Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NORTON, John Nicholas, clergyman, born in Waterloo, New York, in 1820; died in Louisville, Kentucky, 18 January, 1881. He belonged to an old Virginia family, though he was born and educated in New York. He was graduated at Hobart college, Geneva, New York, in 1842, and at the General theological seminary in 1845, was ordained deacon in Trinity church, Geneva, 20 July, 1845, by Bishop Delancey, and priest in St. Paul's church, Rochester, New York, 24 August, 1846, by the same bishop. His first post was that of assistant minister of St. Luke's church, Rochester, in 1845. He removed to Kentucky in December, 1846, became rector of Ascension church, Frankfort, and engaged also in teaching. He occupied this post until August, 1870, when he accepted a call to become associate rector of Christ church, Louisville, Kentucky, where he labored during the remaining years of his life. He received the degree of D. D. from Hobart in 1862, and subsequently from two other colleges. Dr. Norton was a member of the standing committee of the diocese of Kentucky, for nine years a deputy to the General convention, and a trustee of the Theological seminary of Kentucky. His publications were numerous, amounting in all to nearly forty volumes. They include "The Boy who was trained up to be a Clergyman" (Philadelphia, 1854) ; "Full Proof of the Ministry," sequel to the preceding (New York, 1855); " Lives of the Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church," beginning with Bishop" White" (1857), followed by Bishop Seabury, and fifteen others (1857-'9); "Life of Bishop Heber (1858) ; "Life of George Washington" (1860);" Life of Benjamin Franklin" (Frankfort, Kentucky, 1861); "Life of Archbishop Cranmer" (1863); "Life of Archbishop Laud" (Boston, 1864); "Short Sermons " (1858) ; " Sketches, Literary and Theological" (1872) ; "The King's Ferry-Boat," sermons (1876) ; and " Old Paths," sermons (1880).--His brother, George Harley, clergyman, born in Ontario county, New York, 7 May, 1824, entered Hobart college in 1838, but was not graduated. He studied law in Fauquier county, Virginia, in 1840-'3, but, resolving to enter the ministry, went to the Theological seminary of Virginia, where he was graduated in 1846. He was ordained deacon in July, 1846, by Bishop Meade, and priest in May, 1848, by the same bishop. He accepted the rectorship of St. James's church, Warrenton, Virginia, in 1846, and held that post for twelve years, but removed to Ohio in 1858, and became rector of Trinity church, Columbus. In 1859 he was called to St. Paul's church, Alexandria, Virginia, which post he holds at the present date (1888). He received the degree of D.D. from William and Mary in 1868. Dr. Norton has held various offices of trust in church affairs. He was delegate to the general council of his church in the seceding states in 1862-'5, deputy to the General convention in the United States in 1868-'86, and has been a member of the standing committee of the diocese and a trustee of the Theological seminary of Virginia since 1865. He was elected professor of systematic divinity in the theological seminary in 1874, and president of Kenyon college, Ohio, in 1876, but declined both posts. Dr. Norton has contributed to some extent to current religious literature, and has also published an "Inquiry into the Nature and Extent of the Holy Catholic Church" (Philadelphia, 1853).
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