Member Biography

James E. Norton 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1921-1922       11 Republican
1923-1924       11 Republican
1925-1926       11 Republican
1927-1928       11 Republican
1929-1930       11 Republican
1931-1932       11 Republican
1933-1934       11 Republican



02/23/1872 - 12/09/1935

James Edward Norton (R11) Berks County 1921-1935

James Edward Norton, born February 23, 1872, Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania; son of James H. and Adelaide Norton; public school education; employed, Coleman / Norman Printing House; engaged insurance business; gubernatorial appointee, coroner, Berks County, 1916; appointed, draft board, Berks County, 1917; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1919-1920; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1921-1935; married, Fannie M. Coleman (d.1925) children, James Coleman Norton, Paul Robinson Norton, Ruth Virginia Norton; married, Mattie T. Thompson Norton; died while in office of the Senate, December 9, 1935, heart attack, theater, found by usher, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts; interment, Laureldale Cemetery, Tuckerton, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Member, Coleman Printing House which, later, merged into Norton Printing House; engaged, general insurance business, 1913-1919. Secretary -treasurer of the Reading Typographical Union No. 86.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Appointed, coroner of Berks County, Governor Brumbaugh; Doctor L. G. Hain, deceased, 1916.

Appointed, member, Berks County, District Draft Board No. 3, 1917.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1919-1920; not a candidate for reelection, 1920.

Elected, Pennsylvania State Senate, 11th district, Berks County, 1921-1935; committee assignments, Agriculture, Appropriations, Elections, Federal Relations, Game and Fisheries, Insurance, Legislative Apportionment (Chairman), Library, Military Affairs, Municipal Affairs, Public Printing, Railroads.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:


Reading Eagle December 10, 1935 page 20

James Edward Norton was a Republican Senator from Berks County, PA. He died from a heart attack in a theater in Boston, Mass. An usher found him. He was the son of James H. Norton and Adelaide Albright.

He first married Fannie M. Coleman, and three children were born to the couple. Mrs. Norton died In January, 1925. Their oldest son, James Coleman Norton, became a marine lieutenant in 1918, later went to the Orient, and now is in business in Erie. Paul Robinson Norton, second son, is a professor at Princeton University. Of which he is a graduate. He was also a Rhodes Scholar from the United States to Oxford University, England, where he graduated with honors.

The Senator's third child, Miss Ruth Virginia Norton, is a teacher in the Reading public schools. Some years ago Senator Norton remarried, taking as a second wife Mrs. Mattie Raudenbush, who survives.


The Pennsylvania Manual, (1923-1924). Whitmore, R.E., (Compiler). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 983, 988, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 964.

Reading Eagle Reading Pennsylvania Tuesday December 10, 1935, page 20.