Biography of Henry D. Norris



Barry County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

James Norris was born in 1799, near Montpelier, Vt., and until he was nineteen years of age passed his life upon a farm, save for a period during the war of 1812, when he was employed as a mail-carrier in the military service. Reaching his twentieth year, he determined to become the architect of his own fortune, and so he penetrated into the then wilderness of Genesee Co., N. Y., where he lived until the spring of 1834, and where he married Miss Ciarinda Kinner. In 1834 he moved to Ypsilanti, Mich., and rented a farm of his brother. There he lived until December, 1838, when he moved with his family to Yankee Springs township, in Barry County, where, on section 26, he had located in 1835, through Mr. Angell, of Marshall, one hundred and three acres. Mr. Norris reached Yankee Springs on Christmas Eve, in 1838, and occupied a portion of the house of Hiram Lewis. Without loss of time he set about the erection of a log cabin upon his place, and the following spring moved into it. He died in Yankee Springs, Nov. 19, 1875, and at the time of his death owned, in addition to his original purchase, eighty acres on section 27. He was during his residence in Yankee Springs a respected and honored citizen, and at his death was generally lamented. Henry D. Norris, his son, was born in New York, Aug. 30, 1832, and was but six years of age when his father came to Yankee Springs. Reared from his youth to be a farmer, he chose to follow in his fatherís footsteps, and, marrying Sarah J., daughter of Edward and Angelina Ford (who removed to Michigan from Saratoga County in 1850), he settled himself in life as an agriculturist. Inheriting the old homestead of one hundred and three acres on section 26, he has developed and expanded his enterprise as a farmer to such good purpose that to that one hundred and three acres he has added upwards of three hundred. He has, furthermore, put into execution liberal and progressive theories In the management of his farm, as for example the introduction of windpower and machinery for the cutting of feed, grinding grain, etc., upon his place. Still following new and untried fields, he has undertaken an experiment in peach-culture, and, believing that peaches can be profitably grown in Yankee Springs, has set out an orchard of two hundred and fifty trees. Should the venture prove a success, he will turn his attention and devote his land wholly to that branch of agriculture. Mr. Norris is a quiet, unassuming gentleman, endowed, however, with much energy of character and a shrewd foresight in matters of business. In politics his faith lies with the Republican party, but in the pool of politics he does not care to dabble, since the more engrossing affairs of business are exclusively the study of his life. His family consists of his wife and two children, Minnie, aged five, and John, aged one.

History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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