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Daniel Sheldon Norton

Daniel Sheldon Norton
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
March 4, 1865 – July 13, 1870
Governor Horace Austin
Preceded by Morton S. Wilkinson
Succeeded by William Windom
Minnesota State Senator
from the 11th district
In office
January 5, 1864 – January 1, 1866
In office
January 8, 1861 – January 6, 1862
In office
December 2, 1857 – December 6, 1859
Personal details
Born (1829-04-12)April 12, 1829
Mount Vernon, Ohio
Died July 13, 1870(1870-07-13) (aged 41)
Washington, DC
Political party Unionist, Republican
Profession Lawyer

Daniel Sheldon Norton (April 12, 1829 – July 13, 1870) was an American lawyer and politician who served in the Minnesota State Senate and as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota.

Life and career

Norton was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio to Daniel Sheldon and Sarah Sheldon (née Banning). He attended Kenyon College but left school to serve with the 2nd Ohio Volunteers in the Mexican–American War. After returning from the war he studied law under his brother-in-law Judge Rollin C. Hurd. For several years he moved to California and Nicaragua but he returned to Ohio in 1852 and was admitted to the bar shortly thereafter. He practiced law in Mount Vernon for several years before he moving to Minnesota Territory in 1855.[1]

After initially living in St. Paul, Minnesota, Norton eventually settled in Winona, Minnesota. In 1857 Norton was elected to the Minnesota State Senate for its first legislative session. He was reelected in 1860 and 1863 serving four total terms in seven years. In 1865 the state legislature elected him to the US Senate where he served in the 39th and 40th congresses. Initially elected as a Unionist, Norton later aligned himself with the more moderate Republican faction in the senate. He supported President Andrew Johnson's stance on reconstruction and opposed his impeachment. This led to tension with the more radical Republicans of Minnesota who passed a resolution censuring Norton for his actions and calling for his resignation.[1][2][3][4]

Sheldon died while in office on July 13, 1870. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.[5]


  1. ^ a b Johnson, Rossiter; Brown, John Howard, eds. (1904). The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. Biographical Society. 
  2. ^ "Norton, Daniel Sheldon — Legislator Record". Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. 
  3. ^ Smalley, Eugene Virgil (1896). A history of the Republican party from its organization to the present time: to which is added a political history of Minnesota from a Republican point of view and biographical sketches of leading Minnesota Republicans. p. 364. 
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "Daniel Sheldon Norton (1829-1870)". Find A Grave. 
United States Senate
Preceded by
Morton S. Wilkinson
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Minnesota
Served alongside: Alexander Ramsey
Succeeded by
William Windom
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