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Families Of James H. Norton And Caleb and Almira Miller

Recently I was contacted regarding the History of the farm that I grew up on with my family and aunt uncle and cousin. While searching for information I came across this quote from the Richmond Review published in 1951 that stated.

The father of James H. Norton came to this community from Ohio in 1836 and bought land on the west side of the Memphis Ridge, near the cemetery.

The property located on the west side of Memphis Ridge was in the name of James H. Norton in the 1859 Plat Map

The Farm of John P. Norton was owned by Mrs. C (Caleb) Miller according to the Plat Map 0f 1859

The Norton family, with the Daniel Hall family, were the first settlers on Memphis Ridge road, coming from Ohio in covered wagons. The family is prominently mentioned in early histories of this community.

The 1840 census does not show any norton living in the county at that time but it does show the Hall family.

The 1850 census shows #77 James H. Norton age 22 and Ellen Norton age 22 living in the same household. On the plat map of 1859 E. Norton owned property in section 6.

James Norton married Lucy J. Dudley of Ohio in 1851.  In 1863, the Nortons bought the former Cyril Hicks farm on Armada Ridge, where Mr. Norton lived for more than 50 years. He died in 1915 at the age of 87.

The James Nortons had six children, all deceased. Many of the grandchildren still live in this area but only one family of great grandchildren still bear the Norton name. They are the children of Ross and Sarah Dunham Norton and grandchildren of John P. and Ida Norton.

Two of them live on the old Norton homestead (This is not True it is the Miller Homestead) on Armada Ridge road. James Norton, married to Dorothy Wright of Marysville, and Irene Norton, the former Mrs. Robert Tibbits (Misstatement Mrs. Robert Tibbits is the former Irene Norton) live there. John Norton, whose wife is the former Vivian Klauka of Richmond, also lives on Armada Ridge. Eunice Norton (Mrs. David Samuel) lives in Detroit and Myrtle Norton (Mrs. Charles Springborn) lives in Port Huron.

Of the older generation, the following grandchildren are descendants of the six children of James and Lucy Norton:

Children of Jim Simmons and Alice Norton-Simmons;
1. Jesse Simmons of Armada;
2. Ira Simmons in Northern Michigan;
3. Lela Simmons of Detroit;

Charles Norton and Ida Gibson-Norton;
1. Roy Norton of Port Huron;
2. Maude Norton-Joyce (Mrs. Bert Joyce), California;

John P. Norton and Ida Whitcomb (Shaw)-Norton;
1. Myrtle Norton-McCarthy (widow of Dr. J. Frank McCarty), Churchill street;
2. Bertha Norton-Wilson (Mrs. A. H. Wilson) Port Huron.

3. Ross Norton – Sarah Dunham Norton

Ida Norton-Smith and Robert Smith:
1. Charles Smith of Detroit;
2. Olive Smith-Puls (Mrs. F. Puls), Ridge street;

Ira Norton and Ann Evans-Norton;  no grandchildren.

Carrie Norton-Graham and Hiram Graham:
1. Mabel Graham-Tyson, Port Huron;
2. Ada Graham-Frost, Almont;
3. Jim Graham, Flint;
4. Winifred Graham-Geno (Mrs. Ray Geno), Armada;
5. Carrie Graham-Monesmith, Indiana.

The township was organized on March 6, 1838, and the first town meeting was held at the house of George Perkins, located at the intersection of 33-Mile Road and Armada Ridge. Many people attended the meeting and since the house was not large enough to accommodate them, they adjourned to a woodpile for their meeting and elections.

The Millers first appear in the 1850 census #130 Anthony Miller was a Wheelwright aged 60 his wife was Betsy aged 65.  I believe the family moved to Richmond from New York Although Anthony was born in Connecticut and Betsy born in Rhode Island.  #138 in the census is Caleb age 35 and Almira age 33 Born in New York and their 5 children lived on the farm according to the plat map of 1859. Isadora also known as Dora is in the five Generation photograph as Dora Whitcomb. This would make Ida, John P. Norton’s wife a daughter of Dora Whitcomb she is mentioned in the Richmond Review as Ida Shaw Norton. In the 1916 landowners of Richmond Township a H. Whitcomb owned property in Section 29 of which is the south side of Armada Ridge Road approximately where the farm in question is located. Also in the 1850 census Joseph Whitcomb is listed as living with the Millers at age 81. There seems to be some relationship with the Miller’s and Whitcomb’s but not certain what it is. Dora was the eldest of the Miller children. 

I decided to do my own research on the subject and found Ursla’s Genealogical home page about Richmond history. This is where this information is derived along with the information Jim has.

At the bottom of the page are sited several resources

This is my breakdown

1840 Census and 1850 Census

1859 Plat Map 1859

1859 Plat Map Ellen Norton

1859 Plat Map Miller – John P Farm

1916 Property Owners Richmond Michigan

If you have pictures or other information please contact Dave Norton at

Five Generation Picture

Miller Norton 5 Generation Picture

John P. Norton Family

John P. Norton Family Picture

Farm On Armada Ridge

Farm On Ridge Road

Newspaper Article and Picture

5 generation Article