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Robert A. Norton
Born October 29, 1838


Robert A. Norton, the owner of two hundred and twenty acres, including two farms and a pasture on the Wapsi river, his home being in the midst of beautiful elm, maple and evergreen trees that furnish both shade and adornment, is numbered among the prosperous and progressive agriculturists of Jones county, Iowa. A native of the Buckeye state, he was born in Medina county, October 29, 1838, a son of Robert and Abigail (Parmenter) Norton, the former born in Yorkshire, England, in 1790, and the latter in Berkshire, Massachusetts, in 1800. Robert Norton came to Ohio in the early '20s and was here united in marriage. Unto him and his wife were born two children: Robert A., the subject of this review; and Maria, who died in 1860. The father died in Ohio when he was sixty-four years of age and the mother resided with her son until she, too, passed away at the age of seventy-eight.
Robert A. Norton, having resided in Medina county, Ohio, until he was eighteen years of age, there received his education, remaining in the home of his parents until 1857, when he went to Pierce county, Wisconsin, and secured employment as a laborer, working at various occupations for the subsequent two and a half years. Not wishing to make his home in Wisconsin, however, he returned to Ohio, remaining here for a year and a half, when, in the spring of 1861, he came to Jones county, Iowa. For a few years he rented a farm but in 1865, having accumulated a sum sufficient to purchase eighty acres of raw prairie, he took up his abode on what is now a part of his present extensive possessions. Persevering and energetic, be converted the wild prairie into fertile fields and meadows. Each year as generous harvests rewarded his untiring labors, he purchased additional acres, erected good substantial buildings and planted trees, making his place one of the attractive and picturesque features of the landscape and indicating in all its improvements and beauty the thrift and enterprise of the owner.
In 1864 Mr. Norton was united in marriage to Miss Sarah J. Manning, who was born in Washington county, New York, June 15, 1841, and came to Iowa in 1860 with her parents, John T. and Jane (Clark) Manning, also natives of Washington county, New York. The father was born April 2, 1812, his death occurring in Wyoming township, December 31, 1891, while the mother, who was born September 28, 1806, passed away September 16, 1884. Unto Robert A. Norton and his wife were born six children: Cora, the wife of Ed Hernon, residing in Wyoming township, this county; John L., a resident of Gordonsville, Virginia; George, at home with his parents; Isabelle, the wife of Elijah Edwards, also of Oxford township; Jessie, who died October 21, 1897; and Mary E., the wife of Milo G. Philips, of Pleasant Hill, Hale township, this county.
In his political views Mr. Norton is an earnest democrat, believing firmly in the principles of the party and his fellow citizens, appreciative of his worth and faithful adherence to high principles, elected him to the offices of trustee, assessor and tax collector, in which positions of public trust he served for several terms. Aside from general agricultural pursuits, for the past thirty years Mr. Norton has made a specialty of stock feeding. He is now the owner of two hundred and twenty acres, which is included in two farms and a good pasture on the Wapsi river, and his success is attributable in large measure to unfaltering industry and honorable, straightforward business methods.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 296.

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