NORRIS, George William

NORRIS, George William
1861–1944

Biography

NORRIS, George William, a Representative and a Senator from Nebraska; born on a farm near Clyde, Sandusky County, Ohio, on July 11, 1861; attended the district schools, Baldwin University, Berea, Ohio, and the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso; taught school while studying law; graduated from the law department of Valparaiso (Ind.) University in 1883 and was admitted to the bar the same year; continued teaching until he moved to Beaver City, Furnas County, Nebr., in 1885; engaged in the practice of law; county attorney of Furnas County for three terms; district judge of the fourteenth district 1895-1902; moved to McCook, Red Willow County, Nebr., in 1899; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-eighth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1903-March 3, 1913); did not seek renomination in 1912, having become a candidate for Senator; one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1912 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Judge Robert W. Archbald; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1912; reelected in 1918, 1924, and 1930, and as an Independent in 1936, and served from March 4, 1913, to January 3, 1943; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1942; chairman, Committee on the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians (Sixty-fifth Congress), Committee on Patents (Sixty-sixth Congress), Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Sixty-seventh through Sixty-ninth Congresses), Committee on the Judiciary (Sixty-ninth through Seventy-second Congresses); known as the "father of the TVA," the first of that project's dams was named Norris Dam; retired from public life; died in McCook, Nebr., September 2, 1944; interment in Memorial Park Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Columbia University
Oral History Project

New York, NY
Oral History: Discussed in interview with Burton K. Wheeler.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1 official letter (April 15, 1911) in the Woodrow Wilson collection.

Cornell University Libraries
Labor Management Documentation

Ithaca, NY
Papers: In American Association for Labor Legislation correspondence, 1925-1930, available on 12 microfilm reels; and anti-injunction legislation materials in Paul F. Brissenden research materials on labor injunctions in New York State, 1898-1940 (bulk 1928-1936).

Cornell University Libraries
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections

Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Roland and Emily Elkus Crangle scrapbooks, 1898-1955.

Harvard University
Law School Library

Cambridge, MA
Papers: Correspondence in United States, Wickersham Commission records, 1928-1931. Finding aid.

Rutherford B. Hayes Library

Fremont, OH
Papers: 1937. 3 items. Correspondence concerning Norris' youth in Sandusky County, Ohio, and remembrances of General Joseph Warren Keifer and of his son in public life in Nebraska.

Herbert Hoover Library

West Branch, IA
Papers: Campaign related materials in Robert H. Lucas papers, 1907-1949 (bulk 1914-1947).

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1864-1963 (bulk 1893-1944). 571 containers. Correspondence, notebooks, memoranda, speeches, memorabilia, scrapbooks, subject files, maps, charts, photographs, and printed material covering his political career. Includes material on campaigns, conservation, development of river valleys, his position on both World Wars, and his service as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in L.R. Glavis papers, 1907-1971; and Irving Brant papers, 1910-1977, available on 7 microfilm reels. Finding aid.

Nebraska State Historical Society

Lincoln, NE
Papers: 1886-1967. 14 feet; ca. 5,500 items. Correspondence (1899-1944), scrapbooks (1894-1945), manuscripts of writings, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, biographical data, bulletins, and photographs. Includes material relating to TVA, REA, reorganization of the judiciary, unicameral legislature in Nebraska, and other political and legislative issues. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Bryan Memorial Commission records, 1935-1952; Oregon Trail Memorial Commission records, 1908-1923; and George Washington Kline scrapbook, 1933-1934.

Radcliffe College
Schlesinger Library

Cambridge, MA
Papers: In Mary Ware Dennett papers, series III, 1909-1942; and Freda Kirchwey papers, 1871-1972 (bulk 1937-1971).

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

Hyde Park, NY
Papers: In National Committee of Independent Voters for Roosevelt and Wallace records, 1940; and Herbert S. Marks papers, 1933-1946.

Stanford University Libraries
Special Collections

Stanford, CA
Papers: In Guido H. Marx papers, 1893-1949.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division

Madison, WI
Papers: Correspondence in Herman L. Ekern papers, 1872-1954; Orland S. Loomis papers, 1909-1945; Edwin Emil Witte papers, 1905-1967; William Theodore Evjue papers, 1905-1969; and Melvyn Douglas papers, 1892-1983.

University of Georgia
Hargrett Library for Rare Books and Manuscripts

Athens, GA
Papers: Correspondence in Leonardo Andrea papers, 1913-1966.

University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Department

Iowa City, IA
Papers: 1910-1914. 3 letters. To Harry P. Harrison concerning Chautauqua work.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Prentiss Marsh Brown papers, 1902-1973; Warren P. Lombard papers, 1877-1939; and Frank Murphy papers, 1908-1949. Finding aid.

University of Nebraska
Archives

Lincoln, NE
Papers: Correspondence in Edith and Grace Abbott papers, 1897-1954. Finding aid.

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 18 items in Theodore Dreiser correspondence, 1931-1932.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: In Edwin Montefiore Borchard papers, 1910-1950; William Kent family papers, 1768-1961; and Harry Weinberger papers, 1915-1942.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Clancy, Manus J., III. "Senator George W. Norris: An Analysis and Evaluation of His Role of Insurgency During the Hoover Years." Ph.D. dissertation, St. John's University, 1965.

Clark, Jerome Leslie. "The Contributions of George W. Norris During His Service on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California, 1959.

Dalstrom, Harl A. "The Defeat of George W. Norris in 1942."Nebraska History 59 (Summer 1978): 231-58.

Downes, Randolph C., ed. "Senator George W. Norris as a Lucas County School Teacher." Northwest Ohio Quarterly 47 (Winter 1974-1975): 15-19.

Fellman, David. "The Liberalism of Senator Norris." American Political Science Review 40 (February 1946): 27-51.

Guinsburg, Thomas N. "The George W. Norris 'Conversion' to Internationalism, 1939-1941." Nebraska History 53 (Winter 1972): 477-90.

Kennedy, John F. "George Norris." In Profiles in Courage, pp. 186-210. 1956. Reprint. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1961.

Leuchtenburg, William E. "Roosevelt, Norris and the 'Seven Little TVAs'." Journal of Politics 14 (August 1952): 418-41.

Lief, Alfred. Democracy's Norris: The Biography of a Lonely Crusader. 1939. Reprint. New York: Octagon Books, 1977.

Lindeen, Shirley Ann, and James Walter Lindeen. "Bryan, Norris and the Doctrine of Party Responsibility." American Studies 11 (Spring 1970): 45-53.

Lowitt, Richard. George W. Norris: The Making of a Progressive, 1861-1912. 1963. Reprint. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980.

___. George W. Norris: The Persistence of a Progressive, 1913-1933. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971.

___. George W. Norris: The Triumph of a Progressive, 1933-1944. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978.

___. "George W. Norris and Agricultural Relief During the Twenties." Nebraska History 36 (September 1955): 173-82.

___. "George W. Norris: A Country Boy in an Urbanizing Nation." Nebraska History 52 (Fall 1971): 233-37.

___. "George W. Norris, James J. Hill, and the Railroad Rate Bill." Nebraska History 40 (June 1959): 137-45.

___. "George W. Norris and the New Deal in Nebraska, 1933-1936." Agricultural History 51 (April 1977): 396-405.

___. "George W. Norris: A Reflective View." Nebraska History 70 (Winter 1989): 297-302.

___. "The Making of an Insurgent." Mid-America 42 (April 1960): 105-15.

___. "A Neglected Aspect of the Progressive Movement: George W. Norris and Public Control of Hydroelectric Power, 1913-1919." Historian 27 (May 1965): 350-65.

___. "The Ohio Boyhood of George W. Norris." Northwest Ohio Quarterly 30 (Spring 1958): 70-77.

___. "Populism and Politics: The Start of George W. Norris' Political Career." Nebraska History 42 (June 1961): 75-94.

___. " 'Present at the Creation': George W. Norris, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the TVA Enabling Act." East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 48 (1976): 116-26.

___. "Senator Norris and His 1918 Campaign." Pacific Northwest Quarterly 57 (July 1966): 113-19.

___, ed. "George W. Norris and the Kinkaid Act of 1904: A Footnote." Nebraska History 57 (Fall 1976): 399-404.

___, ed. "Nebraska: A Reflective View by George W. Norris." Nebraska History 49 (Summer 1968): 139-48.

Neuberger, Richard, and Stephen B. Kahn. Integrity: The Life of George W. Norris. New York: Vanguard Press, 1937.

Norris, George. Fighting Liberal: The Autobiography of George W. Norris. 1945. Reprint. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992.

___. "Mr. Dawes and the Senate Rules." Forum 74 (October 1925): 581-86.

___. "The One-House Legislature." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 181 (September 1935): 50-58.

Smallwood, Johnny Booth, Jr. "George W. Norris and the Concept of a Planned Region." Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1963.

Stone, James A., ed. "The Norris Program in 1924." Nebraska History 42 (June 1961): 125-39.

Sutton, Walter A. "Bryan, La Follette, Norris: Three Mid-Western Politicians." Journal of the West 8 (October 1969): 613-30.

Wesser, Robert F. "George Norris: The Unicameral Legislature and the Progressive Ideal." Nebraska History 45 (December 1964): 309-21.

Zucker, Norman L. George W. Norris, Gentle Knight of American Democracy. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1966.

___. "George W. Norris: Nebraska Moralist." Nebraska History 42 (June 1961): 95-124.

___. "George W. Norris: Progressive from the Plains." Nebraska History 45 (June 1964): 147-64.

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