About Us



Our store, known today as Norton Ditto, first opened its doors on Main Street in 1908. At that time, our city was feeling the economic benefits of the Spendletop oil fields and our lumber, cotton and rice commerce activities. Rice University (Named William Marsh Rice Institute at that time) would open its doors for students in 1912, and the Houston Ship Channel was ready for operation to ocean going vessels on November 10, 1914. 

Through the windows of our stores we have seen a small town grow to be one of the most dynamic and leading entrepreneur cities in the world. We at Norton Ditto are proud to have continual business  for over 112 years and played a small role in our city’s successful development. 

When our doors first opened we were known as Barringer-Norton Company. In the 1920’s Mr. Barringer died and for many years the store was known as Norton’s.  Mr. Court Norton remained at the helm. (In fact, when I first joined the firm many older Houstonians still referred to the store as Norton’s.)

In the early 1940’s Lanson B. Ditto, Sr. who resided in Kentucky was a clothing manufacturer’s representative. He frequently traveled to Houston and called on the store. A couple years later he became an investing partner with Mr. Norton and it became Norton Ditto. After World War II ended Lanson’s two sons, Lanson Jr and Ben, came to Houston to join the store. IN 1952 the Ditto family bought out Mr. Norton.

Under the leadership of Lanson, Jr and Ben the store developed into an institution known locally and nationally for superior merchandise and excellent service. Both gentlemen are remembered for leaving a legendary mark on the store and our community.

I joined the firm in 1969, and except for the 10 years where I pursued other business interest, I have had the privilege of spending a vast majority of my professional career working with some of the finest individuals I have known. There is no possible way that any organization can remain in business for 112 years without the support of dedicated staff members and loyal customers. I have been honored to be the principle owner of store for almost 20 years.

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