John W. Norton was born August 27, 1839 in Moretown, Vermont. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1861 and then took a post as principal of the Thetford Academy. While at the Academy, he enlisted in the 8th Vermont Volunteer Regiment and served from 1863 to 1865. From 1867 to 1871 he worked as a merchant in Plattsburgh, New York, and then worked as a clerk at a woolen mill in Winooski, Vermont. In 1882 he moved to Rutland, Vermont where he was the assistant treasurer at the Rutland Bank. He moved near Candelaria, Oaxaco Province, Mexico in 1896 where he established a coffee plantation called Monte Verde in partnership with his two brothers-in-law.
He married Mary Francis Pease on December 1, 1863 in Charlotte, Vermont. They had four daughters: Katherine P., Elizabeth M., and Ruth W. and Helen R. John W. Norton died in Mexico on January 21, 1900 of Bright's Disease.
From the description of John W. Norton letters, 1894-1900. (Vermont Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 60577140