A Tribute to
Felix Grundy Norman Sr.
1808 - 1885

Permission and information furnished
by Fred Smoot,
GG Grandson of Felix G. Norman
24 Dec 1998


A Tribute of Respect

"As a man and a Mason, we shall not soon look upon his like again --- faithful and true in his devotion to his friends and country, and zealous in his endeavors to promote the general happiness of man --- the Masonic fraternity of this immediate section are indebted to him perhaps more than to any other man living or dead for their prosperity --- material and otherwise --- and our hearts are sad within us this day with the thought that we shall look upon his face no more."(4)

Felix G. Norman, was born January 4, 1808, near Smyrna, Rutherford County, Tenn. and died August 5, 1885 at Tuscumbia, Alabama. A Lawyer, a Democrat; a Presbyterian; and a Mason.

He was denied early educational advantages, but was taught in the rudiments by an older brother. He began life as a merchant, but later taught school for several years.

He studied under William Casper, was admitted to the bar in Tuscumbia in the early thirties, and practiced at that point and the surrounding country until his death.

He was Mayor of Tuscumbia for many years, and represented Franklin County in the Legislature a number of times in the legislature for sessions of 1841, 1842, 1844, 1845 and 1847-8, inclusive.

Although he supported the Confederacy with his means and influence, he was debarred from active participation on account of his age.

He was the son of John and Margaret [Stockird or Stockard] Norman who lived at Smyrna, Rutherford county, Tenn.

Married: August 17, 1848 at Dickson, to Jane Lavina Cook

Jane, was born in Huntsville, Ala., Feb. 22, 1824, and died June 25, 1901. A daughter of Henry and Jane [Shelton] Cook, of Spotsylvania County, Va., and a sister of Mrs. Amanda Barton. Residents for some years of Huntsville, later locating in Tuscumbia where they spent the remaining years of their lives, the former for some time government agent for the disposition of Indian lands.

He and his wife are buried in the Oakwood Cemetery at Tuscumbia. Mrs. Norman before her marriage was Jane L. Cook, a daughter of Henry and Jane Cook and Mr. and Mrs. Norman were the parents of several well known children. (3)


Felix G. Norman, of Franklin, was born and educated in Tennessee. He represented Franklin for the first time at the session of 1841, and by continuous elections, he served in the House until the close of the session of 1847-8, since which time he has been in private life, engaged in the practice of law. While in the Legislature, Col. Norman, was a very efficient member, both in debate and in Committees. He was a Democrat from honest conviction, and never departed from that faith, but always kept himself in the path of duty according to the best of his judgment.
Acting on principle, he opposed at every step the resolutions of the General Assembly accepting Alabama's portion of the proceeds of the public lands. In the same manner, he opposed what he considered the improper identity in the same resolution, on the Constitutional amendment providing for biennial sessions of the Legislature, and for the removal of the Seat of Government at the session of 1845. In all this, he only yielded to a sense of duty, to prevent injustice, or an unsafe precedent. However laudable his purpose, he course on the question of removal resulted to his injury, through influences subsequently brought to bear against him, in a political sense.
From his bearing in the Legislature, the courtesy he always exhibited in debate, the intelligence with which he handled questions, and the ease and graceful elocution which seemed natural to him, Col. Norman was unquestionably cast in a large intellectual mould, capable of expansion beyond the limits within which it was his fortune to be confined as a political aspirant. Although rigid in the tenets of his party, and at times somewhat acrimonious under provocation, he was not blind to the merits of a measure because it may have originated with his opponents.
He was bold and fearless, often displaying the gallantry of ancient knighthood in the legislative arena, shivering a lance with friend or foe without personal malice. His face was luminous with good feeling, and his whole deportment was that of a gentleman sensible of the rights of others, and careful of his own, in all that relates to the substantial etiquette of life. Had his lot permitted a more congenial opening for the development of his character after the inward model, there is no doubt that Col. Norman would have filled a large space before the public, and achieved a reputation as proudly National as that which he now enjoys is, in local view, distinguished for ability and honor. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to his advancement to higher places has been a certain measure of self-respect and honorable sensibility, which made intrigue and management the usual medium of success repugnant to his nature. He has abundant reason, however to be satisfied with the result, in his own high and unimpeachable character. He is still in the meridian of life, and he resides in Tuscumbia." (2)


The Grand Master Portrait of Felix G.Norman Sr., is located at the Grand Lodge of Alabama, City of Montgomery.

A MEMBER OF: Washington Lodge No. 36 AF&AM., Tuscumbia, Alabama

When the cornerstone of the new, Tuscumbia Masonic Temple, was put down, a engraved cooper plaque was placed inside the stone. It read as follows:

"Washington Lodge No. 36
Tuscumbia, Alabama
Felix G. Norman, Worshipful Master
William Harvey, Senior Warden
Lewis G. Garrett, Junior Warden
July 3 1847. A. L. 5847
American Independence 71
Felix Grundy Norman
Most Worshipful Grand Master"


(1) From "History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography Vol. IV
            by Thomas Owen, 1921."
(2) From Reminiscences of Public Men in Alabama ~ for Thirty Years,
            by William Garrett, 1872.
(3) From Colbertians, A History of Colbert County Alabama, and Some of Its Pioneer
            Citizens Before 1875., by R. L. James, originally published 1945 by the
            Alabama Historical Quarterly, reprinted 1980 by the Natchez Trace
            Genealogical Society.
(4)The above tribute of respect for F. G. Norman from Hall of Royal Arch Chapter,
            Tuscumbia, Ala, is dated Aug. 10, 1885, and is signed by W. R. Julian,
            J. D. Inman, I. T. Cooper, committee; W. T. Roland, H. P.
The Clarion of Tuscumbia {Blake & Son, Publishers} said Mr. Norman was "one of our best, most respected citizens."

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