59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Lucretia S. Norton and Minnie Ford (Norton) Butler Collection

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum
Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441
Call NumberRU 428
Creator - CollectorButler, Minnie Ford Norton, 1858-1904
Creator - CollectorNorton, Lucretia S., 1867-1944
TitleLucretia S. Norton and Minnie Ford (Norton) Butler collection
Date [inclusive]1856-1941, undated
Extent2 boxes (1.008 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection consists of the papers of Lucretia S. Norton (1867-1944) and Minnie Ford (Norton) Butler (1858-1904), two of Captain Ichabod Norton's (1818-1897) three daughters. The bulk of the collection pertains to Lucretia's research on various topics.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Access to photograph albums (Box 2) is RESTRICTED due to preservation concerns. Materials are extremely fragile. Please contact the Chief Curator for further information regarding the availability of these albums for research. There are no restrictions on the rest of the collection.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to the library's staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 428, Lucretia S. Norton and Minnie Ford (Norton) Butler Collection.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Miss Miriam Butler in November 1965 (Accession no. 1965.027).

Custodial History

The material in this collection was found in the home shared by sisters Sarah Mayhew Norton and Lucretia S. Norton. It was donated by their niece, Miriam Butler, who also lived in the house.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Lara J. Ullman in October 2014.Finding aid machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick in November 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Materials

Related Materials

See also, RU 454, Thomas Nevin Jernegan Dexter Collection. See also, Photograph Archive.

Controlled Access Headings


  • Autograph albums
  • Essays
  • Photograph albums
  • Poetry
  • Research notes
  • Viewbooks

Geographic Name(s)

  • Cottage City (Mass.)
  • Edgartown (Mass.)
  • Oak Bluffs (Mass.)
  • Tisbury (Mass. : Town)

Personal Name(s)

  • Butler, Minnie Ford Norton, 1858-1904
  • Norton, Lucretia S., 1867-1944


  • Architecture, Domestic--Massachusetts--Edgartown
  • Historic buildings
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--History

Biography/Historical Note

Ichabod Norton was born on Nantucket, Massachusetts, on September 22, 1817 to James and Mary (Riddell) Norton. Following James' death in 1822, Ichabod moved to Martha's Vineyard to live with his grandfather. When Ichabod was 13 years old he went to sea for the first time and attained the rank of Master at a young age. After making some very successful voyages, Ichabod retired from the life of a whaling captain in 1858. Captain Norton entered the United States Navy shortly after the start of the Civil War. He was the acting assistant paymaster on the bark Horace Beales. After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1865, Norton made his home in Edgartown, Massachusetts.

In 1848 Ichabod married Sarah Mayhew (1822-1854) and the couple had one son, Francis I. (1848- ). Sarah died on April 21, 1854 in Edgartown. Captain Norton married his second wife, Maria P. Robinson (1831-1910), in 1858. The couple had three daughters: Minnie Ford, Sarah Mayhew, and Lucretia Storms. Captain Ichabod Norton died on April 25, 1897 in Edgartown.

Minnie Ford Norton was born on December 14, 1858 in Edgartown. In 1895 Minnie married William Morgan Butler (1861-1937). The couple lived in Boston, Massachusetts and had a summer home at Lambert's Cove on Martha's Vineyard. Minnie and William had five children: Morgan, Gladys, Miriam, Beatrice, and Mary. Minnie Ford (Norton) Butler died on February 17, 1904.

Sarah Mayhew Norton was born on May 21, 1860 in Edgartown. She attended Edgartown High School. For many years Sarah worked in the office and drugstore of local physician, Dr. Thomas J. Walker. She was an active member of the Methodist Church. For many years Sarah lived with her sister, Lucretia, and her niece, Miriam Butler, in a house on Meeting House Way. Sarah Mayhew Norton died on December 16, 1945.

Lucretia Storms Norton was born on December 14, 1867 in Edgartown. After graduating from Edgartown High School, she remained on the Vineyard and immersed herself in various Island organizations. Lucretia was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church and a member of the Edgartown Woman's Club. She was also involved with the Martha's Vineyard Chapter, D. A. R., of Edgartown; the Dukes County Historical Society (the predecessor to the Martha's Vineyard Museum); and the Edgartown Public Library. For many years Lucretia lived with her sister, Sarah, and her niece, Miriam Butler, in a house on Meeting House Way. Lucretia Storms Norton died on August 1, 1944.

Scope and Content Note

Most of the collection consists of Lucretia S. Norton's papers, including essays, poetry, research notes, and clippings about various topics. There is a bill and tax receipt addressed to Mrs. Ichabod Norton, Ichabod's second wife, Maria P. (Robinson) Norton. Also included in the collection is Minnie Ford (Norton) Butler's autograph album. There are also two publications and three photograph albums.


The collection is arranged by family member and therein chronologically with publications at the end. The family members' papers are in the following order: Lucretia S. Norton, Mrs. Maria P. (Robinson) Norton, and Minnie Ford (Norton) Butler. The photograph albums can be found at the end of the collection.

Collection Inventory


Clippings, 1885, 1936, 1938, undated 


Clubs and Organizations, 1928, 1935-1936 


Correspondence, 1939-1941, undated 


Essay on Slavery, undated 


"The House in Which I Live" by Lucretia S. Norton, Read at a Meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Martha's Vineyard Chapter, 1931 May 2 


Ideas in Rhyme by Lucretia Norton, 1937, undated 


Miscellaneous Papers, 1928 April-May, undated 


Notes on Colloquial Expressions, undated 


Notes on Gosnold and Gayhead, 1935-1936 


Notes on Historic Buildings in Edgartown, 1938, undated 


Notes on Logbooks, 1936, 1938 


Notes on Unpublished Manuscripts, Cemetery Epitaphs, and Tisbury Records, 1936, undated 


Norton Family Obituaries and Notices, circa 1904-1910 


"Old Historic Houses in Great Harbor" by Lucretia S. Norton, Read Before the Dukes County Historical Society, 1931 August 12 


Writings on Historic Houses in Edgartown by Lucretia S. Norton, undated 


Love Poem, Bill, and Tax Receipt to Maria P. (Robinson) Norton, 1856, 1859, 1863 


Minnie F. Norton's Autograph Album, 1876-1882 


"Cottage City Illustrated. Eighteen Views." Gardner, Mass.: Lithotype Printing Co., n.d., circa 1880-1889 


Norton, Henry Franklin. "Martha's Vineyard, Historical, Legendary, Scenic." Hartford, Conn.: Henry Franklin Norton, 1923., 1923 


Norton Family Album, undated 


Norton Family Album, undated 


Butler and Norton Families Album, undated 


Loose Photographs, 1887, 1897, undated