Like David Dale Owen, Dr. Norwood was a medical doctor who became the first state geologist of one of the United States. Because of political differences, Dr. Norwood was removed from his position in Illinois in 1858, even though he had finished a 1000-page formal report, approved by the necessary committee, that the governor refused to publish.
Dr. Norwood started the Illinois State Collection, which was widely praised for its size and excellence. Mysteriously, only one type-specimen from the original collection appears to have survived.
In 1854, a collector named Francis A. Linck found near his home in Evansville, Indiana, a fossilized bone. It was shown to Dr. Norwood, who sent it to Dr. Joseph Leidy in Philadelphia for identification as the first known specimen of the dire wolf. Dr. Norwood's correspondence with Dr. Leidy, his connections with Dr. Owen, and the disappearance of the original Illinois State Collection are described in
C. Kimberling, "David Dale Owen and Joseph Granville Norwood: Pioneer Geologists in Indiana and Illinois," Indiana Magazine of History, 92 (March 1996) 2-26.
From 1851 to 1858, Dr. Norwood was Assistant Geologist of Missouri, and from 1860 to 1880, Professor at the University of Missouri, and for several years, Dean of the Medical College of the University of Missouri.
Fourteen publications by Dr. Norwood, four of them co-authored with David Dale Owen, are listed in
John M. Nickles, Geologic Literature on North America 1785-1918, Part I. Bibliography, U.S.G.S., Government Printing Office, Washington, 1923.