Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Society Museum
Since 1954, Veteran’s Day (formerly Armistice Day) has been a legal holiday where we honor American veterans of all wars. Millinocket has had many men and women serve in all branches of the military since the town’s incorporation in 1901.
The first local organization honoring veterans was the Millinocket Camp #91, Sons of Veterans. The national organization was established after the Civil War and was for sons of those men. The Millinocket Camp was organized with 28 charter members in 1912 and was active at least through 1918.The camp was named Horatio Stearns Camp in honor of the father of George W. Stearns. The first Commander-in-Chief of the camp was George W. Stearns. Fred M. Gates, Sr. was chosen First Senior Vice-Commander, William P. Marden was Secretary, Frank H. Speed was treasurer and Harry E. Reed was Chaplain. Others held such offices as Guide, Inside Guard, Outside Guard, Principal Musician and Color Bearer.
In addition to the names listed above charter members included: William L. Hobbs, Horace B. Clark, George Powers, Fred M. Gates, Jr., Roland H. Hathorne, Dennis H. Buckley, B. A. Thorpe, F. A. Williams, C. E. Daggett, J. Blaine Crocker, Roy Pratt, George B. Clark, Walter Pratt, Frank W. Wheeler, Fred Clifford, Isaac E. McGoff, Harry Clark, Frank P. Banks, Harold Gates, George F. Burton, B. B. Burton, Leon F. Kent, Charles B. Fuller, Edward Roberts and Samuel Downing, Jr.
The museum has several ledgers and other materials from this local group. The donor is unknown. Of interest to those doing local genealogy are the sections giving information on the camp member and the Civil War father/grandfather that qualified the member to join. For each member the “Descriptive Book” lists name, age, place of residence, birthplace, and occupation.
One section gives data on the Civil War veteran. His name, date of enrollment, rank, company, and regiment are listed along with his date of discharge, cause of discharge, rank, and length of service are given. There is a book of the secretary’s minutes, a book listing dues paid and a cash book. Of interest in the cash book are a collection of receipts from various local businesses for supplies purchased for the camp. Several are for funds sent to the Maine organization for various supplies and fees. Each year flags for Memorial Day were purchased locally. One indicates 10 flags at a total cost 0f $4.00 were purchased at Fuller Furniture.
The Sons of Veterans books are just a small part of the military photos, uniforms, medals, correspondence and other materials in the museum’s collection. New items arrive often. Please help us complete the second-floor display area (an addition is needed for an elevator and stairs+) so we can exhibit more of these important pieces of history.