Friday, October 25, 2013

The Old Armstrong Farm

Picture of Armstrong Farmhouse 
     A 1906 Obituary1 for James David Armstrong states
     "In 1858 ... He arrived here with an introductory letter to Rev. Samuel Miller and in a few days contracted with John Nichols the the eldest for whom and his son he superintended a 900-acre tract 6 miles east for a year. He then worked the land of William Mikel 2 years, Judge Rayburn 2 years, and Harvey Bishop three years. Tiring of hiring and renting he bought 80 acres in the northwest quarter of section thirty-four in Bloomington township where he lived 40 years."
    By the time James David Armstrong arrived in McLean County, the population was in excess of 20,000 (28,000+ in 1860).  The railroad had arrived and there wasn't the opportunity to buy open land.  He had come to this area because of relatives of his step-father.  So James Armstrong started working for others. 
     The Nichols land must have been spread out because The largest parcel of land that I could locate was about 500 acres. The largest portion seemed to be in the region of red arrow #1. Some of the land was in 'Old Town' Township but much of it was one township north in 'Towanda' Township.
    My best guess for the William Mikel land was red arrow #2.   The land for Judge Rayburn was approximately at red arrow #3. Harvey Bishop's land was in 'Downs' Township at red arrow #4.  
     The eighty acre parcel that he eventually purchased and the location of the Armstrong farm was at the yellow arrow.

Atlas of McLean County2

Detail of Section 34 - J. Armstrong 80 Acres

1.  “Passing of a Nestor” Pantograph, Bloomington, Illinois March 30, 1906

2.  J. L. Spaulding. Atlas of McLean County Illinois, 1966 Chicago

No comments:

Post a Comment