I’ve written about my Norton family from Vermont several times on this blog. So instead of writing more about this mysterious family and what I don’t know, I thought I’d share something I found among the family papers in my possession.
The two images below were written by an unknown person. Since they were among my family papers, I suspect it was a family member, and there is one clue as to who it might have been. In the second image, we can see that the paper was from the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, and wouldn’t you know, my great-granduncle Joseph Webster Garrison worked at that bank. Hmm…could he have written this? He was the family historian in his day, it just might have been him!
And what is it exactly that is written? Well, it’s a copy of the biography of Solomon Norton found in the book A History of the Town of Poultney, Vermont, From Its Settlement to the Year 1875, published by J. Joslin, B. Frisbie, and F. Ruggles. It reads:
Solomon Norton was one of the early settlers. He built the first grist and saw mills at the Hampton bridge place; he also built the house now occupied by F. W. Moseley. He was an active well-to-do man, and was a prominent citizen in his time. His children were: Solomon, John, Hannah, James R., Joel, Aaron and Amos. They were a worthy family, but all long since ceased to be inhabitants of the town. Hannah was an excellent school teacher, and became the wife of Zimri Howe. An instance relating to James R. Norton may here be mentioned. Mr. Norton re-built his grist mill after the flood of 1811; and while raising the building, James R. fell forty-two feet onto solid rock. In his fall he struck a man on the way down, which to some extent broke the force of the fall. The next day he helped out the rafters on the same building. Soon after this, Ephraim Herrick, as before appears, had a fall from a wagon, which resulted in his death. Herrick’s fall was perhaps not over two feet, and this contrast reminds us that “An earthquake may be made to spare The man that’s strangled by a hair.”