Title: William J. Norton papers Creator: Norton, William J. (William John), 1883-1975 Dates: 1906-1987 (Majority of material found within 1916-1972) Extent: 4 linear feet, 1 oversize folder Abstract:
Detroit, Michigan, social worker, executive vice president of the Children's Fund of Michigan, and chairman of various relief commissions during the depression. Materials relating to his welfare activities, his interests in mental health and the work of the American Red Cross, and his general interest in the field of social work; also papers detailing his activities with the Detroit Prismatic Club; essays concerning the legislation of prohibition in Michigan; and photographs and sound recordings.
Call number: 85343 Aa 2 Language: The material is in English Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave. Ann Arbor, MI
firstname.lastname@example.org Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Bentley Historical Library staff
Access and Use
This collection has been received in several accessions from William J. Norton and his heirs (donor number 4192).
The collection is open to research.
To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS
tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital
formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more
information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.
Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.
[item], folder, box, William J. Norton papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
William J. Norton, social worker, was born in Maine, April 8, 1883. After graduating from Bowdoin College, he entered social settlement work in Brooklyn, New York and later Cleveland, Ohio. In the period 1913-1917, he organized the Cincinnati Council of Social Agencies; and Community Union and Detroit Community Fund. In 1929, he became executive vice president of the Children's Fund of Michigan, a post he held until the dissolution of the fund in 1954. During the Depression he also served as chairman of the Detroit Emergency Relief Commission (1931), as chairman of the Michigan Emergency Welfare Relief Commission (1933-1938). Norton was also president of Oakland Housing Inc., a low income housing project originally funded by James Couzens and the Rural Rehabilitation Division of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. After the 1943 Detroit race riot, Norton was appointed chairman of the Mayor's Interracial Commission. Other governmental and private social welfare posts he held included president of the National Conference of Social Work (1928); trustee of the McGregor fund; chairman of the Detroit Chapter of the American Red Cross (1944-1945); chairman of the Michigan State Hospital Commission (1938-1945) and chairman of the Michigan Department of Mental Health (1945-1947). Norton died in 1975.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The William J. Norton collection relates mainly to relating to his welfare activities, his interests in mental health and the work of the American Red Cross, and to his general interest in the field of social work. The collection has been divided into seven series: Biographical Material and Correspondence, Presentations and Essays, Articles, Fiction Writing, Social Work Organizations, Audio Tapes and Photographs, and Other Materials.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.
Charities -- Michigan.
Depressions -- 1929 -- Michigan.
Labor -- Michigan.
Mental health -- Michigan.
Prohibition -- Michigan.
Public welfare -- Michigan.
Red Cross and Red Crescent -- Michigan.
Social service -- Michigan.
Hospitals -- Michigan -- Detroit.
Physicians -- Michigan.
Nurses -- Michigan.
Health care -- Michigan.
Medicine -- Michigan.
African Americans -- Michigan.
Children's Fund of Michigan.
Norton, William J. (William John), 1883-1975.
Prismatic Club (Detroit, Mich.)
Hulbert, Henry Schoolcraft, 1869-1959.
American National Red Cross.
Children's Hospital of Michigan.
Cottage Hospital (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.)
Detroit Osteopathic Hospital.
Florence Crittenden Hospital.
Grace Hospital (Detroit, Mich.)
Mount Carmel Mercy Hospital.
Oakwood Hospital (Dearborn, Mich.)
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (Pontiac, Mich.)
St. John Hospital (Detroit, Mich.)
Woman's Hospital of Detroit.
Providence Hospital (Southfield, Mich.)
Sinai Hospital of Detroit.
Atwood, Orville E., 1880-
Barnard, Harry, 1906-1982.
Brennan, John V., 1872-1971.
Brown, Prentiss M. (Prentiss Marsh), 1889-1973.
Couzens, Frank, 1902-1950.
Couzens, James, 1872-1936.
Cowgill, Ella Lee.
Fitzgerald, Frank Dwight, 1885-1939.
Frankensteen, Richard T. (Richard Truman), 1907-1977.
Haber, William, 1899-1988.
Hilberry, Clarence Beverly, 1902-
Kelly, Harry F. (Harry Francis), 1895-1971.
Ruthven, Alexander Grant, 1882-1971.
Washington, Forrester B.
Westbrook, Lawrence, 1889-1964.
Williams, G. Mennen, 1911-1988.
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Container / Location
Biographical material and correspondence [series]
Biographical Material and Correspondence includes letters from Orville Atwood, John V. Brennan, Prentiss M. Brown, Frank Couzens, James Couzens, Ella Lee Cowgill, Frank Fitzgerald, Richard T. Frankensteen, William Haber, Clarence Hillberry, Fred Johnson, Harry Kelly, Alexander Ruthven, Forrester B. Washington, Lawerence Westbrook, and G. Mennen Williams. Some other correspondents are included but most of the material concerns Norton's social work.
Presentations and essays [series]
Presentations and Essays help to document Norton's views on public relief during the depression, his interest in the improvement of mental health facilities in Michigan, and the activities of the Children's Fund of Michigan.
Essays incomplete undated
Papers presented at Acanthus and Prismatic Clubs undated
Papers presented at Acanthus and Prismatic Clubs 1951-1963
Manuscript on attempts to legislate prohibition in Michigan (draft) undated
Manuscript on the Children's Fund of Michigan (draft) undated
Articles contain published articles authored by Norton. These further illustrate Norton's position on various social issue as well as his standing within the social work community.
"The Class History" in Bowdoin Orient, Brunswick Maine, Commencement Number July 7, 1905
"Chief Kohler of Cleveland and His Golden Rule Policy", in Outlook November 6, 1909
"Social Work in A Competitive World" in The Survey MidMonthly July 15, 1925
"Social Work Grows Up" in Survey Graphic November, 1927
"The Detroit Riots---and After" in Survey Graphic August, 1943
Fiction Writing contains plays and an unpublished novel written by Norton.
The Crime Wave, a play 1921
Mirrors of Detroit, a play 1922
The Millennium, a play 1923
The Eternal Struggle, unpublished novel undated
Social work organizations [series]
Social Work Organizations concerns Norton's work with various agencies in Detroit including the Children's Fund of Michigan, the Detroit chapter of the Red Cross, the Greater Detroit Hospital Fund and the Prismatic Club of Detroit. Printed reports from social agencies in Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, New York and Ohio are also included.
Child Welfare League 1968
Cincinnati Council of Social Agencies
Social Engineering in Cincinnati 1919
City Club of Chicago City Clubs of America 1922
Connecticut State Council of Defense Report on War Chest Practice undated
The Philanthropic Boards Established by John D. Rockefeller 1916
Prismatic Club of Detroit
Review of season and miscellaneous 1944-1945
Programs 1924, 1932-1972
Russell Sage Foundation Bulletins 1912-1916
Rochester NY Chamber of Commerce Solicitations Wise and Unwise 1917
State Conference of Charities and Corrections (Minnesota) 1919
Testimonial Dinner, William J. Norton: Scholarship in Social Work May 1954
Torch Club of Detroit 1951-1972
University of Michigan Committee on Social Problems 1934
Wayne County Board of Supervisors 1936
Welfare League of Louisville The Community 1920
Calendars of Meetings and Conferences 1945-1950, 1954-1957, 1959-1960, 1964-1965
Audio tapes and photographs [series]
Audio Tapes and Photographs contain special format materials such as reel-to-reel and cassette tapes. Some tapes are unidentified or partially identified. Photographs of Norton at fund-raisers and other functions are included. The series also contains photos of many of the hospitals in the Detroit as well as portraits of other social activists from Detroit.
Recording of interview of Judge Phiny Marsh by Norton and Mark Beatty, re: Tracy McGregor
Recording of interview of James Redhouse, re: Tracy McGregor; side 2, W. J. Norton Speech to Prismatic Club, "Saga of a Foundation Executive" November 6, 1954
Recording of Survey Meeting
Fundraising dinners 1942-1968, undated
Groups 1939-1966, undated
Hospitals (Detroit area) undated
Detroit Osteopathic Hospital
Florence Crittenden Hospital
Mount Carmel Hospital
Saint Joseph Pontiac
Individuals (not Norton) undated
Portraits and informal photographs of Norton 1952-1964, undated
Oversize Folder 1
Portrait of Norton undated
Oversize Folder 1
Sketch of Norton 1937
The resolutions honored the work of Norton as head of the Children's Fund of Michigan and following his death in 1975.
Oversize Folder 1
Detroit City Council Resolution in memoriam William J. Norton 1975
Oversize Folder 1
Michigan Senate Resolution honoring the Children's Fund of Michigan 1954
Oversize Folder 1
Michigan Senate Resolution honoring William J. Norton 1973
Additional Descriptive Data
The records of the Children's Fund of Michigan are also available at the Bentley Historical Library.