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Biography of John S. F. Norman

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JOHN S. F. NORMAN. A more popular citizen and official of Oregon County, Missouri, cannot be found than John S. F. Norman, circuit clerk of the county. His conduct of the affairs of the office has been such as to commend him to the good opinion of the public regardless of party affiliation. He is a native of this county, born July 22, 1855, the son of Hon. Matthew G. and Mary Ann (Waits) Norman. The father was born near Winchester, Franklin County, Tennessee, February 27, 1830, but was reared in Franklin County, Ala., where he made his home until January, 1853, when he came to Oregon County, Missouri He was a soldier in the Civil War, and held the rank of major. When he first came to Oregon County there were few settlers, and his land was covered with a dense forest. This he cleared, and now has about 900 acres of land, with over 225 acres under cultivation. He had very little of this world’s goods to start with, a yoke of oxen and a wagon, and came here to get a home. Although he farmed for the most part, he also studied law and was admitted to the bar, but never depended on his profession for a livelihood. In 1859, previous to the war, he was made circuit and county clerk, and was holding that position when hostilities began. Seeing that the county records might be destroyed, he carried them off and concealed them in a cave on Piney Creek. There they remained until the war was over. In 1872 he was elected to represent the county in the Legislature, and in 1879 was elected circuit and county clerk and recorder, and held that position eight years. In 1892 he was again elected to the Legislature, and he has held other prominent positions. His wife was born and reared in Franklin County, Ala. She is still living, and both she and her husband are devout members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Of the eight children born to them, seven are now living and are heads of families.

Of these children our subject was second in order of birth. He received his education in this county and at Rolla, Missouri He grew up in the clerk’s office, serving as deputy from 1878 until 1884, and then embarked in the furniture and hardware business at Thayer one year. After this he farmed one year, and was then elected circuit clerk and recorder, and has held that position since. He is the nominee of his party for another term. In 1882-83 he was also clerk of the probate court. On April 1, 1875, he married Miss Maggie J. Wilson, a native of Owsley County, Kentucky Five children blessed this union, two sons and two daughters living, but one daughter is deceased. One son, Hosea E., is in Drury College; Nellie died when quite young; Otto is at home, as is also Clara A. and Bonnie O. Mr. and Mrs. Norman are Missionary Baptists, and he is clerk of the First Baptist Church, of Alton. Mr. Norman is a Mason, and has represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge. It is hardly necessary to add that he is a prominent Democrat in politics.


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