It was reported on January 9, 1913, that Dr. John C. Cotter, who practiced medicine in New York City, surprised his entire hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts when he revealed that he had been married for the past twelve years and was the father of two children.
Dr. Cotter was a bit of a celebrity in New Bedford because he was a star athlete in college, had played professional baseball, and had coached the basketball teams at both Fordham and Columbia universities.
He had met his wife while interning at the New York Foundling Asylum. At the time of their meeting, the former Leda Perrault had just arrived in the United States from France and was working as a governess at the asylum.
It’s unclear why Dr. Cotter opted to keep his marriage a secret from all of his friends back in New Bedford. The only person who knew was his sister, Mrs. Ellen A. Dalton. While she respected her brother’s desire to keep the marriage a secret, she was surprised to find out that others around New Bedford did not know. “I naturally supposed that most everybody in the city knew about it. I knew when he married 12 years ago, but of course said nothing about it, as my brother desired to keep it a secret.” She added, “Dr. Cotter is married and has been for the past 12 years, and is the father of the dearest children ever born.”