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Below is a family biography included in The History of Newton County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Rufus E. Armstrong, merchant, is the son of Thomas Armstrong and the grandson of Joshua Armstrong, who was a native of Virginia., of Scotch descent and the father of ten children; he died in Illinois at the age of eighty seven. His son, Thomas, was born in Virginia in 1793, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He settled on a farm in Kentucky when a young man, and married Miss Elenor Collier, who bore him eight children: Eudora, Rufus E. James M., Sarah E., Rebecca E., Mary J., Millie F. and Thomas H. B. Thomas Armstrong went to Illinois soon after the War of 1812, having been favorably impressed with the country while a soldier. he settled on a farm in Madison County, and here his three eldest children were born. He moved to East Missouri in 1831, and from there to Newton County, same State, in 1838, settling within one and a half miles of Ritchey, and here he remained until his death in 1878 at the age of eighty-six. He was a Democrat in politics and a good citizen; held the office of justice of the peace for sixteen years, and was assessor of Ripley County, Mo. His son, Rufus E., was born in Madison County, Ill., in 1826, and a received a common-school education. He is conisderable of a reader, and a man of observation, and consequently is well informed. He came with his father to Newton County, and remained with him until twenty-one years of age, when he engaged in business for himself, and at the age of twenty-four he owned his own farm. He then married Miss Nancy J. Hudson, daughter of Moses and Susan (Yates) Hudson, and the fruit of this marriage was five children: James M., John C., Aaron A., Mary E. and Millie F. Mr. Armstrong settled on his farm near Granby, where he lived twenty-three years, or until 1880, when he bought out the heirs of his father’s estate and resided on that property until 1886. He then engaged in merchandising in Ritchey, in which he still continues. His first wife died in 1861, and in 1862 Mr. Armstrong married Mrs. Sarah E. Alberty, of Newton County, and the daughter of John S. and Susan (Douthit) Alberty. Mr. Armstrong served during the last two years of the Civil War in Company B, Third Regiment Missouri Volunteers, Confederate States Army, Shelby’s Brigade, and was appointed sergeant. He was in the battle of Wilson’s Creek at the beginning of the war, but did no more duty on account of sickness until the last two years of the war. He was at the battle of Marks Mill, Ark., and Iron Mountain, Mo., also West Point, near Kansas City. Mr. Armstrong has held the office of justice of the peace for twelve years, and was constable for four years. He joined the Masonic fraternity in 1877, and is well known in this city for his honesty and uprightness in dealing. He is Democratic in his political views, and he and Mrs. Armstrong are members of the United Baptist Church.

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This family biography is one of 220 biographies included in The History of Newton County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Newton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Newton County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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