15 September 2010

Obituary--Wm. H. Norton

This is another Civil War veteran who settled in the area. One thing I love about his obituary is that they never spell out his name, just Wm. From the 1 July 1915 Fremont Times Indicator:


Pioneer Resident Passed Away After Long Illness From Cancer--Lived Here Since 1865

Wm. H. Norton died at his home in this city Monday morning after a long illness from cancer. He was 80 years of age.
Mr. Norton was born in Sunset county, Maine, Sept 3, 1834. At the age of 21 he enlisted in the regular army, serving five years. When the war of the rebellion broke out he was in San Francisco, Cal., and in August 1861 he enlisted in the First Regular California Volunteer Infantry and served over three years. While stationed in Fort Yuma, Cal., he was injured in the back while on guard duty. This injury laid him up for six months. His regiment was engaged most of the time fighting Indians.
After his discharge he returned to the east, and in April, 1865, came to Newaygo county The following May he came to Sheridan township and purchased 73 acres of land, mostly whild, where he resided for many years.
He was married in Fremont October 24, 1867 to Rose Ann Pitman, of Dayton township, and two sons were born to them, Lincoln G and Bradford S, both of whom have passed away. Mrs Norton died in February 1874, and in April 1, 1876 he married Cornelia Knowlton, widow of Wm. Douglas, who died a few weeks ago.
Mr. Norton was a member of the Dobson Post, No. 182, G. A. R.
The funeral services will be held this afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home, 321 Dayton St., E., Rev. J. F. Bowerman of the M. E. church officiating. Interment in Maple Grove Cemetery.

Two things strike me about this obituary. First--I am going to make a rash leap of faith and say that Wm. Douglas did not die a few weeks ago, if Mr Norton had married his widow nearly 30 years before. Maybe he died a few weeks prior to her subsequent remarriage? I hope so.
The second is something I've noticed in other obituaries, and even my husband's family history. Many people from this time went out west, and then came back again. I never think of that as being so common. People went west and settled.
But it seems that many did indeed try the West and came back to settle.

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