Jessie Young Norton, R. N.

Elsewhere on this site, you can read a short biography of Amelia “Amy” Young Cox Harshman, who was a pioneer nurse in Knoxville.

Amy’s sister, Jessie, was also a registered nurse.  The following excerpts from Jessie’s obituary give details of her training and career.  These details are critical to developing a timeline of nurses’ training programs in Knoxville.

Mrs. Jessie Young Norton, widow of W. M. Norton, passed away at Cumberland Medical Center on Wednesday, April 29. Mrs. Norton was born in Newton Heights, Mass., on September 27, 1888, the eldest daughter of Charles Howland and Helen Louise Young.

At an early age, she and her parents moved to Tennessee. Her education was partly in Cumberland county schools, Agnes Scott Institute in Decatur, Ga., and Maryville College.

She entered the first class of nurses when Lincoln Memorial Hospital opened in Knoxville, transferring 2 years later to Tennessee Hospital in Nashville where she received her R. N. degree in 1911.

While acting as operating room supervisor at the Southern Pacific Hospital in Houston, Texas, she met and married W. M. Norton.

While living in Knoxville where Mr. Norton was assistant manager of Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., she was a member of the Knoxville League of American Pen Women, the Fountain City Reviewers Club, and the Fountain City Chapter Order of the Eastern Star, of which she was past worthy matron.

The years between 1928 and 1942 were spent in Atlanta, where she was active in the Atlanta Writer’s Club, the Buckeye Women’s Club and the Agnes Scott Club.

On returning to Tennessee, … [she was] … a member of the Crab Orchard Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Although Mrs. Norton had been critically ill for the past 4 weeks, she remained alert and interested in her surroundings, and supplied the information to be used in her obituary. In spite of intense pain and knowledge that death was near, she was calm and cheerful throughout her confinement.

Source:  Crossville Chronicle, April 30, 1970

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