Biography of John L. Norton


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Norton, John L., who for a period of more than than thirty years has been closely identified with the history of Carthage, was born on his father's old home farm about three miles south of Redwood, in October, 1836, and lived on the farm until about the age of fourteen years, when he began to work for himself. He was clerk in a store and at the same time acquired an academic education. After working as a clerk for about six years the young man in September, 1857, began business at Redwood as one of the firm of Norton & MeCollister, and so continued until 1866, when he sold out to his partner and came to Carthage. In that year the firm of Norton Brothers began business on the site where now stands Mr. Norton's store, a location in the village then mentioned as "up in Wilna." However, from the first the firm did a successful business and soon became known as one of the best mercantile houses in the town, and after George Norton retired from the business in 1885, John L. continued the business with equal success and is to-day regarded as one of the substantial merchants of both the village and the county. His time is not wholly devoted to affairs of personal concern, as he takes an interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the village and has been for nearly thirty years a member of the school board and since 1884 has been its president. He was village president in 1896 and still further back was also associated with local history in many other directions. He was for two years a member of the Republican State Committee, four years president of the Carthage Agricultural Society, is now president of Carthage Savings Bank and of the Carthage Board of Railroad Commissioners. He is a member of Carthage Lodge and Chapter, F. & A. M., and for about twenty-five years one of the vestry of Grace church. December 22, 1858, Mr. Norton married Helen A., daughter of Lawrence De Zeng, and they have two children: Addie Belie, wife of Rev. Charles Lee Slate, an Episcopal clergyman, and Lawrence De Zeng Norton of Carthage. John Norton, the grandfather of John L., of Carthage, was a native of England, where he studied for the Episcopal ministry, but having enlisted in the army was sent to Canada on duty. From there he came to the States at a very early day and settled at Oppenheim, Montgomery (now Fulton) county; though he first came to the States to buy army supplies, his position being that of commissary. After a time this old settler removed from Montgomery county and lived for a time in St. Lawrence county, but soon took up

Our County and it's people
A descriptive work on Jefferson County, New York
Edited by: Edgar C. Emerson
The Boston History Co., Publishers 1898

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