Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXVI  


Here is one family of those that came to Union Township in '36, that did not come in from the south. The NORRIS family came through from Vermont, a northerly State in the New England group, and from the north their overland trek led ultimately to Union Township and to Maxinkuckee shores.

JOHN NORRIS was the migrating ancestor who came from the rock-ribbed country of Vermont, a hill country that built sturdiness of body and of character.

JOHN NORRIS and his wife, with their eight small children, struck westward from Vermont. At length they came to the waters of the inland lakes. They crossed Lake Erie to Detroit. There, the father bought an ox team and a covered wagon. They were not content to remain; they would go farther. They journeyed in the covered wagon from Detroit in a southwesterly direction until they came at last to a point about three miles east of Lake Maxinkuckee, where, they stopped on land that is now the EZRA HIBRAY farm, not far from the Maxinkuckee village that was to be, a few years later.

The Norris family arrived in 1836. The spot where they stopped looked good. They decided to make it the end of their long journey. They stayed. One of the eight children was named Ransom, and when he grew up he bought the farm adjoining his father's. This farm is now occupied by EVERETT M. NORRIS. It is located on the Norris Road and is known widely for its orchards.

RANSOM NORRIS purchased it from the Erie Canal Company and paid $1.25 an acre for it. The Canal Company had obtained the land from the government, it is asserted, as pay for digging the Erie Canal. The company got a tremendous tract when land was almost worthless. The name of RANSOM H. NORRIS is given by the historian Thompson in the list of Union Township pioneers who settled prior to 1840.

The Norris Inlet, a stream tributary to Lake Maxinkuckee, was so named due to its nearness to the Norris land.

A grandson of RANSOM NORRIS and great grandson of the pioneer JOHN NORRIS resides today in Culver, in the person of Dr. NORMAN S. NORRIS, a leader in the ranks of the dental fraternity. Dr. Norris has practiced in Culver since his graduation from the Indiana Dental College in 1904. He was born in West Township, September 6, 1879. His father, HARVEY RANSOM NORRIS, was born near Lake Maxinkuckee in 1851, and his mother, nee LOUISA ADLER, was a native of Stark County, Ohio.