A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


Geo. P. Norton

G. P. Norton, president of the Cherokee Commercial Company at Cherokee, is one of the foremost business men of Crawford county, a man of enterprise, industry, ability, and a high degree of public spirit, and during the past quarter of a century during which he has been a resident of the county he has participated actively in the work of general progress and upbuilding throughout this section of southeastern Kansas. The business firm of which he is the head is a notably reliable and commercially sound company, and their business is extensive throughout the town and country about Cherokee. Lewis Schwab is the general manager and treasurer of the firm, and its other members are J. G. Schwab and M. C. Bolick. It is one of the pioneer general merchandise houses at Cherokee.

Mr. Norton, who has been in this business in Cherokee since 1893, and who took up his permanent abode in Crawford county in 1880, was born in Allegany county, New York, on the Genesee river, October 21, 1842, being of one of the old families of that section and of English and Scotch descent. The original ancestors were three brothers who came from England and settled on Martha's Vineyard among the first to locate at that place. Mr. Norton's parents were Leonard and Margaret (Carr) Norton, both native New Yorkers. The mother's father was a Revolutionary soldier, and, being captured at the Wyoming Massacre, was held prisoner by the Indians for seven years before his final release. Leonard Norton, who died at the advanced age of eighty-four years, was a farmer by occupation, a Republican in politics and a member of the Presbyterian church; his good wife passed away at the age of seventy-two. Their four children were Charles, of Cherokee; Emma Benard, of Illinois; Alice Shannon, of McCune, and George P.

Mr. Norton was reared on a farm in New York, and his schooling was what he obtained in the public schools and by self-application. The family moved out to Missouri in 1858, and there he learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed very successfully for many years, and many buildings at Cherokee and in Crawford county show evidence of his skill and fine handicraft. In 1861 he joined the Missouri State Militia and Home Guards, and at the beginning of 1863 he became a member of Company F, Eighteenth Illinois Infantry, under Colonel Webber and Captain H. H. Benner. During his eighteen months' service he was at Little Rock, Arkansas, and at various Louisiana points. After the war he settled in McDonough county, Illinois, and, as above stated, came out to Crawford county in 1880.

In McDonough county he was married to Miss Nancy J. McClure, who was born, reared and educated in that county, and they have worked together for what they have gained of the world's material comforts and are highly esteemed members of Crawford county society. They had one daughter, Viola, who was the wife of Robert A. Bolick, cashier of the Cherokee Bank. She died November 28, 1904. Mr. Norton has long taken an active interest in educational affairs, and is now president of the local school board. He is a Republican in politics, and has for years served as quartermaster of Shiloh Post No. 56, G. A. R. He is an elder in the Presbyterian church.

There follows the obituary notice of Mr. Norton's lately deceased daughter:

Died at her home in this city Monday, November 28, 1904, Viola, beloved wife of Robert A. Bolick, and daughter of G. P. and Nannie Norton, aged 37 years and 22 days. Services were conducted by Rev. E. W. Beason, of Pleasanton, Kansas, at the Presbyterian church, in this city, of which the deceased was a member, after which interment was made in the Cherokee cemetery. A husband and five children are left to mourn the loss of a devoted wife and a kind and loving mother, but their loss is her eternal gain, leaving in this world the evidence of triumphant faith, passing peacefully to her eternal home, without fear, relying in Him who has gone to prepare a place for you.

Viola May Norton was born in McDonough county, Illinois, November 6, 1867. She removed with her parents to Cherokee county, Kansas, in the fall of 1880, and has since resided in the near locality.

She was married to Robert A. Bolick December 15, 1887. To this union were born five children all of whom are living.

She united with the Presbyterian church when about twenty years of age, and has been a consistent member thereof until her death, November 28, 1904.