The industrial history of Anderson and Madison County records the name of Thomas M. Norton, who for many years was one of our leading business factors, a pioneer in the truest sense of the word and one who maintained a high standard of citizenship. Mr. Norton was born in 1835 in Ireland and, at two years of age, was brought to this country by his parents, settling near Dayton, Ohio. There he received his educational training in the local public schools and where he, also, learned the trade of a carpenter. During the 1860’s, he went to Union City, Indiana, where he became associated with Louis Williams in the ale brewing business, and from there in 1866, he came to Anderson and formed a partnership with Patrick Sullivan, establishing the first ale brewery in Northern Indiana.
In 1882, Mr. Norton began the brewing of beer on his own account, and from that time until his death, he continued to devote his time and energy to the development of a business which grew extensively throughout this section of the state. Around 1896 or 97, he turned the business over to his sons, William J. and Martin C. Norton.
Mr. Thomas M. Norton was cordial and pleasant in his business dealings and was well liked and respected in the community. Mr. Norton died on January 26, 1907. He was buried in the St. Mary’s Cemetery, Anderson Township, Madison County, Anderson, Indiana. His wife whom he married in 1861, Mrs. Katherine(McCarthy) Norton, survived her husband at this time as well as all four of their children.
The sons, Martin C. and William J. Norton continued in the brewery business for many years in Anderson. After Thomas Norton’s death, they changed the name of the brewery to the T. M. Norton Brewing Company. Martin C. Norton duties was that of president while William J. was the secretary and treasurer.