Catherine Dorris Norrell

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Catherine Dorris Norrell
Catherine Dorris Norrell.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 6th district
In office
April 19, 1961 – January 3, 1963
Preceded by William F. Norrell
Succeeded by Position eliminated by reapportionment
Personal details
Born (1901-03-30)March 30, 1901
Camden, Ouachita County
Arkansas, USA
Died August 26, 1981(1981-08-26) (aged 80)
Warren, Bradley County
Resting place Oakland Cemetery in Monticello, Arkansas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) William F. Norrell
Children Judy Norrell ___
Residence Monticello, Drew County, Arkansas
Alma mater Ouachita Baptist University

University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

Occupation Educator

Catherine Dorris Norrell (March 30, 1901 - August 26, 1981) was a U.S. Representative from Arkansas, the wife of her predecessor in the House, William F. Norrell.

Born in Camden in Ouachita County, in southern Arkansas, to a Baptist minister, Franklin Dorris, and the former Rose Whitehead, Norrell attended high school in Monticello, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She taught in the Arkansas public schools and served as director of the music department at Arkansas A & M College (now Arkansas State University) in Jonesboro.

Norrell was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-seventh Congress April 18, 1961, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, W. F. Norrell. In the special election she defeated the Democratic lawyer and banker John Harris Jones (born 1922) of Pine Bluff, who said that if elected she would benefit from the congressional salary as well as a pension from her husband's House service. Jones later switched to Republican affiliation and unsuccessfully opposed senatorial nominee Dale L. Bumpers in 1974. Norrell served until January 3, 1963. She was not a candidate for renomination in 1962, for the 6th District was abolished.

After her term in Congress, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State from 1963 to 1965. She was later director of the United States Department of State Reception Center in Honolulu from June 1, 1965, to January 5, 1969. Norrell noted that her husband had voted against Hawaii statehood but she had favored admission of the fiftieth state.

She resided in Monticello, Arkansas, until her death in Warren in Bradley County. She was interred alongside her husband at Oakland Cemetery in Monticello.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William F. Norrell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 6th congressional district

April 19, 1961 – January 3, 1963
Succeeded by
Position abolished through reapportionment