James Joseph Norton I (1892-1961)

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Norton-James funeral 01

James Joseph Norton I (1892-1961) funeral notice

James Joseph Norton I (1892-1961) aka Jack Norton. He was a jewelry salesman, a security guard, and an elevator operator and World War I veteran. (b. November 18, 1892, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, USA - d. January 02, 1961, 2600 Hudson Boulevard, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, USA) Military Service Number 4108718.



James was baptized on November 27, 1892, at Saint Bridget's Parish and his godparents are James Carr I (1874-?) and Katherine Carr (1865-1951) aka Kitty Carr.



He completed his primary education up to the eight grade and did not go on to attend high school. The source was the 1940 United States Census. He would have graduated around 1905 at age 13.

Jersey City, New JerseyEdit

In the year 1900 James was living at 101 Bright Avenue in Jersey City with his parents, his two siblings and his father's brother, John Norton (1861-1905).

Death of uncle then fatherEdit

On June 06, 1905 his uncle John died of tuberculosis and just four months later, on October 09, 1905, James' father died of "pyonephritic septicemia".

Brother supported familyEdit

James' brother, Thomas, went to work at the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (DL&W) Railroad Company to support the family.


In 1910 James was working as a switchman at the same railroad.

World War IEdit

On September 05, 1918 James enlisted and served in the Army as a Corporal during WWI.

Best manEdit

He was the best man at his brother's wedding to Mary Burke on September 27, 1919 and in 1920 he was still working at the railroad and was living with his mother and sister at 31 Liberty Avenue in Jersey City.

Marcus JewelryEdit

Around the time of the Depression he either worked at, or owned Marcus Jewelry in Jersey City. This was the jewelry store that had the contract for cleaning and repairing the railroad watches that conductors and engineers carried.


In 1930 he married Helen Marie Maher (1895-1974) aka Eenie Maher, who was a schoolteacher. They were introduced by his brother's wife, who also was a school teacher. Helen was petite and James was more heavyset and smoked cigars, he also loved to drink beer.

Clendenny AvenueEdit

They lived at 61 Clendenny Avenue, in Jersey City in one of the two, two-family houses owned by his mother.

Mutual ChemicalEdit

He registered for the World War II draft in 1942. He was 5' 7" and weighed 196 pounds. This gave him a body mass index of 30.7. After WWII James was working as a security guard at Mutual Chemical. During the period between Mutual Chemical and his death he worked a series of odd jobs, never staying long at any single company.

Death of MotherEdit

His mother died on January 28, 1950.


He died in 1961 of a heart attack and was working as an elevator operator and living at 43 Emery Street in Jersey City.

Funeral noticeEdit

His funeral notice appeared in the Jersey Journal on Thursday, January 5, 1961 and reads as follows:

Norton - Suddenly on Monday, January 2, 1961, James J. Norton, of 43 Emory Street; beloved husband of Helen Maher Norton; loving brother of Thomas and the late Katherine Langan. Relatives and friends, also Albert Quinn Post American Legion, are invited to attend funeral on Saturday, January 7th, at 8 a.m. from the Funeral Home of Richmond F. Routh 206 Old Bergen Road. Solemn mass of requiem at St. Patrick's Church at 9 a.m. Interment Holy Name Cemetery.
Norton, Summons - James. Officers and members of Albert L. Quinn Post No. 52 American Legion, will meet at Richmond F. Routh Funeral Home, 206 Old Bergen Road, on Thursday, January 5th at 8 p.m. to pay our last respect to our departed comrade James Norton. Frank B. Riccardi, Commander; Joseph Weber, Adj.


James is buried with both his parents and his wife at Holy Name Cemetery in Jersey City:


No known picture of James is extant, he didn't have any children to pass his photographs to, and none were found in the collection of his brother or sister.

Memories about James Joseph NortonEdit

  • Kathryn Ann Langan (1937- ) says: "I remember Helen Maher her nickname was "Eenie". Her husband was my favorite uncle, James Joseph Norton. He came to our wedding. He never seemed to have a job. I think he worked in a jewelry store at one point. He always smoked cigars. He may have held odd jobs, but he had a disability income from the War. He may have had frostbite on his toes while he was in the Army. He lived with Sara Carr on Clendenny Avenue in one of the two houses she owned there."
  • James Patrick Langan II (1931- ) says: "He owned a jewelry store in Jersey City and lost it during the depression, after that he worked a series of odd jobs and was a security guard. I never remember him really working, just taking odd jobs for short periods."
  • Thomas Patrick Norton II (1920- ) says: "He smelled of beer, smoked cigars and had a big belly. I would go to the bar with a bucket to fetch him beer. He had a very attractive wife (Helen Maher). My dad (his brother) got him a job as a detective for the railroad. He was a guard at Mutual Chemical and I found him working there when I got back from the war. When I was a kid I would visit Sarah Carr's house with my mother (Mary Margaret Burke). One time I went into Jack's room (with someone else) and found his gun and started playing with it. When Mary Margaret Burke walked in she was furious. Sarah Carr yelled at James Joseph when he got home, for keeping a loaded gun out in the open. She may even have slapped him on the head. He also worked at Marcus Jewelry in Jersey City. Marcus would certify the railroad watches."
  • Thomas Patrick Norton II (1920-2011) said on December 2, 2006: "We had a piano in our house that came down to us through the Finns and Burkes, and when James would come over he would sit at the piano and start playing popular tunes."

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