Leona Pearl Como

Female 1893 - 1964  (~ 71 years)

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  • Name Leona Pearl Como  [1
    Born Jul 1893  Ogdensburg, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Female 
    Died 10 Oct 1964  Utica, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I2126  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 3 Jan 2022 

    Father John W. Como,   b. Dec 1857, Ogdensburg, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jun 1929, Yorkville, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 71 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Delila Thayer,   b. Aug 1869, East Saginaw, MI Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Nov 1899, Ogdensburg, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 30 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 19 Jun 1886  Ogdensburg, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F6  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 John Baptiste Recore,   b. 20 Jan 1896, Huntingdon, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jun 1976, Hartford, CT Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married Abt 1917  Ogdensburg, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 3 Jan 2022 
    Family ID F136  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Orin Lackey Porter,   b. 22 Jun 1890, Alexandria Bay, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Oct 1956, LeRay, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Married 8 Sep 1909  Plessis, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. David E. Porter,   b. 24 Feb 1910, Alexandria Bay, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jul 1910, Alexandria Bay, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 3 Jan 2022 
    Family ID F212  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Donald John Davidson,   b. 15 Jun 1891, Ormstown, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Feb 1951, Utica, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Last Modified 3 Jan 2022 
    Family ID F4747  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • - Note: For purposes of research, I have listed as Leona's third husband, Donald J. Davidson, with whom she lived until she died. It is unknown whether they actually married (see below.)

      - Leona had only one child, David Porter, who died at age five months.

      - 1900 census: Leona is 6, born July, 1893, and residing in Ogdensburg's Second Ward with her father, John Como, 42, born December, 1857; grandmother Marinda, 65, born November, 1834; sister Blanche, 11, born January, 1889; and brother Earl, 8, born August, 1891. Residing with them is boarder Stony Norman, 24. They reside next door to John and Delia Thayer, and their children Leona and Alfred.

      - 1910 U.S. census: Leona is 16 years old and living with her father, John Como, her brother Earl J. Como, and her son David E. Porter. Her name at this point is Leona Porter and she has been married for one year, but her husband is not living with her. Her son David is two months old.

      - There is a family story that David Porter slipped out of his mother's arms in a boating accident and drowned.


      - 1890: Orrin Porter is born
      - 1893: Leona Pearl Como is born
      - 1909 (May) Leona is impregnated by Orrin
      - 1909: (September) Orrin and Leona marry. Orrin is 19 and Leona is 16 and four months pregnant.
      - 1910: (Feb.) Son David is born
      - 1910: (April) Leona resides with her father in Ogdensburg with son David, 2 months old. She apparently is separated or divorced from Orrin.
      - 1910 (July) David Porter dies at age five months.
      - 1917: (approximately) Leona and Jack Recore either marry or simply take up residence with each other.
      - 1917: Orrin and Alberta Unk. have daughter Mildred
      - 1919: Orrin and Alberta apparently marry (year is indicated in 1930 census)

      - 1920 census: Leona Como Recore, 24 and husband John Recore, 23 reside on Commerce Street in Ogdensburg's Second Ward, next door to his parents, Frank Recore, 60, and Margaret Recore, 61. Also with his parents is John's brother Alex, 36. On the other side of John and Leona is John's sister, Lena Recore LeBouf, 28, a widow. John in a general laborer and Leona works for the cigar factory. Alex is a painter; neither of his parents work so he is supporting them. Living on the other side of John and Leona Recore is John's sister, Lena Recore LaBuff, 28, a widow.

      (1920: Living in Utica, NY, Ward 13, are Donald Davidson, 28, with wife Clara, 24, and children Burford Davidson, 8; Clarice, 5, and Donald, 8 mos. They are living with her parents, Louis Gonyea, 40, and wife Mary, 47, both b. Canada. Louis is a conductor on the street railway. Donald is a chef in a restaurant. Clara was born NH and both parents, Canada)

      - About 1925, John and Leona Recore were visiting in Utica, NY with John's sister, Elizabeth Recore, who was married to Leona's brother, John Earl Como. John and Elizabeth Como were close friends of Donald J. Davidson and his wife, the former Clara A. Gonyea, of Utica. It is unclear whether they were staying at the Davidson residence, but as the story goes, they awoke one morning to find that John Recore had run off with Mrs. Davidson (in the 1930 census, John and Clara A. Recore were residing in Hartford, Conn. where they remained until they died.)
      At that point or some time not long after, the abandoned couple, Leona Como Recore and Donald Davidson, took up residence in Utica (they are found in the 1930 census, and remained together until they died.) There is no information on whether John and Leona divorced, or that Donald Davidson and Clara divorced, or, whether John Recore and Clara Davidson, and, Leona Como Recore and Donald Davidson, actually married. When Donald Davidson died in 1951, among the survivors was his widow, Leona "Davidson." According to the obit, Donald Davidson married "Miss Leona Como" in 1910. Of course, that was not true in that she had been previously married twice.

      - 1930 census: At Utica, District 148, are Donald J. Davidson, 38 (no wife) with his children Burford, 18 and Donald, 11; as well as John Earl Como, lodger, 38, and his children: John Francis Como, 15; Margaret L. Como, 14; Elizabeth Como, 8; and Dorothy M. Como, 4 mos. Also living there is Leona P. Interestingly, Leona was first listed in the census form with the last name Davidson, which was then erased (but enough remains in the census form to see it), and then the last name is replaced with a word beginning with C (for Como) except that a line is drawn through the C and no additional letters are added. The census does say she is John Earl Como's sister.
      (Living in Hartford, Conn., are John E. Recore, 35 and "wife" Clara A. Recore, 36.)

      - 1940 census: Residing Utica are Donald J. Davidson, 48, son Donald H., 20; Leona Como, 46, housekeeper, and Earl Como, 48, housekeeper. Donald is married, Leona is married, and Earl is listed as single but is not, and has left his wife Elizabeth Recore Como and children in Ogdensburg making do for themselves.

      - On Oct. 20, 1964, Donald H. Davidson, son of David J. Davidson, made a claim for Leona's Social Security, claiming that she was his mother, and giving a death date for her of Oct. 10, 1964. However, when Donald J. Davidson died in 1951 at age 60, he left besides his wife who he married in 1910, a daughter, Mrs. Clarice McGuire, Hartford, Conn; and two sons, Buford G. Davidson and Donald H. Davidson, Utica. But in 1920, he was still with wife Clara and the three children. So none are the children of Leona P. Como.

      - It has been alleged that Leona Como Recore may have had some part in several deaths. Earl Como said that Leona Como and Jack Recore had a baby when they were married. Jack's sister Lena Recore, who was married to George LaBuff also had a baby. Leona and Lena used to pal around together in their pre-marriage days, and Leona found the baby was cramping her style. So one day when Leona was out in a boat with her baby, she tossed it over the side and it drowned. It was thought by all to have been an accident. On another occasion when Leona was babysitting Lena's child in the middle of the winter, she held the baby out the window. It later caught pneumonia and died as a result of that.
      Earl Como said this story came from his mother and he emphasized that she was always totally honest and he believed this story to be true. However, there is no record of Leona and Jack Recore having a baby. Leona did have a baby in 1910 long before Jack Recore came along and just after she had married Orin Porter. The baby was David Porter and died at age five months. Perhaps that is the baby that Elizabeth Como referred to.
      There's another story that when John W. Como, father of John Earl and Leona Como got sick, he went to live with Leona in Utica, that Leona got tired of taking care of him and somehow helped to end his misery. Leona's brother, John Earl Como, also went to live with Leona after he had a heart attack and got sick. Again there is suspicion that maybe his death wasn't entirely natural.
      Research finds the following:
      The 1900 census has Orin L. Porter, age 9, residing at Alexandria Bay, son of David Porter, 32, and Margaret, 29. In 1909 at age 18, Orin married Leona Como, then 15: "Orrin L. Porter and Leona P. Como, both of Alexandria Bay, NY, were married at Plessis, Jefferson County, NY Sept. 8, 1909, by Garran A. Darling, a clergyman residing at Plessis." Plessis is several miles southeast of Alex Bay. However, just one year later, she shows up in the 1910 census as Leona Porter, age 16, residing with her father, John Como, and brother Earl Como, as well as with her son, David E. Porter, age 2 months. So apparently, it was a shotgun marriage due to her pregnancy and didn't last long. David E. Porter died at age five months July 10, 1910. There are no newspaper reports to be found that indicated cause of death. And while John Como and son Earl, and his wife and first-born, Uncle Pete, are in Ogdensburg in 1915, Leona is no longer with them and does not show up in the census anywhere as either Leona Porter or Leona Como. Orin, in 1915, lives with his grandmother in Alex Bay.
      And so, Leona got pregnant by Orin Porter in May, 1909 when she was 14 and they got married in September after she had turned 15 in July, and when she was four months pregnant. The baby was born in February, 1910 and by April when the census was taken, she was home with her father and the baby without her husband. By July, the baby was dead.
      Jack Recore in his WW1 draft registration card dated June 5, 1917, was residing at 800 Cornelia St., Utica, age 21, and single. By 1920, he and Leona are living in the Burg right next to his parents, and his sister Lena Recore LaBuff, a widow. In 1915, Jack Recore, age 18, was living with his parents, Frank and Maggie Recore, and brothers Al;ex and George as well as sister Vina on River Street in Ogdensburg. A few doors down is Earl Como, wife Elizabeth, their son Uncle Pete, and his father John Como. We don't know where Leona Como/Porter is but by 1915, David Porter is dead and Leona has not as yet taken up with Jack Recore. And so the story that Leona had a baby when she and Jack were married is not true. She may have drowned it, but the baby was already gone by the time Jack Recore came along.
      John W. Como went to Yorkville, NY, part of Utica, in February, 1929 at age 71 to live with his daughter Leona, who was 35 at that time and living with Donald J. Davidson and his children Buford, 17 and Donald, 1. He died four months later, June 4. There's no cause of death. There's no evidence Leona killed him with her husband and his children present. Just months later, her brother John Earl Como moved in with them along with his children Pete, Margaret, Elizabeth and Dorothy. They were there for the 1930 census taken in April. So it wasn't a problem with space.
      John Earl went back to Ogdensburg that summer because he was arrested Oct. 14, 1930 for disorderly conduct. He was arrested again in 1932 for burglary and placed on probation for three years. At some point he again left Ogdensburg but he's back with Leona and her husband for the 1940 census while his wife and children are all in Ogdensburg. He's working as a housekeeper so he's bringing in money. After that, he takes to the road and is found in Chicago in 1944. At some point he returned to Utica with Jim and Leona where he died Oct. 24, 1951 of a supposed heart attack. There's nothing to indicate that his sister murdered him.
      Leona's son died July 10, 1910. We can find nothing on the death of a baby of Lena Recore LaBuff. In 1915 at 24 she was married to George LaBuff who died in action overseas Nov. 21, 1918. Since he was likely in the service for some months before he died, and she was likely living with his parents until he died, it's doubtful that her husband impregnated her. Likewise, there's no newspaper report of the death of a baby LaBuff.
      In sum, it may be that Leona killed her son but it's doubtful she killed Lena's child, or her father or brother. We'll never know.

  • Sources 
    1. [S8] Como-recore.FTW.