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Governor Edwin Lee Norris

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Office Dates:  Apr 01, 1908 - Jan 05, 1913


Born:  Aug 15, 1865

Passed:  Apr 25, 1924

Birth State:  Kentucky

Party:  Democratic

Family:  Married Bettie J. Wilkins

School(s):  Southern Normal School

EDWIN L. NORRIS, the fifth governor of Montana, was born in Cumberland County, Kentucky on August 15, 1865. His education was attained at the Southern Normal School in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he graduated in 1886. After moving to Montana in 1888, Norris studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1889, and then established his legal career, serving as the city attorney of Dillon for five years. Norris first entered politics as a member of the Montana State Senate, a position he held from 1896 to 1900. He also served as senate president in 1899, and was the lieutenant governor of Montana from 1905 to 1908. On April 1, 1908, Governor Joseph K. Toole resigned from office, and Norris, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. Later that same year, he was elected to a gubernatorial term of his own. During his tenure, coalmine employee compensation benefits were lobbied for; health laws were sanctioned (laws taking effect in 1907); the impartial nomination of judges was endorsed; and reform measures were initiated in the life insurance industry. After completing his term, Norris left office on January 1, 1913, and retired from public service. Governor Edwin L. Norris passed away on April 25, 1924, and was buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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