Scope and Content
This collection was donated to the Hayes
Presidential Center by Don Heuring in 2011.
Additional information on George W. Norris can be found in the biographical file at the Hayes
George W. Norris was born 11 July 1861 in York
Township, Sandusky County, Ohio to Chauncey and Mary (Mook) Norris. His early education was gained during the
winter months, while during the summer he labored on
neighboring farms to aid his family.
Graduating from Northern Indiana Normal School (later named Valparaiso
University) in 1880 and from law school at Valparaiso, Norris was admitted to
the bar in 1883.
George taught school before moving west in 1885
to the state of Nebraska, where he built a law practice first in Beaver City
and later in McCook. Much of his legal
practice involved mortgage loan services for financial and insurance
companies. In 1889 Norris married Pluma
Lashley and the couple had three daughters; Hazel, Marian and Gertrude. After Pluma’s death in 1901, George married
Ella Leonard in 1903. They had no children.
Norris became increasingly active politically,
and in 1892 won election as county prosecuting attorney and, in 1895, as judge
of the fourteenth judicial district. In
1902 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the fifth
district of Nebraska, a position he filled until 1913.
In 1912 George was elected U.S. Senator from
Nebraska, and he served in that capacity for thirty years. Senator Norris was instrumental in bringing
about the Anti-Injunction Act, the Tennessee Valley Authority Act and the Rural
Electrification Act. He fought for
farmers’ cooperatives and for conservation.
One of his greatest accomplishments occurred when he succeeded in
converting the Muscle Shoals facilities into the Tennessee Valley Authority
(TVA) to produce public power and implement regional economic planning. Norris Dam in the TVA was named in his
honor. In 1942 George ran for a sixth
term in the Senate, but did very little campaigning and lost the election.
George W. Norris died on 2 September 1944 in
McCook, Nebraska. He was honored by the
United States Post Office Department on 11 July 1961, the centennial of his
birth, when his features appeared on a four cent commemorative postage stamp.
American National Biography
Wayne S. Cole
Scope and Content
spanning from 1960-2003, contains commemorative stamps, first day issue covers
and ephemera pertaining to Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska. Incoming and outgoing correspondence to the
donor, Don Heuring, discuss the Norris stamp, as well as his friendship with
John and Hazel Robertson, relatives of George Norris. Two albums containing Senator George W.
Norris first day issue covers from various states, and photographs of the
dedication ceremony on 11 July 1961 in Washington D.C. completes this
1: George W. Norris First Day Issue
2: Correspondence (John & Hazel Robertson to
3: Incoming Correspondence to Don Heuring
4: Outgoing Correspondence from Don Heuring
5: Commemorative Stamp Ephemera
6: George W. Norris Biographical Information
7: Newspaper Clippings