Posted by Jean Crowl 9 May, 2009
From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
James Armstrong is the owner of one of the fine farms of Henderson County, comprising three hundred and twenty acres of rich and valuable land on section 11 , township 12 north, range four west. The place is well improved, and is divided by good fences into fields of convenient size. There are good barns and outbuildings, and the home is a commodious and substantial residence, one of the best in the community. The owner is regarded as one of the progressive and enterprising agriculturists of his adopted county, and in this volume he well deserves representation.
Mr. Armstrong is a native of the Emerald Isle, born in February, 1830. His parents, William and Ellen (Reed) Armstrong, were also natives of Ireland, and in that country lived until 1840, when they came to the United States. They had a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters, namely: John, now deceased; Ann, wife of John Rowley; James, who is the next younger; Margaret, wife of J. H. Halsey; Mary J., deceased, wife of John Robinson; William, who is living in Henderson County; and Ellen, wife of E. N. Kile, of Perry, Iowa.
Soon after the father came to America he was joined by his son, James Armstrong, who in the public schools of Boston, Mass., acquired a good education. He there pursued his studies until fifteen years of age, when he began to learn the carpenter's trade, which he followed until 1848. He then entered a shop, and began learning the harness-maker's trade, at which he worked for a year and a half. In 1850, he began traveling, and his time was thus spent until his emigration to Illinois, in the autumn of 1855. He came to Henderson County, and located upon the farm which has since been his home, first purchasing eighty acres of land. As his financial resources were increased, however, he added to this tract from time to time, until he now has three hundred and twenty acres. In 1875 he built his present home, which stands as a monument to his thrift and enterprise.
On the 20th of March, 1861, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Armstrong and Miss Maria Campbell, a daughter of James and Jane Reed Campbell. Nine children have been born to them, but three of the number are now deceased, namely: William J., Clarinda and Flora. The members of the family still living are J. Ross, Walter C, Lucetta J., Everett B., Delia A. and Clara.
In his political views, Mr. Armstrong is a Republican. He cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and since that time has been an adherent of Republican principles. He has served as School Director, and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend, as do other worthy enterprises which are calculated to prove of public benefit. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, and is a practical and enterprising farmer, whose success in life is the just reward of his own efforts.