WAYNE — Veterans groups paid homage to Civil War veteran Benjamin F. Burgess by dedicating a stone for his grave in Beech Hill Cemetery on Strickland Ferry Road on July 21.

Burgess was born Sept. 27, 1835, and died Oct. 10, 1902. His stone comes 116 years after his death and is beside those of his parents, Elisha and Fanny Burgess. Benjamin was their 13th child.

Burgess’ grandfather, Benjamin, arrived in New Sandwich, which was part of East Livermore, around 1792. His settlement on Beech Hill was annexed to Leeds and then Wayne.

Benjamin F. Burgess’ mother died the day after he was born. His father died when Benjamin was 15 and he lived with a brother until he was able to be on his own.

Burgess volunteered to serve during the Civil War, returned home to his wife and family, living out his life farming in Leeds.

Many of his descendants live in Leeds.

People from as as far as Bethel in Oxford County and Kenduskeag in Penobscot County attended the service.

Providing the program were:

• Veterans of Foreign Wars Frank L. Mitchell Post 3335 of Jay with John T. Dube, commander Destroyer Escort Sailors Association Northeast Chapter; color guard members Rick Merrill, Charles Fullerton, Douglas Hiltz, Donald Frechette, Sean Walker and Larry Bilodeau, VFW chaplain who led a prayer;

• AMVETS Lane Dube Post 33 and Sons of AMVETS Squadron 33 of Jay, Commander George St. Pierre and Finance Officer and firing squad member Bob Godding, firing squad members David Smith, Dick Frazier, Dan Cote, Dick Moreau, Bob Roy and squad Commander George St, Pierre, and bugler Greg McDonald who played taps;

• American Legion George Buntin Post 10 of Livermore Falls with Charles Fullerton and Chaplain Sean Vincent;

• Sons of Union Veterans and the Daughters of Union Veterans from throughout the state, including members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Larry B. Bonney, Maine Department commander; Peter Redman, Maine Department senior vice commander; Morris Berry, Maine Department junior vice commander; members of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Elsie Bonney, past department president; and Sally Sawyer, Maine Department chaplain.

Descendants of Civil War veteran Benjamin F. Burgess and veterans from around Maine attend the dedication of Burgess’ gravestone at Beech Hill Cemetery in Wayne in July, 116 years after his death in 1902. The stone is beside that of his parents, Elisha and Fanny Burgess.  

Members of veterans groups held a ceremony to dedicate the gravestone of Civil War veteran Benjamin F. Burgess in Beech Hill Cemetery in Wayne in July, 116 years after his death in 1902. The stone is beside that of his parents, Elisha and Fanny Burgess.


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