“On the 23 of March A.D. 1879 at 1 o’clock p.m. Norris Humphrey departed this life, and on the 25th, was interred in the Masonic cemetery under the auspices of the Masonic Fraternity. The day was not a pleasant one, yet the largest Masonic procession that ever followed a Brother to his last resting place in Eugene, was that of the deceased. His many friends and citizens assembled at his late residence in “mass,” and followed him to the tomb, where he was consigned to mother earth.
The deceased “Uncle Norris” was born in Genesee county N.Y. the 15th of July 1804. From thence he removed to Canada and in 1842 established himself to Missouri. In 1844 he turned his face to the far west “Oregon” and on March 30th 1845 on Clearwater Oregon he was married by Missionary Spaulding to Miss Elizabeth Felix, his present widow, with whom he continued westward, and settled in what is now known as Marion and county. In 1849 the[y] visited California, and in 1850 returned to Oregon their adopted home. In 1855, they removed to Lane county on the “Long Tom,” from which place in 1858 they settled in what in now Eugene City, since which time until he decease, it has been his home.
He was among our pioneers, a man of nerve, energy and vigor. For over half a century he was a noble member of the order that paid him their last honor. But, at last, as leaves in autumn fall, so fell our friend, an honest man, the noblest work of nature. He was a friend of the poor, a survivor in distress. Liberal in his religious, political, and financial walk in life, his course of conduct is worthy of imitation. The friend of the widow, the destitute, the homeless, and charity to all, was the hope upon which he hung his faith. Morality and honesty was his “richule,” virtue his course of conduct, and truth his faith. But he has gone, nature course has been perfected. He leaves a bereaved widow, a beloved brother, sister, and relatives, with whom we deeply sympathise. All mourn his loss, but his memory will be enshrined in the hearse (?) of all who knew him. A Friend. Oregon State Journal (Eugene) March 29, 1879, pg. 5, col. 3. University of Oregon Knight Library, Newspaper Collection.
The Eugene Masonic Cemetery lists: Norris Humphrey 1804 – 1878 and Elizabeth Humphrey Conser 1825 – 1898. It appears that Elizabeth remarried following Norris’ death, but further investigation is needed.
I have not done a lot of research with Masonic records – though did get some help from the local Eugene Lodge on one person I was researching. For some basic information about researching Masonic records try this link to “Genealogy Today” info page on “Researching your Ancestor in Masonic Records.”