NORTON, LAURENCE HARPER (8 May 1888-11 June 1960), director (1927-60) and treasurer (1957-60) of OGLEBAY NORTON CO., and president of the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, was born in Cleveland to Mary Castle and DAVID Z. NORTON. He graduated from Yale University in 1910, and received his M.A. from Harvard University in 1912. He was secretary to the U.S. ambassador to France, MYRON HERRICK, between 1912-14. Returning to Cleveland in 1915, he started at City Savings & Trust as a teller in order to learn the business.
A member of TROOP A, Ohio National Guard, Norton served on the Mexican border campaign and later in Europe during WWI. After discharge in 1919, he returned to France as secretary to reappointed U.S. Ambassador Herrick, returning to Cleveland to assume family business interests when his father's health began to fail. Elected to 3 terms as state representative (1925-31), and 1 term as state senator (1931-33), Norton coauthored the Norton-Edwards Highway Bill recodifying the highway laws, and helped create the Ohio Battle Monument Commission. He served 2 terms on the Cleveland School Board, and in 1935 was appointed to the Cleveland Ports & Harbor Commission, and was director of the Cleveland Crime Commission.
Norton was president of the Western Reserve Historical Society over 25 years. During his tenure, the Society erected a new wing to the East Blvd. building, part of it becoming the Napoleonic Room, housing his father's collection. Norton was on the board of the CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE (1925-60); its president from 1934-38. Norton never married.
Laurence H. Norton Papers, WRHS.