JAMES H. ARMSTRONG, formerly a member of the Board of County Commissioners, is one of the leading farmers of Cherokee County, where he has resided since January 18, 1883, on a farm of 160 acres,the southeast quarter of section 4, township 33, range 23, in Salamanca township. Mr. Armstrong was born in Caldwell County, Kentucky, in 1851.
James Armstrong, his father, was also a native of the "Blue Grass State," where he was reared. He was twice married prior to his union with the mother of the subject of this sketch. His second marriage (to Mrs. Maxwell, who died in Kentucky) resulted in a son, William, of Atchison, Kansas. His third wife was Catherine L. Jackson, of Irish descent, and a Kentuckian by birth, her people having been wealthy planters in that State. Her later years were spent for the most part in the home of her son, James H., her death occurring at Columbus January 15, 1892. She was born in 1810, and at death was 81 years, 9 months and 27 days old.
Soon after the birth of Mr. Armstrong, his parents removed to Montgomery County, Illinois, and settled on a farm near Hillsboro. There they remained three years and then joined the movement to people Kansas with citizens for and against slavery. They settled in Shawnee County, not far from Topeka, where in the following year (1855) James Armstrong was stricken with malarial fever and died. He had many sterling qualities, was an enthusiastic Free State man, a Whig in politics, and a follower, in religious belief, of his Scotch Presbyterian ancestry. He and his wife had five children, as follows: Mary, born in 1842, who married Thomas Goodfellow, and died in Missouri in 1898; Logan, born January 13, 1843, who died in infancy; Samuel J., born February 27, 1846, who is a barber living in Baxter Springs, Kansas; Malinda Jane, born June 21, 1849, who married Imbert Denny, and lives in Bond County, Illinois; and James H., born July 22, 1851.
After the death of his father, Mr. Armstrong's mother sold the claim in Shawnee County, and moved to St. Francois County, Missouri. There in 1861, the eldest daughter was married, and as she went to live in Bond County, Illinois, the mother also took up her residence there the following year. In this county and the adjoining one, Montgomery, the family lived until the different members made homes of their own.
The subject of this sketch was married in Bond County December 31, 1877, to Lizzie Lindley (born in Bond County, Illinois, July 22, 1855), a daughter of Ransom and Mary (Bigham) Lindley. Her father was a native of Bond County, and her mother of the State of Maryland; and both died in Bond County. Their children were: Lizzie; Samuel F., of Pocahontas, Illinois; Alfred R.. of Bond County; Mary A. (Mrs. Peter Mann), of Columbus, who had previously been married to Edward Stephens, and has six children; Naomi (Mrs. J. C. Williams), of Pocahontas; and Minnie C. (Mrs. W. H. Smith), of St. Louis, Missouri.
To Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong were born the following children: Mamie, born September 23, 1878, in Montgomery County, Illinois, who married A. L. Jewett, and resides near Columbus, with one son,Delbert Leon; Earl, born in Montgomery County, September 14, 1880; Archie, born July 14, 1882, in Pocahontas, Bond County, who is married and resides in Lola township, Cherokee County; Frank Oliver, born October 6, 1885, in Cherokee County; and Charles H., born in Cherokee County, July 10, 1889.
As stated, Mr. Armstrong settled on the farm that he now cultivates, in 1883. At that time its improvements were scant indeed, consisting of a small house, a few trees, and a few acres broken out. Under the intelligent direction and the hard labor of the subject of this sketch and family, the farm gradually assumed its present appearance, with its comfortable and commodious buildings and hundreds of fruit and shade trees. It is now one of Cherokee County's model farms.
During the years of his residence in the county, Mr. Armstrong has established an admirable character. His voice has always been for the uplifting of humanity, and he has ever been found ready to promote educational and religious institutions, both in his home neighborhood and elsewhere. His superior judgment and business qualifications have caused his selection, at different times, for the administration of office, and he has served as township trustee and as a member of the Board of County Commissioners. In matters of politics, he favors the Populists, and he has been active in the work of the A. H. T. A., serving as the secretary of the local lodge. Having joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the age of 15 years, he was for years an elder in that denomination. There being no organization of the kind near when he came to Kansas, he joined the Presbyterian Church, of which he is now an elder.
History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 6-27-97
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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