Tuesday, January 14, 2014

52 Ancestors Week #2, Laura Kay Norton Francis

Laura Kay Norton when she was about 16 years old.

 When I was growing up I knew I had a Great Aunt Laura who died before I was born but that was all I knew. My grandmother, Ida Norton Layton, kept a photograph on the wall of her home of her sister, Laura, yet never spoke of her much.  I heard many years later, in hushed tones, that Aunt Laura had died young of breast cancer.  Those words struck terror in my heart. Even though no one in my direct family has yet to share her diagnosis, the thought of it is always in the back of our minds. 

Laura Kay Norton was the daughter of John Edward Norton, Sr. and Mary Etta Webster. She was born January 1,  1908 at Central, Graham, Arizona, United States. She was the fifth of nine children.  Her siblings were John Edward, Jr., Frank Lloyd, Ida Isabell, Hazel, Henry Dee, Elbert Riley, Erma, and Velda Norton. Central is a very small farming community in Southeastern Arizona. She attended school there along with her siblings. She lived at home until the time of her marriage.  I wish I knew more.

Laura was married December 24, 1929 at Globe, Gila, Arizona,  to John Peery Francis of Flagstaff, Coconino, Arizona.  The young couple moved to Flagstaff and made their home there. J. Peery Francis was a Deputy Sheriff in 1935 and then the Sheriff of Coconino County at the time of Laura's death. They had one son, John Peery Francis, Jr., known as John.

Laura at home enjoying a visit with her sisters Hazel and Erma.

Laura first became ill about four years before her death, and grew steadily worse until death mercifully released her from suffering Saturday evening, June 5, 1948.  She died in her sleep at her home in Flagstaff. She was survived by her husband, 12 year old son, parents, brothers and sisters. Her obituary states "She was a loyal wife, a loving mother, and a faithful, generous friend."

P.S. Cousins have shared their memories that Laura's sisters and sister-in-laws each took turns spending time in her home caring for her since her husband's time was limited due to his being sheriff .  My Grandmother, Ida, rode the bus up from Central along with her two-year old son and his tricycle for an extended stay. My Aunt Gayle shared this:  "Great story, now it makes sense to the stories of Elbert getting lost in Flagstaff on his tricycle when he was 2 and also riding his tricycle home from the bus at midnight and refusing to leave it in bushes till next morning. Always wondered why they went to Flagstaff."  My mom, Velma Jean, said that when they returned home from that trip, Grandma wanted to leave the tricycle in the bushes and return for it in the morning, but Elbert was NOT having any part of that!! Hence the ride home at midnight, lol!

1 comment:

J E Brooks said...

I've enjoyed reading about your Norton ancestors. My husband is a Norton but they are all from New York. I am a Brooks and grew up in Scottsdale AZ. We have a home in Flagstaff. So it's amazing to read about the state from so many years ago! Can't even imagine that bus ride!!
Thanks for sharing!