Silas Armstrong
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

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A representative of one of the honored pioneer families of Morris county, Mr. ARMSTRONG is now numbered among the prominent business men of Morristown, and his identification with the industrial interests of Morristown has not only proved of individual benefit to himself, but has also advanced the general prosperity by furnishing employment to a large force of workmen. A well known writer has said that the man who each week pays over his counters wages to one hundred men is more deserving of the gratitude of the country than he who leads a company forth to battle; for he places in the hands of his employes the means of sustaining life, of maintaining homes and establishing a pleasant, prosperous community. Mr. ARMSTRONG in his business career has also demonstrated that success is not a matter of genius or fortuitous circumstances, but is the outcome of persistent, earnest and well directed effort. His labors have brought to him a handsome reward, well merited, and he is now numbered among the substantial citizens of his native county.

Mr. ARMSTRONG was born near Morristown, on the 26th of March, 1829, being the son of Silas and Betsey (NORRIS) ARMSTRONG, who also were natives of the county and spent their entire lives here, the mother passing away at the age of seventy-six years, and the father at the age of seventy-seven. The grandfather, also named Silas, and a native of Morris, county, was a farmer by occupation, and the maternal grandfather was a chairmaker of Morristown.

  • Our subject and his sister
  • Harriet are now the only survivors in a family of eleven children. One brother,
  • Miles ARMSTRONG, served for three years as a Union soldier in the Civil war.

The parents were members of the Presbyterian church and were people of the highest respectability.

Silas L. ARMSTRONG was reared on the old family homestead, which is now in his possession, and received the educational advantages afforded by the common schools of the neighborhood. Before he had attained his majority he had learned the carriage-making trade, and, forming a partnership with his brother, carried on business on his farm for eight years, under the name of ARMSTRONG Brothers, enjoying a good trade. In 1857 he began the manufacture of brick, and for forty years he has carried on operations along that line, building up one of the most extensive and important industries in the county. He began his work on a small scale, but his trade steadily increased, and his facilities were enlarged, so that at the present time he turns out about three million bricks annually, increasing this output from nine hundred thousand. His plant is splendidly equipped with the latest improved machinery, and the quality of the product is such as to secure a continuance of a patronage once obtained. In connection with this enterprise Mr. ARMSTRONG owns a valuable farm and carries on agricultural pursuits.

In 1859 was celebrated the marriage of our subject and Miss Susan OVERTON, a native of Morris county. They now have four children:

  • Addie,
  • Eda,
  • Elver and
  • Fred.

Mr. and Mrs. ARMSTRONG, together with their eldest and youngest daughters, belong to the Methodist church. The ARMSTRONG household is noted for its hospitality, and the friends of the family are many.

In early life Mr. ARMSTRONG gave his political support to the Democracy, but on the outbreak of the Civil war he supported President Lincoln, and he has since voted the Republican ticket. He is a man of firm convictions and ever true to his belief. His business career has been one of the strictest honor, and his relations with his employes is ever fair and courteous, so that he has their highest respect and allegiance. In all life's relations he has been true to every trust reposed in him, and his support of all worthy measures for the public good has made him a valued and esteemed citizen of his native county.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


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