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Benjamin Warren Norton, Jr.


Posted By: Kent Transier (email)
Date: 5/9/2014 at 19:29:34

Benjamin Warren Norton Jr. was born July 3, 1836 in New Vineyard, Franklin County, Maine to Benjamin W. and Amy (Manter) Norton. The elder Norton was a well to do farmer (wool grower) in Franklin County and Benjamin, Jr. grew to manhood learning his father's profession.

On June 18, 1859, Benjamin married Julia Jones Daggett, daughter of Isaac Daggett (1794-1884) and Sarah Butler Norton (1799-1880). The Daggett's were prominent members of the town of Industry which, by then, had annexed the town of New Vineyard. Benjamin and Julia settled on a farm and started a family, their first born being daughter Sarah (b. 1862).

In the first couple of years of the Civil War, the town of Industry met its quota of soldiers by offering a bounty to enlistees. By early 1863, the fortunes of war had not gone well for the Union and President Lincoln called for a draft to bolster the forces. In July, 1863, Industry held it's first draft drawing in which 19 names were drawn, Benjamin W. Norton, Jr., being one of the draftees. Benjamin, having the means, hired a substitute, one Frank E. Hutchins of New Portland, Maine who served in his place the requisite three years. And in fact, of the 19 Industry draftees of July 1863, not a single one served, having either been rejected for physical defects, hiring of a substitute, or by paying a $300 commutation.

Julia and Benjamin continued to farm and raise a family in Industry, son David being born in 1864 and daughter Emily in September, 1869. During their time in Franklin County, Maine, they were prominent members of the Methodist Church. In 1872, Benjamin was elected town Treasurer and served for 4 years. At the end of his term as Treasurer, in 1876, he was elected to the Maine State Legislature.

On March 26, 1886, the Nortons left Maine for Iowa, settling in Franklin Township, O'Brien County. There, the Nortons farmed until retirement, moving to Winterset about 1908. There, Benjamin passed away on April 21, 1914 and was buried in the Winterset Cemetery. After Benjamin's death, Julia lived with daughter Emily and her husband, Harry Croson, dying in 1936. She is buried next to Benjamin in Winterset.


Madison Biographies maintained by Kent Transier.
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