History

Daniel W. Norris & Fannie Wells Norris

 

Norris Adolescent Center was founded in 1917 by Mr. Daniel W. Norris. With the encouragement of his mother, Fannie Wells Norris, he dedicated his life and his wealth to boys through Norris.Neil Bust

 

During the summer of 1917,   Niel as he was called by friends, operated Mount Vernon Boy's Camp, which was organized under the war time effort known as "Soldiers of the Soil." When the summer ended, there were thirty-two boys who could not return to their homes. Niel purchased a nearby farm and the present Norris began.

 

He worked side by side with his staff and the boys to give Norris the solid foundation upon which it has grown since 1917.

 

IMPORTANT MILE STONES:

 

Year 1917 - On May 23 Niel opened his first camp, and thus began the Norris Farm for Boys.
Year 1924 - A separate school district was authorized by a special act of the state legislature.
Year 1930 - Rainbow lake was completed during the summer. The lake was constructed due to the dirty fox river.
Year 1941 - Niel received the Distinguished Award Medal for his untiring and outstanding efforts in working with boys "beyond the call of duty."
Year 1948 - Niel passed away on November 20th of this year.
Year 1960 - The need for a social worker has been filled with a full time social worker.
Year 1968 - Michael Landon of Bonanza and Little house on the Prairie visited the boys at Norris.
Year 1970 - Ryan Duren, former Yankee pitcher  joined the Norris counselor staff and coached the Norris Land O' Puddles squad.
Year 1974 - The Norris boys tapped the trees for maple syrup and bottled it for sale.
Year 1977 - Norris school began its Special Education Program with certified learning disabilities and emotional disabilities teachers.
Year 1982- Norris began enrolling Day Students from surrounding School Districts.
Year 1983 - In June the beef cattle herd of forty-three head of Angus beef cattle was sold to mark the end of the farming program at Norris .
Year 1983 - In September Norris began an on-grounds Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Treatment unit to help the boys understand the causes and consequences of substance abuse.
Year 1984 - The first group of youth care workers were certified by the Wisconsin Association of Child and Youth Care Professionals.
Year 1985 - The Aftercare Program, which helps boys make the necessary adjustments when returning home began.
Year 1987 - The Nurturing Program and the Sex Offender Program were introduced at Norris.
Year 1988 - The Aggression Reduction Unit was begun for boys in need of help with their aggressive behavior.
Year 1989 - December issue of The Youth Care Learning Center, the Norris Adolescent Center was recognized as a leading agency having a professionally trained youth care staff.
Year 2000 - Three group homes were developed on the Norris campus to provide a continuum of services to the youth and families that entered Norris.
Year 2003 - A Cognitevely Delayed Sex-Offender unit was developed housing only 5 to 6 youth with special needs.
Year 2007 - Norris celebrated its 90th birthday with a special message from Niel Norris: "I am very pleased... keep up the great work you are doing with youth and families"
Year 2009 - Norris honored their founder by unveiling a stunning life size statue of him on January 22, 2009.

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