The Norcross Family Tree
Orlando Whitney Norcross, 1839 to 1920
Ellen Phebe Sibley Norcross, 1846 to 1907
Orlando Whitney Norcross was born in Clinton, Maine on 25 October 1839.
He married Ellen Phebe Sibley of Salem, Massachusetts. She was a graduate of the
State Normal School at Salem. They had five children, two sons and three daughters. The sons both
At an early age, however, by the death of the father (Orlando was only 11 years old), the family was left dependent upon their own resources, and for a time the family was thrown upon the exertions of the oldest of these brothers, James Atkinson. Orlando was required to stop his schooling and work to help support his family. He was soon apprenticed as a carpenter. His attitude to life was such that he continued his education unabated, using spare pennies to acquire the books he needed and reading whenever a spare moment offered itself, he became self-educated with the full support of his family.
On the 5th of July, 1861, Orlando enlisted in the Union Army to participate in the Civil War. He joined the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery where he was an Artificer holding the rank of Private. He was involved in the Battle at Spotsylvania. He carried out his duties for three years and was honourably discharged on the 8th of July 1864.
The picture was taken prior to his departure to the war zone and left with his mother. We have his first will made by letter to his mother on the battlefield at Spotsylvania.
Through early self-dependence, the brothers James and Orlando found their way to the
calling of carpenters and builders, perusing their trade in the eastern part of this state, starting
business together in Swampscott, Massachusetts in 1864, the association and its offerings at first
affording nothing more than ordinary promise. But the beginnings of success were not far distant for
in 1866 the Norcross Brothers were
given the contract for building the Congregational Church at Leicester, Massachusetts, an
undertaking of most modest proportions in the test of their later business, yet it seems to have
proven the golden key of success and the Norcross Brothers still cherish with warmest remembrance
the kindness and aid of Leicester friends who gave them their first strong assistance on the way to
fortune. Worcester has begun a marked stage of improvements and the Norcross Brothers have found
their opportunity. The Norcross
Brothers story became significant as they established a revolution in the building contracting
business in the sixty years between 1864 and 1924.
Orlando W. Norcross, in wide and deserved recognition of his skill as a building expert, was made a member of the notable commission set to investigate the condition of the Federal Building Post Office and United States Courts at Chicago, a most difficult and delicate task which will be long remembered in building annals with the fact that no suggestion or finding of the commission of which Mr. Norcross was a member has failed to be sustained by sub sequent events."
|Parents:||Orlando Whitney Norcross||Jesse Springer Norcross|
|Margaret Ann Whitney Norcross|
|Ellen Phebe Sibley Norcross||George V. Sibley|
|Phebe Abbott Sibley|
|Children:||Walter Abbott Norcross||9 Apr 1871||21 Oct 1871|
|Alice Whitney Norcross Gross||22 Mar 1872||21 Apr 1967|
|Mabel Ellen Norcross Denholm||20 Jul 1874||2 Dec 1939|
|Edit Janet Norcross Morgan||8 Oct 1878||14 Mar 1972|
|James Orlando Norcross||5 Mar 1882||28 Jul 1882|
Copyright 2004, Philip Norcross Gross
For more information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All this information is based on family stories, or documents listed in the References. Official documentation is not common except for recent generations (1850 or later) and may not necessarily be referenced herein.