California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
A. G. ARMSTRONG, superintendent of the Santa Fe shops at San Bernardino, is a veteran in the mechanical service of the Santa Fe Company, with which he has spent nearly twenty years. His home for the greater part of the time since 1906 has been at San Bernardino, where he enjoys high standing in business and social circles alike. He made the choice of railroading as a career when a boy, beginning as an apprentice machinist, and his personal energy, fidelity and experience have taken him up the scale of promotion to that of superintendent.
Mr. Armstrong was born at Negaunee, Michigan, November 4, 1872, son of John N. and Susan (Eckels) Armstrong, now deceased, his father of Scotch ancestry and a native of Canada, while his mother was of an English family and born in Wisconsin. John N. Armstrong was an experienced mining man and conducted many explorations in the mineral regions of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He opened up one of the iron mines on the famous Vermilion Range above Duluth, Minnesota.
A. G. Armstrong attended grammar and high schools in Wisconsin, was a student in the University of Wisconsin, and began his railroad work as a machinist apprentice to the Northern Pacific Railroad Company at Brainerd, Minnesota. He was in their service for eleven years as an apprentice machinist and material inspector, and he represented the Northern Pacific as inspector of the new power building of the Baldwin Locomotive Works at Philadelphia.
Leaving Brainerd and the service of the Northern Pacific in January, 1903, Mr. Armstrong removed to Topeka, Kansas, where he was in the shops of the Santa Fe as a machinist until the following July, when he was selected and sent to the Baldwin Locomotive Works, representing the Santa Fe Company during the construction of between 300 and 400 locomotives.
When Mr. Armstrong first came to San Bernardino in 1906 it was in the capacity of erecting foreman. In March of the following year he was made general foreman. In December, 1911, he was promoted to division foreman, with headquarters at Los Angeles, where he remained until July, 1913, when he was promoted to master mechanic of the Arizona Division, with headquarters at Needles, California. In March, 1917, he returned to San Bernardino as master mechanic of the Los Angeles Division and on April 1, 1918, was made shop superintendent at San Bernardino. He has general supervision of a large force, there having been 1900 car and locomotive employes under his jurisdiction in October, 1920.
Mr. Armstrong is a director of the San Bernardino Valley Bank. He is a republican and is affiliated with the Elks Lodge. At Brainerd, Minnesota, July 26, 1898, he married Miss Mary Ellen Howe. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, daughter of the late J. J. Howe, and is of English-Irish descent. Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong have two sons, John, a member of the class of 1923, and Jerome, of the class of 1924, in the San Bernardino High School.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011