilled its WWI quota and sent 147 men to serve. Of those at least four died. It is of those four men who gave the ultimate sacrifice that I will mention here. Soldier’s Park in Lancaster is home to a Civil War monument.  Centennial Park (formerly  called Central Park) on Main Street in Lancaster NH is home to a Veterans’ Memorial that honors men and women of Lancaster NH serving in WWI, WWII, the Korean and the Vietnam Wars.  The monument exhibits a bronze eagle sitting on a bronze hemisphere, all resting on a granite base. It was cast by Gorham Silversmith and dedicated on Memorial Day 1951.  Barbara Robarts, Library Director at Weeks Library of Lancaster, provided me with some documents including this list of WWI residents who served.

The Honor Roll for WWI includes these names:
Bailey, Kenneth P.
Balch, Charles A.
Barber, Chester J.
Barber, Herbert E.
Barnett, Elmer L.
Barnett, George H.
Bass, Donald L.
Berry, Samuel B.
Boucher, Reynold
Boynton, Herbert S.
Bradley, Alphonse A.
Brisson, Frank
Brisson, Leon
Brown, Edward D.
Brown, Raymond C.
Bryan, Carl
Busi, Angelo G.
Cabana, Joseph
Carleton, Dwight E.
Carpenter, Frederic B.
Carpenter, Frederick D.
Carpenter Harry B.
Carpenter, Herbert S.
Carty, Leo L.
Carty, Patrick W.
Clark, Leon E.
Cleasby, Howard W.
Collins, Leo G.
Congdon, Forrest E.
Congdon, Neil H.
Connary, Owen Leo
Cotton, Clarence
Covell, Gerald
Crosman, Phillip C.
Cryan, Harry E.
Currier, Earle D.
Drew, Albert A.
Edmonds, John H.
Eggleston Herbert C
Finnegan, Mabelle S.
Fitzgerald, Rupert A.
Fitch, Joseph
Fletcher, Robert H.
Foster, Ralph D.
Gallant, Arthur P.
Gillespie, Bernard F.
Gilman, Harold
Gonyeau, Joseph
Green, Fred J.
Griffin, Frank J.
Groome, Earle L.
Halloway, Frederick C.
Harrison, Frederick H.
Hartford, Alfred
Hartford, F. Clark
Hart, Charles S*
Hart, Clarence F.
Harvey, Charles N.
Haynes, Guy L.
Herrick, William J.
Hicks, Harold
Hight, Ellis F.
Holton, Lucius B.
Hosmer, J. Stuart
Hurley, Patrick
Ingalls, Howard W.
James, Arthur P.
James, Leonard P.
James, Stanley G.
Jones, Irving E.
Kenney, Albert J.
King, Clarence N.
Leith, Eaton
Linscott, Raymond,
Lyon, Forrest R.
Lyons, Elizabeth A.
Lyons, Thomas J.
McCarten, George C.
McCarten, William L.
McDonough, Bernard
McGettrick, Herbert P.
McMann, William J.
Magoon, Maya M.
Mahaney, Arthur P.*
Matson, Trevor W.
Merrow, Herbert G.
Mills, Loren G.
Monahan, Philip A.
Morton, Clarence E.
Morse, Lester
Moses, Lester E.
Mountain, Robert
Mullen, Harry E.
Murphy, Michael B.
Nelson, Frank A.
Newman, Chauncey E.
Newman, Derwood A.
Nourse, Newton
Ogle, William J.
Osgood, Roland L.
Palmer, Everett E.
Pelton, Winslow L.
Poole, Fred
Partle, Perry J.
Rainville, Alfred
Reneau, Edward C.
Rines, William R.
Robbins, Clyde
Roberts, John F.
Robinson, John J.
Robinson, William H.
Roswell, George F.
Roswell, Harry G.
Saul, George H.
Saul, Joseph R.
Scott, Napoleon J.
Sharpleigh, William P.
Sheltry, Melvin
Sheridan, Frank C.
Simonds, Errol A.
Smith, Ernest J.
Smith, Homer B.
Snow, Howard K.
Spaulding, Roger W.
Statton, Hazel M.
Stickney, Bernie Lee
Stickney, Edwin A.
Stickney, Thaddeus A.
Sunderstrom, Martin
Sutton, Harold A.
Thomas, Reginald B.
Thompson, Ralph J.
Tillotson, Payson M.
Timberlake, Carl B.
Trainor, W.J.E.
Twitchwell, Franklin P.
Vashaw, Charles P.
Vashaw, Jsoeph H.
Vashaw, Tellesphore
Vashaw, Thomas W.
Wadleigh, Wilbur L. Way, Frank K.
Webber, Philip J.
Willoughby, George A.
Wilson, Donald K.*
Wilson, Parker,
Woodward, Luke B.
(* indicates died in service)

Died In Service During WWI


Charles S. Hart*| P1C | Killed in Action 11 Nov 1918 France |Medical Department 2nd Engineers, 2d Div.| Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster NH |Credited to Boston MA [1]

Robert H. Fletcher| Private | Died of Disease 9 Dec 1918 France | | Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster NH| [2]

Arthur P. Mahaney* |Corporal|Killed in Action 20 October 1918 France | Co. F, 326th Infantry, 82d Division |Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster NH | [3]

Donald K. Wilson | Private | Died 3 Oct 1918, Edgewood MD |Mechanics Regiment, Co. B, 2nd Battalion, Chemical Warfare Service, Edgewood MD  |Unknown Burial |[4]

[1] Charles Sylvester Hart was born 15 June 1897 at Newbury, Merrimack Co. NH, son of Fred Stillman & Hannah Satira (Muzzey) Hart.  In 1900 and 1910 Charles was living in Newbury NH with his parents and one sibling Clarence Fred Hart.  By 1920 Charles’ then widowed mother and brother were living in Lancaster NH.  He served in the military during WWI and was reported 2 January 1919 in United Business Service & newspapers as
“Wounded (Degree Undetermined) Previously reported MIA. Private Charles S. Hart. Mrs. Hannah S. Hart, 133 Main Street, Lancaster NH.”  The official history of the Second Regiment of Engineers etc. shows: “Hart, Charles S., Lancaster N.H.; Med. Det.; Pvt 1st Class; Soissons St. Mihiel; Blanc Mont; Attigny; Missing, Argonne.”  The Gold Star Record of Massachusetts gives even more detail: Credited to Boston MA. HART, Charles Sylvester; killed in action 11 Nov 1918 [in attack along the Meuse between Muzon and Inor]. Enlisted 26 Sep 1917, R.A. Medical Dept., Fort Ethan Allen. Transferred 20 Nov 1917 to Med. Dept. Base Hospital 66; 19 July 1918 to Medical Department 2nd Engineers, 2d Div. Overseas 18 Dec 1917. He was born 15 June 1897 at Newbury NH, son of Fred S. (deceased) and Hannah S. (Muzzey) Hart of Holyoke, 1926; brother of Clarence F., jeweler. Square at Lancaster NH named in his memory.”  The Evening Star, Washington D.C. newspaper of 8 June 1919 shows him enigmatically listed under the ‘Died From Accident Or Other Causes’ section. His great niece, Isabelle Hart (see her comments below) has informed me that he is buried in Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster NH. She has provided additional photographs of his grave both in Europe and in Lancaster NH. A cenotaph tombstone was originally placed, in the Summer Street Cemetery, engraved: HART | Charles S. Hart | June 15, 1897 – Nov 1918 | Born in Newbury NH | Died in France | Buried in American Sedan Cemetery, Letanne, Ardennes.” He is then listed in the “remains of overseas dead” who were returned from Calais, France arriving in Hoboken NJ on 14 March 1921 aboard the ship Somme. He was listed as a Private First Class Charles S. Hart, service number 13079. Medical Detachment 2nd Engineers. When he was reburied in the United States, an additional stone was added engraved: “LAID AT REST HERE MAR. 21, 1921.”

[2] Robert Hobson Fletcher was born August 1893 in Manchester NH, son of Kimball B. & Nellie (Hobson) Fletcher. He had one sibling,  Esther M. Fletcher who married  Charles H. Prout. In the 1900 U.S. Census he was living in Lancaster NH with his family.   Robert H Fletcher married 2 June 1917 in Lancaster NH to Florence A. Kingsley, daughter of Frank B. & Nettie M. (Smith) Kingsley. He completed his WWI Registration form on 5 June 1917 in Lancaster NH indicating his birth date and place, at that time living at High Street in Lancaster, a married man working as a machinist for Thompson Manufacturing Co. of Lancaster. He was of medium height and stature with brown eyes and brown hair.  He served during WWI, and on 9 December 1918 died of disease in France. He is buried in Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster NH where his tombstone shows died Oct 14, 1918. Soldier.

[3] Arthur Preler Mahaney was born 14 May 1888 in Triplett, Chariton Co., Missouri, son of Napoleon B. & Emma E. (Calvert) Mahaney. He married 27 Oct 1909 in Lancaster NH to Bessie Hill-Crawford, dau of James & Lillian (Rider) Hill. She was b. in Gracine Co., KY.  In 1900 Arthur was living in Triplett, Charlton Missouri with parents and siblings: Dora, Robert, Francis, Napoleon, Tacie, Freddie, Otto, Otis and Ruth.  During WWI Arthur Mahaney served in the military, Co. F., 326th Infantry, 82d Division in France.  He was killed in action on 20 October 1918.  After the war his remains were returned to the United States, where he was buried in the Summer Street Cemetery, [aka new Protestant] Lancaster NH.  He is claimed by New Hampshire and can be found on the NH Adjutant General’s List of WWI casualties.

[5] Donald Keyes Wilson was born 23 Aug 1894 in Lancaster NH, son of Fred C. & Hannah Alice (Peabody) Wilson.  The 1900 U.S. Census shows him living with his family in Lancaster NH, having an older sibling Hershel Peabody Wilson.   He completed his WWI Registration form in Lancaster NH while he was living at 5 water Street, working as a machinist for the Thompson Manufacturing Co. He was single, of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.  He married 23 Aug 1917 in Lancaster NH to Junie M. Carbee, daughter of Frank D. & Amy (Tewksbury) Carbee. In the 1920 U.S. Census she is listed as living in Lancaster NH with her parents Frank and Annie, she is WIDOWED and working as a pianist in the moving picture industry. She married 2d) 27 May 1920 in Berlin NH to Fred S. Poole, son of H.O. & Nellie (Merry) Poole.  The Official U.S. Bulletin, issues 452-483, of Saturday, Nov 30, 1918 reports: NAMES OF SOLDIERS WHO DIED IN ARMY CAMPS LAST WEEK. -EDGEWOOD, MD– Pvt. Donald K. Wilson, 4 Elm Street, Lancaster NH.   Additional information is gleaned from the U.S. Veteran’s administration Master Index: WILSON DONALD KEYES / Pvt Mech Co. B 2 Bn CWS / [Mechanics Regiment, Co. B, 2nd Battalion, Chemical Warfare Service.] / 4 Water Street, Lancaster NH / 2794295 / Died 10-3-18 / Born 8-23-94.   Burial place unknown but would have been in the United States.

[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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3 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Lancaster

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

  2. Isabelle Hart says:

    Today, Novembre 11th 2018, 1 century after the end of WW1….I’m leaving in Paris, France.
    I found your blog on internet, because you’re talking about my great uncle Charles Sylvester Hart, who died in France on November 11th, 1918.
    You say that is burial place is unknown : his grave is located in Summer Street cemetery, Lancaster NH.
    I have a picture of his grave, if you give an e-mail, I can send it to you.
    Isabelle Hart

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