EDWARD ARMSTRONG FAMILY
Edward Thornton Armstrong was born circa 1846 in Missouri as a slave to Jefferson and Angeline Armstrong. He gained his freedom after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 when he enlisted in the Union Army, 18th United States Colored Troops. After the War, he moved with his parents and siblings to Westfield Indiana.
On October 6, 1872, in Westfield, Edward married Laura Belle Hord
Edward and Laura Belle had two sons, Orvid Woody and Harvey L. There is no birth or death information on Orvid, and he appears to have died very young. Harvey L. was born circa 1877. Laura Belle died between 1880 and 1882, but her burial place is unknown.
On November 26, 1882 Edward married Sarah Roberts, daughter of Sterling and Eliza Caroline_______________. Sarah’s father died and her mother remarried to John
Dempsy in 1879 in Hamilton Co. Indiana.
Edward and Sarah had five sons, all born in Westfield in Hamilton Co. Indiana. They are:
Isaac b. 1889 d. 1929
Irven b. 1892 d. 1996
Ezekiel b. 1893 d. 1965
Charles b. 1895 d. 1929
Lindzey b. 1896 d. 1973
All five boys attended school in Westfield and three of them graduated from college. These five boys and their cousins (sons of Thomas) all served in World War I, most in France in the 92 nd Division. All of them survived and returned to Indiana to find work or complete their educations. The family group sheets show their vital statistics but the following is a list of their achievements:
1. Isaac Armstrong- Veteran of World War I. Graduated from Westfield High School, then from Wilberforce University in Ohio. Worked prior to the war at Van Camp Cannery in Westfield Indiana. He died at the age of 40, and never married.
2. Irven Armstrong-Veteran of World War I. Graduated from Westfield High School and then from Indiana University in 1915. He was one of the earliest members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Prior to the war, he taught at Westfield Schools and at Indianapolis Public School # 17. The Irven Armstrong Collection contains letters written to him by students at the last school while he was overseas. He returned to Indianapolis to teach. In 1921 he joined the Liberty Life Insurance Company and stayed there until 1928, when he returned to teaching.
He taught History and retired as the Head of the History Department at Chrispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He retired in 1959, after a 43 year career in education. Irven died in 1996 at the age of 104. He was at that time the oldest living member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
3. Ezekiel Armstrong-Veteran of World War I. He graduated from Westfield High School and worked till his retirement in brick and stone construction. He died at age 72 and he never married.
4. Charles Armstrong-Veteran of World War I. He graduated from Westfield High School and from Wilberforce University in Ohio. He was a minister for the A.M. E. church, and was serving in Baltimore, Maryland when he died at the age of 34. He never married.
5. Lindzey Armstrong- Veteran of World War I. He graduated from Westfield High School and attended the University of Iowa. He was employed as a tailor in Baltimore in 1929. He died in Utica New York in 1973.
Edward Armstrong sent all of his sons to school and on to college while employed as the toll keeper on the Lebanon to Noblesville Toll Road. Edward died in 1924 and Sarah died in 1939. They are buried in Summit Lawn Cemetery with their sons.
Sharon A. Craig
Hamilton Co. Historical Society
September 30, 2003