Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (A)
Elizabeth Armstrong

Newspaper account of Elizabeth Armstrong's
100th birthday celebration

From the Plaingrove News
October 9, 1888




Plaingrove People pay their respects and five generations are represented
- Extreme Old Age and Helpless infancy sit side by side –
A remarkable woman who has seen many changes in government, people and times.


Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong, of Plaingrove Township, was one hundred years old on Monday, Oct. 8, 1888, and the anniversary of her centennial was celebrated by a grand reunion of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren and relatives from all sections of the country.

The day was very inauspicious for a gathering of this kind, but in spite of the inclement weather, about 200 people congregated in the house and about the grounds, and the little farm house was taxed to its utmost capacity to hold the guests. Early in the forenoon the carriages commenced to arrive,  and soon the grounds were a scene of bustle and activity. "How do you do," cousin, uncle or aunt, as the case happened to be, with a hearty hand shake from the men while the women of the party practiced the osculatory process of salutation.

As soon as this was over and every one had been cordially greeted, the visitors repaired to the house, where in a little room off the parlor Mrs. Armstrong was seated surrounded by her immediate family, and looking like a queen upon her throne, with her courtiers at her feet. In this little room the representatives of five generations were assembled, and the sight was truly a beautiful one. There sat the old lady over whose life the sun of a hundred summers and winters had passed, and by her side was a lady holding a babe barely two months old, the youngest of the fifth generation of her progeny, and by her side on the other hand, was the eldest of the fifth generation, aged about seven years.

As each visitor came into the room Mrs. Armstrong cordially extended her hand and greeted them with a pleasant smile and often with a joking remark about some reminiscence of her younger days, showing that though she had reached the centennial of her life, her mind and recollection of past events was in no way impaired.

The guests did not come empty-handed and many  handsome and useful gifts were laid at her feet. The news reporter was introduced to her and congratulated on her anniversary, passed several minutes in pleasant conversation with her, and was more than surprised at the wonderful manner in which she has retained all of her faculties at so extreme an old age. Her hearing is almost perfect, no raise in the voice to carry on conversation, while as stated before her memory is excellent, and she proved that her eyesight was still in excellent  condition by reading a chapter from the Bible in a clear and distinct voice so that all in the room could hear her without difficulty.

While all this was going on the women folks were preparing an excellent dinner which was spread on a long table in the barn, and about twelve o'clock all hands were discussing the merits of the good things in a manner highly conplimentary to the culinary skill of the hostess.

After dinner "Old Prob." who had had a frowning and threatening aspect all the morning, gathered up his forces and soon a heavy shower of rain was drenching those who were strolling about the larn, and caused a general stampede for a place of shelter. In the house a little speech-making was going on. Squire Lawrence was the first one called on, and he made a few remarks appropriate for the occasion. E.S. Durban rolled him. Then Squire McCune addressed the party, giving a full history of Mrs. Armstrong's life from her early youth up to the present day, and perhaps it would be well to give right here, for the benefit of our many readers, a history of her life and of her family, as taken by a News reporter from the family records.

Elizabeth Wallace was born near Carlisle, Pa., on the 8th day of October, 1788. When still a child her parents moved to Plaingrove township, Lawrence county, where they settled on the old Wallace estate, now owned and occupied by Milton Stevenson. When about 18 years of age, Elizabeth was wooed and won by Archibald Armstrong, a son of a neighbor farmer. Archibald was born at Path Valley, Franklin county, Pa., on March 6th, 1785, and was three years the senior of his wife at the time of their marriage, which was celebrated at the residence of the bride's parents on October 8th, 1807. The couple lived happily together for sixty-two years, when Archibald Armstrong was called to join the majority in the great and unknown world beyond the skies on June 18, 1869. Their union was blessed with seven children, four of whom are living, and all of these four were present at the reunion.
The eldest of those now living, Mrs. Thomas Hanna, resides at Mercer, Pa. She has four children, Thomas and James Hanna and Mrs. Kate Shaff of Pittsburg, and Mrs. Evelyn Haynes, of Springfield township, Mercer county.

James Hanna is also married and has three children, B----, John and Helen.
Mrs. Evelyn Haynes has two daughters, grandchildren of Mrs. Armstrong.
Mrs. Celinda McCune, of Grove City, is the younger. She has four children who were all present. Samuel is married and has one boy, William Lincoln. Robert is also married and lives in Chicago, and has a family of six children.
Hugh Wallace Armstrong, of Youngstown, comes next in line. His descendants are as follows:
Mrs. J.D. Orr, of Youngstown, whose children are George W. and Minnie B., both unmarried. Misses Sarah, Hattie and Annie. Mrs. Mary McClintock of Brooklyn, Schuyler County, Ill, who has three children, William, Elizabeth and Hattie. Mrs. George Howell of Portland, Oregon, who has a son named George, and Mrs. J.W. Tinker of Winchester, Tenn., with a family of two, Florence and an infant child born on Sept. 24, not yet named.
The youngest of the four is Samuel Armstrong, of Plaingrove, whose progeny number six - W.S., J.L., R.A., R.W., Minnie L., and W.R.
W.S. Armstrong is married  has five children, Ann Eliza, Frank Stevenson,  Archibald James L., and Sarah Eliza.

Mrs. Helen Armstrong, of Grove City, was also present. She is the widow of Thomas Armstrong, who was wounded in the hand in the war at Petersburg, Va., on June 14th, 1864, and died of  injuries at a hospital in Philadelphia a short time afterward. She had four children, Mrs. Black, of Grove City, who has a family of four, Eulah Lee, Myrtle, Frank and Louisa. Mrs. Allie Heisley of the same place, who also has four children, Thos. C., Ethel, Walter and George Shurman. Luther Armstrong, of Bowling Green, Ky., who has three boys; and W.A. Armstrong, of Burlington, Iowa, who has four daughters. Mr. Wallace Davidson was another of the relatives present. He married Margaret Jane Armstrong, daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong, to whom were born three children, Gertrude, Hattie and John. Isaac A. Davidson, another of those at the reunion, married Ann Eliza Armstrong, now deceased. His family consists of Sarah E., Margaret E., George A., Elmer E., A.W. and D.T. Davidson.

This is about all of the immediate descendants of the old lady, as near as could be gathered from the means at hand. Besides there there [sic] were many relatives of those mentioned that were connected by marriage to Mrs. Armstrong that were present. One of the features of the occasion was the photographing by A.P. Webb, of Youngstown, of Mrs. Armstrong as she sat in her easy chair, copies of which were purchased by nearly everyone present. About four o'clock in the afternoon the guests commenced to disperse, each one as they departed bidding the old lady good bye and wishing her many happy returns of the day, and judging from her hale and hearty appearance, their wishes are likely to be fulfilled.

*   *   *

From the Plaingrove News, 1888


Death of Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong.
Aged More Than 100 Years.

Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong died at her home in Plaingrove, Pa., Wednesday morning. On Oct. 8 last the old lady celebrated her hundredth birthday anniversary at Plaingrove, a full account of which appeared in the News at the time. Mrs. Armstrong, at the time, declared that her health was better than it was 20 years ago, and she remained in her usual health until last Monday evening, when her fatal illness attacked her. Her mind remained clear until her death. Indeed, upon the completion of 100 years of life, her mind was nearly as clear as it ever was.
The surviving children of Mrs. Armstrong are Mrs. Evaline Hanna, aged 76, living near Mercer County, Pa.; Mrs. Selinda McCune, of near Grove City, Mercer County, Pa., aged 70; H. W. Armstrong, Youngstown, aged 73; and Samuel  Armstrong,   aged  64,  who   lives  in  the  old  homestead.  
Funeral Thursday.

Our thanks to Lora for sending this into us.

Return to A Index
Return to Mini Bios Index


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus