The funeral services of the late Gould G. Norton were held last Sunday morning at the home of his son, O. Norton. A very large concourse of friends was present. The congregational choir opened with an appropriate anthem. Mr. Arnold read the 15th chapter of 1 Cor., Reverend Chute offered prayer, and Rev. Thomas, of Byron, preached an excellent sermon from II Tim. 1:10. G. G. Norton was born in the year 1800. He came west in 1835. At the age of twenty-four he married Mary Hyde, who went before him to the Farther Shore ten years ago. He has had five children four of whom are still living: Mrs. Ogden Youngs who has just returned from her visit to Idaho and California, Mary Norton, of Cal., Hyde Norton of Fla., and O. Norton who lives near the old homestead. The other son, Henry Norton, Prof. in normal school in Cal., died just one year before his father.
There are twenty grand children and one great grand child to mourn the loss of their grand father. We have lost a very highly esteemed and well beloved friend.
Byron Express, July 2, 1886, p. 4
Mr. Gould G. Norton was born Sept. 11, 1800, Allington Bennington County, Vermont, died in Marion Twp., Ogle County, Ill., June 23, 1886. He was the youngest of a family of five brothers and one sister, and was the last surviving member of the family. His father, Charles Norton, of Gilford, Conn., was a Revolutionary soldier, he fought at the battle of Bennington, and was present at the capture of Burgoyne.
Brother G. G. Norton removed from Bennington to New York Genesee Co. in 1816, was converted at a camp meeting in that county in 1824. He immediately joined the M. E. church, and remained a member till death.
He came to Marion Twp., Ogle Co., Ill. in 1848 and has always resided in the same place. He joined the M. E. Church at the mouth of the Stillman Creek, with fathers Noble, Woodcock, and other veterans, who have past on before him; he shared in all the active duties, and labors the work demanded in erecting the church building, and in establing society, until the last few years, when failing health made it necessary that he let other bear the toil. Now he has passed from feebleness to blissful activity, in the full assurance of hope. His life has been a living evidence of the blessing and benefit of Christianity.
One of the neighbors present at the funeral, said to the writer, "Mr. Norton's was a beautiful life." Yet he claimed no merit but reposed wholly in Christ for salvation. He has gone down like a shock of corn fully ripe. His rememberances are sweet, his Godly example has left an attractive influence toward the church, and his children's children shall bless him.
His wife, Mary Hyde Norton preceeded him to the better land 10 years, though at their Golden Wedding in 1874 at the age of 74 years it was said of her, "Her abundant dark hair had not changed, and her form was still erect."
Their family consisted of three sons and two daughters; one, Prof. Bruce Norton died just two years before his father, the other members of the family still live to mourn their loss. There are twenty grand children and one great grand child who all love him, and will bless his memory.
The funeral took place Sunday, June 27, 1886. The sermon was preached by Rev. J. H. Thomas, of Byron, from II Tim. 1`:10, "Who hath abolished death?" It was held in the grove in front of the old homestead. (Those large trees have all grown from seed planted by father Norton.) The gathering was very large, the procession to the grave being a full mile in length.
Byron Express, July 9, 1886, p. 1
Contributed by Bob Hutchins
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