MARTIN C. NORTON. By various services and diversified gifts, men contribute to the building up of a city, and it is in connection with the opening up of the avenues of commerce and the furnishing of facilities for the transactions of trade that Martin C. Norton has bent his energies to the common weal, As president of the T. M. Norton Brewing Company, at Anderson, he is the directing head of one of the largest industries of its kind in this part of Indiana, while his connection with various other enterprises of an extensive nature has been such as to make his name a familiar one in business circles of Madison County, Mr. Norton was born in the city of Anderson, July 30, 1867, and has spent his entire career here, He is the eldest son of Thomas M. and Katherine (McCarthy) Norton.
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Thomas M. Norton was born in 1835, in Ireland, and was still a lad when brought to the United States by his parents, the family settling near Dayton, Ohio, where he passed his boyhood and youth and acquired a good common school education. On completing his studies, he learned the trade of carpenter, thus drifting into the contracting business, which he followed until 1863, then moving from Dayton to Union City, Indiana,. where he became associated with Louis Williams in the ale brewing business, In 1866 he disposed of his interests in Union City and came to Anderson, and shortly thereafter formed a partnership with Patrick Sullivan, thus organizing the first concern for the brewing of ale in northern Indiana, Later Michael Cromley was admitted to membership in the firm, but in 1882 Mr. Norton sold his interests to his partners and embarked in business on his own account, thus forming the nucleus for what was to become one of the largest industries of the city. Devoting his best energies to his enterprise, Mr. Norton extended its trade steadily and surely, and eventually was enabled to build a large brick plant, which he equipped with the finest and most modern machinery known to the brewing trade, He continued as the active head of this enterprise until his death, January 26, 1907, when he had firmly established himself as one of his adopted city’s most substantial men of business, He was survived by his widow, two daughters and two sons.
Martin C. Norton acquired a liberal education in the public and high schools of Anderson, this being supplemented by a commercial course in the Miami Business College, at Dayton, Ohio, and on the completion of his studies he entered the brewery where his father thoroughly trained him in every detail of the great business, He was later admitted to partnership, with his brother William J. Norton, the firm then becoming T. M. Norton & Sons, and at the time of their father’s death the sons took over the business, which they have continued to successfully conduct to the present time, Changes and improvements have been made in the plant, as extended trade and newly invented machinery demanded, but the same high standard of quality has been maintained, and the customers secured by the older man when the enterprise was still in its infancy have continued to do business with the firm to the present time, Martin C. Norton has inherited much of his father’s shrewdness, acumen and good judgment, and his management of the company’s affairs has been of a nature to greatly extend its scope. In addition to a large local trade, a large amount of the product is shipped to the neighboring towns and villages, as well as to a number of large cities in northern and central Indiana, Mr. Norton has interested himself in various other ventures, and at this time is vice-president of another of Anderson’s large industries, the Anderson Foundry and Machine Company.
In 1896 Mr. Norton was married to Miss Maud Kilgore, daughter of the late James L. Kilgore, an old resident and for some years a prominent business man of Anderson, who died some time ago, They have no children, In polities a Democrat, Mr. Norton has taken an active part in local matters, but only as a supporter of good government, and not as an aspirant for public preferment, Fraternally, he holds membership in the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His fine brick residence, situated at No. 1011 Jackson street, is one of the most valuable and architecturally beautiful in the city of Anderson.