Biography of Alonzo D. Norris
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ALONZO D. NORRIS. Holding prestige as the leading fruit grower of Adams Township, Alonzo D. Norris has also the distinction of belonging to that class of men who have achieved their success through personal effort, as he entered upon his career without financial backing or influential connections and has worked his way to the front by steady application, untiring industry and constant perseverance. From modest beginnings he has built up a business which adds to the importance of Madison County as a fruit-growing center, and at the same time has identified himself with all movements which have gone to make for the public welfare. Mr. Norris was born in Henry County, Indiana, November 10, 1857, and is a son of John C. and Emmeline M. (Bray) Norris, both now deceased, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Adams Township. There were three children in their family, of whom two now survive Cindora, who is the wife of Isaac Keesling and resides in Kansas; and Alonzo D.
Alonzo D. Norris received his education in the district schools of Adams Township, whence he had been brought as a child, and was here reared to manhood. In 1878 he was married to Mary F. Stanley, and about eighteen months thereafter went to Illinois, where he spent two years. Subsequently he went to Kansas, by way of wagon, but after three years spent in farming in that state returned to Indiana, and took up his residence in the city of Anderson. During the twelve years that followed, Mr. Norris followed the trade of carpenter, with moderate success, and then spent two years in Henry County, but ab0ut the year 1898 returned to Adams Township, Madison County. His capital at this time consisted of about $100, and part of this he invested in a small tract of land, on which he began truck farming. Here he also began experimenting in the growing of fruit and was so successful with his initial ventures that he was encouraged to extend his operations along this line. From year to year he has extended the scope of this industry, and today he has seventeen acres set out in small fruits, principally strawberries and raspberries, and, as before mentioned, is the leading fruit grower of the Township. His products find a ready sale in the markets at Anderson, where Mr. Norris is known as a man of excellent business abilities. He has made a thorough study of his calling, is recognized as an expert in his line, and has been successful in producing some excellent varieties of the smaller fruits. It would be difficult to find a better example of self-reliance, progressiveness and persevering energy, than that displayed in the career of Mr. Norris. He has met discouragements and disappointments, but has not allowed them to make him lose faith in himself, and his steady confidence in his ultimate success has eventually brought him to the vocation for which, it would seem, he is best fitted. In his political views Mr. Norris is a Democrat, but he has found little time to devote to matters of a public nature, although he endeavors to support good men and measures and to aid other public-spirited men in forwarding movements for the benefit of Adams Township and Madison County. His fraternal connections include membership in the Improved Order of Red Men, at Emporia, and the Hay Makers at Anderson.
Mr. and Mrs. Norris are the parents of six children: Herbert; Clarence, who is married and lives in Adams Township; George, a member of the cavalry service in the United States army, stationed at a fort in Wyoming, Nebraska; Alva, single and living at home: and Ada and Gladys.