William Henry Cota 1862 – 1942

Guillaume Henri Coté was born 8 April, and baptized 12 April, 1862, at Ste-Cécile in Milton, Quebec.  He was the third child of Henry H Cota and Elizabeth LaClair.  He had two older sisters, Elizabeth born in 1858, and Mary Jane born in 1860.  William was followed by Martha born in 1866, and Cordelia (Cora) in 1869.  Some later records use the last name spelling of Cotta. 

The family was counted in the 1871 census at Ste-Cécile de Milton, where Henry was a farmer.  This record says that all family members were born in Quebec, while other records say that the first two children were born in Essex, VT.  Soon after the census, the Cota family moved back to Vermont, where George was born in 1872, Etta in 1875, and Lilla in 1878 (probably in Bartlett NH.)

In 1880, the Cota family lived in Hartford, VT.  William’s father worked for the railroad as a wood hand.  William at age 16 was a laborer, and Martha and Cora went to school. 

On 27 December 1884, in Hartford, William married Nellie J Dodge, daughter of Hiram Dodge and Sarah J Cobb.  William was 22 and a laborer, and Nellie was 19.  William became a naturalized citizen in 1885.

For several years, William and Nellie had a farm outside of White River Junction VT.  When it burned down, they did not rebuild, but moved into Hartford town and operated a boarding house near a woolen mill.

In 1900, they lived in Hartford.  William reported that he was born June 1864, but he was actually two years off.  His father and mother were not living together, and his father lived with William and Nellie.  They had another boarder, William McNur. 

The 1910 census lists William and Nellie in Hartford.  William was a hide buyer at a meat company, and Nellie was a nurse.  This census says that they did not have children.  Henry Cota was still living with them (or living with them again).  This census record was particularly hard to find, as it was indexed as both Cavalla and Conelly, and the image is blurry.  However, the family names, ages, and occupations match and I am sure that this is the right family. 

William’s mother had been living with William’s sister, Mary Jane Sloan, and died in 1910.  William’s father died in 1917 in Lebanon, NH. 

The 1920 census listed him by his middle name, with Nellie, living in Hartford.  Henry was a broker in the wool business.  They lived on River Road. 

Lebanon NH and Hartford VT are just a few miles apart, and the Lebanon city directory covered Hartford.   William and Nellie were listed in 1924, 1926, and 1931 as living on Main Street in Hartford.  William’s occupation was manager of the White River Hide and Tallow Company in Hartford. 

The 1930 census lists William and Nellie on Main Street (no number given) in Hartford.  William was listed as a broker for a rendering company.  They owned their home, which was valued at $3000.  They also had a boarder named Alonzo Melinda.  In the 1930’s, people started to drive to work and no longer lived in boarding houses, so William and Nellie closed it up.  By then, they were old enough to retire.

In 1940, William and Nellie still lived on Main Street, but had no boarders, and no occupations listed. 

William died 12 April 1942, at age 80 (two years older than he thought he was.)  His place of death was Hanover, NH, but his residence may still have been Hartford.  Nellie died 5 weeks later, at home in Hartford, of heart disease.

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