Etta Cota married William Plastridge 14 Sep 1927

Etta Cota was born 12 August 1875 in Hartford VT, the seventh of eight children of Henry Cota and Elizabeth LaClair.  Etta’s birth record says that her father was a wood chopper, born in Charlotte VT, and her mother was born in Moscow, Canada. 

The 1880 census lists the Cota family in Hartford.  Etta’s two older sisters were no longer in the household, as both were married about 1880. 

When Etta was 20, on 24 December 1895, in Lebanon NH, she married Leon M Woodward, son of Harrison Woodward and Roxie Evelyn Hackett.  The marriage record says that Harrison was born in Middlesex, VT, and Roxie in Barnard VT.  It also says that Etta’s father was born in Charlotte and her mother in Canada.  The bride and groom were both residents of Lebanon.  He was a weaver, she was a seamstress.  This was the first marriage for both, and it was performed by WE Bennett, clergyman. 

Although the 1900 census says Leon was born March 1874, I believe he was born earlier, in 1872. Although I have not yet found a birth record for him, his age in the 1880 census was 8, and he has a sister supposedly born in 1874.  Since the 1880 census was closer to his birth date than the 1900 census was, I suspect it is more accurate.

Leon’s mother had died in 1893, and Harrison married a second time, to Martha Cota, Etta’s older sister, so Etta’s husband was also her sister’s stepson.  

In 1900, Leon and Etta lived in Rockingham, VT.  Leon worked as a weaver in a woolen mill.  They had a daughter, Eva, who was three.  Some time in the next ten years, it appears that Etta and Leon separated.  In 1910, Leon was living in Putnam CT.  He worked as a weaver in a woolen mill, and was listed as single.  Leon was still in Putnam in 1920, still single, working as a travelling salesman although the census doesn’t tell what product he sold.

On 2 July 1921, Leon married Margaret E Murphy in Tilton NH.  Both were residents of Putnam CT.  He was a salesman.  This was listed as his second marriage, her first.  They were together in 1930 in Putnam, where he worked on a poultry farm.  An on-line tree lists his death as 20 March 1944, no location given. 

Meanwhile, in 1910, Etta lived in Lebanon with her father-in-law Harrison and his wife, her sister, Martha.  Both women worked as seamstresses in an overall shop.  The household included Etta’s daughter Eva, and Harrison’s youngest child, Timothy, age 19. 

On 2 November 1912, Etta married widower James Milledge Spinney.  He was a resident of Woodsville, NH.  He was a railroad man, born in Nova Scotia on 4 July 1858.  This was his third marriage.  He had previously been married to Susan M Wilson as her third husband, but she had died 10 October 1911 in Haverhill NH.  I do not know the name of his first wife.  James was the son of Henry Spinney and Margaret Walker.  This was Etta’s second marriage, having divorced Leon Woodward.  This record says that Etta’s parents were both born in Charlotte VT.  Universalist minister Charles F Burroughs performed the ceremony in Hartford VT.  James had moved from Nova Scotia to Boston in 1883, and become a naturalized citizen when he was 46, on 4 October 1904.  He lived in Haverill in 1900 and 1910. 

In 1920, Etta and James lived in Haverhill NH in the house they owned at 11 Highland Street.  James was a car inspector (probably referring to railroad cars.)  Etta’s daughter Evelyn lived with them and worked as a telephone operator.     

Before 1927, James and Etta divorced.  In 1930, James was living in Haverhill with his son James, and he died 17 August 1941 in Woodsville NH. 

On 14 September 1927, in Lebanon, Etta married William N Plastridge.  He was born 30 October 1878 in Canterbury NH, the son of Charles F Plastridge and Abbie M Cass.  In 1880, the family lived in Northfield NH.  In 1900, William lived in Canterbury with his brother. 

Will had previously been married, on 4 December 1908, to Marie Smalley.  His occupation at the time of that marriage was brakeman.  They were married in Boston, and this was the first marriage for both.  In 1910, William and Marie lived in Lebanon, and had a son Charles born the next year.  They lived in Lebanon in 1920, and moved to Penacook in about 1924.  When Charles was almost 17, he drowned when his canoe upset in the Contoocook River at Penacook NH.  Perhaps his first marriage couldn’t survive the tragic loss of their son.  I did not find any records for other children, so he may have been their only child.

Etta and William’s marriage record says that he was a freight conductor, and that she ran her household.  This was his second marriage, and her third, with the previous one also ending in divorce.   This record also says that Etta’s parents were both born in Charlotte VT, and both residents of Bartlett NH although by this time, both had passed.    

William and Etta lived in Lebanon in 1930 in the house they owned at 24 Craft Street.  Their house was valued at $5000, which was about average for that census page.  William was a railroad laborer.    

The 1949 and 1950 Concord NH directories list William (retired) and Etta living in Pembroke.   

Etta and Leon’s daughter Evelyn (Eva) married Roger Freeman Thomas of Gloucester MA.  Family lore is that he is a cousin of Lowell Thomas, the correspondent.  Roger died in 1945 and was buried at Mt Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA.  William Plastridge died 2 September 1953 in Lebanon and was buried in the plot with Roger Thomas.  Etta went to live with her daughter, who was still working for the phone company.  They both spent their last years in Malden, MA.  Etta died in 1968, and her daughter Evelyn in 1974, and both were buried with their husbands in Mt Auburn.

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1 Comment

  1. sooze471 said,

    September 14, 2011 at 12:52

    From Roger:

    Lowell Thomas Jr. was an Alaska State Senator, and a Lt/Governor of Alaska. He now owns Talkeetna Air Taxi that transports envionmental activist onto the glacier on Mt McKindley. I took Robert Laber to meet him at Hood Lake where Lowell fly his bush plane at the time. He was flying a helio courier that day and Robert not only helped design it but it was the first built in MA and sold. Lowell walked in the garage hanger and said if it could be finished by the next day that he would buy it. Since the company was broke they completed it on time. Robert told him of the improvements to the aircraft since that was built. He spent over a year in Tibet with his father trying to get the U.S. to prevent China from invading the country.


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