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Submitted by Elizabeth Burns, Aug 2002


B.W. Norton, chief of the Bisbee fire department was born in Chicago Illinois on the 29th of July 1880 and is a son of Peter J. and Annie Norton.  The father is a native of Wisconsin and the mother of Vermont, but they were married in Chicago, the event being celebrated Jan. 1, 1871.  Peter J. Norton has long been engaged in the wholesale clothing business at the corner of Jackson and Market Streets, Chicago and his trade extends over a large territory, including the entire northern peninsula of Michigan where he the oldest commercial traveler.  The family of Mr. and Mrs. Norton numbers ten children as follows: William M, who is a resident of Chicago; Mrs. William F. Barnes, who is connected with the Pullman Co. of Chicago; Dr. J.P. Norton, also of Chicago; Mrs. R.B. Flitcraft, a resident of Oak Park, Illinois, B.W. our subject; Marguerite who is living at home; Paul V., deputy clerk of Cook Co. Illinois; Andrew who is in the employ of the Wells Fargo Express Company, Chicago; Isabelle who is at home and Raymond J. who is attending school.

The boyhood and youth of B.W. Norton was passed under the parental roof, his education being obtained in the public schools of his native city.  Upon its completion his energies were directed along commercial lines and in March 1895 he came to Bisbee to take a position in the store of the Copper Queen Mining Company.  At the expiration of two years he resigned his post there to become bookkeeper for Fletcher and Henesy, who are engaged in the livery and undertaking business.  He remained in their employ for a year and then assumed the duties of deputy to Sheriff White, serving in that capacity until April 1910 when he became chief of the fire department. Mr. Norton had been a volunteer in the department since1905.  He is the first paid chief in the city and has proven to be a very capable and efficient man for the position.

On July 17, 1912 Mr. Norton was married to Miss Rose J. Reding, a native of Lake Linden, Michigan and a daughter of Nick and Adelaide Reding.  She is the sixth in order of birth in a family of eight children, the others being: Frank and Benjamin who are residing in Michigan; John of Bisbee; Mary who is living in Wisconsin, Ann a teacher of Latin and French in one of the Michigan high schools; Adelaide who is at home; and Nick who is deceased.  Mrs. Norton is a graduate of the University of Michigan and came to Bisbee February 1911 to take a position in the public schools where she taught until her marriage.

Mr. and Mrs. Norton have one daughter, Ruth Adelaide, born May 29, 1913.

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