Alzora & Thomas Norman, circa 1882 and Thomas at age 92
(Click on photo to enlarge)
THOMAS SHEPARD NORMAN
By Eugene Hampton
Thomas was born on July 19, 1829 in Harrision West Virginia. His father was Baily Norman, the sixth of seven children born to Clement and Jemimah nee Shumate Norman. His mother was Tacy nee Tyson Norman the second of nine children born to Enos and Ruth nee Thomas Tyson. The first census record with Thomas’ name on it was found in the 1850 Federal census for Madision County Illinois This census shows Thomas living in what appears to be a boarding house with several unrelated males and females. The next census record with his name was the 1860 census for Cass County Indiana. This census shows Thomas at age thirty-one living in the township of Jackson with his wife Mary Elizabeth nee McMean, age twenty-six; son, Alton, age nine, and daughter, Florence, age two. Thomas and M. Elizabeth may have met and married in Ohio. Elizabeth was born in Brown County, Ohio. Their first child, Alton, was born in Marion County, Ohio. Their second child, Florence, was born in Miami County, Indiana, which is immediately adjacent to Cass County, Ohio, where they were living in 1860. By 1867 the family was in St. Clair County, Missouri, in the town of Osceola where Mary Elizabeth was to die of Tuberculosis on the 14th of February, 1867.
The next record of Thomas was found in the marriage registry for St. Clair County, Missouri. The records show he married Sarah E. Davis of in Osceola, Saint Clair County, on June 2, 1868. Sarah was the daughter of Jasper and Elizabeth nee Hunter Davis. She was born in Illinois in 1846. Thomas was age 39 and Sarah was 22 at the time of their marriage. Thomas and Sarah appeared in the 1870 census in St. Clair County, town of Osceola, with their first child, a son named Albert, age 2. They were to have four other children: Joel B., born in May of 1871; R. Ella, born in 1875, T.S., born April 10, 1878 and Callie Bell, born September 2, 1879. All of the children were born in St. Clair County, Missouri. Neither of his children from his first marriage was with them in 1870. Thomas' son Alton would have been nineteen years of age when the Census was taken. It is likely he had left home and was working on a farm somewhere near by. However, Thomas' daughter, Florence, would have been only twelve. It is possible she may have also contacted tuberculosis and died. Thomas and Sarah were to be married for thirteen years when she died in 1881. No Church, Cemetery, Mortuary or public record has been found to determine the exact date of her death, or where she is buried. The year of her death has been set by family verbal history as the year Callie Bell Norman (the authors grandmother) was two years old. Family verbal history has her buried in St. Clair County.
The next record of Thomas' life was recorded in the McConnell Newsletter dated December 31, 1992. The information was extracted from the Eleventh Census (1890) of the United States, Special Schedule, Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines and Widows, etc. One of the Stone County people listed was Thomas S. Norman, the father-in-law of John P. Steele, and father of Callie Bell Norman. Thomas had been a member of Company G of the 155th Regiment, Indiana infantry. He enlisted in April of 1865 and was discharged in August of 1865 in Delware. The census shows that Thomas received a gun shot wound in the right arm (or possibly kidney, very difficult to read). Thomas would have been thirty-six years old in 1865, which would have made him well above the normal age for soldiering in any Army.
Thomas was married for the third time to Alzora Francis
on September 22, 1881 in Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri. Alzora was
the daughter of Joseph and Mary Jane nee Sawyer Francis. Thomas and Alzora’s
first child, Sarah (AKA Tacy) was born in St. Clair County, Missouri. The
other children of this marriage were born in Stone County, Missouri; they
were: Mary Fannie, born in August of 1886; Bessie, born in June of 1889;
Zella A., born November 16, 1892; Gertrude (AKA Artie), born in September
of 1893 and Carrie, born in February of 1895. Alzora Francis died on the
fourth of July in 1911 at the age of fifty-four. She is buried in the Ponce
de Leon Cemetery in Stone County where she and Thomas lived for most of
their married life. Thomas died 5 Jan 1921 at the age of ninty-one years,
five months and fifteen days.
© 2004 Eugene Hampton