Hon. James C. Norman. The judiciary of Cotton County has a worthy, capable and dignified representative in the person of James C. Norman, judge of the County Court, who, since his arrival at Walters in 1912, has built up a large and representative law business and has established himself firmly in the confidence of the people both as a legist and jurist. He is a native of Missouri, and was born in Oregon County, January 16, 1867, being a son of Maj. M. G. and Mary Ann (Waits; Norman.
The Norman family in America traces its ancestry back to Colonial days, when thirteen brothers of the name emigrated to this country from England and settled in Culpeper County, Virginia. Later they settled variously in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia, from whence they subsequently removed to Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri, and Judge Norman is descended from the brother who went from Virginia to Tennessee. Maj. M. G. Norman was born in Tennessee in 1829. He went to Oregon County, Missouri, as a pioneer of 1849. He was engaged in farming, but was also a member of the legal profession and a man well educated and well informed as to important events and affairs. Just after the days of the Reconstruction period, he was sent as the first representative from Oregon County to the Missouri State Legislature, was subsequently elected clerk of the District Court, an office in which he served eight years, and then was again representative of his county in the Legislature for two terms. He did not again fill public office, but remained as a prominent and active democrat during the remainder of his life and was considered one of the strong and influential men of his party in Oregon County. He passed away there in 1907, aged seventy-eight years. As a farmer, Mr. Norman made a success of his ventures and always bore an excellent reputation in business circles. During the Civil war he enlisted in a Missouri regiment in the Confederate service, was elected to captain of his company, and through brave and faithful service was advanced to the rank of major, serving under Generals Price and Marmaduke. He was a deacon in the Baptist Church and was fraternally affiliated with the lodges of the Masons and the Odd Fellows orders. Mr. Norman married Miss Mary Ann Waits, who was born in 1830, in Alabama, and died in Oregon County, Missouri, in 1910, and they became the parents of seven children, as follows: Modena, who married J. W. Johnson, a farmer, now deceased, and married the second time Mr. Gravelle, a ranchman of Winston, Montana; J. A. Felix, who is engaged in the farm loan and real estate business at Ozark, Missouri; G. R., a practicing physician and surgeon of Luther, Oklahoma; Elizabeth, the widow of J. N. Pierce, who was a farmer, now residing in Oregon County, Missouri, with her son, Finis; L. P., who is an attorney of Oregon County, Missouri; Judge James C., of this review; and Albert, who resides on the old homestead farm in Oregon County, Missouri.
In the public schools in the vicinity of the home farm in Oregon County, Missouri, James C. Norman laid the foundation for his education. Subsequently he attended Salem (Missouri) Academy, where he was graduated with the class of 1885, and at that time received the appointment to the position of deputy clerk of the Circuit Court, an office which he filled efficiently for eight years. This was followed by three years passed in farming, during which period he read law, and in 1900 was admitted to the bar. His first practice was at Alton, Missouri, but in May, 1901, he came to Lawton, Oklahoma, and there carried on a successful professional business until 1908. The next four years were passed at Randlett, Oklahoma, and in 1912 he came to Walters, where he has since continued in a constantly growing general civil and criminal law practice, with offices in the courthouse. Generally conceded to be a thoroughly learned member of the legal profession, and a man of the highest integrity, in November, 1914, he was the successful candidate of the democratic party for the office of judge of the County Court of Cotton County, for a term of two years. Prior to this time he had been city attorney of Walters for one term, and while a resident of Lawton had been a member of the city council for a like period. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and is fraternally affiliated with Walters Lodge No. 225, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Caldwell Chapter No. 53, Royal Arch Masons, of Kirksville, Missouri.
Judge Norman was married in 1887, in Oregon County, Missouri, to Miss Ella Shaver, daughter of the late Dr. W. T. Shaver, who for some years was a well known practicing physician and surgeon of Oregon County. Six children have been born to Judge and Mrs. Norman: Roy, who is engaged in the tailoring business at Walters; Opal, who is the wife of Sim Seago, an owner of cotton gins at Frederick, Oklahoma; Ola, who is a senior at the Walters High School; Jesse, who is a junior in that institution; Inez, who belongs to the freshman class there; and Virda, a pupil in the sixth grade of the public schools.