“All Gave Some; Some Gave All”

~ A Commitment to Service ~

Hartland’s history of service in American Military Forces traces back to several of its early and oldest settlers including John Spearin, John Whiting and Uzziel Withee who were Veterans of the Revolutionary War before eventually moving to Hartland. Dr. John Warren, the original proprietor of Hartland, was also a decorated Revolutionary War Veteran. Other early settlers served in The War of 1812 including Isaiah Elliott, William Harvey, Thomas Marsh, Edward Page, Jr, Samuel Pennell, Thomas Tripp, Uriah Spearin and Jonas Wheeler.

The Civil War involved upwards of 100 young men from Hartland with nearly a dozen of them never returning home alive. Several former native Hartland residents who had moved away also served in the Civil War throughout other parts of the country. The Spanish-American War included several enlisted men from Hartland and close to 2 dozen men who registered in Hartland were engaged in World War I. More than 100 men and women registered in Hartland to serve in World War II followed by a large contingency who served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. The commitment by Hartland citizens to serve their country continued through modern day conflicts and many are enlisted in active service today.

 

~ National Observances ~

The exact origin of Memorial Day remains unclear with the U. S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs recognizing some 25 places claiming to have originated the holiday in the United States as far back as 1861. Regardless of its origin, honoring and mourning the military personnel who died while serving existed before the end of the Civil War and eventually became a Federal Holiday. (Compiled from Wikipedia Article)

It is unknown when Memorial Day, often referred to early as Decoration Day, was first celebrated in Hartland but the earliest known reference found so far comes from the 1903 Town Report; “Article 33 – To see what sum of money the town will vote to raise for Memorial Day Services.”

Memorial Day at Warren Square – 1919

Hartland Memorial Day Parade – 1946

Hartland Memorial Day Parade – 1959

Hartland Memorial Day Parade – 1969

Hartland Memorial Day – 2020 (Covid-19 Protocol)

Two other days celebrate those who have served or are serving in the U.S. military include Armed Forces Day, an unofficial U. S. holiday for honoring those currently serving in the Armed Forces, and Veterans Day which honors those who have served in the Armed Forces.

 

~ Hartland American Legion ~

The American Legion is an organization of United States War Veterans made up of State, U. S. Territory and Overseas Departments and in turn made up of local Posts. The organization was formed on March 15, 1919 in Paris, France by Officers and Men of the American Expeditionary Forces and was chartered on September 16, 1919 by the United States Congress. (Compiled from Wikipedia Article)

The Steeves-McCormack American Legion Post #141 of Hartland has served the needs and interests of Veterans since their inception in 1930 and faithfully continue with their mission today. They have been active organizers and participants of local Veteran observances and every year hundreds of American Flags are placed on Veteran gravestones in Hartland by members of the Post.

An application for a Post of The American Legion in Hartland was signed by local World War I Veterans on May 23, 1930. They requested to be known as Christopher G. Linn Post #141. Christopher G. Linn (1888-1926) was born and raised in Hartland and served in World War I with the 28th Army Infantry. Christopher is a son of Robert Wilson Linn, Sr and a grandson of Archibald Linn. The Legion’s first home was located in the Village but the exact location is currently unknown however they are referenced in several Town Reports from the time.

Hartland American Legion Post Application – 1930 (Courtesy of John Hikel)

On October 11, 1937 the American Legion Post #141 Women’s Auxiliary was organized and chartered with 15 Charter Members. Crystal (McPheters) Goforth, wife of Legion Charter Member Vincent Goforth, was the first elected President. Along with assisting the local Hartland Legion Post, their many other projects included sponsoring girls to attend Dirigo State, gathering Christmas gifts for local needy children, making Memorial Wreaths, assisting Veterans at Togus Hospital and honoring Hartland’s Veterans.

One of the many fund raising events organized by the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary over the years was a “Gala Nite & Cabaret” held at the Hartland Opera House on May 13, 1938. The entire original program of the evening’s event may be seen on the link below:

American Legion Gala Program May 13, 1938

In the Fall of 1950, the new Hartland Consolidated School was completed and all Hartland Elementary Grade classes were moved to the new school. The former schoolhouse on Pleasant Street was purchased later that year from the town by the Hartland American Legion.

Former Hartland American Legion Hall – Pleasant Street – 1970

In 1951, the Legion’s name was changed by members to Steeves-McCormack American Legion Post #141 in honor of two of Hartland’s men who were Killed In Action in World War II; Norman Steeves & Donlin McCormack. Following almost a century of use as a schoolhouse then as an American Legion Hall, the building was razed in 2003 and is currently a vacant lot.

Former Steeves-McCormack American Legion Hartland Post #141 Hall – Pleasant Street – 1984

 

~ World War I & World War II Hartland Honor Roll  ~

In 1949, an Honor Roll for World War I & World War II Veterans of Hartland was unveiled at the Bandstand in Warren Square. It is to be noted the Honor Roll Listing was based specifically on those who physically registered in Hartland for service and did not include any men or women who registered in another town or state.

Veterans of the Military Branches lead the Honor Roll Ceremony procession down Academy Street to Warren Square

 

Hartland Boy Scout Troop await the Honor Roll Ceremony

 

Hartland Minutemen arriving at Honor Roll Ceremony

 

Hartland Minutemen in front of Baptist Church at Honor Roll Ceremony

 

Preceding the Honor Roll Dedication Ceremony, a Gold Star Presentation was conducted for members of the families of Donlin McCormack, Arthur Sherburne, Norman Steeves and Clarence Walker who were Killed in Action during World War II. Absent was the family of Rendall Phinney who had moved from the area by this time.

(L-R): Charlotte Gordan (former fiancee’ of Clarence Walker), Vivian Sherburne (Mother of Arthur Sherburne), Elsie McCormack (Mother of Donlin McCormack) & Nina Steeves (Aunt of Norman Steeves)

 

Citizens on Commercial Street awaiting the Honor Roll Ceremony

 

Honor Roll Ceremony Opening

 

Honor Roll Ceremony Opening

 

Honor Roll Unveiled

 

Honor Roll

 

Veterans from Military Branches behind Honor Roll

 

Citizens in front of the Honor Roll

 

Honor Roll

 

Close-up of Honor Roll

 

The top of the Honor Roll was donated to the Hartland Historical Society who in turn returned it to the Hartland Volunteer Fire Department.

Hartland Volunteer Fire Department Emblem from the Honor Roll

 

~ Veteran Granite Monument ~

Unfortunately, the wooden Honor Roll was unable to withstand the forces of nature and had badly deteriorated by the early 1960s and was removed. In its place, a granite monument was later set at the Bandstand as a tribute to all the men and women of Hartland who served.

Veteran Monument at Warren Square – 1995

 

~ Veteran Memorial Granite Benches ~

Two new granite Veteran Memorial Benches were added at the Bandstand. The benches were donated by the Galen Cole Foundation and the Cole Land Transportation Museum of Bangor. Several businesses and individuals donated to the effort including: Elmer & Beatrice Littlefield – Project Coordinators; E. W. Littlefield & Sons – Equipment & Materials; Hammond Lumber of Skowhegan – Insulation; Haley Construction – Crushed Stone & Concrete; Dave Bowden & Crew – Placing & Finishing Concrete; Edwin W. Littlefield & Christopher Littlefield – Time and Labor.

Town Manager Peggy Morgan, Elmer Littlefield, Chris Littlefield & Dwayne Littlefield (Photo by Brenda Seekins)

 

~ Veterans Memorial Flag Display ~

In 2018, Steeves-McCormack American Legion Post #141 began privately raising funds to construct a Veterans Memorial Flag Display on Pleasant Street. Plans for the display featured the American flag with 6 additional flags honoring all branches of the Military including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines as well as an Honor Roll and memorial benches. Most of the funds needed had been raised by late 2019 and the bulk of the required materials were purchased. Construction on the new display began in the Spring of 2020 with volunteer labor by numerous residents and the support of local businesses and groups.

Construction of Veterans Memorial Flag Display – May 2020

Construction of Veterans Memorial Flag Display – June 2020

Construction of Veterans Memorial Flag Display – June 2020

Construction of Veterans Memorial Flag Display – July 2020

Construction of Veterans Memorial Flag Display – July 2020

Construction of Veterans Memorial Flag Display – August 2020

On September 5, 2020, the Steeves-McCormack American Legion Post #141 Veterans Memorial Flag Display was ceremoniously dedicated as Hayden Park in honor of Korean War Veteran Durwood L. Hayden (1935-2020) who served as Legion Post Commander for many years.

Hayden Park Dedication Ceremony – September 5, 2020

Hayden Park Dedication Ceremony – Honor Roll & Memorial Bench – September 5, 2020

Unlike the old Warren Square Honor Roll, which only included the men and women who physically registered for service in Hartland, the new Honor Roll also includes those who resided in Hartland during their lifetime or following their service but registered in another town or state.

Hayden Park Dedication Ceremony – Honor Roll (Front) – September 5, 2020

Hayden Park Dedication Ceremony – Honor Roll (Back) – September 5, 2020

Hayden Park Dedication Ceremony – Memorial Bench – September 5, 2020

Hayden Park Dedication Ceremony – Veterans Group Photo – September 5, 2020