Portrait and Biographical Record of Guernsey County Ohio 1895 page126


John Walker Armstrong. Guernsey county is justly proud of her native-born citizens, who are honorably bearing their share in sustaining her interests and extending her wealth. Among these is the subject of this biographical review, who is engaged in farming on section 2, Jefferson Township, and is one of the most progressive and enlightened farmers. His estate, which comprises one hundred acres, is placed under substantial improvements, the fields are well tilled, and a neat set of farm buildings adorns the place.

Mr. Armstrong was born January 13, 1847, in Cambridge, but was reared on the farm of his grandfather, John Armstrong, in Jefferson Township, until thirteen years of age, when he went to live with his father, and assisted in the flouring-mill which latter owned on section 24, Jefferson Township, and which was kept running day and night through the busy season. His attendance at school was limited to few months in each year, but on becoming his own master, in 1868, he determined to become well educated, and with the little money which he possessed entered Muskingum College, carrying on his studies in that institution for one term. The tuition he next received was at normal at Cambridge, and on leaving there he was given a certificate to teach. This occupation he followed only a short time, however, as September 2, 1869, he was married, and therefore gave his attention to milling, which business occupied his entire attention for fifteen years. At the end of that time he sold his interest in the mill, and gave his whole attention to farming. The lady whom our subject married was Martha R., a daughter of Andrew and Nancy B. Clark, of Centre Township, this county. She was born in Jefferson Township, Guernsey County, February 7, 1849, and in girlhood was given the privilege of a good education. After her union with Mr. Armstrong, the young couple located at Guernsey Mill, where their nine children were born namely: Mary B., William R., Addie L., Martha E., John C., Abraham C., Harry O., Charles O., Ira P.

The parents of Mrs. Armstrong came from Pennsylvania. Andrew Clark, the father, was a son of William and Elizabeth (Baird) Clark, who emigrated to Ohio from Washington County, Pa., about 1815, and located in Jefferson Township about 1817. Andrew Clark was born in Jefferson Township, September 23, 1820. Nancy B., his wife, was born in Liberty Township, this county, October 10, 1821, and was married August 25, 1846, after which she and her husband located in Jefferson Township, where their children, Eliza Ann, Sarah Jane, and Martha Rebecca (Mrs. Armstrong), were born.

The great-grandparents of John W. Armstrong, Abraham and Florence Armstrong, who established this branch of the family in America, were natives of Scotland and Ireland, respectively. The great-grandmother came to Guernsey County at an early date, probably about 1813, and is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in this township. The grandfather and grandmother, John and Susannah Armstrong, in 1813 moved to section 24, Jefferson Township, where the grandfather died in 1852, and the grandmother in 1870. The old mill has been twice re-built, the last time in 1850.

The father of our subject, Abraham Armstrong, was born March 2, 1810, in Pennsylvania. He was well educated, and for a number of years engaged in teaching school, after which he succeeded his father in the milling and farming business, In 1844 he was elected Auditor of Guernsey County, and in 1871 was elected to the Legislature, serving in that position for two terms. November 4, 1845, he married Miss Elizabeth Walker, who was a daughter of James Walker, and was born May 20, 1820, in Allegheny County, Pa. She died within two years of marriage, leaving one child, John Walker, our subject, an infant of three weeks. He was at once taken onto the home of his grandparents, John and Susannah Armstrong, who reared him until the age of thirteen. as above stated. This old couple were pioneers of the county, and entered the land Government which the family now occupies.

Our subject has been prominent in public affairs of his township, and the confidence which is reposed in him is shown by the fact that he served in the capacity of Township Clerk, Treasurer and Justice of the Peace. In 1890 he was elected Census-taker of Jefferson Township, and is now Notary Public. He is a working member of the United Presbyterian Church, to which his wife and six children belong.


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