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Norris (William E.) Papers
MS 851  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Collection consists of a diary written by William E Norris in 1875, papers and photographs of Norris and his wife, Minnie.
Background
William E. Norris was born in Sacramento, California on 19 Sept 1856 to D.H. and Mary Norris. As per the 1870 California Census, D.H. was a carpenter who was born in Indiana, and Mary was born in Arkansas. D.H. and Mary had two sons, William and Frank. D.H. Norris passed away in 1876. His death notice, published in the Sacramento Daily Union on 6 June 1876 states that D.H. Norris was an "old and well known resident of the city." D.H. Norris is buried in the Pioneer Grove of the Sacramento City Cemetery. The 1880 Sacramento California Census lists Norris as a telegraph operator. As per his retirement record, he most likely began working for the Southern Pacific in approximately 1871. Norris went on to live the remainder of his life in Sacramento, appearing on the 1900, 1910 and 1920 Sacramento, California Census records. For the 1900 and 1910 Sacramento, California Census records he is listed as a telegraph operator for the Southern Pacific. The 1920 census reflects a change in careers, working for the City of Sacramento. He married Minnie Labassee on 8 May 1882 in Sacramento and according to the Sacramento City voter lists, they lived at 1012 P Street. Norris and Minnie had one daughter, Lola, who also raised her family in the Sacramento area. The 1925 February issue of the Southern Pacific Bulletin, Recent Deaths among S.P. Pensioned Veterans lists a death notice for Norris. It is noted that "William E. Norris, a train dispatcher with the Sacramento Division, as having passed away 12 December 1924 at the age of 68 years, 3 months." The notice states that he retired from the Southern Pacific Railroad on April 1, 1911 with 40 years, 1 month service. He title, Chief Dispatcher, was confirmed on the 1910 Sacramento Division Employee Time table. The 1918 Southern Pacific Pension Payroll records listed William Norris as receiving a monthly pension of $62.60. Norris died 12 December 1924 in Sacramento and was buried in the Old City Cemetery in Sacramento, California.
Extent
.166 Linear Feet (1 manuscript half-box)
Restrictions
Copyright has been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. Permission for publication must be submitted in writing to the CSRM Library and Archives.
Availability
Collection is open for research by appointment. Some restrictions may apply. Please give staff one week's advance notice.