Interpreting the Past - Windham Part 3

Interpreting the Past - Research by the Windham Town Historian

Honor a Veteran Project, Part 1 - Windham's Civil War Book

 Honor a Veteran Project, Part 2 - Catskill Mountain Post No. 1545, VFW Renamed for Sgt. James F. Carty

Honor a Veteran Project, Part 3 - Windham's World War I Monument in Hensonville
Honor a Veteran Project, Part 4- Maplecrest's World War II Roll of Honor

Honor a Veteran, Part 5 - Windham Township Honor Roll

Honor a Veteran Project, Part 6 - WAJ Roll of Honor, Graduates and Members of the Faculty

Honor a Veteran Project, Part 7 - National Bank of Windham's World War II Honor Roll Poster

by Patricia Morrow, Windham Town Historian

Originally published in the April 21, 2005, issue of the Windham Journal.

Although a committee was formed shortly after the First World War to welcome home the local veterans, it was nearly a dozen years before anything was officially done to recognize their efforts and sacrifices. George B. Ayres, a resident of Hensonville, took it upon himself to get the deed done by purchasing a bronze tablet and white granite monument. Such generosity to his adopted town was nothing new. In 1910 he presented the Village of Hensonville with a fountain that stood near the intersection of State Route 296 and Goshen Street. A few years later he donated an ornate fountain to the Town of Windham that was placed on the lawn of the Masonic Temple in Windham.

Mr. Ayres enlisted the aid of Catskill Mountain Post No. 1545, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Veterans and Citizens Committee for the Memorial Day celebration to handle the details. The monument was erected on a plot of land adjoining the Hensonville Methodist Episcopal Church. Members of the newly renamed Sgt. James F. Carty D.S.C. Post No. 1545, Veterans of Foreign Wars, brought in fill and helped to grade the site. The Town of Windham appropriated $500 for the dedication expenses, which included the erection of a 45-foot steel flagpole, and the committee secured an impressive list of speakers and marchers for the event held on May 30, 1930.

The parade started shortly after 2 P.M. at "The Dugout," the VFW building at the western end of town. The national colors were followed by the Naval VFW Fife, Bugle and Drum Corps of Schenectady, Post No. 357. A second flag corps was followed by the VFW posts of Windham, Catskill, Oneonta, Newburgh, Hudson, Kingston and Albany. Mr. Dickerson, a veteran of the Civil War, rode in an automobile. Members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts preceded the Hensonville Cornet Band and the Windham Hose Company. Citizens in automobiles brought up the rear. The marchers made their way through Windham and Hensonville, assembling near the monument and speakers' stand in Hensonville.

Counselor Benjamin I. Tallmadge acted as Master of Ceremonies. After the singing of "America," the monument was unveiled by Miss Doris Woodworth and Miss Marie Dunham. The invocation was given by Rev. Leon C. Booth of the Hensonville Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Harry W. Lammond of Sand Lake Lutheran Church, and a former pastor of the Hensonville Methodist Episcopal Church, made the presentation on behalf of Mr. Ayres. Next to take the podium was the Hon. William E. Thorpe, County Judge, who was the principal speaker of the day. The program concluded with William J. Soper reciting "Our Flag," Miss Fredonia Moseman singing the "Star Spangled Banner" and a selection performed by Post No. 357 of Schenectady.

The inscription on the tablet is as follows:

In Honor
of the Citizens of the
Town of Windham, N. Y.
Who Served Their Country
During the World War

Below that the names of fifty men and women were listed in two columns and across the bottom in all capital letters.

(Column 1) W. A. Barnum, M. S. Benjamin, A. M. Blakeslee, L. E. Brainard, L. G. Brainard, C. O. Burhans, L. L. Cook, F. S. Finch, A. L. Fleming, N. B. Ford, A. J. Gibson, M. T. Hayden, H. G. Haynes, S. S. Hidecker, L. G. Howard, D. B. Irish, G. W. Irish, G. A. Makely, H. C. Mallory, R. E. Marquoit, B. H. Martin, P. C. Mattoon, L. C. Miller.

(Column 2) G. F. Morse, D. F. Munson, L. R. Osborn, L. L. Peck, R. L. Peck, W. J. Pelham, H. F. Perkins, J. H. Pond, C. T. Prout, M. B. Prout, J. I. Sayles, A. T. Seeley, B. E. Smith, L. P. Soper, W. J. Soper, W. W. Stevens, L. A. Strong, J. A. Texido, H. F. Tompkins, D. Van Valkenburgh, D. W. Van Valkenburgh, G. B. Van Valkenburgh, R. Wier.

(Across the bottom) J. H. Yager, Miss E. S. Brainerd, Miss H. R. Tallmadge, Miss F. L. Traver.

Centered below that:

Erected May 30th 1930 by
George B. Ayres