LEWISTON — Do you know who Andrew Roberson is? More than 1,000 vehicles drive past his memorial marker in Lewiston every day through the square named in his honor.

Lewiston city officials and members of the Androscoggin Historical Society are not even sure who he is. 

No one refers to that intersection as Roberson Square.

Roberson Square is at the intersection of Park and Pine streets. A two-foot star sits on top of a pole on the lawn of the Lewiston Public Library across from City Hall. It was erected Nov. 11, 1928, on the 10-year anniversary of the end of World War I.

On that date, memorial stars were placed at 11 intersections throughout Lewiston and Auburn, celebrating local veterans who died in World War I, the Spanish-American War and the Civil War.

Roberson’s star is the only one that remains. Printed on the star is “Andrew Roberson Square 1863.”

A story in the Lewiston Daily Sun a week before the dedication of the stars described Roberson as a Civil War veteran who was a member of Company H of the 31st Maine who died in 1863 at Red River.

One problem. The 31st Maine did not form until 1864, the same year as the Battle of Red River. Roberson is not listed as a member of that unit.

Also, the Battle of Red River was fought in Louisiana. The 31st Maine saw all of its action in Virginia. Only two Maine units fought in Louisiana and neither appears to have an Andrew Roberson on its roster.

Roberson’s name is even missing from the Civil War records at the Maine State Archives in Augusta. In its list of all soldiers who served in Maine regiments, only two Robersons are listed — Thomas Roberson of Ellsworth in the 17th Maine and Benjamin Roberson of Waldo County in the 14th Maine.

The iconic Civil War memorial in Kennedy Park has no Roberson listed among the Lewiston soldiers who died.

Could the name be misspelled? Perhaps, but no Andrew Robertson appears in the records, either.

So, who was Andrew Roberson?

“It’s a mystery,” said Douglas Hodgkin, president of the Androscoggin Historical Society. Hodgkin said Roberson’s name does not even show up in any of the city directories of the late 1850s and early 1860s.

The memorial stars

On the 10th anniversary of the end of World War I, local veterans marched in the Veterans Day parade that stopped at 11 intersections — seven in Lewiston and four in Auburn. At each, they dedicated a memorial star marker in honor of a local serviceman who died in a war.

Three died in the Civil War, three died in the Spanish-American War and the remaining five died in World War I.

While Roberson’s identity is a mystery, plenty of information exists on the other 10.

Civil War soldier Samuel Davis of the 17th Maine died at the Wheatfield on July 4, 1863, at Gettysburg, where he is buried.

Joseph Michaud, Aime Gagne and Frank Hulett died on the same day — June 6, 1918, presumably all at the Battle of Belleau Wood in France. Hulett, a captain and a graduate of Yale, was the first officer from Lewiston to die in World War I. Originally buried in France, Hulett’s body was brought back to Lewiston in 1921 and is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Lewiston.

Michaud and Gagne are buried in France.

American Legion Post 31 in Auburn named its chapter after Alden Gayton, another of the honorees who died in World War I.

Public usage of the name of the squares waned in the succeeding years. Only Hulett Square, at the corner of Lisbon and Main streets in Lewiston, gained traction with the public and is still in use.

One final mystery remains: Where are the other 10 stars? According to published reports, some vanished, victims of theft or vandalism. Others were reportedly removed during road, sidewalk or utility construction and never replaced.

As of 1990, two stars existed. In addition to Roberson’s marker, a star was located high on a utility pole at the corner of Ash and Lisbon streets in honor of James Hagerty, a private in the Spanish-American War who died in 1898. 

One popular theory of their existence is that several were stored at a Lewiston Public Works garage, but director David Jones and other city employees know of no markers stored on their premises.

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Names and locations of the veteran star memorial markers erected throughout Lewiston and Auburn on Nov. 11, 1928, and a brief description of each veteran:

Lewiston

• Cedar and Lincoln: Joseph Michaud, WWI, killed in action, June 6, 1918.

• Lisbon and Pine: Aime C. Gagne, WWI, killed in action, June 6, 1918.

• Main and Lisbon: Frank W. Hulett, WWI, killed in action, June 6, 1918.

• Park and Ash: Albert Hamlin, Spanish-American War, died Oct. 25, 1898.

• Lisbon and Ash: James T. Hagerty, Spanish-American War, died Aug, 24, 1898.

• College, Horton and Sabattus: Samuel C. Davis, Civil War, died at Gettysburg, July 4, 1863, where he is buried.

 • Pine and Park: Andrew Roberson, Civil War. No information. 

Auburn

• Court and Turner: Alden M. Gayton, WWI., died of wounds, Oct. 19, 1918.

• Broad, Mill and Second: Ermond C. Williams, WWI, died of wounds, Jan. 23, 1919.

• Court and Main: Fred E. Stuart, Spanish-American War, died Feb. 12, 1898.

• Turner and Hampshire: James C. Folsom, Civil War, died Aug. 9, 1862, at Cedar Mountain, Virginia.


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