They Left Their Mark In Oakford, 1872

As an Ardent Lincoln Admirer

Page 55

Born in 1848 John possessed a most illustrious background. His father was Jack Armstrong a half brother to Bowling Green the justice of the peace at New Salem. Mr. Green loaned his law books to Abraham Lincoln.

Jack lived with the Clary Grove clan known for their rowdiness. They often came storming into New Salem. On one of these trips, Jack Armstrong and Abe Lincoln engaged in a wrestling match. Although Jack lost, he eventually became very good friends with Abe.

John's mother was the "Aunt Hannah" Jones Armstrong who ran a boarding house on Sandridge. Abe Lincoln spent many nights there with his friends while surveying in the area.

It was John's brother, Duff whom Lincoln defended and cleared in the famous murder trial.

John first worked for Oscar Hubbard in the implement business. Soon he owned his own business. From 1903 until his death in 1926, he operated a hardware store, and implement business, a lumber yard, a grain buying business, and ran a boarding house for years. He served on the village board and joined the Modern Woodman Lodge.

John married "Fiddler Bill" Watkins daughter, Caroline and raised three daughters. He was a prime figure in the expanding community of Oakford. Besides all this, he was a find old time fiddler too.



Copyright 2007 Jeanie Lowe & contributors
All rights reserved
Illinois Ancestors