May 26, 2018
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Roster of Mainers in World War I available at many libraries

Roxanne Moore Saucier
By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

Great-uncle Harry J. Steeves didn’t go overseas during his six months of service in World War I. Rather, he was in the Coast Artillery Corps, apparently in New York.

He was born April 29, 1898, in Saint John, New Brunswick, was a resident of Sangerville when he enlisted on June 24, 1918, and joined the Army at Fort Slocum, N.Y. He was promoted to private first class in December, and was honorably discharged on demobilization on Dec. 23, 1918.

Earl H. Steeves, who was born in Elgin, New Brunswick, resided in Thorndike when he enlisted in July 1917 and was credited for engagements (battles) at Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector.

Luther Steevs (without the third “e” according to printed records), was a resident of Thorndike when he joined the Army in October 1917. Born in 1889 in Kent County, New Brunswick, he was in engagements at Argonne, St. Mihiel and Defensive Sector. Pvt Luther Steevs died of wounds received in action on Oct. 15, 1918.

These three men are listed in the two-volume “Roster of Maine in the Military Service of the United States and Allies in the World War 1917-1919,” published under the direction of James W. Hanson, adjutant general, by authority of the State Legislature, 1929.

In addition to the Army, the books have sections on the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Nurse Corps.

Navy personnel included Lt. Carl F. Holden of Bangor, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, who served on the Burrows, the Lansdale and the Bush. His listing identifies him as “continued in service.” Later records and newspaper accounts show that Holden was on the New Jersey when it was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and he went on to become an admiral.

The two-volume “Roster of Maine in the World War” is available at numerous libraries in Maine, according to two online card catalogs I use frequently.

URSUS, found at, lists the set in the Bangor Room at Bangor Public Library; in Special Collections at Fogler Library at the University of Maine; at Maine State Library in Augusta; and at Special Collections at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

MaineCat, which includes information on holdings at many other libraries throughout the state, can be found at It shows the books available at libraries at Rockland, York, Waterville, Lewiston, Auburn and Bates College in Lewiston.

In 1945, Bangor’s annual report included a pledge to erect a memorial honoring more than 100 men from Bangor who were killed in service during World War II. A Book of Honor, with photo and information on each of those men, was compiled and is displayed daily at Bangor Public Library, but the memorial was never built.

Cole Land Transportation Museum has announced plans to build a monument to those Bangor servicemen, probably more than 110 of them, and to dedicate the memorial on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, on museum grounds at 405 Perry Road.

The project has long been the hope of museum founder Galen Cole, a Purple Heart veteran of World War II who served as Bangor mayor in 1958. Supporting the project is current Mayor Cary Weston, who has encouraged the museum to allow businesses, organizations and individuals to contribute to the memorial, which is estimated to cost nearly $20,000.

The current list of Bangor men whose names will be engraved on the memorial may be viewed on the BDN website at, or on the Cole Museum website at

If you have information on other Bangor men who were killed in service in World War II, including those who lived in nearby towns but attended Bangor High or John Bapst before joining the service, submit it in writing to Roxanne Saucier, Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Road, Bangor 04401, or email Submissions of additional names for the memorial must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21. For more information, call 907-0806.

Contributions to the memorial project may be sent to Cole Land Transportation Museum, a 501(c)3 organization, at the same address, or dropped off at the museum 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

The Abbot Historical Society will present a Civil War Fashion Show at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Abbot Town Hall on Route 15. All are welcome to attend this free program which is being coordinated by Estella “Tootie” Bennett.

The society is open noon-4 p.m. Wednesdays at the Abbot Historical Society Museum behind the Civil War Monument and Veterans Memorial at the intersection of Monument Road and Route 15. All are welcome to view the museum’s new garden and the restored Pythian Sisterhood Chapter room.

The annual Abbot Day, with the theme “Autumn in Abbot,” will offer an indoor-outdoor fair with artisans and craftsmen from around the state, exhibits, demonstrations and Abbot cooking on Saturday, Sept. 15. The 2013 calendar will be available, as well.

Those who would like to reserve a vendor space to participate may contact Bill or Carolyn Amos at 876-3041.

The Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 29 Ocean House Road, Route 77, Cape Elizabeth.

Arlene Palmer Schwind, curator of Victoria Mansion in Portland, will speak on “The Families of Ruggles Sylvester Morse of Leeds and Wife Olive Ring Merrill of Durham.” The Morses lived in New Orleans and built the mansion 1858-1860 as a summer home. The Higgins, Lothrop and Keay families are among the Maine relatives of the Morses.

For information on the Greater Portland Chapter of MGS, visit

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email

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