from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Shadrach Norris, of Oskaloosa, was born in Holmes county, Ohio, July 7, 1832, a son of Levi and Margaret (Hockenberry) Norris, natives of New York and Ohio respectively. When a young man the father went to Ohio, where he followed farming. He was a member of the German Refformed church. Shadrach Norris was educated in a log schoolhouse and reared on the home farm. In 1854 he began farming with a brother-in-law, operating one hundred and sixty acres for two years. In the spring of 1856 he located five miles west of Oskaloosa in what was then Oskaloosa township, but is now Garfield township, Mahaska county. He had traveled westward with Abraham Griffee, with whom he made his home for three years. After Mr. Griffee removed to Oskaloosa he remained on the farm for two years. He then rented his father-in- law's farm for one year, after which he went to Denver, Colorado, making the trip with a train of three ox-teams. After traveling six weeks, carrying a load of six thousand pounds of flour, corn and supplies on each of the three wagons, they reached their destination but found the Indians were so numerous that it was necessary to watch closely for fear of attack. In Colorado they sold their supplies and Mr. Norris then returned to his family, consisting of his wife and two children, Alfred and Frank. The others of the party were his father-in-law, Peter Blanz, and wife and brother-in-law, Peter Blanz, Jr. The party reached Mahaska county in the fall of 1864 and Mr. Norris bought one hundred acres in Scott township in connection with his father-in-law, operating the farm for seven years. Eight years later he traded his farm for two hundred and eight acres of land in Black Oak township, which he owned twenty- one years, transforming it from a wild condition into one of rich fertility. He also built a large house and barn there, but in 1893 sold the property and in January, of that year, bought the Lewis Hillary farm of one hundred and seventy-two acres, in Spring Creek township. In March of the same year he bought a farm on the Iowa City road, in Spring Creek township, of one hundred and eleven acres and operated the two properties with the assistance of his four sons, Alfred D., John F., Lewis F. and Peter L., but eventually sold the one hundred and eleven acres to Peter L. Norris. In June, 1901, he took up his abode in Oskaloosa and has since lived retired. However, he bought twenty acres of land in Spring Creek township, and in the spring of 1906 built a residence in which he makes his home. He has been a large stock-raiser, making a specialty of horses, cattle and hogs. For several years he served as trustee of Black Oak township, and is a member of the school board, and he belongs to the German Reformed church. In June, 1860, Mr. Norris was married to Barbara Blanz, a daughter of Peter and Catherine (Shier) Blanz, natives of Germany; who came to America when their daughter was only eleven years of age, removing from Ohio to Iowa a few years later. Mr. and Mrs. Norris have five children: Alfred D., John F., Lewis F. and Peter L., all farmers of Spring Creek township; and Barbara Ella, the wife of William, S. Cruzen, of Madison township.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy