Biography of Hon. Stephen A. Armstrong
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies

HON. STEPHEN A. ARMSTRONG, now serving his second term as judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Mercer County, was formerly the senior member of the prominent law firm of Armstrong & Johnson, at Celina. He was born December 18, 1848, at Montezuma, Mercer County, Ohio, and is a son of William and Martha (Livingston) Armstrong.

The father of Judge Armstrong was born in Ireland and came of. Scotch Irish ancestry. His mother, born in 1812, a native of Dublin, Ireland, was of English extraction. In 1832 William Armstrong and wife came to America and joined relatives already well established at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The father of Judge Armstrong was a skilled machinist. After working as such in Philadelphia, he removed to the vicinity of Montreal, Canada, where he lived until 1847, when he came to the rapidly growing village of Montezuma, in Mercer County, Ohio. The family was visited here by heavy calamity, four sons dying in one month in 1849, from an epidemic of scarlet fever, and in March, 1850, the father died and the bereaved widow was left with the care of three surviving children, our subject being then an infant. To her wisdom and good management, Stephen A. Armstrong attributes much of his success in life. She was a woman of intellectual capacity and when she found herself left with but little capital and the care of three small children, she became a teacher and not only succeeded in rearing her little ones to honorable maturity but educated them as well. This devoted mother passed out of life on December 13, 1857.

Stephen A. Armstrong attended the schools of Montezuma and Celina, his mother having removed to the latter place in 1852. Prior to completing his education he served three years in a printing office at Celina, after which he successfully passed through the Celina High School. Naturally taking up teaching as a profession,' he taught four terms in Mercer County and was then appointed superintendent of the schools of Celina, in which position he served with efficiency for one year, resigning in order to enter the University of Michigan, for which he had prepared himself. For five years prior to this he had been reading law as his duties permitted, and in 1873 he was graduated from the law department, at Ann Arbor, with his degree of LL. B. In April of the same year he was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, then sitting at Detroit, and shortly afterward was admitted to practice in the State and Federal courts of Ohio. On July 7, 1873, he located at Celina and here he has been one of the leading members of the bad for years. In the fall of 1875 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Mercer County, and was reelected two years later.

In 1898 Stephen A. Armstrong was elected to the common pleas bench, an honor justified by the eminent position he had held as attorney. Five years later he was reelected. He possesses all the qualifications demanded in his judicial position and occupies a high place among the jurists of Ohio.

On December 28, 1870, Judge Armstrong was married to Alice Jane Shipley, a native of Ohio, daughter of Samuel B. Shipley. Mr. and Mrs: Armstrong have had seven children, five of whom survive: Russell L., an attorney of Lima, who is a graduate of the Celina schools and the law department of the Ohio State University; Samuel Floyd, who conducts a restaurant at Mendon; Stephen A., Jr., court stenographer of Mercer County; Alice May, living at home, who graduated from the Celina schools, also attended school for a time at Oxford and is a fine musician; and John Richard, who graduated from the Celina schools and is now a student of the law department of the Ohio State University. Russell and Samuel Floyd Armstrong served in the Spanish American War. Of the two children, deceased, William B: died at the age of 32 years, leaving a widow, Bertha (Keller) Armstrong; and Edward died in infancy.

History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois

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