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Dr. George H. Norris, 1870-1956

The following was compiled by the Annandale History Club secretary


1898:  Dr. Norris graduated from the Department of Medicine & Surgery, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.   He was licensed to practice in Minnesota in 1902.

1902:  Dr. Norris opened his medical practice in Clearwater in 1902 and moved to Annandale in 1904.

Annandale Advocate, November 15, 1906:  Dr. Norris’ building is rising slowly and will present a good appearance when done.  The building is made of cement blocks.  This building will be a long lasting structure and novelty of Annandale.

Early 1900s:  Dr. George Norris was secretary of the Annandale Electric Light & Power Co.   The local stock company was formed by enterprising citizens who were willing to invest their money for the good of the town.

Annandale Advocate,  July 18, 1907:  The Dr. Norris building is nearing completion and will soon be occupied.  When completed it will be one of the most attractive buildings in town.  (Note: The former Dr. Norris office at 72 S. Oak was a restaurant for years, Frontier Restaurant and others.  In 2016 it is Sassy’s Salon and Spa.).

Annandale Advocate, September 5, 1907:  Dr. Norris has purchased the Hazelquist place on the shore of Lake John comprising about three acres of ground and a small cottage.  This place has a beautiful lake shore.  Dr. Norris will improve it and use it as a summer home.

Annandale Advocate,  January 7, 1907:   (The Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)  Dr. Norris Received Word of Mother’s Death.  Anna Britton, widow of Thomas Norris, died at the residence of her son, Jack B. Norris.  She was born in Devonshire, England, 93 years ago, and had been a resident of this city since 1851.  Left to mourn are two daughters, Mrs. Fannie Service, of this city, and Mrs. R C. Manning of Vancouver, B.C; two sons, Dr. George H. Norris of Annandale, Minn., and Jack B. Norris; granddaughter, Miss Isabelle Buscombe of Hamilton; also six grandsons and one granddaughter.

1908:  Dr. Norris, a member of Fair Haven Lodge 182, was raised to Master Mason.

Date?:  Dr. Norris was a member of the Annandale IOOF Lodge (Independent Order of Odd Fellows), a fraternal and benevolent organization.  The Annandale IOOF lodge was organized in 1892.       

1909 – Great Northwest Magazine:  One of the men whose finger has been gently resting on the pulse of the Annandale people for three years is Dr. Geo. Norris. His new 25x40 brick structure has all modern equipment.  A large private library has the leading medical and surgical works, which enables the doctor to keep abreast with the on-marching profession.

Dr. Norris has just completed the erection of a handsome brick residence equipped with every modern convenience.  (Note:  Dr. Norris closed the office in 1946, but continued receiving patients at his home).

Annandale Advocate, July 12, 1917:  World War I - Dr. George Norris Joins the Army.  Dr. Norris has enlisted as an army surgeon and has received his commission.  He is awaiting the call to service.  We regret to see Dr. Norris leave but wish him well and for his safe return to our midst.

Annandale Advocate, September 27, 1917:  Lieutenant George H. Norris, M.D., ordered to report at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Ind., where he will be stationed for some time.

Annandale Advocate, January 10, 1918:  Dr. Goerge H. Norris received Capt. commission.  He’s stationed at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

Annandale Advocate, February 13, 1919:  Mrs. Norris has just received word that her husband will arrive in Minneapolis Saturday, a mustered out man.

1917-18:  Dr. George Norris was president of the Annandale village council.

1919:  In September 1919 Dr. Norris was a charter member and first commander of the Annandale American Legion Post 176. 

The Annandale American Legion and Auxiliary came into being after World War I, largely through the efforts of Dr. George Norris.  (Annandale Centennial Book – 1888-1988) 

August 12, 1922:  Dr. Norris and other doctors assisted victims in a horrific train accident in Annandale.  10 people died and 32 were injured.  Dr. Norris’ son Robert was a passenger and was injured in the accident.

Annandale Advocate, August 24, 1922:  Dr. and Mrs. G. H. Norris left last Friday for Virginia to attend the American Legion state convention.

Annandale Advocate, September 7, 1922:  The county board met in special session at Buffalo.  Commissioners Bernard Nelson of Cokato, Geo. Doerfler of Waverly, and Dr. Norris of Annandale were appointed as the County Board of Health.

Annandale Advocate, April 23, 1922:   Dr. Norris was the first scoutmaster of Annandale Boy Scouts.

Annandale Advocate, May 2, 1922:  Dr. Norris donated his service as medical officer at Camp Scooter Boy Scout camp on Clearwater Lake, occupying a tent for the nights.

Annandale Advocate, July 3, 1924:  Dr. G.H. Norris has been appointed master of ceremonies at the Fourth of July program at Pleasant Lake Park.

Dr. G.H. Norris was the first local man to patronize the new Tri-County Oil Station in Annandale.

Annandale Advocate, July 5, 1928:  Dr. Norris Called to Service:  Dr. G.H. Norris was called by the government to serve in the Reserve Corps at Fort Snelling.  He and Mrs. Norris went down Saturday.  Dr. Norris will be away two weeks.

Annandale Advocate, February 8, 1934:  Dr. Norris was elected a director of the Annandale Conservation Club.

Annandale Advocate, March 26, 1943:  A letter from Dr. George Norris of Annandale, who is wintering in Palm Springs, Calif., describes the military activity in that area.  The Army is drilling in desert warfare a short distance away, a large air field nearby is daily receiving new planes from the war plants, and a large hospital just a half mile from where the Norris couple is staying is gradually filling with patients from the Pacific campaign.  Dr. Norris has practiced his profession in the area, as there is a shortage of doctors

1946:  Dr. Norris closed his office but continued receiving patients as his home.

Annandale Advocate, February 23, 1956

JENNIE NORRIS (1870-1956)

Services Conducted for Mrs. George Norris:  Mrs. Jennie Norris, wife of Dr. George Norris, died at her home Sunday, February 19.  Mrs. Norris had been an invalid for several years and passed away at the age of 85 years and four months.

She was born in Port Huron, Michigan, October 28, 1870, and spent her early years there.  She was a member of the Port Huron Congregational church and assisted in its activities.  She was united in marriage with Dr. Norris at Port Huron April 28, 1900.  Soon after their marriage they came to Minnesota, locating at Clearwater and later moved to Annandale, her home for 50 years.

Mrs. Norris was a member of the Annandale Methodist Church; the first president of the American Legion Auxiliary; a member of Vesta Chapter No. 68 O.E.S.; and found time to give her services to countless community activities.  She cared for her home and family during the time her husband was in the U.S. Army in World War I.

Survivors are her husband; one daughter, Mrs. Frances Heidinger of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and three sons, George of Las Vegas, Nevada; Robert of Edina, Minn.; and Dr. Neil T. Norris of Caledonia, Minn.; also five grandchildren.

Services were held at the Methodist church at 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, with the pastor, the Rev. Edwin O. Bissell officiating.  Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Note:  Mrs. George Norris was president of the Annandale Improvement Club 1929-1930.

Annandale Advocate  December 6, 1956

GEORGE H. NORRIS (1870-1956)

Last rites were held for Dr. George H. Norris at the Annandale Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Dec. 3.  The Rev. Edwin O. Bissell of Cosmos officiated.  Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery where members of the American Legion conducted military rites.  Pall bearers were members of the American Legion Post No. 176 of which Dr. Norris had been the first commander.  They were J.F. Powers, Charley Kurz, Jack Logeais, Clard Broberg, Henry Jokie and William Marohn.

Dr. Norris was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and received his medical training at the University of Michigan. He opened his medical practice in Clearwater in 1902 and moved to Annandale in 1904.  He closed his office in 1946, but continued receiving patients at his home until recently.

In his more active years, Dr. Norris participated in civic affairs serving on the School Board and other organizations.  When World War I started, he volunteered his services and earned the rank of Captain before the close of the war, when he returned home and resumed his professions as physician and surgeon. 

He assisted in organizing the Annandale American Legion Post and served as its first commander.  He was a member of the Methodist Church, also a member of the Fair Haven Lodge No. 182, A.F. and A.M.  For a hobby, Dr. Norris made an intensive study of geology and was an authority on rock formations.

Survivors are one daughter, Frances, Mrs. A.C. Heidinger of Tulsa, Okla., and three sons, George S., Houston, Texas, Robert B, Minneapolis, and Dr. Neil T., California; also five grandchildren, namely:  Robert, Richard, and David, sons of Robert Norris, and Kathie and Thomas, children of Dr Neil Norris.  Mrs. G.H. Norris passed away February 19, 1956.

Annandale Advocate, December 6, 1956  - Dr. Norris Found Dead in His Home

Dr. George H. Norris, who had been a resident of this community for over half a century, died at his home in Annandale, Nov. 27.  G. M. Strecker called at the Norris home Friday at noon and upon noticing the accumulation of daily papers and no answer to his knock at the door, summoned the local officer, Earl Olson.  Together they entered the house and discovered the body of Dr. Norris at the foot of the stairs in the basement.

Coroner’s inquest determined that death was due to a fractured skull incurred as the result of a fall downstairs sometime on November 27.


Compiled by Annandale History Club Secretary