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Charles Armstrong (1851-1922)


Posted By: Alex Foster (email)
Date: 1/25/2009 at 20:38:25

Charles was the oldest of James and Isabella's children. He was born on June 1, 1851 and died in Feb. of 1922. He and his brother, James were the first ones to leave home to come to America. In their mother's obituary, it says that they came over in 1870. However, papers in the possession of James, Jr's daughter, Kathleen, state that they came a year earlier, and arrived in Cedar Rapids on July 17, 1869. If this is the case, then Charles was 18 years old and James would have only been 15 1/2.

I believe that Charles was largely responsible for getting the entire family to America, and helping then get established in a new country. He probably sent money home so the others could follow him. He seems to be the one that they all turned to for help. I believe from census reports that Charles stepped into his fathers place and helped his mother finish rasing the younger children after their father's death. After that Eliza's husband deserted her and she moved in with Charles with her four little girls. He helper Eliza raise her daughters and sent them to school.

He dug a lot of wells in Cass County, including Anita's deep well. Sometim around 1900, he went to Texas and lived near the small town of Edna. He dug wells down there and later became superintendent of a stock ranch. This is what he was doing at the time of his death. His body was brought back to Iowa and buried on a lot owned by his brother, James.

No stone was ever put up at his grave until William's daughter, Geneva, and I put one there in 1975. By that time there was only one person in the entire family who remembered where his grave was. That was Adam's son, Edwin, who went with me to Eureka Center and showed me. Geneva and I both fel that Charles had done so much for his family that his grave should be marked.

Eliza's grandson, Charles Emory, gave em his picture, and obituary. Charles Armstrong was obviously a handsome man, who devoted most of his life to caring for his parents and siblings. He never married, although Geneva said that he was very interested in a school teacher in Texas at one time. One of Adams sons (Vernon) said that he remembered his uncle Charlie as a stern man who seldom smiled. I think perhaps he didn't have a lot to smile about. The more I have learned about this man, the more I have come to love and admire him. I only wish that I might have had the chance and privilege of knowing him.

Written by Ethel Armstrong (posted by Alex Foster)


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