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John H. Norton.

Mr. John H. Norton, a son of Benjamin and Alice (Preble) Norton, was born in China, Me., June 17, 1828.

His father was a farmer, but he early took up the trade of carpenter, going first to Bangor and then coming to Massachusetts, locating in Arlington. In 1849 he came to West Medford, where, the same year, he married Miss Martha R. Huffmaster, daughter of Thomas Huffmaster, who was fatally injured by the tornado of August 22, 1851. From small beginnings Mr. Norton became a successful and prosperous builder, erecting a large number of houses in Medford and the adjoining towns. He did much to promote the building up of West Medford by making the terms easy for young people to buy houses for homes.

Though a citizen of Medford for more than fifty years, [p. 75] he never held public office, but was interested in every thing that he thought would be helpful to the community.

Like some of his neighbors, he regretted there were no public Sunday religious services in West Medford, and co-operated heartily with others in starting the Christian Union, an undenominational organization.

In 1871 he offered to build a house for public worship if the lumber and other needed materials were furnished. The proposition was not accepted, and he took an active part in organizing the Congregational Church and Society of West Medford the next year, and made the largest contribution towards the building fund for the first church edifice. He was also the largest individual contributor towards the payment of the debt. He was one of the first deacons, and was chairman of the standing committee of the society for several years, and gave a parsonage to the church and society.

Though quiet and unpretending in manner, he was a man of great energy and persistence of purpose.

He died December 5, 1905, leaving two sons, Thomas H. and Benjamin J. Norton, both of West Medford.

His death was a great loss to West Medford and the community.—

D. H. B.

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