Bessie Eliza Laber b 26 Feb 1885

I was not able to find an original birth record in Barton, but on-line records state that Bessie was born 26 February 1885, in Barton, daughter of Frank Labor and Lizzie Belle LaClair.  She was the second of nine children. 

Bessie was with her parents and siblings in the 1900 census in Barton. About 1901, the family moved to Lebanon NH.  On 25 Feb 1903, Bessie married Joseph E Goodson, in Ashland, NH.  He was the son of George Goodson and Ellen Row (Rowe?).  This is one of the few records where her father Frank T is liste as born in Canada.  Joseph was 24, occupation Spinner, born in Lawrence MA.  I don’t know how long this marriage lasted.  I have not been able to find them in the 1910 census.    In the 1920 census, she is going by her maiden name, listed as single, with a roomer named Jennie Whipple, on Second street in Dover, NH.  Whe worked as a weaver in a woolen mill. 

The 1930 census of Hanover lists Bessie as housekeeper for Frank Woodward.  Bessie married Frank Delian Woodward on 12 Nov 1932 in Lebanon. They adopted Mary Woodward who may have been a relative of Frank.

According to cousin Thelma: Bessie Eliza Laber the, oldest daughter, went to work as a weaver in the textile mills of New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. She and her first husband followed the mill work and went wherever the work was. She was very hurt when he got mixed up with another girl and asked for a divorce to marry, since the girl was pregnant and expecting twins. Bessie was never able to have children of her own, much to her sorrow and she dedicated her life to helping others. It was many years later after she bought a house that her father Frank T was in danger of losing, for non-payment of taxes. She sold her house, bought his and moved in, supporting him the rest of his life and his housekeeper Mrs. Badger. Over the next couple of years Bessie was to help every one of her brothers and sisters in some way or another when they were down on their luck.   She was in her late forties when she married Frank D Woodward, first-cousin to Timothy Harrison Woodward Sr.  He was a good-natured man but not overly ambitious, recalls Thelma. They adopted a little girl from the Coutermarsh family that they named Mary. They left the farm to her and later, Mary’s husband gave a home to Frank until he died at the age of eighty-five. In all the family, Bessie was the only one to at least try to get along with Thelma’s step-mother Elizabeth Ellen Thomas. Bessie died at the age of sixty-five.

Bessie died 21 July 1947, in Lebanon, age 62.  Her spouse was listed as Frank Woodward, her father Frank Laber and her mother Lydia Laclair (it should have been Lizzie.)  Bessie’s occupation was weaver in a woolen mill.  Her cause of death was coronary thrombosis due to coronary sclerosis, and a contributing condition was diabetes. 

Frank died in 1967.  They and daughter Mary Lemay, who died in 1988, are all buried at Valley Cemetery in Hanover. 



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