Elijah Hise Norton

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Elijah Hise Norton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1863
Preceded by James Craig
Succeeded by Sempronius H. Boyd
Personal details
Born (1821-11-21)November 21, 1821
Russellville, Kentucky
Died August 6, 1914(1914-08-06) (aged 92)
Platte City, Missouri
Political party Democratic
Profession lawyer

Elijah Hise Norton was a US Congressman from Missouri during the United States Civil War.


He was born in Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky, November 21, 1821 and attended the public schools and Centre College, Danville, Kentucky He graduated from the law department of Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, in 1842 and was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Platte City, Missouri, in 1845. He served as county attorney in 1850 and judge of the circuit court of Missouri 1852–1860.

During the United States Civil War, Elijah served as an outspoken voice against Missouri's succession from the Union. He was a member of the Missouri Constitutional Convention of 1861, where he was a driving force against succession.[1] He was subsequently elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1863) and was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1862 to the Thirty-eighth Congress.

He was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1875, and was one of the primary authors of the Missouri Constitution of 1875. The Missouri Constitution of 1875 was informally called "Norton's Constitution" due to his major influence over its content and his knowledge of constitutional law.[2] Elijah was subsequently appointed and then elected as judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri, serving from 1877 to 1888.

After his judicial term was over, he was urged to run for Missouri governor and for United States Senator from Missouri, but he declined. He then resumed the private practice of law and the care of his estate and died in Platte City, August 6, 1914. His interment was in Platte City Cemetery. He was a devout baptist, and at the time of his death was the oldest living Freemason in the United States.[3]

William Harrison Norton was his great-grandson.


  1. ^ Williams, Walter (1915-01-01). A History of Northwest Missouri. Lewis publishing Company. 
  2. ^ Williams, Walter (1915-01-01). A History of Northwest Missouri. Lewis publishing Company. 
  3. ^ Williams, Walter (1915-01-01). A History of Northwest Missouri. Lewis publishing Company. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Craig
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Sempronius H. Boyd