Hon. Francis Norwood was born on 10 January 1841. He was in the shoe manufacturing business for over 38 years and was a member of the Senate in 1881-1882. As a senator, Norwood served on the committees on federal relations, fisheries, and manufactures. He served as chairman on the first two. Throughout the course of his life he served on a number of other committees, and in 1897 he was nominated to be the new Postmaster in Beverly, MA.
This nomination came under peculiar circumstances, as Beverly’s then Postmaster, Mr. Woodbury, still had more than a year left in his term. Despite efforts on the part of Beverly Republicans, their town committee, and Norwood himself, to allow Mr. Woodbury to complete his term, the Post Office Department would not allow it. Word was sent to Rep. William Moody in Washington of the desire for a new postmaster, and the nomination he sent back was for Norwood.