T M Norton Brewery

Thomas M. Norton, born in 1835 in Ireland, moved with his family from Ireland at the age of 6 to Dayton, OH where he was raised. In the 1860s he worked for Louis Williams brewing ale in Union City, IN (see Randolph County).

1866 he moved to Anderson and started a brewery with Patrick Sullivan. In 1882 he separated from Sullivan and started brewing on his own in his own brewery. He died in 1908.

The 1868 Anderson Business Directory lists Norton & Sullivan as being near the CC&IC Railroad. The brewery was just past the jail from the railroad station at 106-114 N Central Ave. In 1893 they had a telephone installed with the phone number 1.

The Norton Family lived at 124 N. Main St.

At some point, Michael Crowley replaced Patrick Sullivan in the company name. It would seem Crowley married one of Norton's daughters and, since they are not noted in a city directory of 1891, left town before that date.

"Thomas M. Norton was a man noted for his good citizenship. He was a member of the first board of workers, trustees, in Anderson, serving on the board ten years. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and was an active member and liberal supporter of St. Mary's Catholic Church. He had gone back to his native land in 1896 on a pleasure tour, and soon after his return to this country turned over his business affairs to his sons and lived practically retired for more than ten years.
"Thomas M. Norton married at Piqua, Ohio, in 1861, Miss Catherine McCarthy. They had four children: Mrs. J. C. Kreuch, Mrs. M. J. Crowley, Martin C. and William J., all residents of Anderson." - Indiana and Indianans: A History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood, Jacob P Dunn - 1919.

In 1897 they added a stone stock house to the brewery at a cost of $16,000. They also had a private ice plant. The brewery was located near the river at the foot of 6th St.

"The president of the Norton Brewing Company is Martin C. Norton; William J. Norton is secretary and treasurer; and Mrs. J. C. Kreuch is vice president. William J. Norton was born at Anderson April 9, 1869, and grew up in that city, attending the public schools and one year in high school. At the age of sixteen he started working for his father in the brewery, and has been in practically every department, acquiring both the technical and business training. The Norton Brewing Company is widely known all over Central Indiana for its high products, the " Gold Band" and "Special Brew" of bottled beers, besides the Norton draft beers. A modern brewing plant was constructed in 1910, and from seventy-five to eighty people find employment in the business." - Indiana and Indianans: A History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood, Jacob P Dunn - 1919.

Martin C. Norton was the President of the brewery but in 1913 he moved to become the manager of Berghoff Brewing in Fort Wayne. Mark Norton then seems to have then taken over the brewery. He participated in Democratic politics in Madison County.

Just before prohibition T.M. Norton produced 25,000 bbls per year. Brands included Norton's, Old Pal, and Gold Band.

"A liquor plot in which it is alleged that beer made In Anderson was marketed In Cincinnati, Hamilton and others In Ohio through a series of agencies is believed to have been uncovered by Federal officers under the direction of Bert Morgan, Indiana prohibition officer, here early today.

Prohibition Enforcement Officer Morgan, a squad of six of his operatives, Sheriff Daniels and the local police surrounded the Norton brewing plant here last night. About 1 o'clock this morning the officers watched two large auto trucks loaded with barrels at the loading platform of the Norton brewery, which is located in the heart of Anderson and is adjacent to the jail.

After the trucks had been loaded, Morgan and Federal officers accosted the drivers, placing them under arrest. The driver of the two trucks gave their names as William Schramm, agent for Indianapolis Brewing Company at Hamilton, Ohio and Frank Houser.

The officers confiscated forty half barrels and nine barrels of beer which were found on the trucks. The beer, which Federal officers say is believed to test 5 per cent, was confiscated by the officers as evidence and placed under lock and key In the basement of the county jail here." - Indianapolis Star, June 18, 1923


"ANDERSON. Ind. State Prohibition Officers George Winkler and Seth Ward of Indianapolis and William Ray arrived here this afternoon and started taking an Inventory of the property of the Norton Brewery. Following completion of the Inventory a return will be made to United States Commissioner Howard S. Young. The Inventory marks seizure of the brewery by United States authorities. The Federal officers state that a warrant has been sworn out for the arrest of William Norton, owner of the Brewery" - Indianapolis Star, June 26, 1923

William J. Norton was sentenced to a prison in Atlanta for "violation of the liquor law".

The building became Ralston Purina feeds in the 1950s. They also produced ice for retail sale.

by Bob Ostrander & Derrick Morris.