Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Scott V. Norris - Mill Creek Fire Company Chief

Postcard view of Delaware Hard Fibre 
On November 25, 1957 the Evening Journal published a short story about Scott V. Norris being awarded an honorary scroll for 50 years of service at the Haveg Industries plant in Marshallton. He started at the plant as a machinist when it was built by the Delaware Hard Fibre company in 1907. Delaware Hard Firbe purchased the site of the former Marshallton Iron Works to relocate its plant from 11th and Union Streets in Wilmington. In 1930 it was merged into the Continental-Diamond Fibre Company and in 1936 the plant was acquired by Haveg Industries and in 1964 by Hercules. In 1980 Hercules sold the plant to the Ametek, Inc. Ametek closed the plant in 2003 after it was wrecked by record flooding of the Red Clay Creek due to Tropical Storm Henri.

Scott and Bessie Norris on their 50th Anniversary
from the Morning News 10-22-1963
In 1930 Norris was promoted to superintendent, in 1952 to plant manager, and in early 1957 he was promoted to assistant to the president the position he held until retirement in 1962. He was well-known in the Marshallton area. Norris was a charter member of the Mill Creek Fire Company, served as its president for 2 years, and served as its chief for 20 years from 1938-1958. In January of 1940 Norris established a weekly “fire school” at Mill Creek. The first in the area.

Norris left the plant to serve in World War I in 1917-1918. At the onset of World War II Norris was called upon to serve as Civil Defense commander for the Mill Creek area Civil Defense Council. On December 31, 1941 he was registering local residents at Foard’s Store and Mill Creek Fire Company. In early 1942 he had an air raid siren installed at Weinstock’s Store in the Cedars. The plant whistle at the Haveg Industries plant served that purpose in Marshallton. Norris also organized community first aid and air raid precaution classes. The council also ran War Bond drives.

Norris remained active in civil defense as the cold war unfolded. In 1950 he was appointed Chief for Plant Protection for the state’s civil defense organization. On September 9, 1950 he briefed the state on the impact of an Atomic bomb being dropped in the middle of Wilmington. It might seem unimaginable today, but in 1950 it was a real enough worry to make the front page of the Morning News. Norris' map (right) was featured in the article. 

Scott V. Norris and his wife Bessie were married in 1923 and raised four children. Bessie passed in 1970 and Scott in 1972. At the time of his death in he had 22 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

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