ARMSTRONG, WILLIAM HENRY. - Illinois would still be a prairie State in reality if it were not for the fact that, years ago, there came into it a brave, hardy people who were filled with a determination to conquer the wilderness and make for themselves comfortable homes on the government land. Every county in the State has its list of names of pioneers who settled there, brought up their children to assist in the work of developing the region, and left their mark upon the agricultural, industrial, educational, political and religious life of the community where they located. The Armstrong family is one which has many representatives in different parts of Illinois, and one of them now residing in Mechanicsburg Township, Sangamon County, is William Henry Armstrong. He was born in Atlanta, Ill., May 3, 1876, son of Leonard J. and Mary (Judy) Armstrong, and a grandson of John Armstrong of Kentucky, and Jacob and Martha (Musick) Judy. Both the Armstrong and Judy families came to Illinois in pioneer days, making the trip in the usual fashion of the times, with a covered wagon, and all were farmers. Mr. and Mrs. Judy retired and located in Atlanta, where they died.
Leonard J. Armstrong and Mary Judy were married in Atlanta, December 24, 1872, following which event they rented land nearby and operated it for two years. They then moved ti Piatt County, Ill., where the bought a farm, living upon it until their demise, the mother passing away April 28, 1897. They had children as follows: William Henry; Frank L., born January 24, 1878, of Kindersley, Canada; Junietta, born February 17, 1880; Mrs. T. J. Campbell, of Deland, Ill.; Albert M., born April 10, 1882, of Sangamon County; Nellie May, born April 10, 1885, Mrs. R. O. Copeland, of Arcola, Ill.; Roy L., born March 5, 1887, of Sangamon County; Bertha B., born October 3, 1888, of Deland; John J., born May 7, 1891, lives with his brother William H.; and Earl E., born October 16, 1892, died February 10, 1893.
William Henry Armstrong was educated in the public schools of Deland, remaining at home until he was twenty-six years old. At that time he bough 160 acres of land in Piatt County, hiring a man and his wife to keep house for him. Later he sold this farm, buying 360 acres in the same county. In the fall of 1904, he sold this property, buying 489 acres in Mechanicsburg Township, which he has since devoted to general farming and the raising of Shorthorn cattle, Duroc-Jersey hogs and Plymouth Rock chickens. In 1910, he bought 160 acres near Waggoner, Montgomery County, Ill., which is being operated for him by his brother Roy.
Mr Armstrong was married March 15, 1905, to Elizabeth D. Holton, born April 3, 1875, in Lincoln, Ill., daughter of Homer and Jennie (Ragland) Fullenwider, natives of Mechanicsburg, Ill., and Fisherville, Ky. Mrs. Armstrong was educated in Mechanicsburg schools, attending the high school there, and is a lady of charming personality, who shows a gracious hospitality to her guests. Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Christian Church, while his wife is a member of the Methodist denomination. In politics he is a Republican and is now serving his district as School Director. He is a live, progressive young man and is making a decided success of his life work, ably assisted by his wife. Understanding every detail of farming, he is inculcating new methods and is a recognized authority on agricultural matters. Socially he and his wife are important factors in the township and have many friends in Sangamon and adjoining counties, where they are well and favorably known.