Local Burlington, VT WWI Headstone Research – William F. Duggan (1895-1970)


My daily jogging routine takes me past St. Joseph Cemetery in Burlington, VT; this cemetery is fairly discrete with no over-the-top entryway and is located in a section of Burlington typically used as a pass-between for the Old North End and the UVM campus.  St. Joseph is the oldest Catholic cemetery in Burlington, and primarily consists of Irish-Catholic and French-Catholic burials.  The cemetery property was donated by Col. Archibald Waterman Hyde (1786-1847) in 1830, a War of 1812 veteran who served as Barracks Master in Burlington during the war.  According to his FindaGrave.com entry, Hyde:

“In his later years he affected antique costumes and habits, dressed in small-clothes, wore knee- and shoe-buckles, or long boots, with a long cue hanging down his back; eulogized the forefathers, and lamented the degeneracy of their descendants. He was a man of his word, a faithful friend, open-handed to the poor. He never married.”

An interesting side-piece to this post! (So many questions about Hyde….)  Now let’s focus on William F. Duggan…

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William F. Duggan Headstone

I always take pause to check out the various headstones as I do my pre and post run stretches, and I take particular notice of interesting military-related graves. In this case, I found a semi-obscured headstone with three small American flags clearly marking a veteran grave.  I snapped a picture in hopes of researching and posting the info to PortraitsofWar.  This post is dedicated to William F. Duggan – just an ordinary Vermont WWI veteran who deserves a place in the digital world!  I hope a few of his relatives chime in…

Biography

William Francis Duggan was born on September 25th, 1895 in Burlington, Chittenden County, VT.  The son of William Amos and Katherine M. Duggan, he married Georgianna Esther Hall of 19 Cherry Street, Burlington on June 6th, 1916.

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1st Marriage Registration Card

William was sent away to war a few years later and served in a number of disparate units during the three months he spent in France and Germany during the war; he served stateside with the 52nd Aero Squadron from March until June 17th, 1918, and then transferred to Battery B of the 110th Field Artillery (29th Division) until July 10th, he then transferred again to Company L of the 340th Infantry Regiment, 85th Division, and later to Battery F of the 137th Field Artillery, 41st Division.   He served overseas with the 137th from October 6th, 1918 until December 24th, 1918.  He left Europe and returned to the US on January 17th, 1919, where he was summarily discharged.  His home at the time (and for years prior) was 57 Rose Street, Burlington, Chittenden County, VT:

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Duggan’s Childhoom Home – 57 Rose Street, Burlington

William F. Duggan’s Wartime Record

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WWI Service Record

With William’s WWI service record researched, I began to look into his pre and postwar life in Burlington.  He lived in the my community, and such, I’m interested in his comings and goings on the streets that I frequent.  It turns out that Will likely knew the streets of Burlington better than most 2016 residents!  During his lifetime, William F. Duggan worked as a streetcar operator, fireman,used furniture salesman, taxi driver (many years), and as a Burlington Electric employee.  Quite the credentials!

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WWI Draft Card – Note STREETCAR Operator

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1928 Burlington Directory – Note occupation as second hand furniture salesman

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1944 Burlington Directory – Note occupation as fireman at Fort Ethan Allen

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WWII Draft Card – Note occupation as Burlington Light Department

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1954 Burlington Directory – Note occupation as taxi driver at the corner of Main and St. Paul St.

1962Directory

1962 Burlington Directory – Finally retired!  Woo Hoo!

 

 

Although I can’t find the marriage record for his second marriage, I do know that he remarried later in life and had six children with his second wife.  William and Mary Louis Rielling had six children together – Patricia, Dorothy (Quintin), Mary (Kidder), Elizabeth (Rousseau), Kathleen (Dutra), and Robert Duggan.  As of the writing of this post, only Patricia has passed.

William sounds like an incredible guy, and I hope to learn more about him and his exploits through this post. A wartime photo of him would be the icing on the cake!

I plan to trim a bit of the grass around his headstone to allow for easier view, and he will certainly be a part of my daily run routine for years to come 🙂

 

 

 

Sgt. Rufus M. Pray of the 3rd Vermont Infantry Regiment: Three Times Wounded Veteran From Woodbury/Calais, VT


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Rufus Pray ca. 1861

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Little nuggets of historical importance can be found in the strangest of places.  The following photograph was discovered at a local flea market for less than $20.00 US.  The tintype was in terrible condition, with major flaking of the image, oxidation damage and was missing a proper case.  The flea market dealer gave me the family name of the estate the photograph came from and I was content to conduct some research on the image.  At first glance, it appeared to be a standard “armed” shot of a Union Army solider sporting corporal stripes and a pronounced beard.  Colored tint had been added to the cheeks; coloring of images was a common addition by 1860s photographers.

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Calling Card of Lillian M. Pray

Upon carefully inspecting the photograph, it became clear that the image depicted the father of a Lillian Pray; her Victorian era calling card was carefully tucked into the back of the tintype.  Using the power of the internet, I was able to find the identity of her father, as well as a wealth of information related to his wartime exploits and his civilian life here in Vermont.

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Rufus Pray after Photoshop

Please enjoy the following information regarding Sgt. Rufus M. Pray.

The following biography can be found on page 326 of:

Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont

Compiled by: Jacob G. Ullery

“Rufus M. Pray, of South Woodbury, son of Thomas and Polly (King) Pray, was born in Calais, April 8th, 1844.

His father’s calling was that of a carpenter and joiner, who was a long time resident of the town, in the schools of which Rufus received his education.  The latter, a mere lad of seventeen, did not resist the patriotic impulse that moved him to enter the rank of the Union army, and enlisted in the 2nd New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which for three months garrisoned at old Fort Constitution on the seacoast of that state.  On his journey homewards, he stopped at St. Johnsbury, where Co. J, of Calais, 3rd Regt. Vt. Volunteers were engaged in their daily drill, and such was the enthusiasm of the young volunteer, that he at once re-enlisted without bidding farewell to the loved ones at home or crossing the paternal threshold.  Mr. Pray share the fortunes of the gallant third in all its numerous engagements from Lewinsville and Lee’s Mills, to the bloody Battle of the Wilderness, where he was wounded in foot and forehead, and was sent to the S.A. Douglas hospital in Washington, from thence transferred to the U.S. General Hospital at Montpelier, from which he boldly returned to active duty before his wounds were wholly healed.  He then experienced the vicissitudes of Sheridan’s Shenandoah campaign, and at Cedar Creek, while on the skirmish line, received a dangerous wound in his hip, which was traversed by a minie-ball.  He was carried twelve miles in an army wagon to Sheridan Hospital, then sent to Frederick, Maryland, and later to Montpelier, where he received an honorable discharge after a gallant service of four years, one month, and twenty-six days, during which time he was not excused from duty a single hour, except when wounded.

US Minie Ball

US Minie Ball

Since his return from the army, though for more than a year a cripple, he has been able to labor a little at his trade of carpentry and joiner, and to cultivate with effort a small farm.

Mr. Pray was married August 8th, 1864 to Nellie A., daughter of David and Sabrina (Chase) Whitham of Woodbury.  One child has been the fruit of this wedlock: Lillian M. (Mrs. Robert B. Tassie of Montpelier).

Mr. Pray is still a member of that party for whose political principles he fought and bled.  He was appointed postmaster at South Woodbury, July 12th, 1889, under President Harrison, and held that position until his resignation on being elected to the Legislature of 1892 by an unusual majority.  He was town treasurer 1891-1892.”

Rufus appears in a number of Vermont newspapers for his civic duty as well as his attendance at national Civil War events. He was quite active in the local unit:

August 1890 GAR Encampment

August 1890 GAR Encampment

The 1890 GAR Encampment was in Boston

The 1890 GAR Encampment was in Boston

Templar Cake and Ice Cream Party at the May House

Templar Cake and Ice Cream Party at the Pray House

Rufus Moves Home to Calais

Rufus Moves Home to Calais

WWI Photo: Flea Market Find Yields Research Gold – Lt. Robert Slocum of Burlington, VT


Robert H. Slocum in 1919

Robert H. Slocum in 1919

Although Lt. Robert H. Slocum was born and raised in Syracuse, NY, he resided in Burlington(VT) for the majority of his life.  A recent photo discovery by a friend of mine at a local flea market has provided a wealth of research potential.  The photo clearly depicts a young Lieutenant sporting a Coastal Artillery Corps insignia on his collar.  The name Robert H. Slocum was inked on the reverse of the image.  I wasn’t able to find a wartime record of Lt. Slocum in the Vermont files, but was able to find his draft card from Syracuse.  He was a student at the time at Syracuse University and was originally from the area.

Draft Card

Draft Card

Slocum was likely a Lieutenant with the 59th Coastal Artillery, a Syracuse/Upstate New York based unit.  This is only speculation, but the likelyhood is strong.

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Lt. Slocum's grave in Syracuse

Lt. Slocum’s grave in Syracuse

Mr. Slocum lived for nearly six decades at his home on 21 Alfred Street in the South End of Burlington.  I was able to purchase his photo albums from the 1930s which include many interesting images of the Burlington lakefront and Southend area.  His son recently passed and his estate was broken up, ending up at a local flea market.  Luckily I was able to keep most of the early albums together.

Post-WWI Residence of Lt. Slocum – 21 Alfred Street, Burlington, VT

Lt. Slocum posed with his son, Robert H. Slocum III

Lt. Slocum posed with daughter in May of 1935

Little Bobby playing in a local Burlington playground

Little Bobby playing in a local Burlington playground (note the chicken coop)

Cruising the mean streets of Burlington in 1936

Cruising the mean streets of Burlington in 1936

Little Bobby on a tricycle (note the decorative porch treatment in the background)

Little Bobby on a tricycle (note the decorative porch treatment in the background)

Background house in 2012

Background house in 2012

Lt. Slocum and family at the beach.  Possibly North Beach

Lt. Slocum and family at the beach. Possibly North Beach

It would seem that Lt. Slocum lived a long and happy life.  I found a 2012 obituary for his son which makes reference to Robert Slocum Jr, who passed away in 1993.

A 2012 obituary for Robert Slocum III

ROBERT H. SLOCUM III – BURLINGTON – On Nov. 15, 2012, Robert H. Slocum III died peacefully in his cherished home, following a brief illness. Born on May 31, 1931, he was the son of Robert H. Slocum II and Frances Slocum. Bob graduated from Burlington High School in the Class of 1949 and the Middlebury College, Class of 1954. For many years he was an elementary school teacher in Deep River, Conn. Music was an important part of his life and he hoped to instill a love of music in his students. For many years he would write and produce a musical for his students to perform. Upon his retirement, he returned to Burlington to live with his father. Both men enjoyed the company of their cat named Scooter who seemed to know his job was to make them happy. When Scooter died, Bob adopted a stray cat and most recently one from the humane society. Bob looked forward to his high school class reunions each summer and, of course, the Red Sox games. He is survived by his sister, Cynthia Slocum of Pittsford; and his cousins, Joan and Phil Hoff and their children, Susan Haynes, Dagny Hoff, Andrea MacNaughton and Gretchen Hoff. The family is most grateful to Philomena Gicheru for her friendship and caring assistance provided to Bob these past thirteen years. There will be a gathering of remembrance on Nov. 26, 2012, at 10:30 am at 35 Hillcrest Rd., Burlington.

WWI Vermonter – 103rd MG, 26th Division – Walter J. Fuller Dies of Disease 1917 – Westminster, VT Native


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Walter J. Fuller Poses in Westminster

A recent Walter J. Fuller poses for the camera near his home in Westminster before shipping off for training in 1917.  The photo was originally part of a much larger scrapbook which was broken up and sold on eBay in 2012.  Luckily they included a bit of context to the sale listing, enabling me to track down the identity of this brave Vermonter.  A member of the 103rd MG Bn., Walter shipped out from Fort Ethan Allen down to Camp Bartlett in Massachusetts.  It was here that he contracted the bronchial pneumonia and passed away at 3:30 (yes, we know the exact time!) on October 27th, 1917.  His family was contacted via telephone about his worsening condition and were able to be present when he passed away.

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Johnson, Herbert T. Roster of Vermont Men and Women in the Military and Naval Service of the United States and Allies in the World War, 1917-1919. Montpelier, VT: Tuttle, 1927.

I was able to track down a few articles in the 1917 Vermont Phoenix

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“Soldier Dies in Westfield.” Vermont Phoenix, November 2, 1917, 2. Accessed December 4, 2013. ChroniclingAmerica.loc.gov.

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8th Vermont Infantry Regiment Civil War Soldier – Henry N. Derby Dies of Disease in Louisiana


Henry N. Derby was born in Wardsboro, VT on April 15th, 1846, later moved to Townshend where he enlisted for Federal service on December 8th, 1863 and mustered in on December 29th.  He signed up for a three year enlistment with Company C of the 8th Vermont Infantry Regiment and traveled from Vermont to Louisiana, where he quickly became ill.  He died on March 31st, 1864 presumably of disease; one of 241 from the regiment that died of such causes.

This photo just arrived in the mail from an eBay auction where the name of the soldier was not revealed.  Luckily, I was able to tweak the lighting/contrast with photoshop to discover the name of the soldier before I bid.  CSI: Civil War style!

Henry N. Derby
Brennan C. Gauthier Collection

Brattleboro Backmark

Henry N. Derby Grave in Chalmette National Cemetery, LA
Source: http://vermontcivilwar.org/cem/virtual/getnatcem.php?input=13809
Photographer: Dan Taylor

Here’s a great link to a Vermont Historical Society collection from a Vermont soldier who also served with the 8th VT and also died in Louisiana.

http://www.vermonthistory.org/index.php/george-e-parker-letters.html

WWI The University of Vermont at War – Williams Hall Army Training Detachment – August 1918


Authors Collection


My recent trip to the local Burlington antique shop yielded some WWI gold; yet another WWI UVM panoramic photo to add to my extensive collection of war photography.  This one was taken in August of 1918 in front of Williams Hall at the University of Vermont.  I spent countless hours studying anthropology and archaeology in the hallowed halls of Williams, and I know the front facade well.  From the looks of it, not much has changed!   This photo shows Company C of the US Army Training Detachment which was housed at UVM in the months preceding the end of the war.

Looking at some of the details of the photo actually helped elucidate a bit of Louis McAllister’s business.  Check out the writing on each of the benches – it appears that McAllister wrote his name on each bench in his typical flowery style.  Very interesting!