Monday, December 15, 2014

Creator: Louise Ames Norman

Louise Ames Norman was born Louise Kimball Ames in Wakefield, Massachusetts, on March 23, 1884, according to the Massachusetts Birth Records at Her parents were Azel and Sarah.

So far, the earliest mention of Louise was found in St. Nicholas, March 1897. She entered the contest, “A Thanksgiving Day Problem”, and her answers placed her in the Roll of Honor.

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Louise, a student, and her mother in Wakefield at 24 Yale Avenue.

Louise was a bridesmaid at her brother’s wedding as reported in the Boston Herald (Massachusetts), April 25, 1901.

American Art News, April 15, 1905, included a report from Boston.
The drawings made in the semi-annual concours of Frank W. Benson’s life classes at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts were put on exhibition at the school on Thursday afternoon, remaining through the week. The student winning the highest numbers were as follows: No. 1, Louise K. Ames, Wakefield, Mass….
Louise’s father passed away November 12, 1908; it was recorded in Genealogy of the Ancestors and Descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1574-1909, Volume IV (Press of the Nichols Print, 1909). Louise’s birth date was stated incorrectly as March 28.

In the 1910 census, Louise, an artist, and her mother lived in Wakefield on Yale Street. 

The Printing Art, April 1915, showcased Louise’s art and designs.

The Boston Herald, May 9, 1916, reported Louise’s engagement.
The engagement is announced of Miss Louise Kimball Ames of Brookline, formerly of Wakefield, and Capt. William Emerson Norman. Miss Ames is the daughter of the late Dr. Azel Ames of Wakefield, and met Capt. Norman while on a voyage to Buenos Ayres a few years ago. Capt. Norman is in the British war transport service.
Louise was included in the book, Some Examples of the Work of American Designers (Dill & Collins Company, 1918).

The Printing Art, October 1918, featured Louise’s Christmas card.

The 1920 census said Louise was a self-employed designer at home. Louise’s husband was a captain of a ship and thirteen years older than her. They resided on Gorham Avenue in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The 1920 American Art Annual, Volume XVII, listed Louise in the section, “Who’s Who Among Craftsmen”.
Norman, Louise Ames (Mrs. W.E.), 51 Gorham Ave., Brookline, Mass. B.S.A.C. (Boston Society of Arts and Crafts)
The 1922 Brookline business directory included Louise in the artists category: “Norman Louise A (coml) 51 Gorham av.”

On September 22, 1922, Louise filed a Petition for Naturalization. Evidently her marriage to a British citizen affected her status. She was admitted on June 27, 1927.

At some point Louise moved to Groton, Massachusetts. The 1925 directory listing read: “Norman William E (Louise A) master mariner h Main”. The 1929 directory listing was identical.

According to the 1930 census, Louise, her husband and eight-year-old son, William, were in Groton on Main Street. She was no longer working.

On June 14, 1939, Louise’s husband died of a fractured skull, due to a fall, and buried at sea. His death was reported in the Boston Post, June 15, and Boston Herald, June 17.

Louise and her son remained at the same address in the 1940 census.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Massachusetts), January 31, 1944, reported Louise’s son graduation from the U.S. naval reserve midshipmen’s school at Notre Dame.

Louise traveled twice to England, in 1948 and 1951. The 1951 passenger list recorded her address as “34 Salem St. Wakefield, Mass.”

The Massachusetts Death Index, at, said Louise passed away in 1962, in Melrose, Massachusetts. An obituary has not been found.

(Next post on Monday: The Gene Thurston Mystery)

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