While our physical offices are closed until at least April 13 due Austin's COVID-19 "shelter-in-place" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Justin M. Sanders

NORTON, ANTHONY BANNING (1821–1893). Anthony Banning Norton, journalist and politician, son of Daniel Sheldon and Sarah (Banning) Norton, was born at Mount Vernon, Ohio, on May 15, 1821. His brother, Daniel Sheldon Norton, Jr., became a United States senator from Minnesota. Anthony Norton graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 1840 and was admitted to the bar later that year. He became active in the Ohio Whig party and edited several Whig newspapers. In 1844 he vowed never to shave or to cut his hair until Henry Clay should be elected president; he kept his vow to his death. About 1855 Norton moved to Texas. He was elected a representative in the Texas legislature from Henderson and Kaufman counties in 1857 and 1859 as a Know-Nothing (see AMERICAN PARTY). As a staunch Unionist, he strongly supported Sam Houston for governor in 1859. Houston reciprocated by appointing Norton adjutant general in April 1860. Norton was chairman of the Texas delegation to the Constitutional Union party convention in May 1860, where he urged the nomination of Houston for president. Also in 1860 he became the editor of the Austin Southern Intelligencer, a Unionist newspaper.

Although he had opposed secession, Norton remained in Texas until he was forced to leave. He returned to Mount Vernon, Ohio, in November 1861. During the Civil War he helped ease the living conditions of Texas prisoners of war at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio. He returned to Texas in 1865 and was elected to the Constitutional Convention of 1866 as a representative of Henderson, Kaufman, and Van Zandt counties. In the convention he served as chairman of the Committee on the Condition of the State. By 1868 Norton had allied himself with the Republican party. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1878 and 1884 and for Congress in 1866 and 1871. He was appointed judge of the Fifth Judicial District of Texas in 1868, postmaster of Dallas in 1875, and United States marshal for northern Texas in 1879. Around 1868 he settled in Dallas, where he spent the remainder of his life. He there established a newspaper, Norton's Union Intelligencer, which he published until his death. Norton married H. Ellen Burr of Mount Vernon, Ohio, about 1846; H. Maria Neyland of Jasper, Texas, in 1857; and Mary Martin of Dallas in 1892. He had two children by his first marriage and three by his second. He died on December 31, 1893, in Dallas.


Dallas Morning News, January 1, 1894. Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Justin M. Sanders, "NORTON, ANTHONY BANNING," accessed April 09, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fno09.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 26, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...