Doughboy Foundation Home
previous arrow
next arrow

Fred L. Stilson

Submitted by: Richard Frank {Nephew}

Fred L Stilson

Fred L Stilson was born around 1896. Fred Stilson served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service


Ceremony to Commemorate the 100-Year Anniversary of the Funeral and Interment of Sergeant Fred L Stilson - American Legion Post 57 Namesake

October 16, 2018

Interment October 16, 1918, at Cobleskill Rural Cemetery, Cobleskill, New York

Today we honor a hero.

Fred was born in March of 1896 in Warnerville, New York, at the home of his grandparents, Alex and Augusta Larkin. He was the son of Mert and Ada Stilson, my grandparents.

Fred grew up at 29 West Main Street, Cobleskill, New York. He attended Cobleskill High School and graduated with the class of 1913 at the age of 17. He graduated from Albany Pharmacy College at the age of 19.

Fred enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 5, 1917, as a member of the Medical Corps. He was assigned duty at Fort Ontario, Oswego, New York, Base Hospital Number 5. His duty was to operate the pharmacy. Because of the shortage of pharmacists, he was alone in the dispensary much of the time during the summer of 1917. He attended to some 1,500 patients, most of whom were suffering from influenza.

Fred was tired and sick; but because the other boys needed help, he worked on and on, day and night, filling prescriptions. It was noted that five or more boys were dying each day. On October 3, 2018, Fred had a temperature of 103.5. Like so many others, he had contracted influenza. His condition worsened and he was admitted to the pneumonia ward.

His parents were summoned to Oswego on October 6, 2018 to be at his bedside to comfort him. His fiancée, Miss Harriet Barnum of Cooperstown, New York, was also summoned.

Fred L Stilson died on October 12, 1918 at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning at Fort Ontario, Oswego, New York. His remains were escorted home by Corporal Ralph Young, a chum and comrade at Fort Ontario.

Fred's funeral was held on October 16, 1918, one hundred years ago today. Sergeant Fred Larkin Stilson was buried with military honors at this site (Larkin plot at the Cobleskill Rural Cemetery). The honor guard fired three volleys on that day and Taps were sounded by bugler C. F . Boughton. To honor Sergeant Stilson, the Schoharie County Honor Guard fired three volleys on October 16, 2018 and Taps were sounded by Brian Swanhall.

Sergeant Fred L. Stilson gave his last full measure of devotion at the age of 22.


  • Fred L. Stilson's name is inscribed on two World War I monuments in New York State--at the Old Stone Fort in Schoharie County and in Otsego County, in the village of Cooperstown.
  • The Fred L. Stilson American Legion Post 57 honored Sergeant Stilson by displaying a banner with his name and photo in Cobleskill, New York.
  • The tribute above was written by Richard Frank and is based on Fred L. Stilson's obituary, which appeared in the Cobleskill Index (#9 Vol. 54) on Thursday, October 17, 1918. Richard is the nephew of Sergeant Stilson.

605dc9f36f8d8 MD Stilson Fred Stilson 031

Fred Stilson image