Miss New Hampshire 1933: Leita Laugley
No information has been obtained on Miss New Hampshire; the sum of my and MAO knowledge is her name, five pictures in her sash from Atlantic City, and a mention in the Atlantic City and Philadelphia newspapers. No information on her hometown or even any preliminary contests has been uncovered.
There is no Leita Laugley in New Hampshire or anywhere in America on the 1920, 1930 or 1940 census data. There are no possibilities in New Hampshire even when considering spelling variations of both names -- Leta, Leda, Laughly, Langley, etc. It is possible that Leita is a diminutive of her actual given name, such as Arleta, but this possibility did not yield any positive results. It is also possible that Leita is a middle name used for the contest and she is listed on the census and other records under a different given name. It is not thought that her name was a made-up "stage name" as every other contestant used their actual names. (See below for details for the census data searches and results.) It seems likely that Leita is residing in another state for the 1920 and 1930 censuses.
It occurs to me (DLH) that Laugley is unusual and newspapers were hand-set at the time; perhaps it could have been a typsetting error with an "n" tuned upside down into a "u" -- Langley is a much more popular surname. Note that the Philadelphia Inquirer, the only source to date with her name, spelled it both Laugley and Laughley.
|Leita from the panorama shot - age ? (second image)|
|1933 New England contestants picture in the Sep 7 Philadelphia Inquirer. Although the description on the reverse side omitted their names, the article (see next picture below) had Miss New Hampshire's name.|
|Philadelphia Inquirer - Sep 7 lists her name as Leita Laughley (full page and first page).|
|Philadelphia Inquirer - Sep 8 lists her name as Leita Laugley (see just the caption).|
The Pageant Book has no names of any contestants, and even no mention of the states represented.
The Atlantic City newspaper on Tuesday, September 5 only includes New Hampshire as one of the states represented at the Pageant. The Atlantic City newspaper on Thursday, September 7 has a larger reference, but still no documentation for Leita's name: "Forgot Bathing Suits. The picture-taking process was delayed for some time when it was found that two of the girls were missing. A checkup revealed that the missing beauties were "Miss Maine" and "Miss New Hampshire." They were finally located in the beauty parlors. The two New England girls had not brought along their bathing suits. However, the committee soon found two extra outfits and the proceedings continued."
Newspaper and census research has been extensive but not fruitful. Several online (nationwide) digital newspaper sources have been examined for all years available for any mention of Leita, Miss New Hampshire 1933, or a 1933 contest. In addition, librarians from several of the larger New Hampshire towns kindly researched their (undigitized) local newspapers too for 1933 (sometimes just August) as well as directories. MAO historian Ric Ferentz had documented the name Leita Laugley in 2002 but did not document the source; it is likely but not necessarily to have been the Philadelphia Inquirer articles (displayed at right). But if his source is a third one from a second newspaper, and the name is still Laugley/Laughley, it will dispel the hypothesis of a possible typographical error.
Since the New Hampshire newspapers in 1933 have no mention of any local contest prior to the Pageant, and little mention of the national Pageant, it casts doubt on there being a local contest, and suggests the possibility that Leita may not have lived in her representative state and may have been tapped for the position (this seems like a viable possibility when considering that the neighboring Miss Vermont Nettina Rich actually lived in Massachusetts). However the lack of newspaper documentation is not definitive as all advertising for the (supposed) state contest could have been by local radio, flyers, or posters (e.g., see the 1934 one below), with no records extant.
The only information that is certain is that a Miss New Hampshire did participate. She must have had some kind of proof that she lived in New Hampshire as of September, 1933 (like a confirming telegram from her town mayor). Her name is listed as Leita Laugley/Laughley in the 9/7 and 9/8 Philadelphia Inquirer. She may not have been chosen in a state contest, although it is assumed there was one perhaps in Massachusetts or Maine if not in New Hampshire. She is supposed to be aged 16-25 and single.
Research post-pageant is even more problematic as it might be under a married surname unknown.
There are no census records found for Leita Laugley in NH or anywhere in America in 1910, 1920, 1930 or 1940. The Union Leader (in Manchester, the largest city in NH), Concord Monitor (in Concord, the capital), Nashua Telegraph (almost as large as Manchester) and Derry News newspaper archives were checked with no results for either Leita Laugley, Miss New Hampshire, or a New Hampshire contest. National searches of digitized newspapers through 2016 have yielded no results either for Leita Laugley, Miss New Hampshire, or a New Hampshire contest. Perhaps the best chance to find Leita may be to find a mention of Miss New Hampshire 1933 in an obituary once more newspapers are digitized; that is how Miss Vermont and Miss New Mexico were located in 2016 and 2010 respectively.
Given that Miss Vermont was just found (in 2016) to be a resident of Massachusetts, it is quite possible that Miss New Hampshire is not from the state of New Hampshire. The fact that there has been no mention of any state contest found in any of the New Hampshire newspapers (see below), and only one newspaper even had a mention of the national pageant, seems to indicate there may not have been a contest in New Hampshire, and therefore that Leita Laugley was selected elsewhere. This suggests that research into the New England contests, and their organizer John F. Welch, might lead to her discovery.
Of the four New England contestants -- Miss Maine was selected at a contest at Old Orchard Beach in Maine; Miss Massachusetts was selected at a contest at the Poquanum Tribe carnival at Memorial Park in Lynn in Massachusetts; Miss Vermont was selected as Miss New England (and somehow later designated as Miss Vermont) at a contest in Fall River in Massachusetts; Miss New Hampshire's selection is unknown. (Note that pageant winner Marion Bergeron had been selected as Miss New Haven and competed against 21 Connecticut city winners for the state title on Sunday August 6, 1933 at Roton Point, CT.)
Information on New England contests:
Old Orchard Beach, Maine (state contest) -- Miss Maine Iva Stewart won a local contest as Miss Auburn to qualify for the state contest held on July 25 at Old Orchard Beach. There were five other women mentioned as runners-up in this contest, but no Leita. (Note: a 1970 article mentions contests at the Oakdale Gardens in Auburn and a Miss America contest in Newport, RI -- Auburn not researched yet; the Newport locale is incorrect as it was Atlantic City, NJ in 1933 and in Boston in 1934 (as per flyer below), but research into Newport for both 1933 and 1934 might be fruitful for some ancillary contest.)
Lynn, Massachusetts (state contest)(11 miles north of Boston) -- the Lynn library kindly researched August 5-15 newspapers and found but a single article on Aug 11, 1933. It specified the winner of the Miss Massachusetts contest was Elsie Taylor, and mentioned seven runners-up (no Leita) and a "contest to select "Miss New England" at Fall River, today".
Fall River, Massachusetts (regional contest)(52 miles south of Boston) -- no information has been located on the regional contest in Fall River on August 11, 1933, where Nettina Rich was "selected at Fall River, Mass., to represent 'Miss New England'" (8/24/1933 Delaware article). (Somehow Nettina was later tapped to be Miss Vermont even though she lived in Massachusetts.) Surprisingly, the Fall River Library found three articles, on Aug 3, 5, and 29, but they were only about the local contest to choose a "Miss Fall River" (see below); there was no article about the regional contest. As Fall River, MA is in the Providence, RI area, a request was made to the Providence Library, but there were no articles in the Providence Journal either (see below).
However, the Boston Public Library kindly looked for articles in period Boston newspapers and found one about the Miss New England contest on August 12. It features a picture of Miss Massachusetts Elsie Taylor, and further states that "'Miss New England' is to be chosen this week at the big Revere Veterans of Foreign Wars carnival at Revere." This is exciting, since this article was written after the August 11 contest in Fall River (and no articles were found in the Boston newspapers for either contest). Nettina Rich "Miss Vermont was crowned Miss New England at Fall River according to her syndicated nationwide newspaper article. It would appear that there may have been, for some reason, a second Miss New England contest. However, the Boston Library looked for this August 11 contest in eight newspapers (see below) and found no further information other than the two articles in the Boston Post. The Revere Library was contacted in Jan 2017 to see if they could possibly find any information or offer advice.
It is thought that maybe Leita was a runner-up at one of these two contests, and that resulted in her selection as "Miss New Hampshire". Nettina garnered the honor of "Miss New England" in Fall River but showed up in Atlantic City as "Miss Vermont." It is thought that "Miss New Hampshire" might similarly have been designated as a state queen after winning a contest in Revere or perhaps as a runner-up at the Fall River contest.
Fall River, Massachusetts (local contest) -- The Fall River Library kindly looked at the August and September 1933 Herald News newspapers and found three articles (Aug 3, Aug 5, and Aug 29) mentioning the Fall River local beauty contest, with the second two mentioning that Ruth O. Brereton (daughter of Mrs. T. W. Jackson) was going to Atlantic City as "Miss Fall River" (Massachusetts). This is quite odd. First, there is a glaring omission of the Aug 11 Fall River regional pageant where a Miss New England was selected (Miss Vermont Nettina Rich); not only were there no articles August 10-12 when this prestigious event took place, but the August 29 article also did not mention the Aug 11 Miss New England contest or Nettina Rich. This is perhaps even more surprising since the local contest in Fall River had a crowd of over 1200 (August 5 article) so it is expected that the Aug 11 regional contest would have been even larger, and certainly more prestigious. Second, there is no mention of any Ruth Brereton or any Miss Fall River in Atlantic City's Sep 5-9 national contest -- not in newspapers or in the pageant book -- moreover, there is no mention of any city contestants other than Miss New York City and Miss District of Columbia.
The pictures do not seem to indicate that Ruth Brereton was Leita Laugley; it is not thought that Ruth somehow became Miss New Hampshire and used the name Leita. Ruth's 2007 obituary does not mention beauty pageants. Her descendants with whom I have corresponded do not know what her participation entailed; therefore it is hypothesized it could have been just as a spectator or in a separate division, and not in the main event as a state queen. There were other divisions/categories in Atlantic City (at least professional, amateur and comic) as detailed in the Atlantic City and Philadelphia newspapers and the Pageant Book. So instead of helping to determine who Leita is, it leaves me with another research project to determine what role Ruth had in Atlantic City; her descendants only knew she had a fabulous time there.
1933 Ruth 1933 Ruth 1933 Leita 1933 Leita 1933 Leita
New England contests coordinator John F. Welch is being researched as a possible source of more information about all the contests in New England, and the apparent appointments of Miss Vermont and maybe Miss New Hampshire. The Aug 5 Fall River newspaper states "the contest [to select Miss Fall River] was under the direction of John Welch who is in charge of the selection of Miss New England." A 1934 poster (at right, found on ebay from the estate of Miss America 1951 Yolande Betbeze) features a (previously unfound) picture of the five New England contestants (Miss CT, Miss VT, Miss NH, Miss MA and Miss ME) from the Sep 5-9 1933 Miss America Pageant while advertising a Miss Cape Cod preliminary competition on Aug 3 1934 prior to the Miss America finals contest at the Boston Arena on Sep 21-22 1934, and calls J. F. Welch a "director general." (Note: there was no national pageant in Atlantic City in 1934, but it was revived yet again in 1935. It is unknown if this Boston pageant was officially tied to the Atlantic City ones.) It is not clear if the 1934 event actually included the participation of the five 1933 New England Miss America contestants or if the picture was just used as some form of advertisement. So it appears that John F. Welch was in charge of all of the contests in New England for at least two years similar to how Jimmy Carrier was in charge of all of the MidWest. It appears that Welch exercised his authority in this role, as did Carrier, to designate state winners (e.g., Carrier appointed Margaret Wittman of Washington as Miss Idaho and Welch apparently appointed Nettina Rich from Massachusetts as Miss Vermont). It is not clear if Miss New Hampshire was similarly designated.
1934 poster cropped 1934 poster
Ric's source of Leita Laugley's name is not known; I received it in 2002 on the list of 1933 contestants provided by MAO. It may be a different source than the 9/8 Philadelphia Inquirer, and may not have even been a NH newspaper, or even a 1933 one. When more newspapers are digitized, specifically 1933 but also 1910-1940, she will likely be found either through information on her (such as an obituary) or information on the 1933 New Hampshire contest.
--- In a message dated 7/11/2010 1:36:52 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Donna Hay
I can find no records at all for a Leita Laugley. How do you have that name in your records? I am just wondering if it is perhaps a deciphering error from handwriting, or a typo (like Dorothy Dennis on the AP photo became Dorota), or if I must conclude she was using some stage name. It seems like all the other girls used their real names -- even married Vivian Ferguson used her real maiden name. So this one stumps me. She should be somewhere on the 1920 and/or 1930 census..... arghhh! :)
--- In a message dated 7/11/10 11:47 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, Ric Ferentz
Donna, you are asking me a question I can not answer. You have to understand that it took decades for me to collect these names long before there was an internet. Each state or city I would travel to, I was in the library collecting names when and if I could find them. It took a lot of time and money. Not only from 1933 but from every year from 1921 on up. So, I'm sorry to say that I can not recall Leita exactly. I just know that somewhere over the years I got that name. Could it be a stage name? You bet.
--- In a message dated 7/11/2010 11:55 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, Donna Hay
thanks for getting back to me so quickly. even this is a help. It is likely you found something in a newspaper somewhere, and when more are digitized, I will find it too. Thanks!! :)
As research into Leita and into Laugley has been fruitless, it could well be that Leita's names were slightly different. Her given name might not be Leita -- it could be a different name altogether (like Miss PA is listed as Gertrude on her census data but Geraldine in the Pageant and afterwards) or it could be a diminutive of a longer name such as Arleita. As Ric said, a stage name is also a possibility, but there has been no other 1933 contestant found who did not use her actual name.
I actually think Ric may not have found Leita in these two Philadelphia Inquirer newspapers -- primarily because he did not find the Sunday article specifying New York was second and California third, but also because he never mentioned the two spellings of her name (Laugley and Laughley) -- but it is possible that it was somehow that page of photos (above) from Sep 8 that lists her name as Laugley consistent with the spelling Ric had. I am hoping that he found her name on another source, as finding yet another source may also yield some geographic or other clue.
Notes -- geography, birthday, marital status
• Geography -- Leita only had to live in NH in 1933; she may have lived elsewhere on the 1920 and 1930 census data and post-pageant. But she, as well as all the contestants, had to have supplied proof she was a New Hampshire resident as of September 1933. However, it should be noted that Miss Vermont's residency proof is not known, as her descendants did not know of any residency in Vermont, and all the newspaper clippings state she was from Massachusetts. Therefore, it is assumed that Leita's NH residency proof may have been just as suspect.
• Birthdate -- Leita was likely born 1912-1916, but could be older (the oldest was born 4/1909) or younger (the youngest was born 9/1918)
• Marital status -- Leita was likely single, but there were problems with married contestants in (at least) AR, IN and PA; but she would assuredly have been single on the 1930 census
There are no census records for either Leita Laugley or Leita Laughley anywhere in America in 1910-1940. Either her name is under a different spelling (e.g., Leita written sloppy and misindexed as Lula), or her name was mistyped in the Philadelphia newspapers (e.g., Langley mistypeset as Laugley), or the handwriting of her name on the census data was misindexed (e.g., Laugley as Langley), or she is listed under another name or initials in the census data (e.g., Leita is a middle name).
Initially focus was placed on the New Hampshire census entries, particularly for 1930, as Leita supposedly had proof she was a New Hampshire resident in 1933. However, as Miss Vermont was found in 2016 to actually be from Massachusetts, it seems prudent to look for Leita in any New England state. It is thought she would be from New England, as there was a New England coordinator (John F. Welch) who was likely instrumental in her selection.
Looking for possible entries involved: similar spellings of both names (e.g., Leta Laugly), all Leitas regardless of surname, all Laugley/Laughleys regardless of given name. Research included names for which Leita could be a diminutive (Aleta, Arleta, Violet) and spelling/audio variations (Lida, Leta, Leitha). Despite this wide net, no likely matches for census data have been located in 1910-1940. This is particularly disappointing since unusual names are usually easier, not harder, to find on the census. This makes me (DLH) think that Leita is at least a nickname if not a stage name. Note that there can be transcription errors and interpretation errors -- so a handwritten Leita could be transcribed/interpreted as Lula. If the parents had accents, unusual names are often misinterpreted.
New Hampshire census possibilities (born 1913 +/- 5 years):
• Given name and surname:
no Leita Laugley, no Leita Laughley, no Leita Langley
• Given Name Of Leita:
Surnames: Belanger (b.1908), Crossmane (b.1908), Nelson (b.1908), Nelson (b.1912), Shores (b.1914).
• Surname of Laugley and Laughley:
Given names: None
• Variations on Given Name (Lida, Lita, Leta, Luta, Lula, Leitha, Leyta, Layta, Leeta):
"L" surnames only: Lachapelle, LaClair, Lakin, Langford, Loehepelle.
• Variations of Given Name (Aleita, Arleta, Arleeta, Arleita, Aleitha):
• Given name of Violet:
L surnames: Labaequr, Labonte, Lacerte, LaClante/Laplante, Lacourse, Ladd, Ladeau, LaFlamme, Lafleure, Lafontaine, Lamarche, Lamontagne, LaPierre, Laporte, Lareau, Laroche, Lavallee, Lawrie, Leard, Leavitt, Leblanc, Leclaire, Ledoux, Lemire, Lepuc, Lewis, Locke, Lougee.
• Variation on surname of Langley:
Given names: Averon, Bertha, Colyn, Delma, Doris, Dorothy/Dotherty, Edith, Elizabeth, Ethel/Ethal*, Evelyn/Evelun, Gladys, Helen, Irene, Lillian, Lorette, Marion, Martha, Mildred, Pricilla/Priscilla, Rosealer, Rosie, Ruth, Verna, Winifred.
* Ethel L. Langley of Goffstown, was researched thinking her middle name could be Leita (especially since her grandmother's name was Lida), but this was confirmed not to be a match.
New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, VT but excluding NY) census possibilities:
• Given name and surname:
no Leita Laugley, no Leita Laughley, no Leita Langley
• Given name Leita:
L surnames only: Launderville, Lavoie, Lopaus, Lyman.
• Surname Laugley or Laughley:
Given names: none
• Variations on Given Name (Lita, Leta, Lida, Luta, Leitha, Leyta, Layta, Leeta)(did not do Lula):
L surnames: Lamelin, Lamphins, Lang, Langel*, Langley**, Lapierre, Larochelle, Larson, Le Blance, Lemens, Lerette, Levine, Libbey, Linkovich, Little, Lowalo, Lupachini, Lyman.
* Leta Langel, 9 in 1920 in Bellingham, MA, daughter of Woodbury and Maude, sister of Earl and Elizabeth.
** Leta A. Langley, age 5 in 1920 in Aroostook, ME, daughter of Ira and Grace, sister to Theren and Kenneth [marries John A. Cambridge in Presque Isle, Maine on 10/25/1933 so is unlikely to be a match].
• Variations on Given Name (Arleta, Arlieta, Aleita, Arleitha, Arleeta):
L surnames: none
• Variation on Given Name (Violet):
Lau, Lan surnames only: Landphere, Landry, Lane, Lanenduski, Lang, Lanfelier, Langevin, Langley***, Langlois, Laurie.
*** Violet Langley was a 21-year old married women from Framingham, MA.
• Variation on Surname (Langley):
Leita-variation given names: Letha*, Leta**.
* Letha Langley, age 16 in 1930 in Aroostook, ME, daughter of Perley and Laura, sister to Kenneth and Maynard.
** Leta A. Langley, age 5 in 1920 in Aroostook, ME, daughter of Ira and Grace, sister to Theren and Kenneth
Note: It is thought the second one, Leta, marries John A. Cambridge in Presque Isle, Maine on 10/25/1933 so is unlikely to be a match. However, this marriage could be for Letha instead. More research could be done on both of these women.
Newspaper research has not been fruitful. As of 2017, online searching of newspaper archives has yielded nothing. The Union Leader, Concord Monitor, Nashua Telegraph and Derry News archives were all checked on microfilms with no 1933 article found (see library research below for specifics). However, some of the searches were just of the August newspapers, and since Miss Maine was chosen in July, the Miss New Hampshire contest may also have been in July, requiring further searching. It is not clear that Ric Ferentz' travels would have taken him to small New Hampshire towns to research the other small local newspapers. Since nothing has been located in the larger newspapers of NH, and especially not in the Union Leader which is found in every county in NH, it would appear more likely that Ric found the reference to Leita in a newspaper of another state.
Union Leader. The best research possibility seemed to be the Manchester Union Leader newspaper. Manchester is the largest city in NH and the Union Leader is the largest newspaper in New Hampshire, found in all counties of NH. Even if Leita was not from Manchester, it seems likely that this newspaper would have had some article about the NH contest and/or the national pageant.
2010 front-page article in the Union Leader about search for Leita Laugley (full article)
-- John Jordan of the Union Leader looked at the microfilms for 1933 and found nothing in 2010, researching the following article by John Clayton:
-- John Clayton, Union Leader Staff -- penned an article titled "Beauty of a Mystery" on August 2, 2010 featuring Leita, with her picture. I am deeply indebted to John for entering the fray on this search! Unfortunately, no good leads or even research suggestions came from this article.
Concord is the capital of New Hampshire (newspaper: Concord Monitor - opened 1864)(checked-no article). It is the second-best research possibility. For a third possibility Nashua tops the list, being close in size after Manchester (newspaper: Nahua Telegraph - opened 1869)(checked-no article). After that, it is unknown what town Leita may have been from; it is most likely that her home town newspaper reported on her success as being selected Miss New Hampshire. It is most likely that Ric Ferentz, who mostly searched "by hand" looking at the old newspapers, only searched August-September 1933 so found her name in an older newspaper.
Other old (1933) Newspapers: (Colebrook) News and Sentinel (the North Country's hometown newspaper since 1870), Derry News (opened 1880)(checked-no article), (Dover) Fosters Daily Democrat (opened 1873), Keene Sentinel (opened 1799), (Milford) Cabinet Press (opened 1802), (Portsmouth) New Hampshire Gazette (opened 1756), Portsmouth Herald (opened 1884 as the Penny Post).
Later newspapers much less likely to have information: Berlin Reporter (opened 2012), (Chester, Hampstead) Tri-Town Times (opened ~2003), Colebrook Chronicle (opened 1971), Hudson-Litchfield News (opened 1989), (Kingston) Carriage Town News Online (opened 1983), Londonderry Times (opened ~2003), (Londonderry) Nutfield News (opened ~2003), Laconia Citizen (opened ~1991?), (Laconia) Weirs Times (opened ~1996), (North Conway) Conway Daily Sun (opened 1989), (North Haverhill) Bridge Weekly (unknown), (North Sutton) Intertown Record (unknown), Pelham-Windham News (opened ~2003?), (Peterborough) Monadnock Ledger (opened mid-1950s), (Wolfeboro) Granite State News (unknown).
Manchester, NH Library, Librarian II - nothing 7/2010:
A colleague and I did some research and could not find anything on Leita Laughley / Laugley. We checked the 1929-1935 Manchester City Directories and did not find the surname Laughley or Laugley. We did find the surname Laughlin, but no Leita.
We used Ancestry.com to check the 1930 census and found no exact matches. Nationwide in the US, only found 17 hits for the surname Laughley and 33 hits for the surname Laugley. Did a state search on Ancestry.com for the first name Leita in 1930 NH, but no surnames came close to the spelling given to us.
The Union Leader is the main newspaper in this area. However, there is no index prior to 1989. From a clipping file on Miss New Hampshire, we discovered that there was no real formal picking of Miss New Hampshire until about 1946 / 1947. In one Union Leader clipping from the file, dated 23 June 1956, it talked about past Miss New Hampshire being invited to the 1956 Pageant for the 10th anniversary. It gave a list of past winners, starting with the 1947 Miss New Hampshire.
We did find a short New Times article for the 1933 Miss America Pageant, dated 10 September 1933, which had only a couple of paragraphs. The only names mentioned were the top 3 finishers.
Note -- Since the Union Leader took over the Miss New Hampshire charter in 1947, it is possible the clipping file on Miss New Hampshire had not included articles prior to 1947. However, For John Clayton's 2010 column ("Beauty of a Mystery" -- see above) John Jordan of the Union Leader did examine the 1933 microfilms and found nothing.
Concord, NH Library, Reference Librarian - nothing 7/2010:
In response to your questions about Miss New Hampshire 1933, Miss Leita Laughley or Laugley, I looked through the August 1933 microfilm of the Concord newspaper at that time, the NH Daily Monitor and NH Patriot (which became the Concord Monitor). I also looked in the first few days of September 1933 with no success. I'm afraid that I found no mention of the pageant itself, and wonder if it was held in Manchester, NH, which is a larger city than Concord? It is strange that there wasn't a mention of the pageant at all in the Concord paper. I also checked the Concord City directories from 1929 to 1937 and was unable to find any family named Laughley or Laugley listed in any of them.
Salem, NH Library - nothing 7/2010:
I am sorry to say that I am not able to be of much assistance to you. Salem had no local paper in the 30s and we have no directories from that period. The Eagle Tribune, published in nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts has been the paper of record for this area for some time. You may wish to contact Lawrence's Public Library since they will have editions from that era on microfilm.
Nashua, NH Library - nothing 7/2010:
I looked in a historical newspaper database we have which includes New Hampshire newspapers from Hollis, Milford, Nashua, Nelson, and Portsmouth. I searched both for the pageant and for the person's name and did not find any information. I also searched the Nashua City Directories for 1933 as well as a few years before and after and did not find anything.
Derry, NH Library, Reference Librarian -- nothing 10/2010
I have checked the The Derry News for September 1-15, 1933 and have found no mention of the Miss America Pageant or Leita Laughley/Laugley. Also, no Laughleys or Laugleys were listed in the 1932 telephone book. Our City Directories do not extend that far back.
Providence, RI Library Reference - nothing, 1/2017
We have searched our microfilm carefully for articles about the pageant in Fall River, but I'm sorry to say that we were not able to locate anything about it in The Providence Journal. It is possible that there were no Rhode Island contestants, in which case it would probably not have been covered in the local papers.
Boston, MA, Reference Librarian -- found two articles 1/2017
She searched around Aug 11 for the Fall River contest and found no articles in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Post, Boston American, Taunton Daily Gazette (near Fall River), Revere Journal, Chelsea Gazette (near Revere), Chelsea Record (near Revere). There were two articles in the Boston Post, both about Miss Massachusetts and one mentioning a Miss New England contest to be held the week of August 12 in Revere (article). She suggested that research could include the Somerset (MA) Spectator as well as looking for other newspapers than the Journal in Revere; the Revere Library was contacted.
Daryl Schabinger and I thank all the librarians and researchers who tried so hard to help us in this quest, and for their suggestions for further research avenues.
Miss New Hampshire Organization
From the Miss New Hampshire website: "The following historical information was supplied by Ric Ferentz of the Miss America Organization and we thank him for this!
There were Miss New Hampshire titleholders prior to 1947, when the Union Leader newspaper took over the Miss New Hampshire Charter. Here is a partial list:
1945 Lee Corey - Lake Spofford
1944 Jackie Edson - Plaistow
1939 Lois Marjorie Truax - Nashua
1936 Edna Jones - Roxbury (placed as a semi-finalist in Atlantic City.)
1925 Helen Kanehl - Miss Manchester (this was during the "Inter-City" days)
From this information, no pattern is discernible that would help with locating the 1933 contestant, and no mention of from whom the Union Leader newspaper took over the Charter. The Miss New Hampshire website does not include Leita Laugley.
Social Security Death Index: despite the unusual name of Leita, no positive match on SSDI is possible. If one makes a large assumption that her SSN would have been taken out in New Hampshire, there is a strong possibility -- there are five such Leitas with birthyears of 1901, 1907, 1913, 1922 and 1962. Only the 1913 is a strong possibility: LEITA M CLARK, date of birth: 18 Oct 1913, date of death: 19 Aug 1989, last residence: 03743 (Claremont, Sullivan, NH), last benefit: (none specified), social security number: 003-22-7720, place issued: New Hampshire
Claremont newspaper contacted in 2009 to obtain obituary; no response yet. (firstname.lastname@example.org Hello. My name is Donna Hay and I live in the Los Angeles area. My mom was Miss Iowa 1933, and I have photographs and memorabilia to share. I am seeking Miss New Hampshire Leita Laugley/Laughley. According the the Social Security Death Index, the only Leita who fits this possibility is: Leita M. Clark; born 18 Oct 1913; dies 19 Aug 1989; Last residence: Claremont, Sullivan, NH. Would it be possible for me to obtain an obituary for Leita Clark so I may do further research to see if she is in fact the Leita Laughley I seek? Thank you for any help or advice in this quest. Sincerely, Donna)
Further research possibilities
-- finding out which newspaper had the "NH Charter" in 1933 -- the Union Leader "took over the charter" in 1947. But, especially since there had not been a pageant for the 6 years prior to 1933, perhaps there was no specific newspaper with the charter in 1933.
-- Historian Dick Duckoff could be contacted to see if he might have a suggestion for research avenues. He was recommended to me by Ethel L. Langley's son. -- Emailed 7/16 to ask for advice.
-- Yankee Magazine, published in Dublin, NH often has general interest stories. Ethel Langley's son suggested they may be interested in running a picture and story. -- Emailed 7/16 to request an article submission about 1933 Miss Connecticut being only New England Miss America winner and showing pictures of VT and NH to ask readers for help.
Yankee Magazine -- 1933 Miss America Pageant Friday, July 16, 2010 4:21 PM To:email@example.com Cc:"Daryl Schabinger"
I am seeking information on the identity of Miss New Hampshire 1933 and Miss Vermont 1933. Curiously and coincidentally, the only New England winner of the Miss America Pageant was Miss Connecticut 1933. My mom was Miss Iowa 1933. I am seeking the families of the other 30 contestants to share memories, photographs and memorabilia. http://missamerica1933.com/ Would you consider a story of the 1933 contest, with pictures of Misses Vermont (http://missamerica1933.com/contestants/vt.html) and New Hampshire (Leita Laugley -- http://missamerica1933.com/contestants/nh-laughley.html), asking your readers for assistance? I would be happy to write a story, or to work with one of your regular submitters. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Donna Hay Encino, CA
Form submitted online on Jan 13, 2017: The only New England woman to win the Miss America pageant was Marian Bergeron in 1933. There were a total of five New England contestants that year -- Marian from CT, Elsie Taylor from MA, Iva Stewart from ME, Leita Laugley from NH, and Nettina Rich from VT. This is a picture of four of them (excluding CT) -- http://missamerica1933.com/contestants/1933-newengland.jpg. This is my personal website; my mother was Miss Iowa this year, and I specialize in researching this year's pageant, in conjunction with MAO. I am writing to request you consider an article, specifically asking for help in finding out who Miss NH was -- we have her name, but know nothing more about her -- http://missamerica1933.com/contestants/nh-laugley.html. I hope that maybe one of your readers would be able to add some insight into who she was. Thank you for your consideration. Donna Hay, Los Angeles.
Miss New England 1934. There was no Miss America Pageant in 1934 (but it was resurrected again in 1935). Some states and regions continued the tradition, including New England where Leona Littlefield competed in 1934. It is not thought that Leita and Leona are the same. If Leita is not located in 1933, research in 1934 contests, and specifically this New England contest, might find her...
Miss New Hampshire - Adine Mears is not Leita.
MEARS, ADINE A., 83, of Largo, formerly of St. Petersburg, died Monday (July 16, 2001)... She came here in 1934 from her native Whitefield, N.H. She... was a former Miss New Hampshire. ...
Her daughter-in-law said no connection to Miss New Hampshire or Miss Vermont. Her brother said she was a New Hampshire Queen in a parade in St. Petersburg FL, and never was in the Miss America pageant; her father built the float she was on.
--From Ric Ferentz: Hi Donna, Sounds like she was the Miss New Hampshire in the Festival of States Pageant which was (and still is) held in St. Petersburg, FL. I commend you for your tireless efforts. Honestly, I wouldn't at all be surprised if she was some local NJ girl who was simply awarded the title to fill out the line...that was one strange year in Atlantic City. blessings, Ric