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U.S. Congressman & U.S. Senator from Nebraska for 40 Years

George Norris and his mother, Mary
George Norris and his mother, Mary.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3298-1-26

George William Norris was born near Clyde, Ohio in Sandusky County on July 11, 1861. Norris’ father died when he was four years old — only months after George’s older brother had died in the Civil War. Norris was the 11th child of a very poor family of farmers. George’s mother, Mary, encouraged him to pursue his education to help him escape that poverty.

While in college, Norris earned money by farming and teaching. Sometimes he would have to take entire semesters off from school so he could work. This was common of many students who attended Baldwin University in Berea, Ohio.

Norris had great skill in debating, so decided to go to law school. He graduated with a law degree from Indiana State Normal School in Valparaiso, Indiana in 1883.

Norris' class at Indiana State Normal School in Valparaiso, Indiana
Norris’ class at Indiana State Normal School in Valparaiso, Indiana.
George is in the middle row, third from the right.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3298-1-212

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