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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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De Have Norton

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 378 - 380

De Have Norton is one of the prominent pioneers of Sheboygan County, and comes from one of the earliest families who settled in the county. Squire Norton is so well known that he needs no introduction to the people of this and surrounding counties. A native of the Pine Tree State, he was born June 5, 1839, being the second in a family of three children, one of whom is now deceased. His sister, Mary E., is the wife of James F. Sisson, who was a soldier in the late war, and is a resident of Sanborn, Iowa, having retired from business. They have one child living. The father was also born in Maine, the date being February 16, 1814. He is still living, hale and hearty, with his son. He was reared on a farm, and spent the most of his life railroading. He is a self-educated man, and has been extremely active in past years. His ancestors can be traced to the "Mayflower," and even back to England. His first vote was cast for Martin Van Buren, as he was formerly a Democrat, but later became a Republican. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while his wife belongs to the Christian Church.

In 1855, the family came to Lima Township, where the father purchased forty acres of timberland, on which was their first home, a pioneer cabin.

The major part of our subject's education was acquired in the schools of his native State, as he was a youth of seventeen when he came with his parents to Wisconsin. He had pursued a course of study in the academy and high schools, which, with his personal application, has made him the practical man that he is to-day. He has always lived with his parents, with the exception of four years when he was absent at the front, helping to fight the battles of his country.

Among the first to enlist and don the blue in this county was Mr. Norton, who became a member of Company C, Fourth Wisconsin Infantry, on the 22d of April, 1861. This company was afterward organized as the Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry, under Capt. E. B. Gray, and Col. H. E. Paine, of Milwaukee, and met at Camp Utley, near Racine. He was ordered with his regiment to Washington, D. C., there to be assigned to the Army of the Potomac. When the old Fourth Cavalry reached Baltimore, there had been some trouble with the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, and the citizens objected to the Wisconsin "Mudsills," as they called them, marching through the streets, but the soldier boys loaded their muskets and marched through in triumph. When they reached the "Relay House," nine miles from the city, the regiment received orders to hold the Fourth Wisconsin, so they did not reach Washington that year. Their first expedition was to the eastern part of Virginia, where for two months they did guard and scout duty. During the winter of 1861-62 they were in winter quarters in Baltimore.

In the spring the regiment received orders to proceed to the vicinity of Fortress Monroe to concentrate the forces. On the 8th of March, they were ordered to the Department of the Gulf, and the following day just escaped being captured, as this was the memorable occasion of the battle between the "Merrimac" and "Monitor," and they were proceeding down the Atlantic Coast by way of Cape Hatteras. After their weary journey of many days, they arrived in Mississippi, and soon received orders to approach Fts. St. Philip and Jackson, and capture them, preparatory to taking New Orleans. Mr. Norton was a witness of the wonderful bombardment of the forts by Admiral Farragut's fleet. On the 1st of May the Fourth Wisconsin entered New Orleans, being the first regiment of Federal troops to enter that city. The order was given by Gen. Benjamin F. Butler that the city was to be saved, if the Federal troops were not molested, and they took possession of the custom house without having a shot fired upon them; but if upbraiding and abuse could have killed them, they would have been exterminated.

On the 5th of August, 1862, Mr. Norton took part in his first regular battle at Baton Rouge, La., where Breckenridge tried to drive the troops into the Mississippi River, The next battle was that of Camp Bisland, in the same State. Afterwards he was in the engagement at Bayou Teche, where the regiment entered the field on the "double-quick," but were too late to take an active part. By forced marches they next went to Port Hudson, La., and took part in the battles on May 27 and 28, at Bayou Sara, and carried the works, forcing the Confederates to retire. From that time until July 9, they assisted in the siege of Port Hudson. In July, 1863, the Fourth Regiment took transports up to Vicksburg to discover the strength of that stronghold, and then returned to Baton Rouge. In March, 1864, Mr. Norton veteranized. The regiment was then a part of the cavalry and was engaged in scouting for several months. In June the order came for them to proceed to the Rio Grande, but they finally stopped at San Antonio, Tex., where our subject received an honorable discharge, which was dated September 14, 1865. He was never absent from his post of duty during his entire service.

Mr. Norton, on his return from the South, resumed the peaceful avocations of farm life. He married Miss Mary M. Johnson on the 20th of December, 1865. She was born in Maine, May 30, 1840, and was a little girl when she came with her parents to Wisconsin. She received a liberal education and was for years a successful teacher. She has been a valuable helpmate to her husband and a kind and loving mother. The women have done well their part in making Sheboygan County one of the best in the State, and are entitled to much credit. Our subject and his wife have one son, Frank T., who is a painter and paper-hanger by trade, and lives in Lima Township. He married Miss Ava V. Wood, and they have one little daughter, Vera Ava, aged two years. Mrs. Frank Norton was born in Sheboygan Falls, and is well educated, being a graduate of the High School of that city. Prior to her marriage, she was one of the leading teachers there.

Mr. Norton is a true-blue Republican and has been active in politics. His first vote was deposited for Abraham Lincoln. He is now the efficient Justice of the Peace of Lima Township, was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in 1869, and has been Notary Public for sixteen years. He is an active man in the line of insurance, handling agencies for the standard companies, and representing life, fire, tornado and accident companies. Religiously, he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Hingham, Wis., in which the latter has been a devoted teacher for thirty years.


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