NORBURY, FRANK PARSONS, A. M., M. D. , of Jacksonville, Ill., one of the most prominent and successful physicians of Morgan County, was born in Beardstown, Ill., August 5, 1863, the son of Charles Joseph and Elizabeth P. (Spence) Norbury, the former a native of Philadelphia, Pa., where he was born May 27, 1812, and the latter born in the vicinity of Springfield, Tenn., September 17, 1822. The ancestry of Dr. Norbury is traceable in America for several generations, and, more remotely, to English origin. The founder of the family in this country was Peter Norbury, who, in 1686, accompanied by his brothers, John and Joseph, came from England with William Penn, and settled near Chester, Pa. His son, Jacob Norbury, was born in Pennsylvania. Jacob's son, Joseph, was born near Cape May, New Jersey. Joseph's son, Heath, was a native of York, Pa., and Heath's son, Joseph Britt, was born in Northumberland in the same State. He married Rebecca Frick and their union resulted in the birth of Charles Joseph, the father of Dr. Frank P. Norbury. All of the above-named members of the Norbury family were Quakers, save Joseph Britt, who had renounced that faith and become a Reformed Lutheran. Heath Norbury, Dr. Norbury's great-grandfather, had charge of the hospital service of the Continental Army, near Valley Forge, toward the close of the Revolutionary War. Through that conflict, except for this short period, he served in the ranks. His son, Joseph Britt, was a Captain in the War of 1812, and subsequently a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature. He was an attorney and for some time held a commission as Prothonotary in Philadelphia. Joseph Britt Norbury was named after an uncle, Joseph Britt, who served with the Colonial troops before the Revolution, afterward became a Major in the regular army, and took part in the campaigns around Detroit, Fort Wayne, and Vincennes.
Charles Joseph Norbury was a pupil in the Philadelphia schools, and completed his education in the Penn Charter Academy in that city. He then entered the employ of a wholesale merchant of Philadelphia, and later came to Beardstown, Ill., where, in 1833, he was employed by a Mr. Bassett, formerly of Philadelphia. He afterward opened a branch store for Mr. Bassett in Chanderville, Ill., and while there, married Elizabeth P. Spence. Soon after his marriage he established a store of his own in Beardstown, and there spent the remainder of his life. For many years he was identified with the Illinois Packet Company, in connection with his private interests in the grain and pork trade and general merchandising. Although reared in the Reform faith, he united with the Congregational Church soon after locating in Illinois. During the Civil War he strove in every way within his power to uphold the cause of the Union. Toward the end of his life, he became affiliated with the A.F.&A.M. His death occurred March 7, 1895. His wife was a daughter of Thomas and Catherine (Carter) Spence. Thomas Spence was a son of David Spence, a native of New Jersey, and the latter was a son of Thomas Spence, who was born in Scotland. He, in turn, was a son of David Spence. The Spence family in America originated with Thomas Spence, of the second generation above mentioned, who came with a Scotch-Irish colony to New Jersey, at an early period. Katherine Carter Spence, born at Culpeper, Va. Dr. Norbury's maternal grandmother, was a member of an old Virginia family, whose ancestry is traced to Robert Carter (King Carter), who came from England to assume charge of the Culpeper and Fairbanks estates. David Spence, the Doctor's great-grandfather, fought through the Revolution with Francis Marion, the noted cavalry leader. Isaac Watts, of hymn-writing fame, was a member of the same family, in a collateral relation. Dr. Norbury's maternal grandfather, Thomas Spence, was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who came to Illinois with his family about the year 1825.
Charles Joseph Norbury and his wife became the parents of thirteen children, as follows: Rebecca C., widow of D. H. Flickwir, of Brainerd, Minn.; William Spence, of Beardstown, Ill.; Lydia J., wife of Judge Samuel P. Dale, of Canon City, Colo.; Martha P., wife of O. H. Kuechler, of Jacksonville, Ill.; Arthur Frick, of Denver, Colo.; Lizzie S., also of Denver; Anna C., wife of W. D. Epler, of Beardstown, Ill.; Frank Parsons; Mary G., wife of G. B. Hegardt, United States Engineer stationed at Fort Stevens, Ore.; Heath and Henry, who died in childhood; Edward, who was engaged in the lumber business at Houston, Tex., and died at the age of thirty-five years; and Nellie C., deceased, who was the wife of J. Burns, Division Superintendent of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, at Pittsburg, Pa. G. B. Hegardt, husband of Mary G., before mentioned, is the builder of Fort Stevens, Fort Canby, the jetties at the mouth of the Columbia River and the locks in the Illinois River.
Dr. Norbury received his education in the High School at Beardstown, Ill., and Illinois College. After leaving the latter institution he entered the office of the United States Engineer in charge of the Illinois River improvement, where he remained four years, serving a portion of this time as office and field assistant to Capt. R. A. Brown. A year afterward he was employed in a wholesale iron establishment in St. Louis, but having decided upon a medical career, began the study of medicine under the direction of Dr. George Bley, of Beardstown. A year later, he entered the Medico-Chirurgical College, of Philadelphia, where he remained one year. The year following he studied at the Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, from which he was graduated March 9, 1888, with the degree of M. D. Returning to Philadelphia, he became Resident Physician to the Pennsylvania Institution for Feeble-minded Children, at the same time performing post-graduate work under such men as Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, Dr. William Osler and Dr. Charles K. Mills, making a specialty of nervous and mental diseases. On August 20, 1888, he came to Jacksonville, as Assistant Physician to the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane, where he remained five years. Since his resignation from that post, July 1, 1893, he has been engaged in private practice in Jacksonville, with the exception of one year, during which he filled the chair of the Practice of Medicine, in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Louis, at the same time lecturing on nervous and mental diseases in the Woman's Medical College of that city, which is now extinct. His practice has been mainly confined to nervous and mental diseases. For ten years Dr. Norbury has been editor of the "Medical Fortnightly," of St. Louis, and has been a frequent contributor to other professional journals. He is a member of the Morgan County Medical Society, of which he has been President two years; the Illinois State Medical Society; the Western District Medical Society, of Illinois, of which he was President in 1903; the American Medical Association; the American Medico-Psychological Association; and the Mississippi Valley Medical Association, of which he was elected Vice-President at its annual meeting held at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1904. He is Consulting Physician to the Illinois State Institution for the Education of the Blind; has been Neurologist in Our Savior's Hospital since its establishment; for eight years filled the chair of Psycho-Physics in Illinois College, from which he received the degree of A. M. in 1903, and is now Professor of Nervous and Mental Diseases in Keokuk Medical College, and in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa.
In 1901 Dr. Norbury and others founded Maplewood Sanatorium, in Jacksonville, for the treatment of nervous and mental diseases. The institution is under the direction of a corporation of which the Doctor is President, and he acts as Medical Superintendent of the sanatorium. It has a capacity of twenty patients, and besides the Superintendent, has a staff of eleven nurses and a House Physician. At this institution the principles of the rest cure, advocated by Weir Mitchell, are followed, with some modification.
On October 2, 1890, Dr. Norbury was united in marriage with Mary E. Garm, a native of Beardstown, Ill., and a daughter of Henry and Mary D. (Haywood) Garm. Two children have resulted from this union-Frank Garm and Elizabeth.
Politically, Dr. Norbury is a supporter of the Republican party. Religiously, he is connected with the Congregational Church. In fraternal circles, he is identified with Jacksonville Lodge, No. 570, A.F.&A.M., Hospitaler Commandery, No. 31, K. T., and the K. of P.