Fonds 632 Armstrong Family fonds

Armstrong Family fonds. — [1900-2014]. — 10.5 cm of textual records. — 30 photographs.

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Biographical Sketch

Susan Maria Whitman was born January 1, 1861 in Guelph, Ontario to parents John Whitman and Matilda Burkholder. At the age of 16 she married Thomas Blair Armstrong the son of Irish immigrant parents William Armstrong and Elizabeth Blair. Thomas was born May 14, 1851 in Mono, Ontario and he and Susan married April 28, 1877 in Wiarton, Bruce Co. Ontario. Thomas and Susan settled in Albemarle which was fairly remote and this is where their ten children were born. The children: Frederick John (b.1877); Victoria Matilda (b.1879); Rueben Matthew (b.1881); Mary Louise (b.1883); Thomas Ashford (b.1885); Samuel Leo (b.1889); Gertrude Ruth (b.1891); David Edward (b.1896); Dessie Lavina (b.1898) and Ila Irene (b.1901) were all born in Ontario. The family’s main source of income was farming and much time was spent clearing the land of the numerous trees in North Ontario.

Thomas Armstrong became ill and passed away April 12, 1914 at the family home located on Lot 21 Con. 1 and he is buried in Red Bay, Bruce Co., Ontario. The following year Susan with some of her children decided to head west. Brothers Ed and Leo were sent ahead to file on homesteads and, Sec 35-T72-R11 W6 was chosen for their mother. The boys returned to Ontario and in 1916 Ed, Leo, their mother Susan, sisters Ila and Dessie loaded their supplies and traveled to the end of the rail. They then journeyed on to reach their homestead near Hythe, Alberta.

Thomas Ashford Armstrong had been living in Arcola, Saskatchewan, where he farmed with Whitman relatives. It was here that he met and married Frances Murray and in 1917 they too moved to Hythe.

David Edward “Ed” was drafted in March of 1918, to serve in the war but was discharged a few months later as the war had ended.

Dessie married Aubrey Hawkesworth at the Armstrong place on January 1, 1919 and they lived on his homestead by Hythe.

In 1920, Leo Armstrong was “rushed” by horse and wagon to Lake Saskatoon to see a Doctor, the family story is that Leo’s hair had turned whilte due to the pain he was in. Leo’s appendix had burst and he didn’t survive, he is buried in Mountainside Cemetery. Thomas, his brother took over his homestead on Sec 2 T73 R 11 W6. This is about the time that Susan and son Ed purchased the boarding house in Hythe, called the Halfway House from owner Maurice Shapiro. Ed was married to Evelyn Everton on Nov.16, 1922 and they moved out to their farm.

In 1927 Ila and her mother left Hythe for Edmonton, here Susan continued to run a boarding house. Ila married James M. Murray and settled in Three Hills, working at the Prairie Bible Institute. When Ila’s mother was unable to continue with her boarding house she joined Ila and James there. Susan died in 1946 and is buried in the Three Hills Cemetery.

Thomas and Susan’s other children ended up in various places in Canada. Frederick John Armstrong married Henrietta Cooney of the famous Cooney family of Tranquille, B.C. They lived in Kamloops, B.C. and after Henrietta passed away Fred married Audrey Hunter Carrall. Victoria Matilda Armstrong married ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­John Crawford Hodgson who passed away in 1919 and she later married Robert Clyde Settle and they lived in Victoria, B.C. Rueben Matthew Armstrong moved to Arcola, Saskatchewan and it is unknown what happened to him. Mary Louise Armstrong married John Nelson Armstrong and lived in Barrie, Simcoe Co., Ontario. Gertrude Ruth Armstrong married Charles Clayton and stayed in Ontario.

 

Custodial History

The records came into the Archives in two accessions from two different branches of the Armstrong family. Clayton Greber brought in a collection of photographs that he had received from a relative Allyson Ropchan who is a granddaughter of Dessie Armstrong.

Grace Wideman brought in a collection of photographs that had been passed down through her family, her branch of the family is through her grandfather David Edward “Ed” Armstrong. Grace also brought in two scrapbooks that she has made about the Armstrong family and descendants.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of records relating to the Armstrong family. The records are organized into three series, personal papers, photographs and scrapbooks.

Table of Contents

Series 632.01Personal Papers
Series 632.02Photographs
Series 632.03Scrapbooks
Series 632.01Personal Papers. — [1914-2012]. — 29 photographs.

The series consists of newspaper clippings and photographs of the Armstrong family. The clippings consist of a death record for Thomas B. Armstrong (1914), obituary of Samuel Armstrong (1920), newspaper notice of D.E. Armstrong taking over the Hythe Half-Way House (1922), Leo Armstrong’s notice of estate claims (1922), 2 copies of Henderson’s Directory for Edmonton with the entry for Susan Armstrong (1928, 1929), registration of death and obituary for Henrietta (Cooney) Armstrong (1945), registration of death for Susan Marie Armstrong (1946), notice of the death of Thomas A. Armstrong (1947), obituary of Honor Bennett (1953), death registration and obituary for Frederick John Armstrong (1954), obituary of David “Ed” Armstrong (1960), obituary of Harriet Armstrong (1976), obituary of Elmer Nelless Bennett (1987), obituary of Merv Staggs (2012).

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Series 632.02Photographs. — [ca.1900-1979]. — 30 photographs.

The series consists of photographs of the Armstrong family and friends.

Armstrong-Whitman Family Portrait, [ca. 1900]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Susan Maria and Thomas Armstrong, with Susan’s mother Matilda Whitman, in Ontario, sometime before Thomas died in 1914. Photographer’s stamp: WJ Winter, Wiarton
Location: 0632.02.01
Victoria & Fred Armstrong, [ca. 1900]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
A studio portrait of siblings Victoria Matilda Armstrong and Frederick John Armstrong in Wiarton, Ontario.
Location: 0632.02.02
Rueben and Thomas Armstrong, [ca. 1910]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Presumably the sons of Susan Maria and Thomas Armstrong in Ontario, before Rueben and Thomas went to Arcola, Saskatchewan in 1914. These are tentatively identified as Rueben and Thomas. Photographer’s stamp: WJ Winter, Wiarton
Location: 0632.02.03
David Edward & Leo Armstrong, [ca. 1910]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Presumably the sons of Susan Maria and Thomas Armstrong in Ontario, before Ed and Leo came to the Peace Country in 1914. These are tentatively identified as Ed and Leo Armstrong. Photographer: WJ Winter, Wiarton
Location: 0632.02.04
Victoria Matilda Armstrong, [ca. 1910]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in
A studio portrait of Victoria Matilda Armstrong taken in Wiarton, Ontario
Location: 0632.02.05
Armstrong Children in Ontario, [ca. 1903]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Susan and Thomas Armstrong’s children in Albemarle, Bruce Co., Ontario ca. 1905, before they came to the Peace Country. They are identified as L-R Leo (b. 1889), Dessie (b. 1898), Ed (b. 1896), Ila (b. 1901), and Ruth (b. 1891).
Location: 0632.02.06
Dessie & Ila Armstrong, [ca. 1910]
1 photograph; b & w; 7 x 11 cm
A studio portrait of Dessie & Illa Armstrong in Wiarton, Ontario.
Location: 0632.02.07
Dessie Armstrong With Friends, [ca. 1914]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 7.5 cm
Dessie Armstrong with a group of young ladies in Albermarle, Ontario.
Location: 0632.02.08
The Corrals, [ca. 1917]
1 photograph; b & w; 13 x 8 cm
A group of horses in the corrals at the Armstrong homestead, Ed Armstrong is holding the reins of a horse and two other men are on horseback. On the back of the photo is written “this is our bunch of horses and the trees along the creek”.
Location: 0632.02.09
Breaking sod on the Armstrong Homestead, [ca. 1917]
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 13.5 cm
Ed Armstrong behind four horses that are breaking sod on the Armstrong homestead by Hythe. This photograph was used in the publication “Pioneer Round-Up”.
Location: 0632.02.10
Threshing Crew, [ca. 1917]
1 photograph; b & w; 14 x 8.5 cm
A threshing crew working in the field, there are four men some horses and one man observing the work.
Location: 0632.02.11
Threshing Crew Picnic, [ca. 1917]
1 photograph; b & w; 14 x 8 cm
The threshing crew on a lunch break out in the field possibly on the Armstrong homestead.
Location: 0632.02.12
Threshing on the Armstrong Homestead, [1917]
1 photograph; b & w; 14 x 8.5 cm
Stack threshing on the Armstrong homestead. This photograph was used in the publication “Pioneer Round-Up” in the green book on page 176.
Location: 0632.02.13
Ed Armstrong With Horses, [1917]
1 photograph; b & w; 14 x 8 cm
Ed Armstrong standing with three horses. The photograph has written on the front “Good stock May 30, 1917”
Location: 0632.02.14
Armstrong Family on the Homestead, [1917]
1 photograph; b & w; 13.5 x 8 cm
The Armstrong ladies on horseback with mother Susan standing beside them. They are in a field with stooks and their log home is behind them.
Location: 0632.02.15
Peace River’s First Fair, [1917]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 cm
Cattle and horses lined up and tied to rails at Peace River’s first fair. Caption on reverse: “Peace River Towns first Fair. Goes with Armstrong storie. V Greber”. This photograph was used in the publication “Pioneer Round-Up” in the green book page 176.
Location: 0632.02.16
Leo Armstrong, World War I, [ca. 1917]
1 postcard; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Leo Armstrong, son of Susan and Thomas Armstrong, in World War I uniform. Leo arrived in the Peace Country in 1914 and enlisted in World War I. Library and Archives Canada does not have a service record for a Samuel Leo Armstrong so this photo maybe misidentified.
Location: 0632.02.17
Ed Armstrong, World War I, [ca. 1918]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Ed Armstrong, son of Susan and Thomas Armstrong, in World War I uniform. Ed arrived in the Peace Country in 1914 and enlisted in World War I.
Location: 0632.02.18
Gertrude Ruth Armstrong, [ca. 1920]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 cm
Gertrude Ruth Armstrong, daughter of Susan and Thomas Armstrong. Gertrude married Charles Clayton in 1918 in Ontario and did not join the family in the Peace Country.
Location: 0632.02.19
Susan and Ila Armstrong With John Hodgson, [ca. 1927]
1 photograph; b & w; 10 x 5.5 cm
L-R The Armstrong’s landlord, Ila Armstrong, ? , John Fulton Hodgson and Susan Marie Armstrong. This photograph was probably taken in Edmonton after Susan and Ila moved.
Location: 0632.02.20
Susan and Ila Armstrong & John Hodgson, [ca. 1927]
1 photograph; b & w; 11 x 7 cm
John Fulton Hodgson, Susan Armstrong, Ila and their new landlord at 8716, 88th Ave in Edmonton. Written on the back, “Sunday Aug/27 Taken here on the lawn when I was on my holidays. I sat on the flower post Our landlord, you will recognize the rest. Ila”
Location: 0632.02.21
Susan Armstrong, [ca. 1927]
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 8 cm
Susan Armstrong standing in a field holding an umbrella.
Location: 0632.02.22
Susan Armstrong, Mac Murray & Mrs. Murray, [ca. 1930]
1 photograph; b & w; 8.5 x 11 cm
Susan Armstrong in Edmonton with a group of people, Mac Murray & Mrs. Murray are in the photograph.
Location: 0632.02.23
Fred & Ila Armstrong, [ca. 1930]
1 photograph; sepia; 10 x 14.5 cm
Fred with sister Ila Armstrong. Photograph by Bridgman Studio in Edmonton.
Location: 0632.02.24
Eula Armstrong, [ca. 1945]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Eula Armstrong, daughter of Ed Armstrong and Grace Everton, ca. 1945
Location: 0632.02.25
Hythe School Class, [ca. 1950]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 cm
A class of Hythe students. Back Row L-R Grant Finnon, ?,?, Jim Hodgson, Rene Sharkey, ?, Judy Armstrong, Dan Armstrong Middle Row – Laverne, Joyce, Donald Stubbs, Don Pearson, Veron Klimp, Bill Jantot (?), ____ Lazotte, Margaret Tangen, Art Patterson, Paul Gass Front row – ?, Tom Gass (?), Marion McPherson, Billy Fisher (?), Leroy Erickson, Vernon McNamee (teacher), Marguarite Everton, David Stickney, Anita Hayjak, Leona B____
Location: 0632.02.26
Hythe School Students, [ca. 1950]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 cm
All the students in the Hythe school.
Location: 0632.02.27
Gertrude Ruth Armstrong, [ca. 1950]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 cm
Gertrude Ruth Armstrong on her 70th birthday. Photographer’s stamp: a meyers portrait
Location: 0632.02.28
Gertrude Ruth Armstrong Family, [ca. 1950]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 cm
Gertrude Ruth with husband Charlie Clayton and Laureen, Carean & Joyce.
Location: 0632.02.29
Ila & Mac Murray’s Wedding Anniversary, [1979]
1 photograph; colour; 4 x 6 cm
A gathering of Armstrong family members for Mac & Ila’s 50 Anniversary Aug 25, 1979. Back row l-r: Robert Crook, Fred Armstrong, Muriel Armstrong, Kalahni Oberst, Ella Murray, Loren Oberst, Janice Crook, Corine Clayton Crook, Grace Staggs Wideman, Joyce Armstrong Staggs, Eula Armstrong Weller, Sam Wideman, Carol Crook Rayfield, June Armstrong (daughter of Mary Louise Armstrong), Robert Rayfield, Merv Staggs Second Row: Grace Murray Oberst, Robert Armstrong (son of Mary Louise Armstrong), Ila Armstrong Murray, Mac Murray, Kalea Oberst, Verna Armstrong Kyle, Rhoda Murray, Mary Louise Armstrong, Norman Kyle Front sitting: (Children) Heather Rayfield , Jason Wideman, Christopher Rayfield, Susan Murray, Morley Wideman
Location: 0632.02.30
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Series 632.03Scrapbooks. — [1917-2014]. — 10 cm of textual records.

The series consists of 2 scrapbooks created by Grace Wideman that relate to the Armstrong family. Items in the scrapbook include memorial cards, photographs, news clippings, birth and death registrations and various other items. The scrapbooks were photocopied in their entirety.

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